South Africa prepares for Mandela memorial service

South Africa raced Monday to meet the unprecedented logistical challenge of hosting close to 100 world leaders flying in from every corner of the globe for the state funeral of freedom icon Nelson Mandela. Dec 10, 2013

Bangladesh war veterans, scholars express concern over political unrest

Dhaka, Dec 09 (ANI): Bangladesh war veterans, scholars and social activists expressed concern over the political unrest in the country and blamed the Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami for mounting tensions between the feuding parties ahead of the national elections. A socio-cultural organization held a seminar in Dhaka and discussed about the current political situation and the role of opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Islamist forces. Dec 9, 2013

Maoists kill two, set vehicles on fire in Odisha

Koraput, Dec 9 (ANI): Maoists killed two, on suspicion of being police informers, and set ablaze vehicles in Kumbhariput village in Koraput district of Odisha. The inspector-in-charge of Kumbhariput, Bimal Mallik said that the police was investigating the case and will take due course of action. According to the police, the deceased have been identified as Bandhu Saraka and Gato Huika of Kumbhariput village under the Maoist-affected Bandhugaon police limits. Banu Saraka, son of Bandhu Saraka informed that a group of people with guns came looking for his father and took him away to the village where he was killed. Dec 9, 2013

Weather department says fourth successive cyclone Madi heading north

Visakhapatnam, Dec 09 (ANI): Weather department said on Monday that fourth successive Cyclone Madi was heading north, but a few places in coastal Andhra Pradesh would receive isolated showers boosted by strong winds for the next two days. Many parts of the city received mild showers on December 07 due to the cyclone effect, but it may die down once it moves further north. Madi, named so by Maldives, now lies centred 500km southeast of Chennai. Dec 9, 2013

Mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Pir draws Devotees of different faiths

Meerut, Dec 09 (ANI): India is blessed with amazing diversity... But, this does not come in the way of good relations between people of different communities… examples of which can be found in every nook and corner of the country. One such instance comes from Meerut, located in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where devotees belonging to different communities visit the mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Pir to pay their respects to the saint. Dec 9, 2013

Perfect example of communal harmony; Muslim donates land for building of temple

Bareilly, Dec 09 (ANI): Bareilly is located in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It is known especially for its rich culture and heritage of interfaith harmony, which is upheld by people of different faiths residing here. And, presenting a perfect example of this ethos is the Tusli Math, a temple dedicated to saint Tulsi Das built on a land provided by a Muslim Nawab. Dec 9, 2013

Young achievers from northeast gather in Guwahati to discuss the potential of the region

Guwahati, Dec 09 (ANI): The third edition of the Young leaders Connect Conference at the Guwahati Medical College auditorium was attended by young leaders and achievers from diverse fields of the northeast region. Centered on the theme of “Branding North east: Speaking for ourselves”, the conference focused on highlighting positive achievements of the region. Held under the aegis of Youth Net, a Nagaland based non-profit organization, the event was graced by personalities like filmmaker Prakash Jha, boxing Icon Mary Kom, Mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa and football player Baichung Bhutia. The event aimed to develop a positive outlook about the northeast and laid stress on the untapped potential that the region holds in terms of cultural heritage, natural resources and human capital. Dec 9, 2013

Aspirants outside Parliament protest over changed UPSC norms

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Hundreds of civil service aspirants gathered outside Parliament house in New Delhi on Monday to protest against a change in the format of Indian administrative examinations by the civil services selection body. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had submitted a proposal to the union government last year suggesting certain changes in the existing format of Civil Services (Main) Examination to make it more relevant with the present day, global as well as internal scenario. The civil service aspirants took to street protesting the new pattern of examination, and demanded return to the old procedure and increase in the number of attempts for them. Dec 9, 2013

Manmohan Singh pays homage to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday paid tribute to the South African anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela whose life epitomized the fight for freedom and equality. Mandela, South Africa's first black president who steered his nation out of apartheid and into multi-racial democracy, died on Thursday at the age of 95 after months of illness. Dec 9, 2013

Delhi Polls: Nitish Kumar says BJP taking advantage of anti Congress wave

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday took a dig at the BJP and said that the party is taking advantage of the anti Congress wave prevailing in the country. Talking about the Delhi Polls, Kumar stated that the election proves that if the people of the country get options other than the BJP and the Congress, they will opt for it. Dec 9, 2013

Bihar government asks Maoists to shun violence, announces new surrender policy

Patna, Dec 9 (ANI): After the Maoists went on rampage killing 15 people in Aurangabad in the last two months, the Bihar government has launched a two-prolonged strategy to keep them in check. They have intensified the hunt to capture its members while simultaneously offering big money for those who surrender. Top Maoist leaders would get Rs 2.5 lakh if they renounce arms. This would include members of the state, regional, central committee and politbureau of the Maoist party. The offer is a huge jump from the 2001 policy which promised Rs 10000 first and Rs 3000 in due course. The Bihar government strategy comes close on the heels of the killing of eight policemen December 3 by suspected Maoists in Aurangabad district, 163km from Patna. Those surrendering would be paid more if they lay down sophisticated arms and ammunition. The Maoists, who have been fighting for a Communist state for several decades, are mainly active in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar and Bengal. Dec 9, 2013

Kim Jong-Un cements his power with purge of uncle: expert

North Korea said Monday that the powerful uncle of young leader Kim Jong-Un has been purged, with state TV airing images of Jang Song-Thaek being dragged away by uniformed officers. An analyst in Seoul says the purge can be seen as Kim cementing his position as head of the country. Dec 9, 2013

Thousands take part in London Santa Run

Thousands of runners dressed as Father Christmas take part in the charity fundraising "Santa Run" in Victoria Park, north London, on Sunday, with similar events taking place across Britain. Dec 9, 2013