Astronauts leave space station for third spacewalk

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Two U.S. astronauts left the International Space Station on Sunday for a seven-hour spacewalk to install communications and navigation aides for new commercial space Mar 1, 2015

Hike in aviation fuel price by 8.2 percent will increase fare by Rs 500 per passenger: Aviation Expe

New Delhi, March 01 (ANI): Aviation Expert Harshvardhan on Sunday said that the hike in aviation fuel price by 8.2 percent will increase fare by Rs 500 per passenger. He said that the increase in service tax of 2% also increases the fare and thereby the development will adversely affect the passengers. The government has hiked the price of aviation fuel by 8.2 percent. After the price revision, which came into effect from February 28 midnight, the aviation turbine fuel will cost Rs. 50,363 per litre per kilolitre in New Delhi. The price hike will also have a direct impact on the airfares as fuel costs account for about 40 percent of the airline's operating expenses. On Saturday, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited had also announced the hike in petrol and diesel prices, citing rise in international crude oil price and depreciation of rupee as the reasons. Mar 1, 2015

PM Modi writes to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, condoles loss of lives in avalanches

New Delhi, March 01 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to the President of Afghanistan, Dr Ashraf Ghani, and condoled the loss of lives in avalanches in different parts of Afghanistan. "I was deeply saddened at the massive loss of lives in avalanches in different parts of Afghanistan. This tragedy touches us even more because of the special bonds of affection and friendship between the people of India and Afghanistan. I extend the heartfelt condolences of the people of India to you, the bereaved families and communities and the people of Afghanistan. Please be assured that they are with us in our thoughts and prayers. I have great confidence in your leadership and the ability of the Afghan people to respond to this disaster. We stand ready to help in any way you desire with rescue and relief and to help people rebuild their lives. Mar 1, 2015

Politicos react after JandK CM Mufti Sayeed credited Pakistan, Hurriyat, terrorists for peaceful pol

New Delhi, March 01 (ANI): Political leaders on Sunday react after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed credited Pakistan, Hurriyat, terrorists for peaceful polls. He had said that "Pakistan, Hurriyat and militants allowed conducive atmosphere for assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir." JandK National Panthers Party Chief Bhim Singh slammed the new state CM and said that Syeed is not at all dependable. BJP however refrained from commenting on the same and talked about the party's vision and views on the works to be done for the state and for the welfare of its people. Mar 1, 2015

Bangladesh pays tribute to US blogger killed in machete attack

Dhaka, March 01 (ANI): Bangladeshis gathered on Sunday to pay tribute to a US blogger and critic of religious extremism who was killed in Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers in the Muslim-majority nation. Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants on February 26 after a book fair. People from all walks gathered with flowers at the Dhaka University premises on Sunday to pay their respect to Avijit, who came to his native city in mid-February and was due to go back to the United States. Mar 1, 2015

Omar Abdullah mocks BJP workers' celebrations over JandK Govt formation

New Delhi, March 01 (ANI): Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday took a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party workers celebrating the formation of a coalition government with the PDP in the state. Posting a picture of jubilant BJP workers bursting crackers and distributing sweets in Raipur on his twitter account, Omar asked, "But what about PDP workers in Kashmir??? Or just thanking Pak for JK election," he added. Omar had earlier come down heavily on newly elected Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for stating that the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militants had allowed a conducive atmosphere for the recent assembly polls in the state. "Pakistan, Huriyaat and Militants ALLOWED peaceful conduct of elections" says Mufti Syed. I guess we should be grateful for their generosity," he posted on twitter. Mar 1, 2015

BJP-PDP alliance to work for stable govt: Nirmal Singh

Jammu, March 01 (ANI): Newly sworn-in Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Sunday said that the alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the People's Democratic Party would work towards a stable government in the state. Earlier in the day, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took oath as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for the second time in his political career. Singh also took oath of office at the ceremony. Mar 1, 2015

