The United States has withdrawn funding for the Pakistani version of the American children’s television series known for its educational content and colorful puppets. The U.S. Agency for International Aid received reports of corruption charges on the production company, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, through an anti-fraud hotline, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. Exact details of the graft weren’t provided.
The show, which began airing six months ago, features Elmo with a cast of local characters. The funding cut comes just six weeks after the U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter visited the set of “Sim Sim Hamara,” the Pakistani name for the series, “to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to children’s education in Pakistan,” according to a USAID press release.
(Image credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) – It’s the fifth year of one of cricket’s most colorful events - the Indian Premier League T20.
The tournament, which includes star players from across the globe playing for various Indian state franchises, has frequently been dubbed a “money-spinner,” with a wealth of sponsors, high-profile politicians and even Bollywood stars backing the competition. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – A local airline has found itself in hot water with environmentalists over a recent cargo flight of dolphins.
According to the Chinese newspaper China Daily, the airline transported five dolphins from Japan to Vietnam on January 16. An internal memo to the airline staff was leaked boasting of the transaction’s success saying that it earned the company HK$850,000 (US $110,000) in cargo revenue. The memo also included a photograph of the dolphins lying in shallow, narrow containers with their fins protruding, inside the Boeing 733F cargo plane.
Hong Kong (CNN) – While Hong Kong cashes in on China’s staggering economic growth, many of the city’s residents are choking as a result of it.
If it isn’t air pollution that is causing health issues among locals: it’s light pollution.
While the bright tantalizing lights of Hong Kong’s skyline are iconic of Hong Kong’s image, they are also keeping people awake, rising stress levels and causing insomnia for residents like Wesley Wai, who put together a video called the “Lucifer Effect” to show how much light bleeds into his bedroom at night. With rising property prices, residents like Wai often have few choices but to live in densely crowded, bright night areas.
(CNN) – India is Asia’s third largest economy, the world’s tenth largest by nominal GDP and is dubbed as the world’s largest democracy. So why does India still skulk in the shadows of the world’s other rising superpower China? One reason could be that India is hamstrung by its bureaucracy.
As the Economic Times stated, India needs to reform its bureaucracy and curb widespread corruption so it can fix its global image and achieve economic growth.
A recent report from the Hong Kong based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd ranked India the lowest on a bureaucracy rating in Asia. The report shows that the country runs an inefficient bureaucracy because of corruption and inadequate infrastructure. Business executives complain about how top officials are willing to accept under-the-table payments and how in turn, companies are tempted to make such payments in order to overcome bureaucratic inertia and gain government favors, the report says.
(CNN) – Given a choice between internet access or keys to a car, which would you choose?
According to new research, it’s more of a toss-up for young adults. That not only marks a generational divide between lifestyle choices for Generation X and Gen-Y, but could have a knock-on effect for how future cars are developed, the study author says.
It also speaks to a new study on why more traffic deaths in the U.S. are a result of using phones or portable electronic devices while driving.
When posed with the dilemma of choosing between access to your car and access to the Internet, 46% of all 18-to-24-year-old drivers in the U.S. surveyed said they would choose the Internet and give up their cars.
(CNN) - The “King of Good Times” is facing some grim times at the moment.
Airline group chief and billionaire business tycoon, Vijay Mallya is struggling to keep India’s Kingfisher Airlines afloat due to surging fuel costs and fuel taxes.
In the past week, the Bangalore-based carrier has cancelled 200 flights in hopes to reduce its debt from Rs. 6,500 crore (about $1.4 billion) to Rs. 3,000 crore ($600 million). Kingfisher has suffered a loss of Rs.1027 crores ($200 million) in the past fiscal year, adding to its mounting debt.
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