09262016Mon
Last update: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12am

South Asia

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka July manufacturing PMI falls to neutral level COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's manufacturing PMI fell to a neutral level of around 50 in July from a generally expanding level a month ago due to a decline in new orders and production indices, the central bank reported on Monday.The index, which the Indian ocean island nation's monetary authority started to release from last month, fell to 50.6 in July from 55.1 a month ago, the data showed. "Overall data points to an expansion in the strength of production and stock of purchases indices while all the other sub-indices remained below the neutral 50.0 threshold," the central bank said in a statement. "Expectations for activities indicated an improvement for the next three months." The services sector PMI edged up to 57.8 in July from 56.3 a month ago, indicating economic activities continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, the central bank said.Slower rates of expansion were registered for ...

World - South Asia

Taliban capture key district in Afghan north KUNDUZ: Taliban insurgents, seeking to force the NATO-led coalition out of Afghanistan and bring in Islamic law, captured a key district in the northern province of Baghlan after days of fighting, officials said on Monday.Fighting has escalated in Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgency spreads from its traditional strongholds in the south and east of the country to once peaceful regions in the north.Despite air support from U.S. and Afghan warplanes, government troops are struggling against ...

World - South Asia

Afghanistan's Ghani 'unfit for presidency' KABUL: Afghanistan's chief executive has castigated his ally Ashraf Ghani as "unfit for the presidency", in a public outburst highlighting bitter internal divisions that threaten their US-brokered power sharing agreement.Abdullah Abdullah's comments come ahead of a September deadline for the government to honour the fragile agreement signed after the fraud-tainted presidential election in 2014, which both leaders claimed to have won.By then the government is expected to enact sweeping election reforms and amend the constitution ...

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka parliament endorses office to trace wartime missing COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's parliament on Thursday passed a law to establish an office to trace people who disappeared during a 26-year war and another insurrection amid protests by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa's supporters in the chamber. The law was passed without a vote.It will enable independent investigation of thousands of cases of missing people, measures to trace them and protection of their rights and interests and those of their relatives. "We have brought this to ...

World - South Asia

Indian robbers cut hole in train roof in $750,000 heist CHENNAI: A gang of robbers cut a hole in the roof of a train travelling through southern India and stole more than $750,000 in cash, police said on Wednesday.The daring heist occurred somewhere along the more than 300-kilometre (186-mile) long journey, but the missing loot was only discovered hours after the express train arrived in the city of Chennai.The train's mail carriage was carrying 3.4 billion rupees ($51 million) belonging to India's central bank and ...

World - South Asia

India's parliament approves biggest tax reform NEW DELHI: Parliament approved India's biggest overhaul of indirect taxes on Monday after the lower house ratified a constitutional amendment Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a major step to make doing business easier. The proposed goods and services tax (GST) is one of the most significant reforms since India opened its economy 25 years ago and the revamping of the tax system since the country's independence in 1947.The measure will harmonise a mosaic of state ...

World - South Asia

PM Modi urges halt to attacks on low-caste Indians NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged a halt to attacks on low-caste Indians, seeking to defuse mounting anger among Dalits over the public flogging of four villagers by cow-protection vigilantes.Modi described the ongoing exploitation of Dalits, who lie at the bottom of India's deeply entrenched social hierarchal system, as shameful."Why should we exploit our Dalit brothers? What right do we have for such behaviour?" Modi said to workers of his Hindu nationalist ...