Loss from Sidr: The economic loss caused by super cyclone Sidr that hit Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, is more than us $ 4.4 billion, reveals a survey conducted by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh. The cyclone completely destroyed about 4,10,000 hectares of farmland and damaged 12 lakh tonnes of the Aman paddy crop, which accounts for 40 per cent of the

Child health in war-torn Afghanistan is suffering due to mothers' low educational background and inability to access healthcare. A study found that 32.5 per cent of under-fives are suffering from acute diarrhoea and 41.5 per cent from breathing illnesses, while over 40 per cent have stunted growth.

environment Jaipur halts limestone mining The Rajasthan government has denotified the region in and around Jaisalmer for limestone mining. Though the reason behind denotification is not clear, the move comes days after the government rejected applications by leading cement companies for mining lease in the region. Companies such as Mangalam Cement, Sanghi Industries, Birla Cement

Afghan Leopards Threatened: After surviving decades of warfare, snow leopards in Afghanistan now face a new threat: foreigners involved in rebuilding the country. Military bases and tourist bazaars present a new market for pelts to be sold as souvenirs. Foreigners are willing to pay prices high enough to encourage impoverished Afghans to break the 2002 hunting ban protecting the leopards. The US

More than 10,000 ethnic Hazaras protested in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, calling for President Hamid Karzai to resign over killings of their kin by rival Kuchi nomads.

The angry marchers sent police fleeing on the outskirts of Kabul, then chased them until hundreds of officers and soldiers blocked one of the main roads into the city, next to Kabul zoo. The marchers then sat down in the middle of the road until one of their leaders, parliamentarian Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, addressed the crowd and persuaded them to peacefully disperse.

President Hamid Karzai appointed on Wednesday a team of experts to investigate allegations that Pakistan had dumped nuclear waste in southern Afghanistan, his office said. In April, an Afghan minister told the BBC that his government had evidence Pakistan had buried its nuclear waste in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar during the 1996-2001 Taliban regime. But the minister for parliamentary affairs, Farouk Wardak, later denied he had said this. Pakistan has also rejected the claim.

Another disputed dam: After Baglihar, Kishanganga dam has embroiled India and Pakistan in a water dispute. Union minister of state for power Jairam Ramesh recently asked the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to expedite work on the 330-mw Kishanganga power project in Jammu and Kashmir, citing that Pakistan is also constructing a power project on the Kishanganga river, called Neelum

Dhiraj Nayyar The attack in Kabul must not be allowed to undercut vital economic ties between India and Afghanistan

India is the fifth largest bilateral donor in Afghanistan after the US, UK, Japan and Germany. Present assistance: $750 million. Projects involve hydro-electricity, power transmission lines, road construction, agriculture and industry, telecommunications, information and broadcasting, education and health. Major works include:

Afghanistan has signed a near-identical MoU with three institutions in India - Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) for collaboration to promote the cause of local government.