Taliban Kill 15 Pakistani Policemen, Smog Troubles on the Rise | Jan. 2 – 6, 2012

Smog covers the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. (Photo: R. M. Calamar)

Smog covers the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. (Photo: R. M. Calamar)

Life moves fast. News moves faster. Paramilitary troops fired on Kashmiri protesters, a top Taliban official was arrested in Karachi and India may experience growth in the coming decades.

Fight the Power Protests over power cuts in Kashmir turned deadly Monday when troops in the Indian-controlled region opened fire on hundreds of rallying villagers. Kashmiris regularly face up to 16 hours without power a day. The gunfire left one person dead and two others injured. [AP]

Boom Goes the Frothy Drink Several firebombing incidents at Muslim and Hindu houses of worship, residences and businesses took place in New York earlier this week. The assailant, a man who confessed to personal grievances against each location, created Molotov cocktails out of Starbucks Frappuccino bottles. [TIME NewsFeed]

In Cold Blood The Pakistan Taliban retaliated against nearby army offensives by killing 15 tribal policemen. The officers were abducted last month in North Waziristan, where there bodies were also found. These killings contradict reports that Taliban units are turning attention away from Pakistanis and toward American troops in Afghanistan. [BBC News]

Gotcha! Karachi police apprehended a senior Taliban member, Abdul Qayyum Mehsud, and three other operatives Thursday, according to a police statement. Mehsud, accused of Taliban involvement, and the others were allegedly planning suicide and other attacks in Karachi. Police also recovered various weapons and materials in the raid. [CNN]

Ain’t No Sunshine Heavy smoke and fog coupled with lower temperatures plague Bangladesh, India and Nepal this winter. Scientists attribute these conditions to fossil fuel and biomass burning air pollution. Smog in these areas has increased since 1990. It is too soon to determine statistical trends, but scientists believe the situation is worsening. [BBC News]

Rose-Colored Binoculars India’s economy may grow by 8 or 9 percent by 2022, according to the country’s deputy chairman of the planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Growth was weak in 2011, with the Jul.-Sept. quarter experiences less than 7 percent expansion. Without going into details, Ahluwalia indicated the increasing economic power of developing nations would play a role in this anticipated rise. [Reuters]

Amina Elahi is Divanee.com’s Managing Editor. Check out her blog, where she posts words and images that make her think.