Why did 31 people suddenly die in a Pakistan village? A horrible mystery solved

Laddu, a popular South Asian sweet, packed for a wedding [Wikipedia]
In India and Pakistan, the variety of traditional sweets prepared for special occasions seems infinite. One popular treat is laddu (or ladoo), sweet little sugary carb balls. They're basically cookies, and they're munched at big celebrations--weddings, births, and the like.

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129 of Gandhi's speeches on India and self-rule

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Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "From May 11, 1947 until January 29, 1948, Gandhi gave a speech after prayer meetings 129 times. It was a narrative of his life and of the times. All India Radio broadcast his talks to the nation, and everybody stopped to hear what the Mahatma had to say. On January 30, Gandhiji didn't make it to the microphone. " Read the rest

McClatchy newspapers' CEO pleased to announce that he's shipping IT jobs overseas

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Between 120 and 150 IT workers will be fired from the McClatchy newspaper syndicate (Scramento Bee, Miami Herald, etc), after they have trained IT contractors from India's Wipro to do their jobs. Read the rest

USA uses TPP-like trade-court to kill massive Indian solar project

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The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 ("more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined") but because India specified that the solar panels for it were to be domestically sourced, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it. Read the rest

How to make a tiffin lunch pail from used tuna fish cans

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Tiffin pails are the ubiquitous, ingenious and practical lunchpails of Indian workers, delivered daily by an army of spectacularly well-coordinated "dabba wallahs." Read the rest

Facebook's "Free Basics" and colonialism: an argument in six devastating points

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Though India's independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook's "Free Basics" -- which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook's chosen services from the carriers' punishing data-caps -- the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world. Read the rest

Indian regulator stands up for net neutrality, bans Facebook's walled garden

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India's Internet activists have scored an epic victory in their battle against Facebook and its attempt to become gatekeeper to the Internet in India. Read the rest

Exuberant designer skins for the insides of Mumbai's taxis

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In Mumbai, cab drivers vie to make their vehicles stand out from their competitors', decorating them with exuberant expressions of the driver's personality. Read the rest

Delhi's "Sleep Mafia" control the nights of 100,000 homeless workers

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With an estimated 100,000 homeless people living on the streets of Delhi, and 18,000 shelter beds, the city's nighttime sidewalks are the only bed for tens of thousands of workers. Read the rest

India's Internet activists have a SOPA moment: no "poor Internet for poor people"

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My latest Guardian column, 'Poor internet for poor people': India's activists fight Facebook connection plan, tells the story of how India's amazing Internet activists have beaten back Facebook's bid to become gatekeeper to the Internet for the next billion users. Read the rest

Help fill the first free public library for India's Tibetan exile community with books

Photo: Mundgod Public Library project

Will you help us fill the Mundgod library with books?

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India's telcoms regulator says it will ignore Facebook's astroturf army

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Facebook's misleading, high budget astroturf campaign sent over 14 lakh (1.4m) comments to TRAI, the Indian telcoms regulator, almost none of which responded to the questions raised in the regulator's Net Neutrality consultation paper. Read the rest

Indian Net Neutrality vs Facebook's astroturf army

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When India's independent telcoms regulator opened up a consultation on whether to allow Facebook to continue bribing some ISPs to charge extra for access to URLs that Facebook hadn't approved, they were flooded with 5.5 million confused comments in support of the $300 billion US company. Read the rest

Facebook's FUDdy, full-page anti-Net-Neutrality Indian newspaper ads

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Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate. Read the rest

India's deadly exam-rigging scandal: murder, corruption, suicide and scapegoats

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Since 2013, I've been reading in the Times of India's RSS feed about the Vyapam scandal that has shaken the state of Madhya Pradesh to the very highest levels, but I never understood exactly how insane and massive the scandal was until I read Aman Sethi's cogent, comprehensive A-to-Z in today's Guardian. Read the rest

Chakra the Invincible: a climate change comic for kids

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"Chakra the Invincible" is the third installment in a series from the UNICEF-backed Comics Uniting Nations. It's aimed at kids and young people, and presents a diverse global perspective on the causes and results of climate change. Read the rest

Cultural appropriation? Hindu nationalists used yoga as an anti-colonialist export

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A kerfuffle about a Canadian university where yoga classes were cancelled after concerns about cultural appropriation were raised by the Centre for Students with Disabilities sparked Michelle Goldberg, author of a biography of yoga pioneer Indra Devi to discuss the complicated issue of cultural exports, cultural appropriation, and the history of yoga. Read the rest

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