July 31 Photo Brief: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in the Middle East, soccer ball stitching programs, bull racing in India

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on a five-day trip to the Middle-East, Pakistan’s military launches a soccer ball stitching program in the town of Chaghmalai, bull racing in India and more in today’s daily brief.

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Second India blackout in two days cuts power to 670 million
Frank Jack Daniel
9:42 a.m. EDT, July 31, 2012

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Grids supplying electricity to half of India’s 1.2 billion people collapsed on Tuesday, trapping coal miners, stranding train travelers and plunging hospitals into darkness in the second major blackout in as many days.

Stretching from Assam, near China, to the Himalayas and the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, the outage was the worst to hit India in more than a decade and embarrassed the government, which has failed to build up enough power capacity to meet soaring demand.

“Even before we could figure out the reason for yesterday’s failure, we had more grid failures today,” said R. N. Nayak, chairman of the state-run Power Grid Corporation.

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