First all women march by army, navy and air force personnel

New Delhi, Jan 26 (ANI): India witnessed the first march by women army, navy and air force personnel at the 66th Republic Day parade on Monday. Captain Divya Ajith Kumar of the Corps of Army Air Defence led the first all-women contingent of 154 women officers and cadets during the parade, where US President Barack Obama was present as the chief guest. Kumar was the first woman cadet in the history of the Army to have been awarded the prestigious 'Sword of Honour' at the passing out parade of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai in 2010. Currently, the Indian Air Force has the highest number of women officers, followed by the army and navy. The Republic Day celebrations started with the unfurling of the national flag by the President. Jan 26, 2015

Three blasts rock Imphal on Republic Day

Imphal, Jan 26 (ANI): Low intensity blasts rocked Imphal in Manipur on Monday (January 26). No causalities have been reported as yet. Soon after the blast, a team of Imphal West district police rushed to the spot and inspected the site. Police personnel have been deployed at key locations in Imphal leading towards the venue of Republic Day celebrations. Gun totting security personnel manned streets and checked vehicles. Every year, rebels call for a boycott of Republic Day, often attacking security forces and government buildings. The country is celebrating 66th Republic Day. January 26 marks the adoption of the Constitution by India in 1950 after independence from British in 1947. Jan 26, 2015

Artist paints 30-feet long portrait of US President Barack Obama

Moradabad, Jan 26 (ANI): An artist in Uttar Pradesh painted a 30-feet long portrait of US President Barack Obama, who arrived in New Delhi for Republic Day celebrations. Obama is the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on Monday in the capital, where tanks, troops and floats showcasing India's cultural diversity will pass along Rajpath. The artist, Narendra Singh painted portrait of Obama with Indian and United States flags at the backdrop with a message reading, 'All Indians salute you'. Obama will leave India slightly earlier than first scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah, skipping a planned visit to the Taj Mahal. Jan 26, 2015

Major Mukund Varadarajan, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra

New Delhi, Jan 26 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee presented the prestigious Ashok Chakra award to the families of Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh on the 66th Republic Day here on Monday. The Republic Day celebrations started with the unfurling of the national flag by the President. Thereafter, the national anthem was played and President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama and Vice President Hamid Ansari and other dignitaries paid respect to the tri-coloured flag. The Ashok Chakra award, which was conferred to Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh posthumously, is given for the 'most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice' other than in the face of the enemy. Jan 26, 2015

Separatists Kashmir call for shutdown on Republic Day

Srinagar, Jan 26 (ANI): Separatists in Jammu and Kashmir gave a shutdown call as the country celebrates its 66th Republic Day on Monday. The shutdown call was given by leaders of several Kashmiri separatist groups. All shops, business establishments and the public transport remained shut. Every year the separatists announce shutdown on Republic Day and Independence Day. The main Republic Day function of the state will be held at Bakshi Stadium in the state's summer capital Srinagar amid tight security. Meanwhile, heavy security arrangements have been made across India fearing militant attacks or attempts to disrupt Republic Day celebrations. Jan 26, 2015

PM Modi pays tribute to martyrs at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' on Republic Day

New Delhi, Jan 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid tribute at the 'Amar Jawan Jyoti', the memorial dedicated to martyrs on the 66th Republic Day in the national capital. Modi was accompanied by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who received him at the memorial. The prime minister also laid wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and maintained two minutes of silence to pray for the martyrs. He was also accompanied by three heads of service, that is, Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan. PM Modi also signed the record book at the India Gate. Modi will now move on to Rajpath for the Republic Day celebrations with US President Barack Obama as the chief guest. Jan 26, 2015

PM Modi, US President arrives for Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, salutes to Indian flag

New Delhi, Jan 26 (ANI): Even as rain continues to try dampen the enthusiasm for the Republic Day parade, none seems to get on to the celebrations of the day on Monday. The day started with the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rajpath where he met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The Prime Minister later met Vice President Hamid Ansari and greeted him along with other union ministers present at the venue. Following the same, arrived the chief guest for the day US President Barack Obama who arrived at the venue amidst much cheer from the crowd. Obama was accompanied by elegant American first lady Michelle Obama. He is the first US president to be the chief guest at the Republic Day. PM Modi warmly greeted the guests and escorted the Obamas to the saluting base. The US President also met Vice President, Defence Minister among others. Jan 26, 2015

