Economic burnout: India’s struggling workforce | AFP

India’s government releases its 2020 budget on Saturday, facing stuttering growth and record unemployment and a jump in inflation that has further widened India’s wealth gap. AFP spoke to Indians from different sections of society about the impact of the economic slowdown, which has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi under considerable pressure

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Big fat Indian wedding goes on a diet as slowdown bites | AFP

India’s weddings are famously lavish — lasting days and with hundreds if not thousands of guests — but this season many families are cutting costs even if it risks their social standing. It’s symptomatic of a sharp slowdown in the world’s fifth-largest economy, with Indians spending less on everything from daily essentials to once-in-a-lifetime occasions.

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From armchairs to iPhones, India’s millennials rent it all | AFP

In an age of e-commerce-fuelled consumerism, more and more young Indians are defying social conventions of ownership and instead opting to rent items such as furniture and smartphones.

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Indigenous chief Raoni ends European tour with warning | AFP

Indigenous chief Raoni, a leading figure in the fight against deforestation in the Amazon, concludes a long European tour in Lyon. In one of his final speeches , he warned: “If you destroy the whole forest, it’s not only us Indians who will disappear, but you too.”

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Modi’s ‘free cooking gas’ leaves bitter taste for some Indians

Reena Devi says her life changed when she got a cooking gas connection under a billion-dollar programme championed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meaning she no longer has to cook with wood or coal and breathe in smelly, toxic fumes.

Pakistanis leave homes near Line of Control

Pakistanis living near the Line of Control, the de facto border in Kashmir, pack their belongings and leave their homes as tensions with India escalate after both India and Pakistan said they had shot down each other’s aircraft. Meanwhile some Indians in New Delhi call for revenge while others want to see a diplomatic solution.

Hindus mark Thaipusam festival in Malaysia

Malaysian Hindu devotee Kumaraguru Kunalan hauled a wooden pole with metal pots hanging from either side up to a temple carved into a hillside as drumming and incense smoke filled the air. Kumaraguru, who also had a steel skewer pierced through his tongue, was among the huge crowd of ethnic Indians marking Thaipusam at a complex of temples outside Kuala Lumpur.

Air pollution

Videographic on air pollution. Smog is blamed for the deaths of more than one million Indians every year. Delhi — which on Monday had emergency pollution levels more than 35 times the World Health Organization safe limit — has the worst air of any global capital.VIDEOGRAPHIC

Raw: Donald Trump Jr. Arrives In India

Donald Trump Jr., arrived in New Delhi, India on Tuesday. He’s there to sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in a Trump-branded development outside the Indian capital. (Feb. 20)

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For Wild Horses, It’s Ride Or Die (HBO)

Last week congressional Republicans, led by H Morgan Griffith, revived a procedural rule from 1876 – the Holman rule – which allows any member of Congress to propose amending an appropriations bill to single out a government employee or cut a specific program. That means a federal employee’s salary could be cut to $1 and any program could be given a budget of $0. Griffith’s charge to enact the old rule came after he found out it costs $80 million to look after wild horses on federal land.

VICE News travels to the open rangeland of Nevada to document how the Bureau of Land Management deals with a large scale problem plaguing open land: wild horses. Overpopulation means that the wild horses destroy the land so Bureau of Land Management officials need to corral them into pens and care for them at a high cost to the US government. From there things get complicated – activists want to train the horses so they can be adopted; some conservationists have a more hard lined idea, suggesting the horses should be killed.

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It’s not a joke: Thousands of Indians force-fed LIVE FISH ‘to cure asthma’

An estimated 100,000 people received an infamous cure for breathing problems in Hyderabad’s Exhibition Ground, Wednesday, as they were given live fish to swallow.

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