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Will of the people: 800 million Indians are voting in the biggest election ever

Women in Kerala, India line up to vote.  /Reuters

Special to By Donald Kirk, Winston Churchill was thinking of his own defeat at the polls after having led Britain through World War II when he uttered one of his more famous quotes, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to [...]

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Israel, India agree on missile defense system against China, Pakistan nuclear strikes


Special to LONDON — India and Israel have concluded an agreement to assemble a ballistic missile defense system. Indian sources said Jerusalem and New Dehli concluded more than two years of negotiations with an agreement in principle to build a BMD system for India. The sources said the system would be designed to protect [...]

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India to complete strategic ‘Triad’ with sea trials of indigenous SSBN

INS Arihant was built entirely in India with Russian assistance.

Special to By Miles Yu, India joined five other countries in the world on Jan. 21 with the launch for sea trials of an indigenously designed, engineered and operated ballistic missile submarine, the INS Arihant. With the sea trials, India advanced toward its goal of building a nuclear deterrence capability known as the [...]

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Suddenly, Japan and most of East Asia are currying favor with India

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Jan. 16.

Special to By Miles Yu, India’s longtime low profile in East Asia is ending. The world’s largest democracy is being vigorously courted by virtually all the countries in the volatile and dynamic region. In the past decade, Vietnam, the Philippines and Burma have moved significantly closer to India. But in the last two [...]

Posted in BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,India,Intel Brief,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Indian intel warns of terror attacks on U.S. sites after diplomatic row

Devyani Khobragade

Special to By Miles Yu, The Indian government has sent an official diplomatic note to the U.S. embassy demanding that the U.S. shut down all social clubs and all commercial activities including tax-free alcohol inside its large embassy compound in New Delhi by Jan. 16. This is apparently in retaliation against the arrest [...]

Posted in BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,India,Intel Brief,Mideast,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics | Read More »

Slavery in the year 2013: The differences between North Korea and India

North Korean laborers and their minder in a photo smuggled out of the reclusive nation.  /London Mirror

Special to By Donald Kirk, NEW DELHI — Within India’s long borders, as many as 65 million people are slaves. That’s according to the U.S. State Department’s annual “Trafficking in Persons” report, which classifies India as having more slaves than any other country on earth. “The forced labor of an estimated 20 to [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,India,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Watching the Series from the Himalayas: Survival of the fittest in the global village

Boston Red Sox players and fans celebrate after winning the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 at Fenway Park in Boston.  /John Tlumacki/Boston Globe

Special to By Donald Kirk, DARJEELING, India — You know the planet is truly a global village when you turn on the TV in a cheapie room on the lower slopes of the Himalayas early one morning and find ESPN carrying the Red Sox-Cardinals live in the World Series. OK, you could do [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,India,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Why the angst over out-of-work bureaucrats?

One union executive is paid $156,000 per year for eating a big lunch and then napping for 2 hours at the office before going home.

Special to By Donald Kirk, MUMBAI — Indians have a great word for the plethora of petty bureaucrats who run all the ministries and agencies that make life difficult if not miserable for millions of people. The word is “babu,” which can be a term of respect for an elder but now is [...]

Posted in BB Americas,Exclusives,India,Life,Mideast,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics | Read More »

Report of planned U.S. base in India excites locals, rattles Beijing

Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle.

Special to By Miles Yu, Indian media and military forums are abuzz about various reports that the Pentagon is considering building a military base in India, with the ostensible purpose of checking China’s growing military threat in the region. The Calcutta-based newspaper The Telegraph reported on Aug. 21 that a U.S. Air Force [...]

Posted in BB Backgrounder,China,Exclusives,India,Intel Brief,Mideast,NE Asia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Indian sub tragedy blamed on mishandling of Russian-made missiles

Indian Navy divers near the stricken INS Sindhurakshak.

Special to By Miles Yu, Last week’s disastrous submarine explosion in India which killed 18 Indian sailors was caused by Russian-made Klub missiles inside the vessel, according to the Indian newspaper Mumbai Mirror, citing sources from the Indian Navy. The explosion and sinking of the Russian-made diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhurakshat occurred right after [...]

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