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India Recognizes a Third Gender

Transgender recognition a 'human rights issue': high court

(Newser) - In a major Supreme Court decision today, India is changing the way it defines gender. Transgender people are now officially considered a third gender, along with male and female, the Washington Post reports. "Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a... More »

815M Voters Begin World's Biggest Election

India's vast electorate goes to the polls in month-long exercise

(Newser) - An Indian electorate some 814.5 million strong is preparing to cast ballots in the world's biggest democratic election. Beginning in the northeast, the country will vote for its next leadership over the course of several weeks, with polls closing May 12, the New York Times reports. The vote... More »

India Is Free of Polio

It has no new cases in 3 years, says WHO

(Newser) - The World Health Organization has declared India free of polio after three years of no new cases—meaning 80% of the world is now free of the virus. Progress has been steady since a vaccination campaign began among children in 1995, but India's vast population made eradication a constant... More »

4 Convicted in Gang-Rape That Shook Mumbai

3 convicted of 2nd rape at same location

(Newser) - Two months after the August gang-rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai, the New York Times delved into the case, finding that the act had simply grown normal for the five men accused . Something else that will soon grow normal for four of them: prison. A court today found them guilty... More »

Rare Set of Conjoined Twins Born

Indian baby girls share everything except spinal cords, necks, heads

(Newser) - A woman in India gave birth to a very rare set of conjoined twins yesterday: They have separate spinal cords, necks, and heads, but share everything else, so there is a very slim chance the girls would be able to be separated. According to New York Daily News, mom Urmila... More »

India's Famine Solution: We'll Eat Bugs

FAO discusses farming insects for food

(Newser) - Hopefully people in India like munching on crickets and other, um, delicacies. As the country's Food and Agriculture Organization warns a global famine will strike in 50 years, scientists are experimenting with an interesting source of alternative protein: bugs. "We are now doing a lot of work on... More »

Cops Lose Password, Miss Years of Complaints

Hundreds piled up in India, unseen in online portal

(Newser) - For the last eight years, a watchdog agency in India has diligently collected hundreds of corruption complaints about the Delhi police and forwarded them to the department. Not a single one has been acted upon. Conspiracy? Coverup? Nope, just good old-fashioned incompetence. Turns out, the police department didn't know... More »

Parrot Helps Catch Owner's Murderer

It screeched whenever dead owner's nephew was near

(Newser) - The title of "man's best friend" might no longer go to dogs after this one: A parrot reportedly led detectives to its owner's murderer, the Times of India reports. Neelam Sharma, 45, was found stabbed to death along with her dog in the Indian city of Agra... More »

Leopard Terrorizes India Hospital

Spends 12 hours inside before bursting out through window

(Newser) - Patients in an Indian hospital yesterday received an unusual—and pretty frightening—visitor: a leopard that had turned up in the northern city of Meerut, injuring seven people, per the Hindustan Times . After being teased by "mischievous elements" in a warehouse, the animal headed to the hospital, where it... More »

India's Olympians Now Competing Under Own Flag

After IOC lifts ban mid-Games

(Newser) - Had an Indian athlete won an Olympic medal before today, he would have seen the flag of the International Olympic Committee raised, rather than his own. Not that it was ever really an issue: The country has only three athletes in the Games, with its top prospect coming in 37th... More »

Bengal Tiger Kills 10th Victim, Gets Away

Terrified villagers in northern India are getting fed up

(Newser) - Yet another villager died by tiger-attack in northern India yesterday, and officials are trying to figure out just how many tigers are out there eating people, Fox News reports. The new victim—the 10th in 6 weeks—was a 50-year-old man collecting firewood when the tiger ate parts of his... More »

Future Car Accessory: A Drone?

Renault's concept car Kwid envisions 'flying companion'

(Newser) - A new Renault concept SUV comes with a buddy: a drone that soars out of a roof hatch to investigate traffic conditions or maybe off-roading hazards. Were the "flying companion," as the company calls it, to be produced, it would be about the size of a small bird,... More »

India Tourist Ferry Sinks, Kills 21

13 rescued as officials seek 9 missing

(Newser) - A boat carrying local tourists capsized today in India's Andaman Sea in the Bay of Bengal, killing 21 people, officials said. Thirteen were rescued, said top Administrator P. Jawahar. Rescuers were looking for another nine people believed to be missing, CNN-IBN television news channel reported. The boat sank off... More »

Cops: Village Council in India Ordered Gang Rape

13 arrested in attack of woman who had relationship with man outside village

(Newser) - Yet another gang rape is making headlines in India, but this one has an especially horrific twist: Police say village elders ordered the assault on a 20-year-old woman who made the mistake of falling for a guy from a different tribal group. The AP reports that 13 men have been... More »

Wife of Indian Politician Dead After Bizarre Twitter Feud

She had accused journalist of stalking her husband

(Newser) - A strange political scandal in India took a far more serious turn when the politician's wife at the center of it was found dead in her hotel room yesterday, reports Reuters . The cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death is unclear, and it comes just days after the 52-year-old was... More »

Tourist, 51, Says She Was Gang-Raped in Delhi

Danish woman allegedly attacked after asking for directions

(Newser) - The words "gang-rape" and "India" are once again making headlines, this time in connection with a 51-year-old Danish tourist in New Delhi. The woman says she was robbed and raped at knife-point between 5pm and 8pm last night, after asking for directions while returning to her hotel from... More »

Boxer Fights to Protect India's Women— With an App

Mary Kom wants women to feel safe on streets

(Newser) - In a country where sexual violence is widespread and vastly under-reported, Olympic boxer Mary Kom is working to make women feel safe on the streets again. She has launched a smartphone app and text service to give Indian women tips on how to fight off attackers, Wired reports. The five-time... More »

Indian Diplomat Leaves US Just Before Being Indicted

Devyani Khobragade charged with visa fraud, but diplomatic immunity saves her

(Newser) - An Indian diplomat accused of lying about how much she paid her housekeeper was indicted today on two criminal charges, though prosecutors told a judge that she had been granted diplomatic immunity and left the country earlier in the day. Devyani Khobragade was charged by a federal grand jury in... More »

Indian Girl, Gang-Raped Twice, Set Afire, Dies

Six men charged with murder

(Newser) - A 16-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly gang-raped on two consecutive nights in October died Tuesday after suffering burns on more than 65% of her body—and after telling police that her alleged rapists were the ones who set her ablaze on Dec. 23. Though she identified two of her... More »

India's Gambit to Shield Female Diplomat Won't Work

Country gives Devyani Khobragade a new job

(Newser) - As India gets increasingly hot under the collar about its arrested and strip-searched female diplomat , the US isn't backing down: The State Department has refused to drop charges against Devyani Khobragade, with a State Department rep emphasizing that each year the US reminds countries about "obligations they have... More »

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