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October 12, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI -- India was battered by a massive cyclone Saturday as nearly half a million people evacuated to shelters in vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas amid power outages, large storm surges and canceled trains and flights. Officials said Cyclone Phailin was expected to affect 12 million people in the eastern states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh with the potential to become a “super cyclone,” which occurs when wind speeds exceed 135 miles per hour. "This is one of the largest evacuations undertaken in India," Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, told reporters in the capital, New Delhi.
October 12, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI - India was battered by a massive cyclone Saturday as more than half a million people in vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas spent a terrifying night in shelters amid power outages, large storm surges and canceled train trips and flights. With roads blocked and communication down in many areas and the full extent of the damage still unknown early Sunday, news organizations reported that few people had lost their lives, most from flying trees and debris. The early death toll was five to seven.
October 5, 2013 | By Peter Rainer
I once visited Monument Valley and tried to imagine myself in a John Ford western. It didn't work. I did the "Vertigo" tour in San Francisco and felt nothing. No matter how rooted in a specific time or place, most movies, especially the great ones, are essentially fantasias. If we should find ourselves checking out their actual locations, the effect can be deadening. Instead of being fellow spirits, we are merely tourists. These thoughts were in my mind when I traveled to Kolkata five years ago to discuss the legacy of the great Indian director Satyajit Ray as part of a cultural envoy program sponsored by the State Department.
October 4, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Here's a twist for tennis fans: The road to Davis Cup glory for India now goes through Calabasas. On Sept. 21, in a country where tennis plays second fiddle only to cricket, India's tennis federation announced a surprising departure from its traditional ways. Its new Davis Cup captain would be an American resident. "The first question they asked me," says Anand Amritraj of Calabasas, "is if I still had my India passport. The U.S. allows dual citizenship, but India does not. I have always traveled on my India passport.
September 27, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
KARACHI, Pakistan -- At least 13 people were killed and dozens injured Friday when a five-story apartment building collapsed in Mumbai , India's financial capital, officials said. Rescuers were working to reach those trapped in the rubble. Sunil Prabhu , the city's mayor, told local news channels that 22 families were living in the building, which reportedly imploded shortly after 6 a.m. Most of the residents were believed to be at home. Officials said the building, which is in south Mumbai near the dockyards and the Babu Genu market, was more than 30 years old and being renovated.
September 27, 2013 | By Tanvi Sharma and Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI - Although economics, trade, security and nuclear energy will figure prominently when President Obama meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington on Friday, the elephant in the room will be a growing disenchantment with a relationship once thought to have near-unlimited potential. After a hard-fought battle in both countries to finalize the 2008 U.S.-Indian civil nuclear agreement - essentially allowing India to regain full international standing after it was sanctioned for testing nuclear devices in 1974 and 1998 - many on both sides of the Pacific expected ties to strengthen.
September 26, 2013 | By Tanvi Sharma and Mark Magnier, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
MATHURA, India -- A brazen early-morning attack on the Indian side of disputed Kashmir reportedly killed 12 people, including three teenaged militants, Thursday, just days before the Indian and Pakistani leaders were scheduled to meet in New York. The attack appeared to follow a long-established pattern, with extremists attempting to derail any steps toward rapprochement between the wary neighbors, analysts from both countries said. A relatively unknown group that identified itself as the Shohada Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack in a call to India's state-run Press Trust of India news agency.
September 15, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
NEW DELHI - Khushi Kumari had long kept her sexuality a secret, living alone like many of this sprawling city's gay, lesbian and transgender residents. Today, Kumari, who was born male but lives as a woman, is out of the closet and has moved home with her family. "I said, 'Why hide it?'" Kumari explained one evening at Mitr Trust, an LGBT drop-in center in a bustling, working-class neighborhood of New Delhi. "It just made me depressed. I got mad hiding things all the time. " Kumari, wearing a brilliant yellow and green sari, gold-chain earrings and bright red fingernail polish, is a frequent visitor to Mitr, which she credits with giving her the confidence to live openly and seek medical care for her HIV infection.
September 14, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Is the only good rapist a dead rapist? That certainly appears to be the sentiment of many in India after a judge on Friday sentenced four men to be hanged for their parts in the rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in December. What's the view of the man on the street? Well, as my colleague Mark Magnier reported from New Delhi : Pawan Kumar, a 52-year-old textile shopkeeper, said he would be happy to do the honors. "They deserve capital punishment," the northern Uttar Pradesh state resident said.
September 13, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI -- An Indian court Friday sentenced four men to death in the December rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus, one of the nation's most closely watched legal decisions in recent history. The judge announced the sentence in a one-paragraph statement, adding that tough punishment was justified in a case that shocked the conscience of the nation. "In these times when crime against women is on the rise, courts cannot turn a blind eye toward such gruesome crime,” said Judge Yogesh Khanna.
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