Guinness Record for most people dressed as trees set in Mumbai

Mumbai, March 01 (ANI): In an initiative by a non-profit organisation of the Jain community, a new Guinness World Record of the most number of people dressed as trees was set in showbiz capital, Mumbai, on Sunday. The Jain community is known to be one of the most environmentally conscious community and it has been known for protecting the flora and fauna since its very inception. As many as 1000 people including school children dressed as trees to bag a place in the world records. They also took out a rally to generate awareness about the need to preserve environment. This record broke the last one, which was set in Australia in 2014 where 776 people dressed as trees had gathered together. Guinness World Record’s adjudicator, Lucia Sinigagliesi, said that all pre-requisite conditions for the record were duly fulfilled by the organisation, Jayam Ideal Youth Organisation (JIYO). Mar 1, 2015

Mugabe celebrates 91st birthday with lavish bash

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 91st birthday on Saturday with a lavish party at a luxury hotel in Victoria Falls that was slammed by the opposition MDC as "obscene" in a country wracked by poverty. Duration: 00:55 Mar 1, 2015

Winter carnival in Kashmir a hit among tourists

Udhampur, March 01 (ANI): Tourists from northern India thronged the two-day winter carnival in Jammu and Kashmir to enjoy adventure snow sports and cultural programmes. The winter festival, organised by the state tourism department in collaboration with Patnitop Development Authority, is being held at the snow-covered Patnitop in Kashmir’s Udhampur district. A number of snow sports like skiing, sledging, tug of war and snow man building are on offer for tourists at the carnival. During winters, holidaying crowd from the plains of India and other parts of the country prefer to horde northern states of India to experience snowfall. The inflow of tourists has brought in good business for local shopkeepers. Located in the tropics, most of India witnesses a very hot summer and a largely temperate winter. Mar 1, 2015

Members of a northeastern tribe dazzle Chennai

Chennai, March 01 (ANI): Members of the Tangkhul tribe, mostly settled in northeastern states of India, showcased their rich tradition and cultural heritage at a function held in Chennai. Based on the theme of “Luira Phanit”, an annual sowing festival, the performance drew a good response. Dressed in traditional costumes, complete with colourful headgear and jewellery, the young tribal dancers gave a scintillating performance. The slow dance movements to the soothing beats depicting the traditional way of celebrating the festival was the highlight of the function. The festival is celebrated by the Tangkhul tribe to seek blessings of the god for a bountiful harvest. Organisers said the objective of the festival was to introduce the rich cultural heritage of the Tangkhul tribe to the mainland India. Mar 1, 2015

Holi celebration kick starts in Ayodhya with gaiety and fervor

Ayodhya, March 01 (ANI): The popular festival of colours 'Holi' commenced with auspicious prayers in the temple city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. As per Hindu traditions, people in Ayodhya celebrate the annual festival in the month of 'Phalgun' (usually February-March) to propagate social amity. At the Hanuman Garhi temple, priests offered special prayers to Lord Hanuman and took out procession on streets and visited various temples in the neighbourhood. Enroute, people in the procession spray colours and exchange greetings with others. As per Hindu almanac, 'Holi' falls on March 06 this year. Mar 1, 2015

Bangladeshis mourn American blogger's death

Mourners gather in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to pay their respects to the American blogger who was hacked to death. Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was returning from a book Mar 1, 2015

J&K CM all set to make state model of development Part - 1

Jammu, March 01 (ANI): After taking oath as chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday addressed mediapersons and said that the government will work to make Jammu and Kashmir a 'model of development' like Gujarat. Sayeed took oath as the chief minister of the state for the second time, leading a historic alliance with the BJP which will be part of a government in the state for the first time. He said that the objective is to make the alliance a turning point for the people of JandK and that he and the government will work towards the goal of better and peaceful state. Sayeed also said that the alliance with BJP in the state is out of Conviction and not Convenience. He also assured that the government's first priority will be to fight against corruption and that he has appointed the best team of officers for the same. Mar 1, 2015