Edition:
United States

David Lalmalsawma

Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.

Twitter handle: @jeffmason1

Mar 01 2017

Time up for Manipur's 'Mr. 10 percent' chief minister, BJP says

While the national media is focused on the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces his biggest electoral test since coming to power in 2014, the tiny state of Manipur in India’s northeast is gearing up for its most closely fought election in recent times.

Feb 05 2016

Trending at #AutoExpo – green cars, compact SUVs, models without engines

India’s biggest auto show began this week in the suburbs of New Delhi. The event amounts to public relations, but is important for the 1,500 companies that show up, all of which want a piece of what likely will be the third-largest passenger car market by 2020. The new launches and displays also tell us what companies think are the latest consumer preferences and what the upcoming trends will be. Here’s what hot at Auto Expo 2016:

Jan 07 2016

Oh boy, that’s my girl! Battling gender biases in India

When we decided to have another baby, I pushed past the big questions about whether we have the moral right to introduce another child into this often grim world and so on, and decided to wonder instead if this time we might have a boy since we already had a girl.

Apr 29 2015

How Delhi’s shoeshine boys learn to read and write

Five shoeshine boys holding pencils and notebooks crowd around Firdoz Khan, who sits with them on the ground in her white salwar and is busy explaining the difference between 7 plus 2 and 7 multiplied by 2.

Jan 28 2015

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key

NEW DELHI When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Opera is almost unheard of in a country obsessed with Bollywood spectacle.

Jan 28 2015

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key

NEW DELHI When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Opera is almost unheard of in a country obsessed with Bollywood spectacle.

Jan 28 2015

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key

NEW DELHI When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Opera is almost unheard of in a country obsessed with Bollywood spectacle.

Jan 28 2015

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key

NEW DELHI, Jan 28 When Anando Mukerjee tells people in India that he's an opera singer, they are intrigued - and impressed. Opera is almost unheard of in a country obsessed with Bollywood spectacle.

Jul 22 2014

Restaurant run by Tihar convicts wins praise for politeness, hygiene

NEW DELHI As India's capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional "thali" meal of flatbread, lentils, vegetables and rice.

Jul 22 2014

Restaurant run by Indian convicts wins praise for politeness, hygiene

NEW DELHI As India's capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional "thali" meal of flat bread, lentils, vegetables and rice.Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his colleagues, is a convicted murderer serving time in South Asia's largest prison complex."Tihar Food Court" in west Delhi, a rehabilitation effort kicked off by the Tihar prison, opened in the first week of July on an "experimental basis" while awaiting formal clearances. It is sited half a km (0.6 mile) away from prisoners' dormitories.With a spacious interior lined with wooden tables and walls adorned with paintings done by prisoners, the 50-seat restaurant has been praised for the polite behavior of its employees, who were trained by a prestigious nearby hotel management school."The food is average," said Gupta. "But the hygiene factor is really good, very clean. And it's a good thing they are employing prisoners."Restaurant manager Mohammad Asim said there are around 50 customers every day, with each worker paid 74 rupees ($1.20) for the day's work.The vegetarian menu features mostly northern Indian food items, such as samosas, or deep-fried pastry triangles stuffed with spiced potato, and kidney beans with rice. The deluxe thali is the priciest item, costing 150 rupees ($2.50), while samosas are among the cheapest, at 10 rupees (17 cents)."Those who come once to have our food come back again," said Asim, who has spent 14-1/2 years in jail for murder.To be eligible to leave prison and work in the restaurant, inmates must have kept up an "unblemished record" through at least 12 years of imprisonment, besides a high school education.Prisoners eligible to be released within two years are picked for the job, to minimize their temptation to escape. They travel to work by cycle or on foot, as authorities "trust them enough" not to need a security escort.Comments in the visitors' book are mostly encouraging."The food was simply delicious," wrote one guest, Bhoomika Dabas. "The service provided was also commendable ... 10/10 for cleanliness and humble service. Suggestion: include more variety of cuisine."Revenue from the non-profit restaurant, flagged under the TJ's brand of products made by prisoners, is earmarked for prisoner welfare and vocational training, said Sunil Gupta, a spokesman for the Tihar jail.Once notorious for corruption, drug problems and prisoner abuse, the Tihar jail complex has ushered in several reforms, with vocational training and painting featured among the rehabilitation programs offered to its 13,552 inmates.

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