Sand artists create Modi-Obama sculpture

Moradabad, Jan 25 (ANI): Artists in Uttar Pradesh created a colored sand sculpture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, expressing their excitement over the latter's three-day visit to the country. Barack Obama and Michelle arrived in India on Sunday (January 25) for the second time, to build on what the US President calls one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. Visiting on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama will be the first to be the chief guest at Republic Day military parade. Meanwhile, an artist said Obama's visit would open up many economic channels for India. Jan 25, 2015

Bangladeshis take to street against strike called by opposition party

Dhaka, Jan 25 (ANI): Hundreds of working professionals gathered in Dhaka to protest against alleged "militant activities" by political activists during a countrywide strike and blockade called by opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). People in large numbers gathered with banners and placards showing photographs of a burnt bus and injured victims as a mark of protest. Chief of BNP and former Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, whose party boycotted the election on January 05 last year, has demanded that Sheikh Hasina and her government step down for a new vote under a caretaker administration. Veteran film artist, Syed Hasan Imam, demanded justice for victims of such political activities. Hasina and Khaleda have alternated as prime minister for most of the past two decades in a fierce rivalry marked by periods of widespread political violence. Jan 25, 2015

One dead, 15 injured in bus accident in Chennai

Chennai, Jan 25 (ANI): One girl was killed and 15 others sustained injuries when a bus turned turtle in Tamil Nadu state. A government bus en route to Salem district from Chennai toppled near Thiruneermalai town on the bypass road. The girl identified as Sathya Dharshini died on the spot. She hailed from Tiruchirappalli, around 300 kms from Chennai. The injured were rushed to a nearby government hospital where they are undergoing treatment. Jan 25, 2015

Outcome of Obama's India visit will be historical: MEA

New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): MEA Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said on Sunday that the outcome of US President Barack Obama's visit to India will be historical in all respects. Being questioned about the Nuclear Liability Law, Akbaruddin said that substantial progress has been made on that issue. He added that the meeting of Obama with PM Narendra Modi will be a win-win situation for both India and the United States. Jan 25, 2015

Barack and Michelle Obama reach Delhi, PM Modi welcomes

New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Sunday reached New Delhi for a three day visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself went to receive Obama at the Palam Airport where Air Force One aircraft of United States landed. Modi greeted Obama and US First Lady at the airport and shook hands with both. Indian Ambassador to US S Jaishankar and Power Minister Piyush Goyal were also present at the airport to receive President Obama. Obama will be the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebrations this year on the invite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will be staying at Hotel Maurya Sheraton in Delhi where security has been highly tightened for their stay. Jan 25, 2015

Funeral prayers for Saudi king Abdullah offered in Pakistan

Islamabad, Jan 25 (ANI): Pakistani people, including senior government and embassy officials, offered funeral prayers-in-absentia for Saudi king Abdulla who died after a short illness early on Friday (January 23). Prime minister's advisor on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, senior government and embassy officials attended the prayers led by minister for religious affairs, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf. The prayers were offered in Islamabd's Faisal Mosque which is named after the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who supported and financed the project. A one-day official mourning was observed in Pakistan on Friday on the sad demise of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The national flag flew at half mast. In a condolence message, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the King's demise, saying that being the custodian of the Holy Mosques he had a special place in the heart of every Pakistani. Jan 25, 2015

Fortress Delhi awaits Obama, Security tightened

New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): India's capital turned into a virtual fortress as US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will land soon for three-day visit, with heightened security measures, including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world's most powerful leader. Obama will arrive in New Delhi for a highly symbolic parade and to nurture friendship with a prime minister who until last year was persona non grata in Washington. Obama will be the first US President to attend India's Republic Day parade and will host a radio show with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up, with extra police patrols and checks at metro stations. Snipers are being deployed at more than 70 high-rise buildings around central Delhi, the security official said. Security has been highly tightened at Hotel Maurya Sheraton where Obama will be staying. Also, red carpet has been laid at Palam airport in Delhi where Obama will shortly land. Jan 25, 2015

Karnataka artisans prepare traditional wooden toys for Barack and Michelle Obama

Bengaluru, Jan 25 (ANI): The government of Karnataka state wishes to gift US President Barack Obama and his family traditional wooden toys as a token of affection during their visit to the country for Republic Day celebrations. The Channapatna town in Karnataka is famous for its wooden toys, painstakingly crafted by skilled artisans.The toys are made of special wood in a variety of colours. The artisans use ivory wood of a special tree grown in the old Mysore city for making these toys and dolls, which are also exported worldwide. US First Lady Michelle Obama had brought some toys crafted by artisans from this shop in Channapatna town during her last India visit in November 2010. Jan 25, 2015