Anti-austerity Syriza storms to historic Greek victory

Radical left party Syriza sweeps to power in Greece promising to end years of painful austerity policies, in an election victory that puts the country on a collision course with the EU and international creditors. Duration: 01:15 Jan 26, 2015

Nation observes 66th Republic Day

New Delhi/ Guwahati/ Bengaluru/ Mumbai/ Patna/ Trivandrum, Jan 26 (ANI): Nation observed 66th Republic Day on Monday under tight security alert. Different states observed the National festival with much vigor as the state chiefs and governors witnessed the parade and hosted national flag in respective states. BJP President hosted the national flag and sang the national anthem at party headquaters in Delhi. Kerala also witnessed the Republic day parade as state Governor P Sathasivam hosted the national flag and saluted the army personnel. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala also was a part of the parade in the state. The state governor also hosted the national flag and gave respect to the proud Army. Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also participated in the Republic Day celebrations in Patna city. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi too hosted the national flag in Guwahati. Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao also participated in the celebrations and saluted the proud Indian Army in Mumbai. Jan 26, 2015

Three Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh

Bijapur, Jan 26 (ANI): Three Maoists, including a woman cadre, surrendered before authorities in Chhattisgarh, a senior police official said. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, Komal Singh said the surrendered Maoist sympathisers would be rehabilitated and provided monetary assistance as per government schemes. Chhattisgarh is a hotbed of Maoist rebels and security forces have mounted major operations against them. The Maoists, also known as Naxals in India, are inspired by the political philosophy of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong. They say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers. Jan 26, 2015

Manipur's Andro village becomes a popular tourist destination

Manipur, Jan 26 (ANI): Scenic beauty, good climate and warm hospitality! All of it combines to attract tourists to Andro village; a hotspot located 20 miles from Imphal city in the foothills of Nongmaiching hill. Known for its traditional pottery skills, the small village is now bustling with tourists. Most of the tourist sites reflecting age-old cultures and traditions are maintained through community effort of the local villagers. The Santhei Natural Park that has been developed around a water reservoir is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike. The natural beauty of the park and the neighboring gardens attracts hundreds of people daily. Yet another major attraction is the Mutua Cultural Heritage Complex that showcases major tribal traditions and their artifacts. Model houses of various ethnic tribes, wood carvings, stone monuments and various traditional exhibits make it a must see place. Jan 26, 2015

Hundreds gather outside White House in support of Ukraine

Washington DC/ Ukraine, Jan 26 (ANI): Hundreds gathered in Washington DC outside the White House to urge the Obama administration to move on the Ukraine Freedom Support Act. While the bill was passed by both houses of Congress unanimously and signed into law by US President Barack Obama, many outside the White House say none of the measures have been implemented. In passing the measure, Obama authorized new sanctions on Russia over its activities in Ukraine and was to begin providing weapons to the Kiev government immediately. After pro-Moscow rebels, backed by what NATO says is the open participation of Russian troops, pressed on with their offensive on Sunday after restarting the war in eastern Ukraine with the first all-out assault since a truce five months ago, Obama said Washington was considering all options short of military action to isolate Russia. Jan 26, 2015

New Delhi under tight security cover on 66th Republic Day

New Delhi, Jan 26 (ANI): The national capital turned into a fortress as US President is all set to witness the 66th Republic Day parade on Monday. There is unprecedented security in New Delhi. A seven-layer security ring with 50,000 security personnel, including 500 US Secret Service Agents, are part of President Obama's security detail. Police personnel are keeping a tight vigil throughout the national capital and also around the area where the parade is to take place since last night. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to twitter to congratulate and give greetings to the nation on 66th Republic Day. The highlight of this year's parade will be the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash medium range missiles and weapon locating radar. The long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter will be seen for the first time. Three all-women marching contingents of the Army, Navy and the Air Force will represent the theme of the parade, "Nari Shakti (woman power)". Jan 26, 2015

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

The World Health Organization's chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Jan 25, 2015