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Mumbai,(2011-12-19): The biggest headache for Mumbai's civic authorities is that there is no space to host Anna Hazare in this megapolis. The 'city of dreams', a concrete jungle now, has no open ground large enough to accommodate Anna's protest fast.

Metaphorically speaking too, Mumbai's taste for Anna's style of confrontationist politics has long vanished. From its billionaires in sea-facing penthouses to the millions in chawls -- and the ten million in between -- the Jan Lok Pal is an alien entity. Having distanced itself from national level politics long ago, 'Think Local' is what now works in Mumbai.

Delhi on my mind 2011  12  12

Mumbai,(2011-12-12): Dear Delhi,
Congratulations on turning 100 years old today. What a milestone! The birth of New Delhi was announced on December 11, 1911 and you became the new capital of the British Raj. But everybody knows that your history predates the Raj, predates the Mughals and so many dynasties before them. Built and rebuilt seven times over, plundered and lovingly recreated from 300 BCE, you, dear Delhi, has survived to tell many a tale.

Mumbai,(2011-12-05): ... is the importance of being earnest (with apologies to Oscar Wilde). A farcical comedy of sorts was in play for the past 10 days in New Delhi as the winter session of Parliament was log-jammed over the badly timed executive decision of introducing FDI in the retail sector. The Prime Minister was clearly ill-advised in pushing forward this decision just days before the Parliament was to meet and without consulting state representatives from his own party and allies. Deja vu? Indo-US nuclear deal?

Mumbai, (2011-11-28): Most of us have long given up the battle to avoid buying 'Made in China' (henceforth MiC) products. They are ubiquitous to our existence. So when Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and Mayawati sound the alarm about FDI into retail, the coming of Walmart and the "flood" of Chinese goods one feels like telling them they are 20 years late. Here is a log of one day in a city and the "encounters" with Chinese goods.

6.30am" Wake up to cell phone alarm. Battery and charger MiC.  Slide feet into slippers (MiC), plod my way to the bathroom, switch on the light. The switch, bulb and fixture: all MiC. Soap dish, toothbrush stand: lovely brushed stainless steel: MiC. Fixtures say they are Made in Italy but the nuts, bolts and pipes: don't know

Mumbai, (2011-11-21): When I first came to Singapore in the 1980s I stared in amazement at almost everything. The sparkling clean floors, the brightly lit streets, shopping malls with silent elevators and fast escalators, the underground Metro, trees of even height, the clean hawker centres.

I was shocked that chewing gum was banned but Coke wasn't. Back home, Coke had been sent packing from India but we had Chiclets. They had just one newspaper, the Strait Times and their TV was as boring as ours. We had state owned Doordarshan, they had access to American entertainment channels.

Singapore, Nov 20(ANI): Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today pledged his country’s support for India’s presence at an expanded United Nation Security Council (UNSC).

At a banquet hosted in honour of visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here, Lee Hsien said: ‚ÄúWe support India‚Äôs permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council. We believe that India has much to contribute to the stability and progress of Asia.‚ÄĚ

Noting India‚Äôs contribution to the ASEAN group of nations, the Singapore Prime Minister said: ‚ÄúIndia is an integral part of the regional architecture in Asia and is an important ASEAN dialogue partner. We look forward to celebrating 20 years of this partnership at the AEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in December 2012.‚ÄĚ

New Delhi, Nov.20 (ANI): There is no consensus even in the central government on the feasibility of removal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers ACT) from Jammu and Kashmir, said a senior government official.

The Army has made its position very clear that the time is not right for the removal of the Act, as Pakistan-based militants are still active in the state, attempts at infiltration using sophisticated weaponry has shown no signs of abating, and, the army doesn't want to be in a situation where a piecemeal peace process is put into place where by they might be forced to reenter and face a situation similar to the eighties.

Singapore, Nov 20(ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today unveiled a bust and marker of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Singapore.

The bust is placed in the Asian Civilization Museum, one of the pioneer museums in the region to specialize in Pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. The museum specializes in the material history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia, from which the diverse ethnic groups of Singapore trace their ancestry.

‚ÄúSingapore was an embodiment of human progress and spirit of nationalism. Nehru was prescient when he said in 1946 that Singapore will become a city where Asian unity is forged. We are witnessing such unity being forged,‚ÄĚ Dr. Singh said during the unveiling ceremony here.

New Delhi, Nov.20 (ANI): While political turbulence again grips Pakistan, in India, the game appears to be to not wait and watch, but deal with whoever is willing to talk to New Delhi.

A government official said that it has been seen in the past that despite internal chaos on the domestic front, Pakistan's intelligence has not hesitated in throwing all it could at India, whether by sponsoring terror groups indirectly or, in fomenting trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, there are also elements in Pakistan that want to talk peace and move towards a resolution of outstanding issues.

Bali (Indonesia), Nov.19 (ANI): Asserting that the global economic situation is showing several signs of stress, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that the emerging market countries in Asia are growing well and are in fact contributing to the recovery of the world economy.

Addressing the sixth East Asia Summit Plenary Session here, Dr. Manmohan Singh said: " I am happy to say that India is a part of this process. We have grown at an average of 8.4 percent in the past five years. Like other countries we too have slowed down in 2011, but we still expect to grow around 7.5 percent. However, none of us can prosper in isolation to the rest of the world. The most serious fault line at present is what is happening in Eurozone."

Bali (Indonesia), Nov.19 (ANI): Almost two thousand journalists from about forty countries have gathered in Nusa Dua, Bali, to cover the 19th ASEAN and 6th East Asia Summit.

Reporters, columnists, bloggers and experts have occupied the Bali International Convention Center (BICC), clanking away on over 300 computer terminals and high-speed connectivity points provided by the Media Centre.

Gatot S Dewa Broto,Chief of the Information Center and Public Relations, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Republic of Indonesia, who is in charge of providing facilities which includes accreditation and smooth functioning, said there are about 1958 journalists, both domestic and foreign, who are attending the summit.

Bali (Indonesia), Nov.19 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held delegation-level talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali on Saturday.

Both sides agreed that there was need to strengthen security, trade and diplomatic ties.

Both India and Indonesia share a long cultural inheritance and have faced attacks by Islamic militants and, like Jakarta, New Delhi has been successfully pushing for closer strategic ties with the United States.

Bali (Indonesia), Nov.19 (ANI): Seeking to chart out a course free of conflict and to prevent the ASEAN from becoming a battle ground for US-China conflict, the ten Asian countries said Saturday that there is a need to speed up regional integration, as this is the main issue facing the grouping.

The Third Bali Declaration of the 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the regional bloc demands more effective cooperation mechanisms to fulfill their groupings aspirations by 2015.

In the text, the member countries -- Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Myanmar -- undertook to promote better coordination to solve problems of mutual interest and to have a common stance in international forums.




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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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