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Talking Shop

Global nuclear summit largely fails to make the world a safer place Hopelessly hijacked by North Korea’s rocket launch plans, the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul failed to move beyond a symbolic solidarity against nuclear proliferation. The biggest nuclear meeting in the world, the March 26-27 summit saw prominent heads of states representing around 80% of the world’s population and 90% of the global...

Not Shutting the Door

There have been some setbacks but the Indian government will continue to push for economic reform (3 February 2012) — India is a nation of shopkeepers. Retailing accounts for 15% of its gross domestic product, employs 40 million people, and at US$450 billion, is one of the top five retail markets in the world. No wonder global retail giants want to get a foot in the door. But the country is also keen to protect...

Turning Point (News Report)

High-profile arrest galvanises Bangladesh’s 1971 war crimes trial DHAKA (20 January 2012) — Dancing broke out in the streets of Bangladesh after the prominent arrest of a man the state prosecutor alleges is “the mastermind” of war crimes commited during Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war, when it seceded from Pakistan. The development is “a significant step forward in the trial of those accused of...

Scoring an Own Goal (News Report)

India’s main opposition party shoots itself in the foot by taking in graft-tainted politician NEW DELHI (13 January 2012) —The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) decision to admit a corruption-tainted politician to its ranks ahead of the February elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has significantly damaged its prospects in the upcoming elections. And the man in the centre of the controversy...

Chasing Votes (News Report)

The battle over Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh intensifies NEW DELHI (20 January 2012) — The race is on to win over the pivotal Muslim vote in the key Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) ahead of the February-March elections, as politicians dangle the carrot of affirmative action. Politicians are tripping over themselves to propose the inclusion of Muslims in the ‘reservation’ scheme, a largely caste-based...

Calling Truce (News Report)

India’s law minister apologises for public spat with election commission NEW DELHI (17 February 2012) — Law Minister Salman Khurshid avoided a showdown with his own government and the Election Commission (EC) by apologising for imprudent remarks he made during a public rally for the ongoing provincial elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP). On February 11, while speaking in support of his wife who is contesting...

Where’s the Honour

More than 1,000 young people, mostly women, die in so-called honour killings in India every year in a horrific practice that must stop (20 January 2012) — Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, a 25-year-old Indian Sikh and naturalised Canadian, was brutally murdered in Punjab in 2000. After 11 years and seven convictions in India, the investigation continues. Earlier this year, her mother and uncle were arrested in a Vancouver...