THE PERPETUALLY outraged in the political spectrum on Tuesday got fresh ammunition for their anti-US rhetoric when the White House faulted India and China for the surge in oil prices. The statement comes three days after politicians here interpreted a statement of President Bush

Drivers have long known that slowing down on the highway means getting more miles to the gallon. Now airlines are trying it, adding a few minutes to flights to save millions on fuel. Southwest Airlines started flying slower about two months ago, and projects it will save $42 million in fuel this year by extending each flight by one to three minutes.

The US favours higher standards of living in developing countries, the White House said on Monday, while sticking to its proposition that increased demand for food in these countries is the principle driver of higher prices across the world.

A preachy America and a prickly India are both mouthing off over the world food crisis. Some of India's political leadership was foaming at the mouth on Saturday after misconstruing US President George Bush's remark that increasing prosperity in India had led to better diets, greater demand, and increasing prices, all of which had contributed to the global food crisis.

Renu Khator became the first woman of Indian origin to be appointed the president of the University of Houston, USA, and the chancellor of the UH system early this year. She will head a system which is considered one of North America's biggest with a faculty of 3,000-plus and over 50,000 students. On a recent visit to India, she talked to Meenakshi Kumar about the differences between American and Indian education system: You studied in India before moving to the US? What major difference do you find between the Indian and American education systems?

Dubai: In a renewed effort to achieve a global trade deal under Doha Round of multilateral talks, trade ministers of India and the US will meet next week to bridge differences on farm subsidies and opening markets for industrial and agricultural products. "I am meeting USTR (Susan Schwab) on May 6. We are trying to see how we can converge,' commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said during his recent visit here.

Contradicting the BJP's views on the nuclear deal with the U.S., the former National Security Adviser, Brajesh Mishra, has said India should go ahead with the agreement, failing which the country would suffer a "severe loss of face' and its atomic programme a setback. Mr. Mishra, who served in the previous BJP-led government, said the deal should be concluded during the tenure of Bush administration as change of government in the U.S. would make things difficult.

Washington: Some stores have begun rationing rice, the price of wheat flour has gone through the roof, there's no butter on store shelves, and petrol at the pump is at an all-time high. The usual developing country woes from Asia, Africa and Latin America? Try again. These are stories from the US and Japan, the world's most advanced nations that stand for prosperity and plenitude. Astonishing accounts of panic buying and rationing are surfacing from Tokyo to New York as world leaders are breaking out in cold sweat over tightening food supply chain.

Precious commodity: Residents with subsidised rice in Manila recently. President Gloria Arroyo has declared war on hoarders and is using the military to move supplies of subsidised rice. The global food crisis reached the U.S. on Wednesday as big retailers began rationing sales of rice in response to bulk purchases by customers alarmed by rocketing prices of staple foods.

The United States has said that the civilian nuclear initiative with India is bound by the 123 Agreement and not the Hyde Act. It also saw no inconsistency between the two. "We don't see any inconsistency between what we were allowed to do and required to do under the Hyde Act, but what binds India and the United States together is the 123 Agreement, not the Act,' Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher said here.

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