Counting of votes for J and K and Jharkhand assembly elections begins

Jharkhand/ Jammu and Kashmir, Dec 23 (ANI): Counting of votes for the five-phased assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand began on Tuesday amidst high security. In Jammu and Kashmir, a total of 821 candidates, including 276 independents, contested the elections to the 87-member House. While in Jharkhand, the fate of a total of 1,136 candidates, including 111 women, will be decided in the counting for the 81-member assembly. Elaborate security arrangements are in place so as to ensure smooth counting of the votes and later, the declaration of results. Dec 23, 2014

Sports events help hone the skills of budding players in Manipur

Manipur, Dec 23 (ANI): Archers from Manipur have always made India proud in the international arena. And, to hone to skills of budding players in the state, the Assam Rifles took a step forward to organize an archery competition. Seventy two archers from 16 teams participated in the individual and team events at Assam Rifles Archery Range in Imphal. The Assam Rifles Archery team won the title. Similarly, efforts are high on to improve the standard of football in schools. Recently, a 5-day long event was held in Imphal to sharpen the skills of under-17 girls as they participated in the 60th National School Games. Held under the aegis of Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Manipur, 20 teams from various states participated in the championship at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium. Events like these help the sports authorities to identify the young talents who can later be trained for international events. Dec 23, 2014

Kashmir shivers as cold wave shows no signs of abating

Srinagar, Dec 23 (ANI): People of Jammu and Kashmir continue to shiver and daily life is paralyzed as the cold wave in the state shows no signs of weakening anytime soon.Minimum temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir have dropped to sub-zero level forcing people to stay indoors. The sudden dip in temperatures is said to have been caused by snowfall in the Himalayas and has adversely impacted the upper half of the country. The cold wave has compounded the troubles of homeless people and those going out to work and earn their living. A resident, Mashrum Ali, said on Monday that it was quite difficult to step out of homes early in the mornings. To make things worse for the people of Kashmir, Chilai Kalan- the harshest forty day period of winter- arrived in Kashmir with upper reaches of the valley receiving fresh snowfall on Saturday. People are busy preparing and stocking up for Chilai Kalan. Reportedly, this year Chilai Kalan has arrived earlier than expected sparking fears that temperatures may dip lower than the average. Dec 23, 2014

New York mayor calls for end of protests after policemen murders

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on people to "put aside protests" to mourn the deaths of two policemen who were shot in Brooklyn by a man who claimed he wanted to avenge the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Duration: 00:48 Dec 23, 2014

Essebsi wins Tunisia's first free presidential elections

Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi claimed victory in Tunisia's first free presidential election, but bitter rival Moncef Marzouki refused to concede defeat ahead of the release of official results on Monday. Duration: 01:00 Dec 23, 2014

Analyst: At 81, emperor still plays important role in Japan

As the emperor of Japan turns 81, Tsuneyasu Takeda, descendant of the Meiji Emperor and author of "The Untold Truth about the Imperial Family", says the monarch's role remains important in Japanese society, though only symbolic. Duration: 00:56 Dec 23, 2014

Sierra Leone hopeful 'surge' can slow Ebola transmission

In meetings with the UN Secretary General, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said he hoped the ongoing "surge" against Ebola in the west of the country would help "put this issue of the fight against Ebola behind us". Duration: 01:51 Dec 22, 2014

Iraq Kurd chief hails advances in anti-jihadist battle

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani hailed advances by peshmerga fighters against the Islamic State group Sunday as they battled the jihadists for a northern town with the backing of US-led strikes. Duration: 01:24 Dec 22, 2014

France probes two weekend brutal attacks, calls for calm

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 13 people were injured in the rampage though none of the victims are critical. Calling for "caution" and "restraint", he said the motives of the assailant had not yet been established. Duration: 00:47 Dec 22, 2014