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Indians flee east coast as Cyclone Phailin makes landfall

Guardian: Almost half a million people have fled the eastern Indian coast, many leaving just hours before a "super cyclone" hit the country. The vast weather system – cyclone Phailin – was generating winds of up to 220km/h (136mph) and forcing huge waves far inland before it struck the shores of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states just after 9pm local time. Aid and disaster management officials estimated that up to 12 million people lie in its path. They forecast widespread destruction and disruption though...

India’s peasant farmers gather for protest march on Delhi

Guardian: Tens of thousands of peasant farmers from across India will set out on Wednesday on a 200-mile march on Delhi in one of the biggest such protests seen in the country for years. Organisers of the demonstration aim to highlight problems for India's landless, for hundreds of millions of poor farmers and for so-called tribal communities who often live in resource-rich areas where lucrative mining operations are causing massive environmental damage. "Millions of people are living in slums, on railway...

India is the most likely place for the seventh billionth child to be born

Guardian: The Madanpur Khadr colony is a tenement slum on the southern outskirts of Delhi, the Indian capital. A decade ago there was nothing here but green fields, buffaloes wallowing, goats grazing and the odd small dwelling. Now an estimated 40,000 people live in ramshackle, five-storey, brick and concrete homes, 10 to a room, without sewers or a clean water supply – and often without jobs. No one knows exactly who will be the seventh billionth person on Earth, to be born on the last day of this month,...