Indian climate activist gets bail in sedition case over farm stir

New Delhi court grants bail to Disha Ravi, 22, saying there was ‘scanty and sketchy evidence’ of sedition in her efforts to help the protesting farmers. A court in the Indian capital has granted bail to a 22-year-old climate activist, saying there was “scanty and sketchy evidence” of sedition in her efforts to help farmers […]

China’s ‘No 1 document’: Beijing steps up focus on food security

China points to ‘instability of the external situation’ in latest rural policy blueprint, urges boost in domestic seed supplies. China will put greater pressure on its regions to boost grain yields and step up support for its domestic seed industry as it strengthens its focus on food security after the COVID-19 pandemic, a key policy […]

Indoor farming gains ground amid pandemic, climate challenges

Investors used to brush off Amin Jadavji’s pitch to buy Elevate Farms’ vertical growing technology and produce stacks of leafy greens indoors with artificial light. “They would say, ‘This is great, but it sounds like a science experiment,’” said Jadavji, CEO of Toronto, Canada-based Elevate. Now, indoor farms are positioning themselves as one of the […]

US farmers won’t see a year as profitable as 2020 for a decade

Federal aid payments accounted for more than a third of US farmers’ $121.1bn in net income last year. U.S. farmers won’t see another year as profitable as 2020 for at least a decade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected Tuesday. Farm profits soared to their highest level in seven years amid a flood of government aid […]

BJP deploys its majoritarian tactics against India’s farmers

Four layers of barricades, permanent cemented walls on highways, trenches, concertina wires and roads embedded with spikes – this is how New Delhi, the national capital of India is being fortified on its borders which separate it from the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Hordes of police and paramilitary personnel are manning these […]

India legislators move to rival Koo as row with Twitter escalates

India has rebuked Twitter for not complying with its orders to take down certain content and warned the social media giant that it needs to obey local laws, even as Indian legislators urged their followers to switch to a homegrown rival, Koo. India has ordered Twitter to remove more than 1,100 accounts and posts that […]

Indian farmers launch nationwide highway blockade

Tens of thousands of farmers are demonstrating against laws they say benefit large private buyers at their expense. Tens of thousands of protesting Indian farmers have blockaded highways across the country as the United Nations called on authorities and protesters to exercise “maximum restraint”. The farmers held a three-hour “chakka jam”, or road blockade, on […]

US annual trade deficit largest since 2008 financial crisis

The gap in the trade of goods and services widened to $678.7bn in 2020 from $576.9bn in 2019, the US Department of Commerce said. The U.S. last year posted its biggest annual trade deficit since 2008 as the global health crisis depressed export markets for American companies. The gap in trade of goods and services […]

Free speech under threat as India clamps down on farmer protests

When Vinod K Jose, executive editor of The Caravan, India’s leading investigative magazine, logged onto Twitter on Monday, he was shocked to find the magazine’s account had been blocked. Jose was already dealing with a case of sedition and other charges against him, the magazine owners and a freelance journalist. At the heart of the […]

The Big Tech takeover of agriculture is dangerous

On January 15, Liu Jin, a 45-year-old driver for Alibaba’s food delivery platform in the Chinese city of Taizhou, set himself on fire in protest over unpaid wages. “I want my blood and sweat money back,” Mr Liu said in a video shared widely over social media. Meanwhile, across the border in India, millions of […]

India equates Red Fort chaos with Capitol riots after US remarks

Foreign ministry compares storming of the historic fort by farmers to storming of US Capitol by ex-President Trump’s supporters. India’s foreign ministry has compared the storming of the historic Red Fort complex by protesting farmers in New Delhi on January 26 to the violence at the United States’ Capitol Hill earlier this year by the […]

India to investigate protest ‘toolkit’ shared by Greta Thunberg

Creators of a farmers’ protest toolkit shared by teenage Swedish climate activist to be probed by the New Delhi police. The creators of an Indian farmers’ protest “toolkit” shared by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will be investigated by police, authorities said, claiming it was designed to “encourage disaffection and ill-will” against the government. Tens […]

Beyond the Beirut explosion: The many dangers of ammonium nitrate

On August 4, 2020, nearly 2,750 tonnes of improperly stored ammonium nitrate exploded in the seaport in Beirut, killing more than 200 people, injuring more than 6,000, and displacing thousands from their homes. As Beirut residents still await answers from the official investigation, it is important not to brush aside this incident as the product […]

US urges India to hold ‘dialogue’ with protesting farmers

The United States has urged the Indian government to resolve its differences with the farmers over agriculture laws through dialogue, saying that peaceful protests and unhindered access to internet are a “hallmark of any thriving democracy”. Tens of thousands of farmers have been hunkering down at the Indian capital’s fringes to demand the repeal of […]

Indian celebrities back gov’t on protests amid global criticism

Several Indian celebrities, including cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and a host of Bollywood stars, have supported the government after pop superstar Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg made social media comments about the months-long farmer protests. Rihanna, who has more than 100 million Twitter followers, wrote “why aren’t we talking about this?!”, with a link […]

Rihanna, Greta Thunberg anger India by supporting farmer protests

Following tweets by international celebrities, foreign ministry says ‘vested interest groups’ trying to mobilise support against the government. Pop superstar Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg have drawn the ire of the Indian government after they tweeted in support of the huge protests against the new farm laws. Tens of thousands of farmers have been […]

‘Why aren’t we talking about this?!’: Rihanna on India protests

US pop superstar tweets solidarity with months-long protests against new farm laws, followed by climate activist Greta Thunberg. Rihanna, the pop superstar from the United States, has created a flutter in India by wading into months-long farmer protests against new farm laws passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Tens of thousands of young and […]

Why India’s farmer protests are resonating in the US

Images of thousands of farmers streaming into India’s capital on tractors and carrying banners to decry potentially devastating changes in agricultural policy can seem a world away, but the protests in New Delhi raise issues that resonate in the United States and have led to dramatic change in rural America. Indian farmers have left their […]

Twitter blocks accounts over India farmers protest on gov’t order

About 250 social media accounts and tweets temporarily blocked over ‘grave threat to public order’. Twitter on Monday temporarily blocked dozens of accounts and tweets in India at the Hindu nationalist government’s request, including those of a prominent news magazine and farmers staging mass protests in the capital. An Information Technology ministry source told the […]

India’s Modi breaks silence on months-long farm law protests

India will push on with sweeping agriculture reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says as he criticises last week’s deadly violence. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the protesters that stormed New Delhi’s Red Fort last week caused “insult” to the country and that his government will push on with sweeping agriculture reform, his first […]

India’s Haryana state blocks internet amid farmer protest clashes

An Indian state has blocked mobile internet across most of its districts, following clashes between hundreds of protesting Indian farmers and groups of men shouting anti-farmer and pro-police slogans. Mobile internet in 15 of 22 districts in Haryana state bordering the capital New Delhi will be unavailable until 17:00 local time on Saturday, according to […]

India’s opposition boycotts Parliament in solidarity with farmers

Opposition parties shun the opening day of Parliament’s budget session as farmers continue to protest against new farm laws. Main Indian opposition parties have boycotted the opening day of Parliament’s budget session in solidarity with farmers engaged in a two-month standoff over new agricultural laws the government refuses to repeal. A statement by the Congress […]

Indian farmers defiant as police order closure of protest camp

Authorities in Uttar Pradesh state call for Ghazipur camp to be cleared, but farmers say they would not budge. Farmers at main protest sites on the outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi, are defiant as authorities call for an end to their months-long sit-in against new farm laws in the wake of violence in the […]