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Crisis in Indo-US relations?
K.P. Nayar

When two successive ambassadors throw in the towel before completion of their tenures, it is obvious that the relationship between their country and the host government is in trouble. With pundits in New Delhi spinning out theories that range from the bizarre to the ridiculous about Nancy Powell�s resignation, it has not registered adequately among the public that she is not the first ambassador of the United States of America to leave New Delhi prematurely in very recent times. Her predecessor, Timothy Roemer, who was chosen amidst great fanfare, because he is a former Democratic Congressman from Indiana, ... Read More

Eyeing White House, Bobby Jindal steps up political activity
Washington: Louisiana's Indo-American Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, will headline a major Republican fundraising event in the early primary state of South Carolina.

Jindal will address the 'Silver Elephant Dinner', the finale of the state Republican Party's annual convention in Columbia, on June 6, CNN reported noting "the state doubles as a must-do stopover for ambitious politicians with an eye on the White House."

He visited the state last summer to kick off Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley's re-election bid alongside Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

But Jindal's Silver Elephant speech will mark his first solo appearance ... Read More

Mulayam Singh Yadav defends rapists, slammed
Lucknow: In a highly insensitive and controversial statement at the time when security of women is a major issue, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday said that it was wrong to give capital punishment to rapists.

Speaking at a rally in Moradabad, Yadav referred to the Shakti Mills rape cases in Mumbai where death penalty was awarded to three rape accused and defended those who commit such heinous crimes, saying boys err at times.

Questioning the death sentence to the three men, Yadav asked, "Should rape cases be punished with hanging?

We will bring changes in law when we come to ... Read More

Trudeau Asks for Free Vote on Unfair Elections Act
OTTAWA � The Prime Minister must allow his MPs to have a voice on fundamental changes to our democracy and hold a free vote on the Unfair Elections Act, said the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

�The Conservatives� Unfair Elections Act will bar thousands of Canadians from voting and limit investigations into electoral fraud, and I am calling on the Prime Minister to hold a free vote on these wholesale changes,� said Mr. Trudeau. �If the government continues to run roughshod over Canadians by forcing through its bill, I commit that a Liberal government will repeal the ... Read More

Polling peaceful in four North Eastern States
(pic: A Nishi man with their traditional headgear shows his voter�s card as he waits in queue in Itanagar, capital of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar.)

Barring minor incidents of violence, elections to Lok Sabha in the six parliamentary constituencies of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland were conducted peacefully on Wednesday. Owing to a longstanding dispute between Assam and Nagaland, the Election Commission could not set up a polling station in the affected area.

Simultaneous elections were held by the two parliamentary and 60 assembly constituencies of Arunachal Pradesh where 71 per cent voting was recorded till 5 ... Read More

End of the Gandhi Line?
By John Elliot
How much does it tell you about a man if he cannot decide whether he wants to have a beard or not? What does it indicate ifhe appears clean shaven for a few days, then sports a stubble, then is clean shaven again, then appears with a full black beard till it vanishes again?
This is not a youngster hanging out with buddies or backpacking across America but instead a top member of India's leading political dynasty who is nearing his 44th birthday and is photographed and filmed every time he appears in public.
He is Rahul Gandhi, the ... Read More

The numbers (Cartoon)
The numbers (Cartoon)

... Read More

South Asian is Prez ambassador for global entrepreneurship
Salman Khan, whose mother was born in Kolkata and father in Bangladesh, has produced more than 4,800 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences. Salman Khan, whose mother was born in Kolkata and father in Bangladesh, has produced more than 4,800 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences.

An Indian-origin of the famous Khan Academy, Salman Khan, has been appointed as one among the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, the White House has said.

US President Barack Obama has chaired the first-ever meeting ... Read More

IT leaders bet big on Infosys ex-top honchos Nilekani, Balakrishnan
Captains of USD 100 billion IT industry are placing their bets on former Infosys top honchos Nandan Nilekani and V Balakrishnan in this Lok Sabha polls, expecting them to lead a change in political landscape and work towards job creation and economic growth.
... Read More

BJP senior leader, Ashok Pradhan, joins Samajwadi Party
Lucknow: In a setback to BJP days ahead of April 10 elections in Gautam Budh Nagar, former Union minister and senior leader Ashok Pradhan today joined the Samajwadi Party (SP), claiming that there is a "trade" of Lok Sabha tickets in BJP.

"In BJP there is "Kharid-farokth" (trade) of Lok Sabha tickets. Senior leaders LK Advani, Jaswant Singh and others are ignored and there is resentment in the party, where a number of groups have been formed. They (BJP) do not care for national issues now, but their (BJP leaders) only contention is to grab power," Mr Pradhan said while joining ... Read More
High voter turnout in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and J&K in phase 3 of Lok Sabha elections
New Delhi: The crucial third phase of the general elections on Thursday largely saw a healthy increase in voter turnout, with Jammu and Kashmir getting a special mention from the Election Commission for an "outstanding" 66 per cent voting in Jammu, the one constituency where polling was held.

