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Finance

Drone strike killing of al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri deals setback to Taliban

Days after retaking power in Afghanistan last August, the Taliban pledged that the country would never again become a haven for international jihadis. “We assure the international community, and especially the US and neighbouring countries, that Afghanistan will not be used against them,” said the group’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid at a press conference after toppling […]

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Finance

Reliance Jio outbids rivals in India’s $19bn 5G auction

Indian telecoms company Reliance Jio has spent $11bn at the country’s 5G spectrum auction, surpassing rivals in the race to dominate India’s next generation of digital services. The auction, which pitted India’s richest tycoons against one another, paves the way for the arrival of ultrafast 5G telecom services to the country of 1.4bn people. Ashwini […]

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Finance

Bangladesh seeks IMF loan as rising import bills hit South Asia

Bangladesh has approached the IMF for a multibillion-dollar loan, making it the latest South Asian country to seek international financial assistance as rising food and fuel prices globally strain emerging economies. The IMF said Bangladesh has contacted it to start negotiations for a programme, adding that it was seeking a “Resilience and Sustainability” facility designed […]

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Finance

India and UK to seal trade deal in ‘next few months’, minister says

India’s commerce minister says New Delhi is on track to conclude a full trade agreement with the UK by October, adding that negotiators have already finalised almost half of what will be one of Britain’s most ambitious deals since Brexit. Piyush Goyal told the Financial Times that he expected the countries would conclude the trade […]

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Finance

Delhi’s heatwaves carry a warning for the rest of the world

One of the highlights of life in New Delhi is the spring. For a few glorious weeks in February and March, rays of golden sun break through the dissipating winter smog and jamun trees, warming the residents of India’s capital after months of biting cold. An uptick in temperatures ahead of the summer is balanced […]

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Finance

Alibaba seeks to crack South Asia on path to global expansion

In a vast warehouse on the arid outskirts of Pakistani megacity Karachi, hundreds of young workers sort through boxes of nappies, cooking oil and mobile phones. The items are handpicked off the maze of shelves, carried by forklifts and ultimately packed into trucks to be dispatched to Karachi’s roughly 20mn residents and beyond. Though Alibaba’s […]

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Finance

IPL rights auction sets up power play

Despite its size, India has long been considered a relative underperformer on the sports field. The nation’s 35 medals at summer Olympic Games leave it behind countries including Uzbekistan and Estonia. Its once legendary hockey team has struggled to revive its mid-20th-century glory, and some argue that even its cricket team should be better, given […]

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Finance

Sri Lanka appeals for food aid as debt crisis worsens

Sri Lanka is appealing for food assistance from its neighbours as the country’s debt crisis spirals into a humanitarian emergency. The government is applying for aid from a food bank operated by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which has supplied rice and other staples to member states during food crises. J Krishnamoorthy, Sri […]

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Finance

Narendra Modi secures diplomatic wins despite refusing to break with Russia

Emmanuel Macron greeted him with a bear hug in front of the Elysée Palace shortly after he was re-elected French president. In Berlin, German chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed his “super partner”. UK prime minister Boris Johnson, on a visit to New Delhi, lavished praise on his khaas dost, or special friend. The bonhomie from European […]

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Finance

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s military-minded leader, takes his last stand

A younger Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in pressed white shirt and red tie, grins like a Cheshire cat as his elder brother Mahinda embraces him in a rare public display of tenderness. It was 2006 and Gotabaya, Sri Lanka’s defence secretary under his brother’s presidency, had narrowly survived a suicide bombing by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil […]