Homophobic attacks on the rise in Russia: HRW

Human Rights Watch sounds the alarm over an increase in homophobic attacks in Russia, slamming Vladimir Putin's government for "inaction" and urging a crackdown on hate crimes. Dec 15, 2014

Prisoners of war put to work in east Ukraine

On the snowy roof of a music school in eastern Ukraine, workers are busy fixing damage from artillery shelling. When their shift ends, they line up in single file to return to their cells. Dec 15, 2014

Ukrainian nationalists gear up for battle near Donetsk

Members of the Organisation of Ukraine Nationalists are seen on the frontline near the town of Donetsk, as the eight-month-old conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine wears on. Dec 15, 2014

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sydney hostage crisis

New Delhi, Dec 15 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the government of India is ensuring full security in the country in wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. He also added that the government would take all the necessary steps on the matter. Earlier in the day, India's second largest IT services provider Infosys confirmed that one of its employees has been taken hostage. Dec 15, 2014

Hindus and Muslims come together to seek blessings during Urs of Lassa Bab in J and K

Jammu and Kashmir, Dec 15 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir state is a mix of varied religious beliefs, and people here enjoy this diversity. The state houses a sizeable population of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and they have always lived in peace and amity, besides celebrating each other's fairs and festivals. A similar example is seen during the annual Urs of Ghulam Rasool Bhat alias Lassa Bab in Srinagar where devotes from different religious communities pray together to seek blessings of the saint. The devotees, who come from different parts of the valley, hold the day-and-night-long prayers to pay obeisance to Lassa Bab. Women, men and children all form the part of celebrations, which is marked by prayers and chanting hymns to please the God at the holy place. Dec 15, 2014

Hindus-Muslims perform community wedding under one roof in Rajkot

Rajkot, Dec 15 (ANI): The City of Rajkot, located in the western Indian state of Gujarat, is known as the colourful city of India. A multicultural city, people here are living together peacefully. To give further impetus to this age-old ethos, a mass wedding was held here recently, in which around 101 Hindu and Muslim couples got married. The aim was to spread the message of love and brotherhood across the country. The couples mostly belonged to economically backward classes. During the marriage ceremony, Hindu priests and Muslim clerics conducted the respective rituals in front of hundreds of invitees. The couples were happy with the arrangement, as the marriage ceremony was held in a unique way. Dec 15, 2014