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India’s Economy Stalls
For Lack of Investment

Sumit Sapra is a member of that ambitious, impatient generation of young Indians who rode the crest of the global economy. In five years, he changed jobs three times, quadrupling his salary along the way.

Even when satisfied with his position, he kept his resume posted on job sites, in case better offers came along. And he splurged. In three years, he bought three cars, moving up a notch in luxury each time. For weekend jaunts, he bought a motorcycle.

Sapra’s last and best-paying job was at the Indian headquarters of the financial services arm of General Electric, investing western money in Indian energy projects. But last December, foreign money dried up and Sapra, with a prestigious degree, was laid off.

“Earlier it was money chasing a few projects,” Sapra, 30, said of the change that seemed to come virtually overnight. “Now it’s the other way around.”

Not long ago, Indian leaders confidently predicted this country would emerge largely unscathed from the global economic crisis. It is now becoming clear that that view was too optimistic, nowhere more so than in this city south of New Delhi that was once the symbol of India’s economic boom.

ACORN Charged in Voter Registration Fraud Case in Nevada

A prominent anti-poverty organization that drew criticism from Republicans during last year’s presidential race was charged by Nevada officials Monday with engaging in voter registration fraud.

Two former leaders of the group’s Nevada branch were also charged in connection with the submission of thousands of bogus voter registration forms.

The organization, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is accused of paying canvassers only if they registered at least 20 voters per shift and providing bonuses of $5 for registering more than 21.

Under Nevada law, it is illegal to attach incentives to such work, in part because it encourages canvassers to submit fraudulent forms, Secretary of State Ross Miller said.

ACORN submitted 91,002 completed forms in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, of which 23,186 turned out to be valid new voters who voted in November, according to data provided by Miller’s office.

Filene’s Basement Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Filene’s Basement, the century-old retailer known for selling deeply discounted clothes and accessories by the likes of Gucci and Calvin Klein, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it planned to sell off most of its remaining stores.

Filene’s said it had agreed to sell 17 of its 25 stores, including its flagship in Boston, to Crown Acquisitions, a New York real estate firm, for $22 million. Crown said it planned to run the stores under the Filene’s brand.

Sluggish sales at new stores and increased competition from discounters like Century 21 and T.J. Maxx had weakened Filene’s position in the market, the company said in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in Delaware.