Hindus throng temples & river banks to mark onset of Navratri

New Delhi Allahabad/ Varanasi, Mar 31 (ANI): Festive fervour gripped India as thousands of Hindus begin the nine-day fasting festival ‘Navratri’ on Monday. Devotees across the country converged on river banks and queued up at temples chanting hymns and offering special prayers. The festival lasts for nine days in honour of nine manifestations of Durga, goddess of power. Priests in Varanasi performed a yoga exercise, surya namaskar (sun salutation), to pay obeisance to Sun God on the auspicious festival. Devotees also converged at various temples in New Delhi, prominent among them being Jhandewalan Temple to offer prayers prior to dawn and observed fast throughout the day. Mar 31, 2014

Rahul Gandhi addresses farmers and tribals in Odisha

Odisha, Mar 31 (ANI): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, while addressing a rally in Nabarangpur district of Odisha, laid stress on the development and upliftment of farmers and tribal people. Blaming the state government, Gandhi said that Odisha is rich in everything still its people are poor. Further Rahul Gandhi gave an insight to the manifesto of the Congress which emphasized on women empowerment. Mar 31, 2014

Sabir Alis wife protests outside Naqvis residence, demands apology

New Delhi, Mar 31 (ANI): Sabir Ali’s wife, Yasmin Ali on Monday sat on a protest outside BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s residence in New Delhi. Naqvi had alleged that Sabir Ali was not fit to be inducted in BJP for having links with Indian Mujahideen. The party later cancelled his membership. Yasmin Ali is now demanding an apology from Naqvi. She was later evicted from the place by the Delhi Police. Mar 31, 2014

Kerry, Lavrov fail to reach Ukraine deal

The United States and Russia failed to reach a deal on Ukraine after talks in Paris, with US Secretary of State John Kerry calling on Moscow to pull back its forces. Mar 31, 2014

South Korea, US forces hold joint exercises

South Korean and US forces hold annual joint military exercises as the two Koreas trade live artillery fire across their disputed maritime border. Duration: 01:14 Mar 31, 2014

National Front to run at least 11 French towns

France's ruling Socialist Party suffered humiliating losses Sunday in a local vote marked by breakthrough successes for the far-right National Front and the historic election of a first female mayor of Paris. Duration: 00:52 Mar 31, 2014

'Anyone but Modi': many Indian Muslims fear the worst

At India’s most notorious religious flashpoint, Muslims express their fears about the Hindu nationalist agenda of the BJP party led by hardliner Narendra Modi, tipped to be India’s next prime minister. Duration: 02:36 Mar 31, 2014

Environmental groups warn over toxic mud in Hungary

Hungary experienced its worst-ever chemical disaster in 2010 when a reservoir of toxic red mud burst, killing 10 people. Four years later, environmental groups are sounding the alarm about another reservoir. Duration: 02:10 Mar 31, 2014

Rashid Alvi requests Sonia for Varanasi ticket, says will teach secularism to Modi

New Delhi, March 31 (ANI): Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Monday requested party President Sonia Gandhi through a letter saying that he wants to stand against Narendra Modi in Varanasi from Congress ticket. He said that if sent, he will teach Modi proper secularism lesson. He said that Hindus and Muslims are all related in Varanasi and that this will be a right place for a secularism lesson. He also said that there is no competition against the party. Mar 31, 2014

BJP leaders are changing disguise and shedding crocodile tears: Sonia Gandhi

Haryana, Mar 31 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi, during a rally in Nuh region of Mewat in Haryana, attacked the opposition party condemning them of carrying fake personalities and shedding crocodile tears. She further gave the motives of Congress Party for upcoming General Elections. Gandhi also appealed to the public to cast their votes to Congress and make them victorious. Mar 31, 2014

Al Qaedas roots growing deeper in Pakistan

Peshawar, Mar 31: Dr. Shahid Afridi, who helped CIA to trace Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011 will now face a fresh probe for having foreign links. An appellate forum under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FRC) has directed the Khyber Agency to prepare a case for his involvement in anti-state activities in collusion with foreign intelligence agencies, including CIA. It reflects Pakistan’s growing frustration for being exposed of sheltering al-Qaeda founder, Osama bin Laden, the perpetrator of 9/11 attack in which 3,000 people were killed. In June 2012, Dr. Afridi was convicted by a court in Khyber tribal region and sentenced for allegedly supporting the Lashkar-e-Islam militant group. The court said it did not have jurisdiction to try him for working for the CIA to trace bin Laden. Mar 31, 2014