ISRO launches country's heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III

Sriharikota, Dec 18 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country's most powerful and heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III on Thursday morning. The rocket was lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota right at its scheduled time. If successful, this mission will take India a step closer towards the much-delayed human spaceflight programme. Weighing 640 tonne, the three-stage rocket with two S-200 solid boosters, stated to be the second largest in the world liquid and cryogenic stage, is nearly 50% heavier than the existing Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). While the rocket cost ISRO Rs140 crore, the crew module has taken another Rs15 crore. The GSLV-Mk III would carry the 3.65 tonne crew module even as the national space agency is equipping itself for its plan of sending astronauts into space eventually. A series of measures, like checking the crew module, were performed before the liftoff. Dec 18, 2014

Sachin Tendulkar and foreign ambassadors denounce Pak school attack

New Delhi/Mumbai/ Kolkata, Dec 18 (ANI): Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar condemned the Taliban bloodshed on schoolchildren, which killed at least 132 students and nine staff members in Pakistan. Tendulkar said that his heart melted by the horrifying news like any other human being. Meanwhile, French envoy to India, Francois Richier, vowed to fight against militant outfits using all kinds of weaponry. German envoy to India, Michael Steiner, echoed a similar sentiment while appreciating world wide condemnation of the gruesome bloodshed. In all, 148 people were killed in the attack on the military-run Army Public School. Dec 18, 2014

US Congresswoman meets PM Modi in New Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 18 (ANI): Tulsi Gabbard, who is the sole Hindu member of the US Congress, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to boost ties. The Democrat from Hawaii discussed issues like environmental challenges, regional security challenges, militancy and the killing of schoolchildren in Peshawar with Modi. She complimented Modi on his domestic initiatives for growth, economic development, and promoting cleanliness. Gabbard expressed keen interest in India's spiritual and cultural traditions and spoke about her efforts to promote them in the United States. She also met Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier. The US Congresswoman is on her maiden visit to India, which commenced on December 15 and will end on January 03. Dec 18, 2014

Tamchon Football Tournament attracts many spectators in New Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 18 (ANI): Thousands of football lovers from the national capital flooded the Dr Ambedkar stadium in Delhi to witness the closing ceremony of the eighth Tamchon Football tournament. A total of 16 teams, comprising of players from the northeast, participated in the tournament to promote peace, friendship and unity among the youth of the country. The final match between Hmar FC and Siamsinpawlpi (SSPP) attracted a large crowd. The event was organized under the aegis of Tanghkul Naga Society, Delhi with support from various government and private agencies. Such events help to make Delhi'ites aware of sporting talent from the Northeast. Hmar FC won by 6-5 over SSPP by penalty goal. The winning team received the winning Trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh while the SSPP FC bagged the runners-up trophy with a cash prize of Rs 3 Lakh. Dec 18, 2014

Detente between US and Cuba triggers mixed reactions

Long-time Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, reacted with disbelief to the news that the US and Cuba would normalize their relationship. Some call it a "betrayal" by the Obama administration. Others welcomed the news. Dec 18, 2014