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Obama warns Russia over Ukraine

Obama warns Russia over UkraineWashington, April 17 : US President Barack Obama once again warned Russia against further destabilizing Ukraine.

Obama said Wednesday that it was "absolutely clear" that Russia had violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing Crimea last month and was continuing to do so by supporting "non-state militias" in eastern Ukraine, Xinhua reported.

"What I've said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilise Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences," Obama added.


Obama urges Putin to ease eastern Ukraine crisis

Barack-ObamaLondon, April 15 : US President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin over phone to influence the pro-Russian activists to stop their protests in eastern Ukraine, media reported Tuesday.

The telephonic conversation between the two leaders came as the crisis in eastern Ukraine is increasing since the pro-Russian activists continued to occupy buildings in the eastern towns, BBC reported.

The US said the "frank and direct" conversation between the two presidents was made at Russia's request.


Putin signs order to appoint Crimea's interim head

Vladimir-PutinMoscow, April 15 : Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order appointing Sergei Aksyonov as the interim head of Crimea.

The order dated April 14 came into force immediately, after it was published on the legal information portal Tuesday, ITAR-TASS reported.

Putin Monday informed the prime minister of Crimea about his decision to appoint Aksyonov as the interim head of the Black Sea peninsula.

"The constitution of Crimea has been adopted, and according to the existing legislation of Russia, it is necessary to appoint an interim head of Crimea," Putin said.


UN chief enquires about Palestinian's peace process with Israel

Ban-Ki-moonRamallah, April 14 : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enquire about the latest developments in the peace process with Israel.

Abbas Sunday briefed the UN secretary general about the latest developments of the peace process, mainly after Israel's refusal to release the fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners.

The UN chief underlined the need to maintain the peace process and continue negotiations to reach real peace for the sake of regional stability.(IANS)


Agra's free water service completes 30 years

Agra's free water service completes 30 years Agra, April 14 - An initiative run by volunteers to provide free and cold drinking water to all completes 30 years of service in the Taj city.

Each summer, a group of thirst quenchers who have banded themselves together in the Sri Nath ji Nishulk Jal Sewa, armed with buckets and trolleys set up water kiosks at most busy crossings here.

"It is neither a registered NGO nor a formal structured institution with a constitution. The members share a passion to ensure no one remains thirsty," Bankey Lal Maheshwari, who coordinates the group activities, told IANS Sunday.


Israel backs Jewish settlers in West Bank

Moshe Ya'alonJerusalem, April 14 - Israel's Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon Sunday authorised Jewish settler families to move into a controversial building in the old city of Hebron in the West Bank, media reported.

"Following up with the court's decision... the settling of the house by those who purchased it was approved today (Sunday)," Ya'alon said, adding that a restricted number of families had been allowed to move into the building, Xinhua reported.

The four-story building is located in the old city of Hebron in the part populated by Jewish settlers.


36 killed in attacks across Iraq

36 killed in attacks across IraqBaghdad, April 14 - At least 36 people were killed and 28 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq Sunday, police said.

In one attack, eight policemen were killed and 10 people wounded in a suicide truck bomb attack targeting police in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk, Xinhua quoted a police source as saying.

The attack occurred in the morning when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden truck into a police checkpoint and blew it up in Debis town.


Jenny McCarthy defends her stand on being pro-vaccines

Jenny McCarthy defends her stand on being pro-vaccinesThe Playboy model, Jenny MsCarthy is now trying hard to undo the ill-informed statements she made about her anti-vaccine viewpoint made earlier, however she does not seem to be getting any success at doing the same.

The host of the show “The View” is now stating that she didn’t say that she was anti-vaccine explaining that she is not changing her opinions now and it is not a new thought that has just struck her.


'Sri Lanka has no faith in international probe'

Mahinda RajapaksaColombo, April 13 - The Sri Lankan government Saturday said it has no faith in an international investigation into the alleged human rights abuses occurred during the civil war in the country.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy on human rights and Government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka feels an international investigation will lack credibility and will not be independent, Xinhua reported.

Samarasinghe was speaking to reporters after meeting some of the island's leading Buddhist monks and briefing them on the latest developments in the country.


NATO chief vows support for allies along Russian border

Anders Fogh RasmussenSofia, April 12 - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Friday pledged to strengthen the shield along the border with Russia, and urged allies to increase their military budgets.

"We are taking legitimate steps to reinforce our support to Allies, from the Baltic to the Black Sea," Xinhua quoted Rasmussen, who paid a day-long visit to Bulgaria, as saying in a joint press conference with the country's Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin.

NATO has stepped up practical and political support to Ukraine, to bolster its defense capacity within the framework of their partnership, he said.


