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  • Test of endurance and logistics as soldiers guard peaks at 17,000 ft
    New Delhi, October 3 (IANS) : For over a month soldiers are perched on peaks rising to 17000 ft as a turn-around of all troops is yet to happen because of the terrain and logistics. On August 29, in a sudden stealth operation carried out mostly under the cover of darkness, India occupied critical heights and mountain passes along the South Bank of the Pangong Tso, a glacial lake at 16000 ft. Winter is approaching and the battle of nerves along the disputed border is fast turning int
  • 800 million children globally still exposed to lead: UNICEF
    London, October 2 (IANS): As many as 800 million children have dangerously high lead values in their blood. The neurotoxin can cause permanent brain damage, warn researchers. The huge international numbers come from a new report from Pure Earth and UNICEF. Pure Earth works to solve pollution problems that can be harmful to humans. "A child's earliest years of life are characterized by rapid growth and brain development. This makes children particularly vulnerable to h
  • A quarter century on, Raja Rao's biography of the Mahatma retains its freshness
    BY VISHNU MAKHIJANI New Delhi, October 1 (IANS): When Raja Rao's biography of Mahatma Gandhi was published in 1998, it was seen as a coming together of two great minds. That it continues to be so today, a quarter-century later, is a testament to the originality of its narrative in the Puranic style of storytelling - "an experiment in honesty" as the author himself had put it "I am convinced that the time is ripe to offer this and other Raja Rao works to a disc
  • 'Soviet disinformation in Indian newspaper echoed for decades'
    New Delhi, September 29 (IANS): The Soviets used an Indian newspaper in 1983 to spread disinformation that the AIDS virus had been invented by the US military as a "biological weapon to kill black and gay men" and this echoed for decades. There's greater sophistication today, says a new book on the threat to democracy and personal liberty from fake news generated by Advanced AI technology, with Russia fine-tuning the concept in this age of the Infocalypse, which the autho
  • Pandemic deals 'crushing blow' to struggling Kashmir tourism
    The disputed region has received less than 600 visitors since mid-July, compared with 14,600 in the same period last year SRINAGAR, India, September 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Kashmir went into a coronavirus lockdown in March, tourism in the Indian-administered territory had already been hobbled by eight months of tight security restrictions that New Delhi imposed after revoking the region's semi-autonomous status. Now hoteliers, taxi drivers and others relying on
  • In Brazil's Amazon a COVID-19 resurgence dashes herd immunity hopes
    A fresh upsurge in infections has quelled hopes that Manaus city had achieved herd immunity against the virus BRASILIA, September 28 (Reuters) - The largest city in Brazil's Amazon has closed bars and river beaches to contain a fresh surge of coronavirus cases, a trend that may dash theories that Manaus was one of the world's first places to reach collective, or herd, immunity. When a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, its spread becomes unlikely.
  • Advantage agricultural reforms: A turning point for farmers
    BY R.K. PACHNANDA IANS | September 27 After retirement from the army, my father took up farming at Village Shahpur, on the Pinjore-Nalagarh Road, in Haryana. After every wheat harvest, my mother used to cart the wheat herself on the tractor to the Chandigarh mandi. She used to wait for hours, sitting in the tractor, in the hot sun at the mercy of the 'Arthiyas' at the Mandi to purchase the wheat. It was harassment of the highest degree; the arthiyas would always blackmai
  • Jaswant Singh: A soft-spoken former Army officer, astute politician (Obituary)
    New Delhi, September 27 (IANS): A soft-spoken man, former BJP leader Jaswant Singh was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a leading light of the party when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishan Advani helmed it through the tumultuous period of Indian politics. And with his demise, another party stalwart of that era has passed into eternity. Given that he had retired as a Major-rank officer from the Indian Army, it was no surprise that he was very punctual i
  • Dirty secret: Half of world lacks clean cooking, at a huge cost
    Failure to provide about 4 billion people with access to clean, safe and affordable ways of cooking is costing $2.4 trillion a year   BARCELONA, September 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A global failure to provide about 4 billion people - half the world's population - with access to clean, safe and affordable ways of cooking is costing $2.4 trillion a year in damage to health, the climate and local economies, new figures show. A report released by the World Bank and
  • World's youth rallies against climate change
    As climate impacts surge, Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future protesters mount more than 3,100 demonstrations around the world BRUSSELS, September 25 (Reuters) - United under Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, young people rallied worldwide on Friday to demand urgent action to halt catastrophic climate change, in their first global protest since the coronavirus crisis began. With wild weather wreaking havoc across the world – from fires ravaging the U.S. West, to abnormal
