World News Brief, Friday April 17

Indians go to the polls today, plus a backgrounder on India's political system; After 10 years Russia ends fight in Chechnya; China's GDP growth lowest on record; and more

Top of the Agenda: India's Elections

Voters in India go to the polls today for the first round of marathon elections that will run for the better part of the next month. The BBC reports the country's incumbent coalition, led by the Congress party, faces a challenge from an opposition alliance led by the BJP party--and that both blocs face a rising challenge from a "third front" of communist and regional parties. Results of the vote are expected on May 16 and a new parliament must be agreed by June 2.

The first day of voting was marred by attacks by Maoist Naxalite rebels in mulitiple cities, leading to the death of seventeen people (Times of India).

Rediff has extensive election coverage, including profiles of many of the more prominent candidates. Rediff also has a slideshow of photos from different polling stations today.


- This new Backgrounder explains India's political system and profiles the country's major parties.

- In a new interview, CFR's Evan Feigenbaum says U.S. officials should work to ensure that India's disparate political base doesn't threaten warming ties between Washington and New Delhi.


PACIFIC RIM: China's Slowing Growth

China's economic growth slowed to 6.1 percent (FT) in the first quarter of 2009, the lowest year-on-year growth since the country started publishing GDP data in 1992.

The BBC says faltering exports are to blame.

THAILAND: The Bangkok Post looks at the political winners and losers from last week's demonstrations in Thailand.



U.S. envoy George Mitchell meets new Israeli government.

Russia announces end to military operations in Chechnya.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on