Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power five years ago on a business-friendly manifesto that promised to shake up Asia's third-largest economy and boost employment. As Modi, 68, seeks a second term in India's almost six-week mega-election beginning on Thursday, AFP looks at how he has delivered on his main economic pledges. - Jobs, jobs, and more jobs - Young people voted for Modi in droves in 2014 after he said he would create 10 million jobs a year. Many, however, have been left disappointed -- and jobless. A newspaper recently published what it called an official report buried by Modi's government showing unemployment at its highest since the 1970s. Last year a staggering 19 million people applied for 63,000 positions at Indian Railways. The opposition has used unemployment as one of its main lines of attack in the campaign, with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi attacking Modi for creating a "national disaster". Analysts say that the economy has failed to expand at the rate … [Read more...] about Did India’s Modi fulfil his economic promises?
Trumpet how to hit high notes
It's party time for NATO — and not just because the alliance celebrates its 70th birthday in Washington this week. U.S President Donald Trump, convinced of his success in pushing allies to spend more on defense, has stopped bludgeoning NATO and hinting that he wants to quit. Instead, he has almost — almost — become a cheerleader. The once-unlikely comity was on display Tuesday afternoon, when Trump met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House ahead of the alliance’s official gathering later this week. Trump called it an “honor” to host Stoltenberg, saying the U.S. was with him “100 percent.” “When I came it wasn’t so good, and now they’re catching up,” Trump said, referring to a push for NATO allies to increase defense spending. “Tremendous progress has been made.” Stoltenberg returned the kind words, thanking Trump “for your strong commitment to NATO ... and especially … [Read more...] about NATO aims for more birthday, less bash, in Trump’s Washington
After the Brexit referendum, LEADING Irish writers responded with their thoughts on what it would mean for Britain and Ireland. Today, on what should have been Brexit Day, they return to the subject On June 27th, 2016, a few days after the referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, I published an article, headlined UK was groomed: Irish writers throw book at Brexit, which featured the response of a broad cross-section of leading Irish writers living north of the Border and in Britain to this momentous decision. To mark March 29th, the date on which the UK was supposed to leave the EU, I asked them to reflect again on Brexit. Eimear McBrideWell, this has all gone really well, hasn’t it? Over the last two years, any hope of repairing the Brexit vote’s damage to social cohesion in the UK has been completely trampled on. Homelessness is rife. Queues at food banks are growing ever longer. The NHS is wondering how it can possibly cope … [Read more...] about ‘Brexit is aggressive and dangerously nostalgic. The UK is in for a brutal chastening’
On the last Monday morning in February, three days before the fight against Ebola in eastern Congo turned into an all-out war, Dr. Jean-Christophe Shako stood in the scorching equatorial sun in Katwa, between eucalyptus trees and corn fields, looking down at the smoking ruins of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) treatment center. Shako, the director of Ebola operations in Butembo, was dismayed. The expression on his face conveyed a mixture of anger and fatigue. Two deep wrinkles had formed on his brow. He spoke quietly. "People here just don't want to accept that this disease exists," he said. "They think that we're killing them with this vaccine, that our clinics are places of death, that the government wants to eradicate their tribe, the Nande." In the night, around 30 men had stormed out of the bush and attacked the MSF clinic with machetes and bows and arrows. The patients were evacuated. The attackers left behind leaflets that read, "We have more surprises." The clinic was about … [Read more...] about An Epidemic and Its Victims: Doctors Face Two Enemies in Fight Against Ebola