Modi pledges $17b to develop Kashmir
SRINAGAR (India) • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged 800 billion rupees (S$17.2 billion) in funds to bolster development and economic growth in Kashmir, a year after the worst flooding in more than a century destroyed half a million homes there.
Addressing several thousand people in a cricket stadium in the northern state's capital of Srinagar, Mr Modi said he wanted to go beyond helping flood victims. He promised to create jobs for Kashmiri youth by improving education and promoting industries, including tourism and cashmere wool.
Kraft Heinz stake helps double Berkshire profit
SEATTLE • Mr Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said its quarterly profit doubled to a record high, reflecting a large gain on its stake in Kraft Heinz, while its operating profit declined on weaker results from insurance underwriting.
Third-quarter net income rose to US$9.43 billion (S$13 billion) from US$4.62 billion a year earlier. The company made a pre-tax gain of roughly US$6.8 billion - or a US$4.4 billion gain after taxes - on Kraft Heinz.
Kraft Heinz was formed after a merger of Kraft and Heinz in July this year led by Berkshire and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital.
Religious groups head to court against Obamacare
WASHINGTON • The United States Supreme Court agreed last Friday to hear yet another challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law, this one from religious groups refusing to pay for their staff's birth control.
The hearing, expected before the high court in late March, will mark the latest in a stream of legal attacks on Obamacare.
It will pit issues of women's right to equal healthcare against constitutionally protected religious freedoms. Seven religious non-profit groups have asked to be exempted from the contraceptive requirements on grounds of conscience.