  • Modi factor driving Indian Americans towards Trump: Survey
    New Delhi, September 24 (PTI): Indian Americans, particularly in the battleground states, are coming out in support of President Donald Trump in large numbers due to a combination of 12 factors, prominent among which is his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to an internal research survey. Trump showing respect to Indian Americans, treating India and Modi on an equal footing have made him popular, says the survey, which is now shaping the campaign's outreach
  • Girls tackle child marriage on the football pitch in India
    Soccer initiative aims to give child brides new opportunities, and the confidence to stand up for their rights MUMBAI, September 232 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When India began lifting its coronavirus lockdown, Meera, a child bride from northwestern India, was focused on just one thing: when she could start playing football again. In Rajasthan, one of the Indian regions where early marriage persists despite being outlawed more than a decade ago, a girls' soccer initiative
  • How writing became a tool for self-discovery, empowerment for these women
    New Delhi, September 22 (IANSlife): Being a female author can come with its own set of challenges, especially when one is trying to juggle a career in the demanding field along with a personal life. From burning the midnight oil to pursue writing, to managing multiple roles, budding authors share how they used writing as a tool for empowerment. 'Four Dances of the Moon' author Shikha Rinchin Tiku explains how every journey is different and so are the challenges. "I got
  • Fierce, frequent, climate-fueled wildfires may decimate forests worldwide
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters) - Wildfires among ponderosa pines and Douglas firs of the U.S. West have long been part of nature's cycle of renewal, as much as the changing of the seasons. But as climate change makes the region more arid, wildfires have grown more frequent and ferocious. Scientists worry the hottest blazes could end up obliterating swathes of some forests forever. "When you get these large areas burned there are no surviving trees to reseed these areas,&
  • Post-370, public sector recruitment in J&K sparks outrage among youth
    New Delhi/Srinagar, September 21 (IANS): A year after the central government's assurances that the nullification of Article 370 would lead to transparency and accountability, Jammu & Kashmir's public sector recruitment remains a major source of disillusionment. "We were promised that merit will be a priority, regional disparity will vanish and favouritism, corruption and nepotism will be eliminated from J&K. None of the commitments have been kept," Muneeb,
  • Silences of the abandoned
    New Delhi, September 20 (IANS): She captures frames of the greatest migration since Partition, but what strikes is not the movement, but in fact an uncomfortable stillness -- not just of the people but the entire city. A post-war capital -- abandoned, but still standing tall, unable to come to terms with the new reality. In the initial days of the lockdown, which forced lakhs of migrant workers to flee cities towards their homes on foot, Delhi-based photographer Parul Sharma decided
  • Chinese imperialism poses incurable threat to the world
    BY BINAY KUMAR SINGH IANS | September 18 Two viruses have taken over the world. One, a minuscule creature called Covid-19, has killed more than 8,00,000 people around the globe, but is slowing down and will most likely be eliminated in the coming months. Vaccines have already been developed against it and once inoculated, citizens of the world can expect to go on with their normal lives. However, it is the second virus, that of Chinese imperialism, which poses a long term and a muc
  • 'Nobody has done anything': Amazon indigenous group decries illegal mining
    Munduruku indigenous leaders say their land is being invaded as gold prices rise, and efforts to fight the problem are inadequate   SAO PAULO, September 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An Amazon indigenous group that earlier turned away a planned hydroelectric dam is now battling a surge of illegal gold mining in its territory during the COVID-19 pandemic, a tribal activist said. The Sawré Muybu territory of the Munduruku indigenous people, in Brazil's Par&aacu
  • Pandemic makes tackling global woes more critical than ever - Bill Gates
    The pandemic has highlighted the need to address global inequality in education, pay and health care access, philanthropist Bill Gates said. NEW YORK, September 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out progress on lofty goals such as ending world poverty and hunger in the next decade, but the economic damage of COVID-19 shows how badly such global development is needed, philanthropist Bill Gates said. Across the world, the virus has deepened social
  • Gaffe-prone Trump, Biden take different ways to handle flubs
    New York, September 15 (IANS): US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden are both gaffe-prone, but are taking radically different strategies to deal with their reigns of error before the November 3 election. Biden keeps a lower profile and shies away from unscripted encounters and his strategists hope it will minimise embarrassing errors while watching Trump shoot himself in the foot with his shoot-from-the-hip style. Trump, on the other hand, seems to revel hi