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India’s Modi sworn in as PM for third term, faces coalition challenges

India’s Modi sworn in as PM for third term, faces coalition challenges

NARENDRA Modi was sworn in as India's prime minister for a third term, after a shock election setback that will test his ability to ensure policy certainty in a coalition government in the world's most populous nation. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Modi at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president's palace in New Delhi, attended by thousands of dignitaries, including the leaders of seven regional countries, Bollywood stars and industrialists. "Honoured to serve Bharat," Modi posted on X, minutes before he was sworn in, referring to India's name in Indian languages. Supporters cheered, clapped and chanted…
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Mexico, South Africa and India deliver political punch to markets

Mexico, South Africa and India deliver political punch to markets

A clobbering for South Africa's, Mexico's and even India's heavyweight markets in recent days has proved without doubt that politics can still deliver an unexpected uppercut in big emerging economies. Mexico's peso and South Africa's rand were both still sliding on Tuesday following their respective election surprises, while the likelihood that Narendra Modi hadn't scored a landslide win in India's marathon elections sent its equity markets sprawling. The peso fell 1.5% to just shy of 18 to the U.S. dollar at one point as traders continued to fret about the ramifications of the resounding win for the Claudia Sheinbaum-led MORENA party and its allies in Sunday's…
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India vote count shows Modi alliance winning surprisingly narrow majority

India vote count shows Modi alliance winning surprisingly narrow majority

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked set to retain power at the head of a ruling coalition, but his Hindu nationalist party lost its outright majority for the first time in a decade as voters defied predictions of another landslide. The outcome spooked investors, with stocks falling steeply as emerging results showed that Modi would, for the first time since sweeping to power in 2014, depend on at least three disparate regional parties whose political loyalties have wavered over the years. This, analysts say, could introduce some uncertainty into policymaking after a decade in which Modi has ruled with an authoritative hold. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party…
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Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat

Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat

ANIMALS collapsed, people jumped on water tankers with buckets amid shortages and government employees changed their work hours as blistering summer heat kept its grip on north India. Although Thursday's readings were marginally lower in Delhi than the previous day when one area recorded an all-time high of 52.9 degrees Celsius (127.22 Fahrenheit), the region still saw temperatures touching 47 C (116.6 F). Delhi, which has a population of 20 million, recorded its first heat-related death on Wednesday, with a 40-year-old labourer dying of heatstroke, local media reported. Authorities said they are investigating if the 52.9 C reading in the Mungeshpur neighbourhood on Wednesday…
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Tourist couple injured in militant shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections

Tourist couple injured in militant shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections

A tourist couple was injured in India's Kashmir after militants fired on them, police said, ahead of voting scheduled in the volatile region for India's ongoing election. The couple from the Indian city of Jaipur was evacuated to the hospital and the area where the attack took place was cordoned off, Kashmir police said on social media. The condition of the injured tourists is said to be stable, they said. India is in the middle of a marathon election with the remaining two seats in Kashmir going to polls on May 20 and May 25. Voters turned out in large numbers for…
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India’s strife-torn Manipur overcomes fear of violence to vote in big numbers

India’s strife-torn Manipur overcomes fear of violence to vote in big numbers

RESIDENTS of India's violence-torn northeastern state of Manipur turned out in large numbers to vote on Friday, despite the shadow of ethnic clashes that killed at least 220 people in the last year hanging over the national election. The state has been roiled by fighting between the majority Meitei and tribal Kuki-Zo people since May and continues to be divided into two enclaves - a valley controlled by Meiteis and Kuki-dominated hills, separated by a stretch of "no man's land" monitored by federal paramilitary forces. There were scattered incidents of violence on Friday in the state, despite heavy security. At least…
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India brings back 35 Somali pirates as part of operations near Red Sea

India brings back 35 Somali pirates as part of operations near Red Sea

THE Indian navy handed over 35 Somali pirates to the police in Mumbai on Saturday, after 100 days of anti-piracy operations east of the Red Sea, where piracy has resurfaced for the first time in nearly a decade. India, the largest national force in the Gulf of Aden and northern Arabian Sea region, captured the pirates from the cargo ship Ruen last week, three months after it was hijacked off the Somali coast. Taking advantage of Western forces' focus on protecting shipping from attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants, pirates have made or attempted more than 20 hijackings…
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Delhi chief minister Kejriwal arrested in liquor graft case

Delhi chief minister Kejriwal arrested in liquor graft case

INDIA'S financial crime agency arrested Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi on Thursday in connection with graft allegations relating to the city's liquor policy, his party said, a setback for the opposition ahead of elections. The arrest means the main leaders of the decade-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are in jail, following the arrests last year of two of Kejriwal's deputies in the same case - which the party has called "dirty politics". Kejriwal, 55, rose to power as an anti-corruption crusader and founded the AAP, Hindi for "common man's party", in 2011. Scores of supporters protested outside his…
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Hindus throng Ram temple in India’s Ayodhya as it opens to the public

Hindus throng Ram temple in India’s Ayodhya as it opens to the public

TENS of thousands of Hindus braved biting cold to pray at a new temple to Lord Ram in India's northern city of Ayodhya, a day after its inaugural by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a site believed to be the god-king's birthplace. Hindu groups, Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates have portrayed the opening as part of a Hindu renaissance after past centuries of subjugation by Muslim invaders and colonial powers. "I was adamant about this ... I will only leave after I have seen my Lord Ram," one of the visitors, Guddu Shukla, who queued at the…
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India pledges ‘appropriate action’ after completing cough syrup bribe probe

India pledges ‘appropriate action’ after completing cough syrup bribe probe

INDIA will take "appropriate action" after completing an investigation into a complaint that a drug regulator helped switch samples of cough syrup linked to the death of children in Gambia in return for a bribe, two officials said. The World Health Organization (WHO) linked the syrups made by India's Maiden Pharmaceuticals to the deaths of 70 children in 2022, though India's government said subsequent tests at an Indian government laboratory showed the syrups were not toxic. Maiden, whose factory is based in Haryana state, denies wrongdoing. Reuters reported in June last year that a lawyer named Yashpal accused Haryana's drug controller, Manmohan…
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