Vidya, Dia appalled at Mulayam's comment

Vidya-DiaMumbai, April 11 : Actors Vidya Balan and Dia Mirza have reacted strongly to Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's remark that the death penalty in rape cases is "unfair" as "young boys make such mistakes".

National Award-winning actress Vidya has said that rape should never be pardoned.

"Capital punishment is a very contentious issue but it is the worst of crimes that should not be pardoned. I completely disagree with anyone who says that 'boys will be boys, they will make mistakes'," Vidya said here Thursday at a fundraiser event by NGO Swades.


Tony Abbott 'very confident' signals detected are from MH370 black boxes

Tony AbbottSydney, Apr. 11 - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he is 'very confident' signals detected in the search for missing MH370 jet are from the plane's black boxes.

In a press conference in China, Abbott said a 'series of detections' from the towed pinger locator aboard the Australian search vessel ADV Ocean Shield had enabled authorities to narrow the search area significantly.

Abbott added that he was very confident the signals detected are from MH370's black box.


UN chief hails peacekeeping mission in CAR

Ban Ki-moonUnited Nations, April 11 - UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon Thursday welcomed establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR) by the Security Council.

"The secretary-general welcomes the adoption today of Security Council Resolution 2149, establishing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic
(MINUSCA)," reported Xinhua citing a statement issued by the UN chief's spokesperson.


Hema Malini campaigns in Mathura

hema-maliniMathura, April 10 : Huge crowds Thursday lined up along the roads in this Uttar Pradesh town as Bollywood actor-turned-politician Hema Malini, who is the BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, asked people to vote for her.

Hema Malini faces Jayant Choudhary, son of Civil Aviation Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, and the Aam Aadmi Party's Anuj Garg.

Jayant Choudhary is supported by the Congress.

Hema Malini told reporters that if elected, she would work for improving civic conditions in Vrindavan, cleaning up the Yamuna river and making the Braj region with its numerous Radha-Krishna shrines a model of development.


President to confer Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards April 11

Pranab-MukherjeeNew Delhi, April 9 : President Pranab Mukherjee will Friday present the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for 2013, an official statement said.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) are national honours bestowed on performing artistes, teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts.

Established in 1953, the Akademi is responsible for the promotion and preservation of the country's performing arts.


Rahul to tour Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh

Rahul to tour Rajasthan, Madhya PradeshNew Delhi, April 9 : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will address three rallies in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Thursday, the party said Wednesday.

Gandhi is scheduled to address a rally in Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha constituency in Rajasthan in the morning followed by another rally in the state's Udaipur constituency in the afternoon.

He will then head to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh for a 'Jansampark Abhiyan' (mission to reach out to people) in the evening, said a statement from Gandhi's office.


Kerry blames Russia of creating chaos in Ukraine

John KerryWashington, April 9 - US Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday accused Russian agents of stirring unrest in eastern Ukraine that could be used as a pretext for military intervention.

"What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary engaged in this initiative," Xinhua quoted Kerry telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Pro-Russia activists seized several government buildings in eastern Ukraine Sunday, demanding closer ties with Moscow and a referendum to give more powers to local authorities.


Sri Devi campaigns for Amar Singh

Sri-Devi-Amar-SinghAgra, April 8 : Bollywood actress Sri Devi and her husband Bonney Kapoor Tuesday campaigned for Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Amar Singh in Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh.

Huge crowds turned up to see Sri Devi, causing traffic jams on the national highway, witnesses said. Amar Singh's RLD has an alliance with the Congress.

He is pitted against Samajwadi Party's Pakshlika Singh and BJP's Choudhary Babu Lal. The Aam Admi Party has fielded Laxmi Choudhary. (IANS)


Rahul to tour Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh Wednesday

rahul-gandhiNew Delhi, April 8 : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will be addressing rallies in Assam, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh while campaigning for the party's Lok Sabha candidates.

According to a release from his office, Gandhi will hold a public meeting at Silchar Lok Sabha constituency in Cachar district of Assam. This meeting, scheduled 10.30 a. m., will take place at Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex at Udharband.

Gandhi will attend another public meeting at 2 p. m. in Chhattisgarh's Kanker Lok Sabha constituency which falls in the state's Balod district.


After a slap, Kejriwal fears threat to life

Arvind-KejriwalNew Delhi, April 8 : AAP leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said he faced a threat to life after being slapped by a man while campaigning for his party here.

"These attacks are scripted. When they (attackers) are arrested, they repeat the (same) script," Kejriwal told the media after being attacked by an auto-rickshaw driver who first garlanded the AAP leader.

The attacker then gave a whacking slap, stunning Kejriwal.

"Why are all the attacks taking place only on us?" Kejriwal later asked. "There will be more attacks, and we can also get killed."


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