Narendra Modi

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NEW DELHI — Beware, o lollygagging Indian bureaucrats. If it was not already apparent that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would display a schoolmaster’s intolerance for laxity, the recent introduction of an electronic monitoring system — capable of registering the daily entry and exit times of 100,000 government officials — has made the situation abundantly clear.

The system, accessible to the public on the website, began working in early October, providing a digital dashboard that so far displays the comings and goings of more than 50,600 employees spread across 150 departments. Read more


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A drug used to treat advanced breast cancer has had what appears to be unprecedented success in prolonging lives in a clinical trial, researchers reported on Sunday.

Patients who received the drug — Perjeta, from the Swiss drug maker Roche — had a median survival time nearly 16 months longer than those in the control group.

That is the longest amount of time for a drug used as an initial treatment for metastatic breast cancer, the researchers said, and it may be one of the longest for the treatment of any cancer. Most cancer drugs prolong survival in patients with metastatic disease for a few months at most. Metastasis means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Read more

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In 2012 the United Nations General Assembly created a mechanism to monitor commitments made by African countries and their partners to improve Africa’s economic development. The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) is the secretariat for the mechanism, and works with other UN agencies to track progress on these commitments. Maged Abdelaziz, United Nations’ secretary-general’s special adviser on Africa, talks about what the UN hopes to accomplish with the monitoring mechanism. Read more

Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute

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When Marta Moreno Vega walked through the old firehouse, tattered pinups littered the floor, rats scurried along cracked walls, and parts of the Romanesque ceiling had fallen to the floor. But still she saw her dream: A space that could, once again, become an anchor in its East Harlem community.

“It’s just a lovely space,” Ms. Vega, president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, said last week on the eve of a ceremony at the building her organization will take over. “It’s small, yet majestic.”

For nearly 40 years, Ms. Vega has steered the cultural institute she founded, a nonprofit organization focused on documenting, exploring and celebrating cultures of the African diaspora. Its headquarters were in a brownstone in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, but it moved uptown last year. Read more

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The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

This new technology is bringing auto loans — and Wall Street’s version of Big Brother — into the lives of people with credit scores battered by the financial downturn. Read more


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The municipal identification cards that New York plans to start issuing next year in an effort to make life easier for undocumented immigrants will come with an added benefit so enticing that many others may sign up for them too: an offer of free tickets or discounts at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions.

Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall; the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden; the American Museum of Natural History, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and many others will offer a variety of perks — most of them equivalent to a basic one-year membership — to holders of the new ID cards, which are expected to be made available to any city resident over age 14, regardless of their legal status. Read more

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Robin Evans said that while she does not support the senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes or President Obama she has taken advantage of the Affordable Health Care act. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Affordable Care Act allowed Robin Evans, an eBay warehouse packer earning $9 an hour, to sign up for Medicaid this year. She is being treated for high blood pressure and Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, after years of going uninsured and rarely seeing doctors.

“I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, who also qualified for Medicaid under the law. “It’s helped me out a bunch.”

But Ms. Evans scowled at the mention of President Obama — “Nobody don’t care for nobody no more, and I think he’s got a lot to do with that,” she explained — and said she would vote this fall for Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, who is fond of saying the health care law should be “pulled out root and branch.”

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President Obama

WASHINGTON — Democrats have reversed the partisan imbalance on the federal appeals courts that long favored conservatives, a little-noticed shift with far-reaching consequences for the law and President Obama’s legacy.

For the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. The Democrats’ advantage has only grown since late last year when they stripped Republicans of their ability to filibuster the president’s nominees.

Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. When Mr. Obama took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges nominated by a Democrat.

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The New York City Police Department will begin equipping a small number of its officers with wearable video cameras, a pilot program geared toward eventually outfitting the nation’s largest police force with technology that promises greater accountability over police actions.

An announcement on the program, as well as details of the initial implementation of the cameras, is expected from Commissioner William J. Bratton on Thursday, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the planning.

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