NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India's annual Republic Day festivities.
A harvest of honey from the equatorial forests of South Sudan will help its struggling poor and, through the pollination of bees, improve the nation's crop yields, those involved say. Spring production over the coming weeks is expected to deliver 60 tonnes, double the volume of an initial batch of exports last year to Kenya. South Sudan's honey harvests had suffered because decades of fighting closed off the former main trade route through the north. "Honey production is not a panacea. We're not trying to save the country or eliminate the conflict, but we do want to do our part," Madison Ayer, head of development charity Honey Care Africa, told Reuters. Honey Care Africa has been working since 2013 in South Sudan, where it sees potential to collect honey from bees immune to the problems that have depleted colonies in the United States and to a lesser extent in Europe.
Rain failed to dampen spirits at India's Republic Day parade Monday as Barack Obama became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display in a sign of the nations' growing closeness. Thousands of cheering spectators braved wet weather and heavy security to watch the parade, which marks the birth of modern India and includes everything from tanks and state-of-the-art weaponry to camels and traditional dancers. The invitation to the annual celebration is one of the biggest honours the country can bestow on a foreign leader and underscores the increasing warmth between Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Obama gave a thumbs-up as stunt-riders on motorbikes formed their trademark human pyramid before the grand finale of the event, a fly-past by Indian fighter jets.