Estonia introduces the travel-free travel fair

Tallinn - Estonia has already given the world the internet telephone service Skype and recently opened a NATO cyberdefence academy in its capital, Tallinn.

Now the Baltic nation, which is so in love with all things online that it sometimes brands itself "e-stonia," has come up with another internet first - a virtual travel fair.

The inaugural online travel fair, entitled "Travel Expo," runs October 27 through November 5. It is the idea of Estonian company Online Expo, run by young entrepreneurs Anna Lepp and Sergei Semjonov.

Asia likes McCain's free trade, Obama's diplomacy

Asia likes McCain's free trade, Obama's diplomacyBangkok ­ One thing is for sure: the next US president will come to the White House with some first-hand experiences in Asia.

Republican John McCain, 72, a decorated war hero, was shot down on a bombing mission in 1967 over North Vietnam, captured and tortured in the notorious "Hanoi Hilton," where he was kept as a prisoner of war until 1973.

Democrat Barack Obama, 47, spent part of his peripatetic youth in Indonesia, where he attended a public Muslim school - not a Madrassah as some of his critics have alleged - in Jakarta between 1969-71.

IMF finds no favouritism in Strauss-Kahn affair

Washington - The director of the International Monetary Funddid not abuse his authority in an extramarital affair he had with a subordinate and the fund's board said Saturday it planned to continue with Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the helm.

The 24-member IMF executive board met Saturday to review an investigation into the matter and said in a statement it had "concluded that there was no harassment, favoritism, or any other abuse of authority by the managing director."

Hezbollah chief appears on TV to deny poison report

Beirut - Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah late Saturday denied an Iraqi website report that he had been poisoned and then saved by Iranian doctors.

"This information is totally unfounded," the head of Lebanon's Shiite militant group said in an interview broadcast on Hezbollah's Manar television.

"I am sitting here in front of you ... There was no poisoning. It is pure fabrication," he said.

Nasrallah claimed the report could have been "part of the psychological war" against Hezbollah aimed at alleging there are internal divisions within the Syria- and Iran-backed group.

Livni to call for elections

Livni to call for electionsTel Aviv - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni plans to call for new elections after unsuccessful efforts to form a government, local media reports said.

Livni, the leader of the ruling Kadima party, was to inform President Shimon Peres at a planned meeting on Sunday afternoon that talks to form a new government have failed.

She reached the decision after intensive talks with party members.

SBI inks JV pact with Macquarie, IFC for ‘Infrastructure PE Fund’

SBI inks JV pact with Macquarie, IFC for ‘Infrastructure PE Fund’State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest commercial bank has signed a Joint Venture pact with Macquarie Group and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Under the arrangement, both foreign partners will help the lender in the set up and management of an Infrastructure Private Equity Fund for investing in Indian Infrastructure projects and Companies. 

However, the fund will be operational on receipt of requisite regulatory approvals. The JV agreement is based on the earlier MOU signed on April 16, 2008.