Committed to assist Afghanistan in every way: Sushma

Kabul, Sep 11 (ANI): Foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, while on a state visit to Afghanistan, assured the host nation of every possible assistance in all spheres. Swaraj, who is on her maiden visit to Afghanistan, arrived in Kabul on Wednesday and inaugurated the new Indian embassy building. The foreign minister is visiting India's northwestern neighbour in order to enhance bilateral ties and help it deal with key challenges of security and stability. She, along with Afghan President Hamid Karzai attended the largest national flag hoisting ceremony in Kabul. While addressing the gathering during the ceremony, Swaraj said Afghanistan will always remain India's first strategic partner. She is also expected to hold meeting with presidential candidates in Kabul. Sep 11, 2014

Sushma Swaraj arrives in Tajikistan to attend SCO summit

Tajikistan, Sep 11 (ANI): Foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, arrived in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan to attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) aims at boosting cooperation in the three major fields of economy, security and people-to-people exchanges. Tajikistan is hosting the summit of the SCO between September 11 -12 in capital Dushanbe, security being the priority for the 13th annual summit for all member countries. India, Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia are due to become full participating members of the summit, thereby upgrading their observer member status. Sep 11, 2014

Politicos slam Yogi Adityanath for defying ban and going ahead with his rally

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Political leaders on Thursday slammed BJP's controversial star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath for defying a ban and going ahead with his public rally in Lucknow. Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday attended a public meeting in Lucknow, despite ban by district administration. Police lodged a first information report (FIR) against Adityanath for defying a ban and going ahead with his public rally. Chief Election Officer of Uttar Pradesh Umesh Sinha sought a report from the Lucknow district administration and a recording of Adityanath's speech will be handed over to the Election Commission. Sep 11, 2014

Congress condemns NDA's 'objection to giving constitutional rights to LGBT community'

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Taking strong exception to the NDA Government reportedly moving the Supreme Court on the issue of reservation pertaining to the LGBT community, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday said that all gay, lesbian and bisexual persons do not come under the transgender category. The central government had also raised objections over the reservation facilities granted to the third gender in employment and education under the title of backward class. The Supreme Court had in a landmark judgment in April this year recognized transgenders as the third gender in this country. Sep 11, 2014

Politicos condemn UK parliament's decision to hold debate on Kashmir

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Political leaders in India condemned the British MPs' plan to hold a debate on the "political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir". India has construed the move as an attempt to criticize India's role in Kashmir, even put a question mark on its sovereignty over the region. The debate is scheduled when Jammu and Kashmir is reeling under the worst floods in its experience for over 100 years. Sep 11, 2014

Kerala Liquor Ban: SC asks Govt to maintain status quo till Sept 30

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Bringing relief to the bar owners, Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Kerala Government to maintain a status quo till 30th of September in the Liquor ban case and prohibited it from shutting down the non-five star hotels. The SC also asked the Kerala High Court to decide expeditiously on the pleas challenging the government's new liquor policy. Petitioner Harish Viren said that they are not against absolute ban of liquor, but the state is doing partiality by banning the four star hotels and not putting ban on the five star hotels and government co-operations. Sep 11, 2014

Good if BJP ready and able to form govt in Delhi, should be given a chance: Sheila Dikshit

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said that the BJP who is claiming that it is in a position to form the government in the national capital, should be given a trial or an opportunity to do so. Dikshit said that if the state BJP President is making such claims, then he must be saying it with a sense of responsibility. Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay had earlier this week met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the political situation. Sep 11, 2014

Pakistan's "killer mountain" fails to draw tourists after attack

In June 2013, 10 western mountaineers and their guide were murdered on Nanga Parbat, a mythical peak that stands at 8 126m tall in northern Pakisan. The region is now shunned by those who used to provide much needed income for locals. Duration: 02:33 Sep 11, 2014

Palestinians determined to rise above war

Palestinian football celebrates its greatest victory after winning the AFC Challenge Cup. Then a 50-day war with Israel ended the party. Durations: 01:57 Sep 11, 2014

Tourists turned off as Kerala goes dry

Kerala is a leading tourist draw in India, but there is a damaging drinking problem amongst locals and the government has opted to shut down over 700 bars, alarming the tourist industry, which is hoping the courts will intervene. Duration:02:15 Sep 11, 2014

Environment protection and Development will go hand in hand, says Prakash Javadekar

Hyderabad, Sep 11(ANI): Addressing the media on Thursday in Hyderabad, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that their slogan is'prayavaran raksha aur vikas saath-saath'. Prakash Javadekar who has IandB and Environmnet Ministry under his ambit, said that environment ministry was considered to be an obstacle in the path of development. He further said that to improve the working of the ministry, he took some important steps like bringing transparency and accountability. Sep 11, 2014

Relief operations gather steam as flood water recedes in Kashmir

Srinagar, Sep 11 (ANI): Relief operations gathered steam as flood waters have started receding in Kashmir, giving rescue teams a chance to reach tens of thousands of villagers stranded by the heaviest rainfall in half a century. Indian Air Force has been carrying out extensive winching operation and now is also engaged in air dropping of food items. Meanwhile, a PDP leader said the magnitude of destruction and devastation is unprecedented. The Indian army has evacuated 76,000 people from their homes, mosques and government buildings. The death toll from the flooding in Jammu and Kashmir, reached 220 by Wednesday. Sep 11, 2014

FIR against Yogi Adityanath for defying ban on election meeting

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): Police lodged a first information report (FIR) against controversial BJP leader Yogi Adityanath for defying a ban and going ahead with his public rally in Lucknow. Chief Election Officer of Uttar Pradesh Umesh Sinha sought a report from the Lucknow district administration and a recording of Adityanath's speech will be handed over to the Election Commission. On Wednesday, Adityanath defied the ban and went ahead with his election meeting in Lucknow and accused the SP government of following a communal agenda. Sep 11, 2014

World Ship Trust of UK felicitates retired Indian Naval Officer for opening submarine museum

Visakhapatnam, Sep 11 (ANI): The World Ship Trust of UK felicitated retired Indian Naval officer, Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha (Retd), with the 'Individual Achievement Award' for setting up the first Asian submarine museum, INS Kursura. Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha (Retd) while serving as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command, saw the submarine grounded and converted it into a museum. The President of the Indian Maritime Foundation and representative in India of World Ship Trust of the UK, Commodore Rajan Vir (Retd) along with Naval officers felicitated Pasricha at the port town of Visakhapatnam. Sep 11, 2014

Obama lays out strategy to "ultimately destroy ISIL"

New Delhi, Sep 11 (ANI): In a campaign against the Islamic State militant group, US President Obama told Americans he had authorized US airstrikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq. Obama said it will take time to eradicate Islamic State extremists but is offering no timetable for how long the United States will conduct airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria. The president said the military campaign will not involve American combat troops on the ground. It's a shift for Obama, who has been reluctant to increase the US military footprint in the region. And who, three years ago, pulled out the last combat troops from Iraq. Sep 11, 2014