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South and Southeast Asia

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  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Jan 26- India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches. The regulations announced by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, reflect a realization that traditional banks...

  • President Barack Obama unveiled a plan centred on insurance on Sunday that they hope will convince U.S. companies to build nuclear power stations in India, but stopped short of demands to soften a liability law. "The India nuclear insurance pool is a risk transfer mechanism which is being formed by GIC Re and four other public sector undertakings in the general...

  • *United States sees India as counterweight to China. NEW DELHI, Jan 25- In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and to deepen defence ties, steps they hope will establish an enduring strategic partnership.

  • President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a breakthrough on nuclear trade on Sunday, a step that both sides hope will help establish an enduring strategic partnership. Signaling his determination to take ties to a higher level, Modi broke with protocol to meet and bear-hug Obama as he landed in New Delhi earlier in the day.

  • They ironed out differences over the liability of suppliers to India in the event of a nuclear accident and the United States dropped a demand to be able to track the whereabouts of material supplied to the country, TV news networks said. The White House declined to comment on the reports and the spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs said only "we...

  • Signalling his determination to take ties to a higher level, Modi broke with protocol to meet and bear-hug Obama as he landed in New Delhi earlier in the day. It was a remarkable spectacle given that, just a year ago, Modi was persona non grata in Washington and denied a visa to the United States. The White House declined to comment on the reports and the spokesman for...

  • NEW DELHI, Jan 25- Signalling his determination to take relations with the United States to a higher level, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke with protocol to meet and bear-hug U.S. Obama's visit is a fresh bid to make India an enduring strategic partner and he will seek to nurture friendship with a prime minister who a year ago was persona non grata in...

  • NEW DELHI, Jan 25- In a fresh bid to make India an enduring strategic partner, U.S. President Barack Obama landed in New Delhi on Sunday for a highly symbolic visit and to nurture friendship with a prime minister who a year ago was persona non grata in Washington. The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight to China's assertiveness in...

  • Unlikely buddies Obama and Modi aim high on India trip Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 | 1:59 PM ET

    NEW DELHI, Jan 25- In a fresh bid to make India an enduring strategic partner, U.S. President Barack Obama lands in New Delhi on Sunday for a highly symbolic parade and to nurture friendship with a prime minister who until last year was persona non grata in Washington. The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight to China's...

  • WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama will cut short his three-day trip to India to travel to Saudi Arabia to pay respects following the death of King Abdullah, U.S. and Indian officials said Saturday, hours before the U.S. president was to depart for New Delhi. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president and first lady Michelle Obama would travel to...

  • Obama heading to India, hoping to improve ties Friday, 23 Jan 2015 | 2:45 PM ET

    Yet the White House says it still was caught off guard when Modi invited Obama to be the first American president to attend India's annual Republic Day festivities, which mark the day in 1950 that the country's constitution came into force. "There's a great affinity between the United States and India and our people, but there's also a history that is complicated...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23- Argentina suspects rogue agents from its own intelligence services were behind the death of a state prosecutor investigating the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. He had been scheduled to appear before Congress on Monday to answer questions about his allegation that President Cristina Fernandez...

  • HANOI, Vietnam— A recently announced government decision to allow a casino on Vietnam's biggest island drew mixed reactions Friday from citizens, who weighed its potential economic benefits against its perceived social vices. Vietnam has several casinos, but they are reserved for foreigners. Tran Thi Viet Huong of Viettravel, one of Vietnam's major tour...

  • *Uber applies for radio taxi license in New Delhi. NEW DELHI, Jan 23- Uber, the U.S.-based online taxi-hailing company, has restarted services in India's capital after a ban following rape allegations against one of its drivers, but a government official said the company remains blacklisted. Uber's app showed taxis available for booking in New Delhi on Friday.

  • *Copper on track for 2 percent fall this week. *Premiums for bonded nickel in China surge. LONDON, Jan 23- Copper fell on Friday, and was on track for its sixth week of falls after failing to post a convincing rebound from last week's 5-1/ 2 year low, weighed by concerns about the outlook for demand from top consumer China.

  • *Application follows tie-up in Korea, CEO job-creation promise. NEW DELHI, Jan 23- U.S. taxi-hailing app maker Uber Technologies Inc has restarted services in India's capital after a ban following rape allegations against one of its drivers, but a government official said the company remains blacklisted. The service restoration comes as Uber works to counter...

  • MANILA, Philippines— When the pope comes to town a big bill awaits the host country, but the mammoth crowds whipped up by the Roman Catholic Church leader also offer plenty of good business. In pope-adoring Philippines, which hosted the pontiff for a five-day visit that ended early this week, a massive logistical effort tested the resources of a country that has...

  • Hazy skies will serve as the backdrop to meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials who are expected to discuss India's biggest environmental woes: Heavy reliance on fossil fuels that has transformed New Delhi into the planet's most polluted capital and made India the third biggest national emitter of greenhouse gases.

  • JAKARTA, Indonesia— Police released a deputy head of Indonesia's top anti-corruption body early Saturday following his arrest and interrogation that posed a serious challenge for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's efforts to battle graft. Widjojanto left police headquarters in southern Jakarta after midnight Friday, saying he was ready for more...

  • *China factory activity contracts for 2nd month. BEIJING/ SEOUL, Jan 23- Chinese factories were forced to cut prices for the sixth straight month in January to sell their products, while economic growth in South Korea slowed sharply, raising the prospect of more policy easing from major central banks in Asia. The weak manufacturing reading from China added to...