"Are we civilized, or merely domesticated?" -- Michael Rivero

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India official fined after draining reservoir to recover phone malterwitty Sat, 06/03/2023 - 10:15

Picture the scene. You're on holiday and intend to go for a swim in a nearby reservoir. You pull out your phone for a selfie to make sure everyone knows you're having a lovely time, but you fumble the handset and it falls into the water.

Irritating, embarrassing, and it might even cause you some serious logistical difficulties. But it's not the end of the world, is it? Most of us would be able to move on and enjoy our holiday one way or another.

Nightmare in Manipur: Peace remains elusive in bloody battle over land, identity politics as ethnic clashes singe Indian state MikeRivero Fri, 06/02/2023 - 09:15

Manipur, the remote north-eastern Indian state, continues to burn weeks after the violence first erupted on May 3, following ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei community and the minority hill tribals, belonging to the Kuki/Chin/Zomi groups. 

On Sunday, fresh clashes erupted between the two communities, and at least five people, including a policeman, were killed and 12 others injured.

Pakistan: An Economy on the Brink MikeRivero Fri, 06/02/2023 - 07:13

Following the economic collapse of Sri Lanka in mid-2022, Pakistan is close to sliding into the same disaster.

There is US$3 billion remaining in the country’s foreign currency reserves that can pay for only two weeks of imports.

Inflation is near 40 per cent.

The value of the national currency—the rupee—is in free fall.

Pakistan’s debt is near default and has increased by 38 per cent in one year.

Russia's Rupee Trap Is Adding To $147 Billion Hoard Stuck Abroad MikeRivero Fri, 06/02/2023 - 07:02

A lopsided trade relationship with India is forcing Russia to accumulate up to $1 billion each month in rupee assets that remain stranded outside the country, swelling the stockpile of capital it's amassed abroad since the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has emerged as a top supplier of oil to India over the past year, settling a greater share of trade in national currencies and redirecting shipments east as traditional customers in Europe shunned purchases after the war began over a year ago.

India wants to “elevate” defence ties and push trade with Cambodia, said Indian President Droupadi Murmu during a visit by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni this week.

It was the first visit by a monarch from the South-east Asian kingdom in over six decades.

Ms Murmu, who hosted a banquet for the King on Tuesday evening at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s official residence, said India is keen to increase defence ties and noted “there is great potential for further growth in trade and investment between India and Cambodia”, according to a government statement.

Israel is planning to bring around 10,000 workers from India to fill positions in the construction and nursing industries, in a sign of deepening economic and political cooperation between Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

According to Hebrew news outlets, the workers will arrive in stages, with half destined for the construction sector and the remaining half designated for nursing roles.

At least 5,000 workers are due in the first year. The final labor agreement is still being negotiated between Israeli and Indian officials.