Will West Asia be a better place with Palestine’s new UN status?

From the looks of it, Palestine has the world on its side. On Friday, it won 139 votes in its favour against 9 votes against it, thus winning a thumping majority for new status at the United Nations (UN) as a non-member UN observer. However, Palestine’s new upgraded status has not helped mitigate the conflict. If anything, the new development has only hardened its opponent’s stand. On Saturday, as if as a response, Israel announced…

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Taliban attacks Shia processions in Pakistan, 36 killed

In one of the bloodiest terror attacks, 36 people have been killed in Pakistan on Wednesday night as Taliban terrorists including suicide bombers targeted security forces and Shia processions in Rawalpindi and Karachi during the Islamic month of Muharram. In Rawalpindi, the bomber blew himself up when security personnel prevented him from joining the procession that was on its way to a Shia prayer hall. As many as 68 people have been seriously injured in…

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Israel, Hamas agree on ceasefire

After eight bloody days that saw 900 missiles being launched into Israel by Hamas militants, 1,500 bombings by Israel in the Gaza strip and the killing of 154 Palestinians and five Israelis, Israel and Palestine group Hamas have agreed on a ceasefire on Wednesday, which alone saw at least 13 people die in Gaza. The ceasefire was announced by Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel Amr at a news conference in Cairo with US Secretary of State…

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Ajmal Kasab hanged to death

India today executed Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Amir Kasab, the lone survivor of the 10-member Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorist squad that killed more than 160 people of various nationalities in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. The other nine terrorists were killed during the encounter with India’s security forces. Kasab, a Pakistani national, was hanged to death at 7:30 am local time at Pune’s Yerwada jail on Wednesday, 21 October, five days before the fourth anniversary of the bloody…

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Obama Irks Indian Politicians

US President Barack Obama’s comment that India should open up more sectors to foreign investment has Indian political leaders up in arms. In an interview to the Press Trust of India, Obama had said that India’s prohibitive investment climate was a matter of concern for the American business community. “They (American businessmen) tell us it is still too hard to invest in India. In too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits the…

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Ethiopia & India: 2,000 years and beyond

Historical linkages between India and Ethiopia data back at least 2,000 years of recorded history, according to India’s ministry of external affairs (MEA). The oldest African country is looking up to India in more ways than one. In January-end, Ethiopia opened its first honorary consulate in Chennai. Ethiopian ambassador Gennet Zewide announced Manikam Ramaswami, CMD of Loyal Textile Mills Ltd., as an Honorary Consul in Chennai. Then, on 8 February, Ethiopia’s tourism minister Tadelech Dalcho…

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The Politics Of Buddhism

It was a spiritual event keenly watched for any political undertones. However, the 4-day Global Buddhist Congregation concluded in New Delhi on 30 November without turning political – despite the presence of Dalai Lama, who China accuses of masterminding “anti-China activities”. Delegates at the congregation unanimously passed a resolution to form a new world Buddhist body, the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), which will act as an umbrella organisation for Buddhist organisations working in different parts…

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Denmark Smiles

After 10 years of central-right rule, Denmark has swiftly swung to the left. In the process, it has got a new face. Literally, a good looking face. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, leader of the Danish Social Democrats, is slated to take over as the next Prime Minister of Denmark. In the recently-concluded elections, she defeated the incumbent Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The margin was narrow, but the victory was widely expected. However, political observers say the…

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Whither Syria?

With the fall of the 42-year autocratic regime under Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, all eyes are now on Syria, where pro-reform activists have been fighting for the ouster of president Bashar al-Assad for the past five months. So far, the protesters have succeeded in making the government withdraw a 48-year Emergency Law but their other demands — President Bashar al-Assad to step down, for the ruling Baath Party to allow other political parties, to end…

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Libya After Gaddafi

The six-month-old liberation struggle in Libya entered a crucial phase with the rebels taking control of capital Tripoli. This more or less portends the end of the Gaddafi regime, which has been ruling the country for the past 42 years. However, at the time of writing this, there is no word about the whereabouts of Col. Moammer Gaddafi — who has not been seen in public for more than two months. There are unconfirmed reports…

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