It Happens: Devotees participate in seven-day long Hindu festival

Tripura, July 11 (ANI): Thousands of devotees gathered in India's northeastern province of Tripura to celebrate the festival of fourteen gods, 'Kharchi Puja'. The festival, celebrated annually during the months of June-July, claims to be the pride of Tripura, a state also known as the 'Land of Fourteen Gods'. A unique feature of the festival is the worship of heads of the fourteen gods. Unlike traditional methods of Hindus worshipping the entire body of a god, people here offer prayers only to the heads of the fourteen deities, which were carved from an alloy of eight metals during King Kalyan Manikya's reign. Another important feature of Kharchi Puja is that the deities worshiped are all Hindu gods and goddesses and both, the tribal priest 'Chantai' and the Hindu priest, perform the rituals together. An essential trait of the festival is the deities are locked in a room throughout the year and are brought to open for the devotees to see only during the seven-day period. Visitors who witnessed this unique festival said Tripura has its own communal conflicts between the tribals and non-tribals in the past, but now it's a very peaceful state and such festival helps in restoring peace in this state. Jul 11, 2014

Amnesty details widespread kidnapping and torture in Ukraine

A new Amnesty International report on Friday highlighted the "hundreds" of abductions and incidents of torture by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, and also criticised the excessive force used by government forces. Duration: 01:48 Jul 11, 2014

Israel raids continue on Gaza

Israeli warplanes kept up deadly raids on Gaza Friday but failed to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets across the border, as the United States offered to help negotiate a truce. Duration: 01:27 Jul 11, 2014

Narendra Modi wants better ties with US: Rajiv Pratap Rudy

New Delhi, July 11 (ANI): BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting an invitation from the US Government and President Barack Obama in particular is a step in the right direction, adding that India has always wanted good relations with the United States. US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns delivered a letter from President Obama to Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting him to USA. In his letter, President Obama reiterated his invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Washington in September and said he was looking forward to working closely with Prime Minister Modi to make India-US relations a defining partnership for the 21st Century. The Prime Minister reiterated his desire to strengthen relations with all neighbours. Jul 11, 2014

Petition challenging Collegium system filed in SC

New Delhi, July 11 (ANI): A petition was filed on Friday challenging the collegium system in the Supreme Court. Petitioner Rajiv Dahiya said that the Supreme Court had given orders of putting the matter of Collegium before a larger bench of 11 judges which the Registry did not follow. He added that the petition was filed because the SC could not get its orders executed itself. Jul 11, 2014