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Tony Tharakan
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INDIA INSIGHT
Razia Begum’s house lies just beyond the main graveyard in Aligarh’s old city. The sun’s rays barely reach the narrow, brick-lined lane. Open sewage drains flow past her house.

The 35-year-old mother of four set herself on fire on Nov. 20 last year. She died two weeks later. She told reporters she did it because her children hadn’t eaten for three days. http://reut.rs/2jISFUt By Zeyad Masroor Khan
INDIA INSIGHT
Razia Begum’s house lies just beyond the main graveyard in Aligarh’s old city. The sun’s rays barely reach the narrow, brick-lined lane. Open sewage drains flow past her house.

The 35-year-old mother of four set herself on fire on Nov. 20 last year. She died two weeks later. She told reporters she did it because her children hadn’t eaten for three days. http://reut.rs/2jISFUt By Zeyad Masroor Khan

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Modi’s decision on Nov. 8 to ban most of the cash in circulation – ostensibly to cleanse the economy of “black cash” – will inflict temporary pain on political parties, says Vaishnav. But it won’t bring about fundamental change as they gear up to contest five regional elections, the biggest of them in the battleground state of Uttar Pradesh.
Even after Narendra Modi promised on the campaign trail in 2014 to “do away with the criminalization of politics”, money and muscle still dominate the electoral scene in India, Milan Vaishnav writes in his forthcoming book “When Crime Pays”. http://reut.rs/2jzVfw7 By Douglas Busvine

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In previously unreported letters from Philip Morris to the trade minister and an influential government think-tank, the U.S.-based company said the "discriminatory" and "protectionist" proposals would represent a blow to its plans to launch new products and make further investments in India. 
REUTERS EXCLUSIVE
Philip Morris International is fighting to keep a toehold in India's $11 billion tobacco market, as the government considers further tightening foreign investment rules in the sector, according to documents seen by Reuters. http://reut.rs/2is0DnX by +Aditya Yogi Kalra

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In late September, a woman in National City, California, received a voice message on her phone saying she was in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over "tax evasion or tax fraud".

Panicking, she rang the number and told a man who said he was from the IRS: "I can pay $500," half the sum demanded. "I could do a payment plan. I just can't pay all of it at once."

"Ma'am, you can pay $500 today itself. You can do that?" the man asked, adding that lawyers would look at her accounts and work out a monthly payment plan, but she had to pay half now.

In transcripts of the conversation that investigators shared with Reuters, the man told her to keep the phone line open and drive to a nearby grocery store, where she bought $500 worth of iTunes gift cards and gave the 'agent' the redemption codes.

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Having taken credit for putting life back in a moribund economy when he took power 2-1/2 years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crackdown on tax dodgers and counterfeiters by removing 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee banknotes from circulation has taken the economy down a very bumpy road.

How bumpy depends who's talking, but almost everyone agrees the drag on growth is likely to last through next year. Rajesh Kumar Singh reports. http://reut.rs/2g3gdRQ

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Mosquitos beware! This works when the TV is switched off too.

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Saturday cooking. Made semolina balls (rava/sooji laddoos) today. Mom's proud.
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Dinner tonight was a non-Mom affair for the first time in years. Dad made salad, I prepared chicken curry, brown rice and Mysore Pak, while Mom supervised and barked orders. She loved it. ‪#‎homecooking‬
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Made my first batch of Mysore Pak - a south Indian dessert with gram flour and clarified butter. Mom's version is way better, but she's still impressed. ‪#‎homecooking‬
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