The ruling Congress has much at stake in today's elections. It holds 45 of the 91 constituencies - across 11 states and three union territories - which voted. The BJP fancies its chances at substantially increasing its seats in its quest to touch the 272 majority mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha. ... Read More
High stakes battle for 91 seats, seven union ministers in contest
New Delhi: April 10

By 3 on Thursday afternoon, more than 54 per cent of the electorate had turned up to vote. In considerable contrast, national capital Delhi had recorded only a 35.36 per cent voter turnout with three hours of polling left on in the third phase of the general elections 2014.

Polling is being held today in 91 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in 11 states and three union territories. The Election Commission said that at 3 pm, polling had picked up in the 10 seats of UP and in Haryana. It was almost 50 per cent ... Read More
Modi not good for country, says Naveen Patnaik
NEW DELHI: Odisha chief minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has slammed Narendra Modi by describing him as a "controversial" prime ministerial candidate who is not "healthy" for the country due to his communal background.

He also said his party would maintain an "equidistance" both from Congress and BJP even after the elections and it would not take a call on a Third Front till the results are out.

Dismissing the suggestion that there was a "Modi wave" in Odisha, Patnaik said the "good programmes" implemented by his government would pay results during this elections.

Asked about his views on Modi, who is ... Read More
Congressman Believes Detention is Retaliation for Arrest of Indian Diplomat
Rep. Peter King is urging the U.S. government to intervene in the case of a New York City police officer who has been detained in India for a month for possessing bullets in his luggage.

Mr. King, a Republican who represents Long Island, wrote in a letter to Secretary of StateJohn Kerry that he believes the officer's arrest is payback for the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York in December.

Manuel Encarnacion, a 49-year-old NYPD officer, was arrested on March 11 in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport after authorities checking his ... Read More
No language income requirements for sponsored spouses
To whom it may concern –

I noted the piece in South Asia Mail on April 6 that stated that CIC is planning to implement language/ income requirements for sponsored spouses. This is not the case. Please see the following transcript of Minister Alexander in the House of Commons as well as an excerpt from a Q+A with media on the issue.

Hon. Chris Alexander (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, no, we have no intention of imposing language requirements for spouses, but we will continue to study these issues and to hear from Canadians. It is irresponsible of the ... Read More
Offering “Express Entry” to talented newcomers
April 8, 2014 — Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that Canada’s active recruitment model for economic immigration will officially be called “Express Entry.” Set to launch in January 2015, “Express Entry” is a major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs.

“Express Entry” will allow for greater flexibility and better responsiveness to deal with regional labour shortages, and help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers. “Express Entry” candidates who receive a valid ... Read More
India named 'second-most powerful nation' in world by economic group
When it comes to competing on the world market, India is the second-most powerful nation, a group that tracks nations' abilities on the economic front has revealed.

The 'world market power' index was issued by the group, the multinational Spanish banking outfit Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, as part of its research project on Emerging and Growth-Leading Economies.

According to the Washington Times, China topped the list of can-do nation followed by India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Mexico.

The report said that China made it to the top spot as it showed the highest value not only among emerging economies but also when ... Read More
BJP manifesto a marked shift from UPA's policies
By Malini Bhupta
Mumbai: The market is surprised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken so long to release its manifesto because it contains nothing new. On the face of it, the manifesto is a non-event because the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has already conveyed that good governance matters more than policy.

This is possibly why the party seems to believe the answer to all of India’s ills is Modi. So far, the party brass has not been able to give any concrete answer on how it intends to lift India’s growth rates from the current lows. But the manifesto’s ... Read More
US Plans to Allow Spouse of H1B Visa Holder to Work in America

Aimed at attracting the world's best and brightest, the US will soon come out with a series of policy initiatives and changes in the existing rules including allowing the spouses of H-1B visas to work in America.

In a statement, the White House said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the US more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the US economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.

"These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for ... Read More
Arvind Kejriwal slapped again while campaigning in Delhi
AAP Arvind Kejriwal slapped by an autorickshaw driver in Sultanpuri, Delhi
New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP, was slapped today an auto-rickshaw driver while campaigning in Sultanpuri, north-west Delhi. He was later seen praying at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat with a swollen left eye.

Mr Kejriwal was in an open jeep when a man in a blue shirt reached up and first garlanded the AAP chief and then struck him hard on his left cheek. The attacker was immediately tackled to the ground by AAP supporters; he is in hospital after being beaten up by ... Read More

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