Indian poachers threaten lesser-known animals

NEW DELHI (AP) — Wildlife poachers, hindered by India's efforts to protect majestic endangered animals including tigers and rhinos, have begun to think smaller. And activists say scores of the country's lesser-known species are vanishing from the wild as a result.

The Indian pangolin — a scaly critter whose defense mechanism of rolling up into a ball is no help against humans — and the star tortoise — a popular pet that maxes out at a foot in length — are just two of the species that are being killed or smuggled in increasing numbers while conservation efforts focus on such iconic animals such as tigers and elephants.

Indian leader offers Nepal $1 billion in credit

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Sunday a $1 billion concessional line of credit for Nepal to use for development, including building hydropower plants in the energy-starved Himalayan nation.

Modi told Nepal's parliament that the financial assistance could be used for hydropower development and building other infrastructure. He also said he plans to double the electricity that India is supplying to Nepal, and that new transmission lines will soon be built to allow the country to import more power.

India finalizes deal to export power to Nepal

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — India and Nepal are finalizing an agreement to provide the energy-starved Himalayan nation with electricity, India's foreign minister said at the end of a three-day official visit Sunday.

Nepal's communist insurgency, which lasted until 2006, and ensuing political instability have hampered the construction of new power plants, and Nepal could not afford to map out an energy strategy on its own.

WTO sides with China, India in 2 US trade disputes

GENEVA (AP) — The world trade body has ruled against the United States in two disputes with India and China, telling the U.S. government it must abide by international rules.

A World Trade Organization panel says in response to a complaint from China in 2012 that the United States improperly imposed duties on imports of Chinese steel products and solar panels.

Emerging nations plan their own World Bank, IMF

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed up with U.S. dominance of the global financial system, five emerging market powers this week will launch their own versions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa —the so-called BRICS countries — are "seeking "alternatives to the existing world order," said Harold Trinkunas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution.

India's energy industry hopes budget leads to reform

The Wall Street Journal

Indian power and fossil fuel companies are urging the nation's new government under Prime Minister Narenda Modi to use budget negotiations to push reforms in the industry to scale back subsidies and price controls, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Blast kills 5 in ship-breaking yard in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — A blast triggered by a suspected gas leak in a ship being dismantled in western India killed five workers and injured another seven on Saturday, police said.

The explosion occurred in a chemical tank while the workers were dismantling the old vessel at the Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat state, said police officer Ramesh Budhrejiya.

The blast was believed to have been caused by a sudden gas leakage which also started a fire, the Press Trust of India quoted police officer K. J. Rathod as saying.

India pipeline blast kills 14 people, guts houses

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — A state-owned gas pipeline exploded and burst into flames Friday, killing at least 14 people, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of neighboring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, authorities said.

Flames rose more than 80 feet (25 meters) into the air, scorching the tops of coconut and palm trees and sending dense black clouds of smoke into the sky, witnesses said. Villagers ran out of their homes and crowded the streets. Scores of houses and shops were gutted, officials said.

State-run TV says 5 killed at India steel plant

PATNA, India (AP) — Police say five people have been killed and another 23 injured in an explosion and a subsequent gas leak in a government-run steel plant in central India.

A police officer says the accident happened in Bhillai steel plant in Chhattisgarh state on Thursday. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Heat wave reveals flaws in Indian power system

The Wall Street Journal

Heat waves in India have left some 300 million people with little or no power, highlighting the obstacles the new government faces in updating the country's energy systems, The Wall Street Journal reports.


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