9:04 AM, Feb 11, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In January, the State Department signed contracts for an estimated $1,690,000 million for hotels for President Obama's trip to India. Two of the contracts were for the New Delhi stay, and another two were for Agra, the location of the Taj Mahal. That latter leg of the trip was cancelled when President Obama decided to leave early to pay his respects to the recently deceased king of Saudi Arabia. The president stayed in New Delhi for two nights. He did not stay in Agra, but since his visit there was to be a day trip, the hotels reserved in that city were never intended for him in the first place.
The New Delhi hotels cost about $1.1 million: $800,000 for the ITC Maurya, and $300,000 for the Taj Palace Hotel. A maximum of 4,000 room nights were booked between the two.
The Agra hotels included the Jaypee Palace Hotel for $350,000 and the ITC Mughal for $240,000; a maximum of 2,500 room nights were booked.
Even though the Obamas departed India before the planned Taj Majal visit, Mr. Obama and his wife were only scheduled to travel to Agra on Tuesday to visit the legendary palace before departing the country for home anyway. White House guidance (via the Chicago Sun-Times) of the original itinerary reads as follows:
On Tuesday, the President will deliver remarks at Siri Fort Auditorium and the First Lady will attend. In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will travel to Agra, India to tour the Taj Mahal. Following their tour, the President and First Lady will depart India en route Washington, DC.
The hotels booked in Agra were apparently solely for the advance team and security personnel necessary to prepare for the Taj Majal visit. Local media in India reported that over 100 security personnel left Agra the day before the president arrived in India after the Agra leg was cancelled.
7:33 AM, Jan 26, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama is being knocked by local press for chewing gum today at the Republic Day parade in India.
10:34 AM, Jan 18, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Associated Press White House correspondent, Julie Pace, described President Obama's trip to India later this week as an entrance into the "lame duck" part of his presidency:
"President Obama crosses into one of the indisputable stages of a lame duck presidency this week. That is the non-essential foreign travel stage," Pace said on CNN. "He's going to India basically for a parade and a visit to the Taj Mahal.
... and India is the newest threat.4:40 PM, Sep 30, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with frequent contributor Thomas Joscelyn discussing his recent piece on "Misunderstanding al Qaeda" and how its growth is becoming a threatening success.
12:14 PM, Sep 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama will be taking the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the White House announced.
A reformist prime minister vs. a dysfunctional defense ministry.Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By GARY SCHMITT and SADANAND DHUME
American strategists are taken with the idea of India’s strategic potential: a large democracy with a blue-water navy and the world’s third-largest armed forces that happens to be jammed between an imploding Pakistan and an expansionist China. But a deeply dysfunctional Indian defense community has frustrated efforts to turn that potential into reality. Will the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month with the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in 30 years jumpstart much-needed reforms?
Three Western visions on the Indian subcontinentJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By PAULA DEITZ
In the final scene of My Architect, Nathaniel Kahn’s 2003 documentary about discovering his father Louis I. Kahn (1901-74) through his architecture, Nathaniel stands in the National Assembly building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, speaking to Shamsul Wares, a local architect who knew Kahn and claims that the building gave his country democracy.
Hope and change on the subcontinentJun 2, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 36 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
The Indian elections that ended with a resounding victory for the Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi and an even more resounding defeat of the ruling Congress party have huge implications not just for India’s potential prosperity, political evolution, and unity but also for the region and the world economy.
The pressure is on to sell to China’s military.Nov 18, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 10 • By JOSEPH A. BOSCO
Next month’s meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in China will feature a familiar ritual. American negotiators will face intensified pressure for Washington to lift restrictions on the sale of military and dual-use technology to China. Over time, the perennial drip-drip of Beijing’s complaints against U.S. trade discrimination in this area, bolstered by American business desires to close the trade gap, has proved effective.
8:04 AM, Jul 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking today at the Bombay stock exchange, claimed Indian relatives.
11:12 AM, Jul 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The vice president's wife, Jill Biden, spent time with "slum dwellers" in India, according to the pool report.
"Second lady Jill Biden visits slum dwellers in Agra Agra, Jul 23 (PTI) It was a memorable day for the slum dwellers of Kachchpura near the Taj Mahal here as they had a VIP visitor -- US second lady Jill Biden who spent nearly an hour with them," reads the pool report.
8:25 AM, Feb 26, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Adam Kredo reports that the Indian embassy in Washington says Chuck Hagel's views are not based in reality:
The Embassy of India chided secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel late Monday for suggesting in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has “for many years” sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan.
6:15 AM, Oct 25, 2012 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
A post in the Wall Street Journal blog covering India suggests relations are souring between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, long the main instrument of Riyadh’s ideological influence over South Asian Muslims. The desert monarchy has extradited several terrorist suspects to India, under a treaty signed between the two countries in 2010. Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari was sent to India in June, A. Rayees was deported by the Saudis to New Delhi in October, and Fasih Muhammad, last week.
11:55 AM, Jul 10, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Disclosure forms reveal that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, previously held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. This revelation comes mere days after the Democratic chair attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for holding money in Swiss bank accounts in the past.