6 October 2017

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Literature Prize

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro gestures during a press conference at his home in London, Thursday Oct. 5, 2017. Ishiguro, best known for “The Remains of the Day,” won the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, marking a return to traditional literature following two years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Academy for the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize.
Kazuo Ishiguro, the Japanese-born British novelist who in “The Remains of the Day,” ″Never Let Me Go” and other novels captured memory’s lasting pain and dangerous illusions in precise and elegant prose, won the Nobel Literature Prize.

The selection of the 62-year-old Ishiguro marked a return to citing fiction writers following two years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Academy for the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize. Friday’s selection also continues a recent trend of recognizing British authors born elsewhere — V.S. Naipaul, the 2001 winner, is from Trinidad and Tobago; the 2007 honoree, Doris Lessing, was a native of Iran who grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

30 September 2017

Indian theater actor Tom Alter has died at age 67

In this Wednesday, April 18, 2007, file photo, Indian theater personality Tom Alter poses for a photograph in New Delhi, India. Alter, a well-known Indian theater, television and Bollywood actor of American descent, has died in Mumbai Friday after a brief illness. He was 67.
Tom Alter, a well-known Indian theater, television and Bollywood actor of American descent, has died in Mumbai of cancer. He was 67.

A statement issued by his family on Saturday says Alter died Friday night at home with his family around him in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital. He had been diagnosed with skin cancer last year.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief and recalled Alter’s contribution to the film world and theater.

29 September 2017

Stampede on crowded Indian pedestrian bridge leaves 22 dead

A slipper of an injured commuter is seen stuck on the railing of a pedestrian bridge where a stampede took place at the Elphinstone station, in Mumbai, India, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush, killing a number of people police said.
A stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush, killing at least 22 people and injuring 32 others, Indian officials said.

Police were investigating what caused the stampede on the bridge, which led some commuters to leap over the railing. Others were crushed or fell underfoot and were trampled.

“There were too many people on the bridge, and the people were in hurry and wanted to move out,” said Brijesh Upadhyay, one of the many caught in the crowd. “There was nobody helping, it was very suffocating, and we just wanted to get out of there — and fell on each other.”

India’s flagging economy draws dire warnings of recession

In this June 16, 2017, file photo, Indians buy dry fruits from a roadside vendor at a market in New Delhi, India. Three years later Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, India’s economic prospects are looking decidedly more grim. India’s economic expansion has slowed to its lowest level in three years. Small businesses are struggling, or even shutting down, after a major overhaul to both the country’s currency and sales tax system.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power on a euphoric wave of promises to boost India’s economy, add millions of jobs and bring “good times” to the developing nation.

Three years later, India’s economic prospects look decidedly grimmer. India’s economic expansion has slowed to its lowest level in three years. Small businesses are struggling, or even shutting down, after overhauls of the nation’s currency and sales tax system. Modi’s own allies warn of a dire outlook, with some raising the specter of an economic depression.

14 September 2017

India, Japan start work on high-speed train during Abe visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave during the ground breaking ceremony for high speed rail project in Ahmadabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.
India and Japan launched work on a high-speed train line in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Thursday during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The “bullet train” will link Ahmadabad, the main commercial city in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s native state, to India’s financial capital of Mumbai.

The 500-kilometer (310-mile) project will be financed by a Japanese credit of $17 billion and is expected to be completed by 2022. The loan carries a nominal interest rate of 0.1 percent to be paid over the next 50 years.

Boat capsizes in Indian river, killing 19; about 31 missing

Rescuers search in the Yamuna River as villagers gather after a country boat, seen in foreground, capsized near Baghpat town in Uttar Pradesh state, India, Thursday, Sept.14, 2017. The boat crowded with construction workers capsized early Thursday and nineteen bodies have been pulled out of the river so far.
A boat crowded with construction workers capsized in the Yamuna River in northern India early Thursday and at least 19 people have drowned, officials said.

A search is underway for missing passengers, said senior police officer Ram Kumar.

More than 60 people were on the boat when it capsized near Baghpat town in Uttar Pradesh state early Thursday.

At least 10 people swam to safety while about 31 passengers are missing. Nineteen bodies had been pulled out of the river, Kumar said.

13 September 2017

From India to Malaysia, Rohingya face hardship, uncertainty

In this Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, photo, Rohingya refugee Muhammad Ayub shows off a picture of his grandfather allegedly killed during recent violence in Myanmar, in Klang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Recent violence in Myanmar has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge across the border in Bangladesh. There are some 56,000 Rohingya refugees registered with the U.N. refugee agency in Malaysia, with an estimated 40,000 more whose status has yet to be assessed.
Recent violence in Myanmar has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge across the border in Bangladesh. But Rohingya have been fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for decades, and many who have made it to safety in other countries still face a precarious existence.

Some are barred from working or feel unwelcome in unfamiliar lands. Still, many say they are relieved to be safe.

Here are four countries where Rohingya have established settlements in recent years:

Abducted Indian priest rescued in Yemen after 18 months

An Indian Catholic priest who was kidnapped by militants from a home for senior citizens in Yemen has been rescued after 18 months, an Indian official said Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter that Tom Uzhunnalil had been rescued, saying later Tuesday that he had reached Vatican City. He is expected to meet Pope Francis. Swaraj gave no other details.

Uzhunnalil had worked for more than four years as a chaplain at the home in Aden in southern Yemen established by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.