Reuters blog archive

from India Insight:

The news this weekend: LPG, Kejriwal, toilets, politicians… and Somali pirates

It's shaping up as a busy weekend for India's politicians...

The price of LPG -- liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, or cooking gas -- has risen 11.42 rupees per cylinder because dealers are getting higher commissions. TV channels attacked the government because this "shocker" comes right after the imposition of a cap on subsidized cylinder sales was imposed.

Bharatiya Janata Party politician Smriti Irani said the party will hold a nation-wide protest on Oct. 12, saying the higher prices are “anti-women”. This is presumably because they do more of the daily cooking than men, whose potential inversely proportional waistline shrinkage could be in their favour.

We all know who the main attraction is on news channels nowadays: social activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal. Here are the pots that he's stirring: Accusing Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and DLF, India’s top listed real estate developer, of being involved in shady deals which could have favoured Vadra. Vadra has replied, as has the DLF. Short story: they committed no illegal acts. Protesting against higher electricity prices in New Delhi. He then restored an electricity connection himself, which of course is illegal.

Kejriwal is keeping others busy too. The BJP is supporting Kejriwal, while Congress politicians are doing their best to defend Vadra.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama: Full story of sea captain’s rescue will never be known

President Barack Obama told a U.S. Naval Academy graduation Friday that the full story of the Navy's recent rescue of commercial sea captain Richard Philips from Somali pirates will never be publicly known.
Speaking to graduating midshipmen at the academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Obama urged them to follow the example of those who had gone before them and cited several examples, including Philips' rescuers.
Philips was taken captive while fending off Somali pirates who attempted to seize his cargo ship. Held for days in a small boat shadowed a U.S. warship, Philips was ultimately freed when Navy snipers shot and killed three of his captors.
"I will not recount the full story of those five days in April. Much of it is known. Some of it will never be known," Obama told the midshipmen.

The victory, Obama told the 1,036 graduates, belonged to "all the sailors -- officers and enlisted, not on one ship, but several -- who diligently stood their watch."
"They did their duty. They performed their job. They stood their watch. They took their time and then they took their shot. And they brought that captain home," Obama said.
The graduates included 833 men and 203 women. Among the 755 new Navy ensigns was John Sidney McCain IV, the son of Senator John McCain, who received a huge cheer from the crowd of some 30,000.
McCain, who ran against Obama last year, is a Naval Academy graduate, as was his father and grandfather before him. Wearing a Navy cap, he sat in the front row with his wife Cindy and received a standing ovation when he was recognized by the 2009 class president.
Another 267 of the graduates become Marine second lieutenants and two others received an Air Force or Coast Guard commission.
Obama, who took delight in shaking each graduates hand and giving many a friendly slap on the back, embraced the younger McCain when he came to the stage.

from Africa News blog:

Stormy seas ahead for the pirates?

A new spate of attacks on shipping has made it quite clear that Somali pirates are not going to stop their activities just now, even though military operations by the United States and France have killed five of the buccaneers.

The international naval flotilla is stretched to protect the thousands of ships that use the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

from From

Graphic: Somalia Piracy

Detailed map of the horn of Africa region showing recent hijackings and pirate attacks by Somali pirates preceding Wednesday's attempted hijacking of the American ship Maersk Alabama.