Indian court prohibits large religious gathering at mosque after Hindu idols found-lawyers

LUCKNOW,India – A court in north India on Monday ordered authorities to limit large Muslim prayer gatherings in the historic Gyanvapi mosque after a survey team found relics of the Hindu god Shiva and other Hindu symbols there, lawyers involved in the case said. Earlier this month, the court in Varanasi set up a team to survey the premises after five women sought permission to perform Hindu rituals in one of its quarters saying that…

"Indian court prohibits large religious gathering at mosque after Hindu idols found-lawyers"

India heatwave throws food security for loop

MUMBAI ( Breakingviews) – Scorching temperatures in India are adding to the world’s food security headache. After a brief respite, the country’s weeks-long climate change-induced heatwave returned this week, with the mercury hitting 46 degrees Celsius. It raises the risk of death by heatstroke for swathes of the population and reduces the hours people can safely work. It’s also singeing cropland, fuelling doubts about whether New Delhi will maintain its newfound role exporting wheat to…

"India heatwave throws food security for loop"

Democrats scramble to protect abortion rights in liberal U.S. states

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In New York, lawmakers have introduced a bill to expand funding for abortion care. California legislators will soon vote on measures aimed at increasing the number of abortion providers. And Connecticut just enacted a law aimed at protecting providers from lawsuits in states where abortion is banned. With a new urgency, Democratic lawmakers are moving to protect abortion access in their states after a leaked draft last week showed the U.S. Supreme…

"Democrats scramble to protect abortion rights in liberal U.S. states"

Mumbai mosques turn volume down on call to prayer after Hindu’s demands

MUMBAI – Sitting in an office lined with books overlooking a giant prayer hall, Mohammed Ashfaq Kazi, the main preacher at the largest mosque in Mumbai, checked a decibel meter attached to the loudspeakers before he gave the call to worship. “The volume of our azaan (call to prayer) has become a political issue, but I don’t want it to take a communal turn,” said Kazi, one of the most influential Islamic scholars in the…

"Mumbai mosques turn volume down on call to prayer after Hindu’s demands"

Voting rights groups sue over new Florida congressional maps

– Several voting rights groups filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging Florida’s new congressional map, saying it unfairly diluted the voting power of Black residents to benefit Republicans. The new map is backed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who signed it into law on Friday. It passed the state Senate on Wednesday and the House of Representatives on Thursday after some Black lawmakers from the Democratic Party staged a sit-in protest during debate.…

"Voting rights groups sue over new Florida congressional maps"

Indian court stays demolition of shops in sensitive area of New Delhi

NEW DELHI – India’s Supreme Court stayed demolition of small, illegal retail shops in the wake of communal violence in New Delhi, shortly after civil authorities began tearing down the structures under protection of police and security forces. The drive to demolish the properties came four days after violence there during a Hindu religious procession. A three-judge bench of the top court, headed by the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, ordered that the status…

"Indian court stays demolition of shops in sensitive area of New Delhi"

India’s minister for minorities rejects claims of rising bigotry: report

MUMBAI – Indians have the freedom to practice their faith and there is no growing intolerance between religious communities, the country’s minority affairs minister said in an interview published on Sunday amid spurts of religious riots in various parts of the country. Religious clashes broke out during a Hindu religious procession in New Delhi on Saturday, injuring several people, including six policemen, police officials said, days after similar violence in three other Indian states. Minority…

"India’s minister for minorities rejects claims of rising bigotry: report"

Bollywood stars Bhatt and Kapoor marry

MUMBAI – Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor married each other in a low-key ceremony in Mumbai on Thursday. Bhatt, 29 and, Kapoor, 39, have been dating for five years but have maintained a low-profile relationship, apart from occasional pictures on social media and rare appearances together. The ceremony was held at Kapoor’s house in the upmarket Mumbai suburb of Bandra. Guests were given strict instructions not to share pictures or videos from the…

"Bollywood stars Bhatt and Kapoor marry"

India likely to get average monsoon rains in 2022 – weather office

MUMBAI – India is likely to receive normal monsoon rains this year, the state-run weather office said on Thursday, raising prospects of higher farm and general growth in Asia’s third-biggest economy. Monsoon rains are expected to be 99% of the long-term average, the state-run India Meteorological Department said in a statement. New Delhi defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 87 centimetres (35 inches)for the four-month season…

"India likely to get average monsoon rains in 2022 – weather office"

Nepal’s prime minister visits India, meets Modi to deepen ties

KATHMANDU – Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and inaugurated the Himalayan nation’s only railway link with its southern neighbour on Saturday in a summit meant to deepen relations. Deuba’s first trip to India since becoming prime minister in July comes a week after a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Nepal. Nepal, a natural buffer between India and China, traditionally balances its ties with Beijing and…

"Nepal’s prime minister visits India, meets Modi to deepen ties"