Election results in four major Indian states Friday marked a momentous comeback for the country's ruling Congress-led coalition, although it was undercut in one state by backlash against a graft-tainted coalition member.
India's beleaguered government suffered another blow Thursday as the country's Supreme Court quashed the appointment of the top anti-corruption investigator because he himself faced allegations of fraud.
Visitors shuttle in and out of a state-of-the-art hospital in an Indonesian town once devastated by towering tsunami waves five years ago, while in nearby Thailand backpackers dance to music in bars and tourists lodge in a hotel that had been demolished in the Boxing Day disaster.
Even the most cheerless environmental activist would find it hard not to register the faintest trace of a smile seeing Christmas lights shimmering in the murk of a December evening. Any lingering sense of 'green guilt' over the environmental cost of a billion festive bulbs being switched on should quickly dissipate in the bursts of electric color festooning our streets and houses. But if that isn't enough to placate an ardent activist there is, thankfully, environmentally-friendly light at the end of the tunnel.
Mata Amritanandamayi is known as the "hugging guru." Some days, she will sit for up to 20 hours straight as tens of thousands of devotees line up to feel her embrace and hear her whisper motherly advice.