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March 2, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Along Calcutta's main north-south boulevard, long since renamed Lenin Street, maimed beggars live beside open sewers on sidewalks crumbling from neglect. Corpses often lie for days before they're collected, and the smell of rotting trash is everywhere. These are street-level images in Calcutta, an urban nightmare of 15 million people with a worldwide reputation for poverty.
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WORLD
September 8, 2012 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
KOLKATA, India - The dusty files, manual typewriter, aging books and film reels in metal tins languish in Satyajit Ray's study, largely the way the filmmaker left them on his death two decades ago. Among the most creative Bengalis of modern times, Ray directed 37 films and wrote 75 short stories when he wasn't publishing, illustrating, composing and writing critiques. A few weeks before his death, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences paid tribute to his life with an honorary Oscar.
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WORLD
July 20, 2010 | By Anshul Rana and Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
A speeding passenger train slammed into another train stopped at a depot in eastern India early Monday, killing at least 60 people and injuring 90 in the second major rail disaster in the region in just over seven weeks. The collision occurred in the eastern state of West Bengal, the site of a May 28 crash between a passenger train and a cargo train that killed 145 . In that crash, the passenger train derailed before striking the cargo train, and authorities eventually blamed the incident on sabotage by Maoist rebels.
WORLD
June 24, 2012 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
KOLKATA  - Mamata Banerjee stares at you from buildings, overpasses, telephone poles and rail lines, wearing reading glasses and evoking Mother Teresa in one billboard, a square-jawed warrior girding for political battle in another. Just over a year into her job, the 5-foot-tall, larger-than-life chief minister ofIndia'seastern West Bengal state is making waves, if not always the right kind. Banerjee has been described as India'smost powerful - and mercurial - elected official, wielding inordinate clout over the nation's weak central government.
WORLD
May 26, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A cyclone slammed into parts of Bangladesh and eastern India, triggering floods that forced about 500,000 people from their homes and killed almost three dozen. Storm officials in coastal Bangladesh moved people to temporary shelters to escape huge waves churned by winds up to 60 mph. Heavy rain triggered by the storm raised river levels and burst mud embankments in the Sundarbans delta in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The area is home to hundreds of thousands of people and the world's biggest tiger reserve.
NEWS
June 6, 1988
Separatist rebels in the remote state of Nagaland in northeast India ambushed a military convoy, killing seven soldiers, while another dissident group, the Gurkha National Liberation Front, was blamed for planting a land mine that killed three people and injured two others in West Bengal, officials said. In Punjab state, security personnel shot and killed four Pakistanis and a suspected Sikh terrorist in a series of clashes, according to news reports.
NEWS
January 14, 1985 | RONE TEMPEST, Times Staff Writer
Obscured by all the hoopla surrounding last month's landslide election victory of India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Congress-I Party was a major reversal for the Communists who control state govenment here in West Bengal. For nearly a decade, leftist front parties, dominated by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, have controlled all levels of government in Calcutta and in the surrounding state of West Bengal, which has a population of 58 million.
WORLD
June 26, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A government-appointed hunter killed a frenzied elephant that had crushed 13 villagers to death in two days along the India-Nepal border, officials said. The pachyderm, which had killed 12 people since Sunday night, trampled another villager Tuesday before being slain by shooters from West Bengal state's forestry department riding on tame elephants. Officials said the animal might have turned violent after being targeted by poachers.
NEWS
September 28, 2000 | From Associated Press
Flood waters inundated parts of this Indian city of 13 million Wednesday, leaving 55,000 people homeless--many rowing in boats. Fed by monsoon rains, the rising waters of the Hooghly River running through Calcutta swept away sandbag barriers and coursed through the city's central, eastern and northern regions. No deaths were reported in Calcutta, but authorities said 727 people have died in eight days of floods in West Bengal state, of which Calcutta is the capital.
WORLD
May 14, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
India wrapped up its biggest political event of the year Friday as results were announced in four state elections, including an end to the communist government in West Bengal after 34 years in power. In Tamil Nadu, a party linked to a massive corruption scandal also lost despite a promise to give away millions of food processors, laptop computers and even houses. The elections, in a nation proud of its status as the world's largest democracy (a sign reminds you in four languages as you enter from Pakistan)
WORLD
December 15, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Indian officials ordered a criminal investigation Thursday after more than 120 people died within 48 hours of drinking tainted bootleg alcohol in the state of West Bengal. The death toll was expected to rise given that dozens of patients remained in critical condition in area hospitals. The government of the eastern state promised to give $4,000 to each victim's family and arrested seven people on suspicion of selling the liquor, although those who manufactured it were reportedly on the run. "My husband used to drink every day, and last night he also was drinking," an unidentified woman dressed in a blue sari told the Times Now television network.
WORLD
May 14, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
India wrapped up its biggest political event of the year Friday as results were announced in four state elections, including an end to the communist government in West Bengal after 34 years in power. In Tamil Nadu, a party linked to a massive corruption scandal also lost despite a promise to give away millions of food processors, laptop computers and even houses. The elections, in a nation proud of its status as the world's largest democracy (a sign reminds you in four languages as you enter from Pakistan)
WORLD
October 22, 2010 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Here in the world's largest democracy, monsoons and Bollywood blockbusters may come and go, but one thing has proven proved remarkably consistent: government in West Bengal. The populous eastern state boasts the world's longest-serving popularly elected Communist government, with 33 years under its (bright red) belt. That record is now threatened, however, by Mamata Banerjee, known as the scrappy "Bengal tigress," who is redefining politics here from her perch atop India's bloated Ministry of Railways.
WORLD
July 20, 2010 | By Anshul Rana and Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
A speeding passenger train slammed into another train stopped at a depot in eastern India early Monday, killing at least 60 people and injuring 90 in the second major rail disaster in the region in just over seven weeks. The collision occurred in the eastern state of West Bengal, the site of a May 28 crash between a passenger train and a cargo train that killed 145 . In that crash, the passenger train derailed before striking the cargo train, and authorities eventually blamed the incident on sabotage by Maoist rebels.
WORLD
May 28, 2010 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Sabotage by Maoist rebels was suspected after an Indian passenger train derailed early Friday, sending railroad cars crashing onto an adjoining track. An oncoming freight train slammed into many of those cars, killing at least 65 people and injuring 200. The area of West Bengal state where the disaster occurred, near the city of Sardiha and about 90 miles southwest of Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, is a known Maoist stronghold that has seen several recent attacks. There was initial confusion on the exact cause of the disaster, with some officials and the engineer on the passenger train blaming an explosion, some uninjured passengers saying they heard no blast, and police saying metal parts used to hold sections of track together were missing and apparently removed in an act of sabotage.
WORLD
September 22, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Bhutan, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens, officials and the state-run Bhutan Broadcasting Service said. The quake was centered about 100 miles east of the capital, Thimphu, at a depth of 4.5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. At least five people were killed in Mongar district, the epicenter, while the rest died in landslides in the mountainous region, the radio said. "Houses, and monasteries and roads have been damaged.
WORLD
June 26, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A government-appointed hunter killed a frenzied elephant that had crushed 13 villagers to death in two days along the India-Nepal border, officials said. The pachyderm, which had killed 12 people since Sunday night, trampled another villager Tuesday before being slain by shooters from West Bengal state's forestry department riding on tame elephants. Officials said the animal might have turned violent after being targeted by poachers.
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