November 24: The lensmen`s view
November 24: The lensmen`s view
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attends the Indian labour conference in New Delhi
The Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed a ruling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's handling of a telecoms scandal that has undermined confidence in the administration and paralysed parliament.
Singh is not on trial but has faced allegations that he dragged his feet in ordering an investigation in the sale of telecom licenses at low prices that has led to the resignation of the telecoms minister, and which, according to an official watchdog audit, possibly lost the state $39 billion in revenues.
Singh's representative, the country's attorney general, defended the prime minister in court on Tuesday, saying all procedures had been followed in ordering a probe into the scandal.
Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi (L) speaks during a news conference as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh watches in New Delhi
Nitish Kumar sweeps Bihar elections with NDA in a majority of 201 seats as Congress suffers heavy defeat with just 4 seats in its kitty.
The leader of ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday called opposition parties' attacks on the prime minister over an alleged corruption scam \"shameful\", the strongest backing yet for Manmohan Singh.
Gandhi, who is considered the most powerful politician in India and seen taking all key government decisions, said the Congress party always cracked down on corruption when it was discovered. Gandhi's comments are seen putting to rest any speculation of Singh having to resign.
People walk past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
Shares in Asia and Europe steadied on Wednesday from a sell-off following North Korea's deadly shelling of a South Korean island, but tension on the divided peninsula supported safe-haven assets such as gold and Japanese government bonds.
The euro clawed away from a two-month low, but remained on the back foot amid concerns that a rescue package for Ireland would not be enough to stop a debt crisis from picking off more of the euro zone's most heavily indebted nations.
European stock markets rose from a six-week closing low, with the FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 per cent in early trade. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.7 per cent, Germany's DAX 0.5 per cent and France's CAC 40 0.6 per cent.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.4 per cent, pointing to a possible bounce in US markets later in the day.
Ireland set for majority stakes in leading banks. A placard advertising barbecued food rests against the entrance to the Bank of Ireland headquarters, Dublin
Ireland is set to take a majority stake in top lender Bank of Ireland as part of a massive international bailout that will effectively give the state full ownership of the country's two other biggest banks.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed a bailout of Ireland to shore up its banks and give them access to cheaper state funding.
The loan was expected to be up to 85 billion euros ($114 billion) and billions of that could be used immediately to recapitalise the banks, but most will be a backstop in case they need more in the future and to ease funding strains.
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