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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Andhra Pradesh: 11 dead, 30 injured after bus falls off a flyover in Kri...

At least 11 people have been killed and over 30 have been injured as a bus fell off a flyover in Krishna district of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday morning. The private bus was going from Bhubaneswar to Hyderabad when it fell into a canal at Mulapadu village of Penuganchiprolu Mandal. The driver was suspected to be sleepy and due to his negligence the deadly incident took place early this morning.

Flour power lifts spirits as Greek village stages mock battle

The villagers of the Greek town of Galaxidi staged a battle on Monday (February 27) in the streets of the village with bags of sticky, colour tainted flour in an annual tradition called the "Flour War".

The popular event attracts scores of visitors from across the country and overseas as it takes place on the coastal fishing town of Galaxidi, about 200 kilometres (124 miles) west of Athens."Clean Monday" celebrations mark the end of carnival season and the beginning of the Greek Orthodox Lent fast.

Villagers awake in the early morning and cover their houses with plastic seething for protection before donning goggles and plastic suits.They then fill hundreds of bags with baking flour, tinted with food colouring, to be used as bombs.

The start of the battle is initiated with the ringing of cow bells and then the flour flies as participants parade in the streets, firing flour bombs and trying to douse each other with as much flour as possible.Anyone who does not wish to be drenched can safely watch the event from across the village quay.

"It's an outburst, you let off steam. What else to do? If you are feeling downcast in Athens, the villages, anywhere with this [economic] crisis, you come here and let off steam," said 'flour war' participant Efi. The custom is believed to have originated in 1801 when Galaxidi residents defied the Ottoman rulers occupying Greece by celebrating the forbidden carnival and painting their faces with ash while dancing through the streets.

Ramjas clash: AISA protests against ABVP in Delhi


At least three people are dead and 19 others missing after heavy rains s...

At least three people are dead and 19 others missing after heavy rains struck Chile over the weekend during the country's usually dry summer months, causing mudslides and water outages in the South American nation.

In the northern region of Antofagasta, the Loa River - the longest running in Chile at 440 kilometres (273 miles) - registered a considerable increase in its water level and overflowed. Along urban areas close to the river, the electricity service was suspended as a preventive measure.

In San Pedro de Atacama, the tourist destination known for such attractions as the Tatio geysers, the Valley of the Moon and for being the gateway to the Atacama Desert, some 160 people were evacuated.

Streets and homes were filled with mud. Residents lost all of their belongings. Devastated flood victim, Tita Vilca, spoke to local media of the tragedy. "All my things got wet. My bed, my covers. Everything. But what can we do?" A younger flood victim, Isabel Ramirez, complained they had received no warning from authorities.

"Between water and mud. First we had to get the water out and now the mud. Look at me, I'm up to my knees in mud. We were not evacuated. We got out by ourselves. We were not warned. If we had been warned then obviously we would've taken more precautions," Ramirez said.

The rains, which also caused rivers to overflow their banks in mountain valleys near Chile's capital, Santiago, had isolated 373 people, the Onemi emergency service said late on Sunday. The drinking-water for over a million households in Santiago had been rendered non-potable, and Aguas Andinas, the company that provides water to the capital, said rains were making repairs difficult.

"Emergency teams are working on the ground to connect with isolated persons and re-establish the water supply wherever possible," Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wrote on Twitter. The Mayor of the town of San Pedro Atacama, Aliro Catur, said all roads were practically destroyed. "Look at how the water level fo the (Loa) River grew. It hasn't seen something like this since 1968. So, roads were practically destroyed," Catur said.

Troops and heavy machinery worked to clear up the debris. In Los Andes, troops were seen looking for a missing person. "He (father) was with relatives at a barbecue. They were enjoying themselves, next to the river, it's nice but were never expecting this (flood)," said Juan Bustamante, whose father is missing after the floods.

In the San Jose de Maipo valley, directly above the city, emergency crews had to clear the roads of debris before residents could evacuate to lower, less mountainous ground. "Yesterday, very rigourous work was conducted in the missing people search. We tried to communicate with people who are isolated," said police lieutenant, Mario Blanc.

Local media reported some 30 people in San Jose Maipo are staying in shelters. Some people who were isolated were rescued by helicopter. "It was terrible because, four mudslides on the way, it was terrible. We were travelling by bus, on a tour and we were caught by mudslides, we were isolated for about five hours," said this unidentified woman.

It was the second major flooding event to hit central Chile in the past year. Last April, heavy rains battered the San Jose de Maipo valley, killing one and shutting production at some of the largest copper mines in the world. The country has also been confronting historic wildfires.

Buckingham Palace hosts reception celebrating UK-India Year of Culture.

Her Majesty the Queen hosted a reception in Buckingham Palace on February 27, evening to celebrate 2017 UK-India Year of Culture. The reception was attended by The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among other royals. Indian celebrities were also in attendance.

The reception marked the launch of the Year of Culture, an event that will celebrate the deep cultural ties between the two countries through a series of year-long events and exhibitions in both countries. "This is a wonderful change of scene and I hope it means that there will be lots of partnerships and interesting joining ups of things. I mean, it's funny because I feel as if it's already happening. You know, I think these two countries have been in love with each other. It's like a marriage, we are sort of stuck together for some weird reason," said Ayesha Dharkar, a British-Indian actress who appeared in Hollywood blockbuster Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.

"It's very important. I think we've had a relationship of course that is, what - 250 .. 260-years-old? Indian culture is one that is getting a lot of global attention at the moment and to have the country of England and the Queen and the government behind us is very important and to be part of it as an Indian artist is really a dream for me," said British-Indian actor and writer Kunal Nayyar, known for his role in U.S. sitcom The Big Bang Theory. As part of the celebrations, a colourful projection was cast across the exterior of Buckingham Palace featuring a peacock, the national bird of India.

Brazil : Sargenta Pimenta Carnival street parade in Rio de Janeiro.

This Sgt. Pepper's band isn't lonely in the slightest. Some 5,000 Carnival revellers participated February 27 in the Beatles-inspired Sargento Pimenta- (Sgt. Pepper) street carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The celebration was created back in 2010 by a group of friends who were looking to marry two passions, the Beatles and the Carnival.

The band is composed of two guitars guitars, bass, saxophone, trombone, two trumpets drums, and is joined by traditional samba instruments like repique, tamborim and agogô and pandeirola. While celebrating their own British invasion, the revellers made sure to remember their homeland, including its corruption woes. One couple dressed as a cop and robber.

"I have this outfit which that represents the politicians who are sticking their hands in our money," said Mario Marcio, who was dressed as a thief. "I came to make an arrest and show that in Brazil there's the possibility of improving," said his partner, Fernanda Brito, dressed as a police officer.

A sprawling, three-year-old graft probe, named Operation Car Wash after its origins at a gas station in the capital Brasilia, has uncovered at least 6.4 billion reais ($2.1 billion) in bribes for contracts with state-run enterprises. Right-leaning Michel Temer has taken over the presidency amid the turmoil. He enjoys a majority in Congress as he seeks to restore fiscal discipline and boost business confidence in a stagnant economy.

Indeed, things are not feeling so fabulous around Rio of late: crime is sharply up since the city hosted the Olympics last August and the state is suffering an intense fiscal crisis, remains deeply indebted and can barely maintain basic services like police, hospitals and schools. Despite all that, the annual party, as always, must go on - vivaciously. "We have to take advantage of this visibility to show the causes we support and truly need," said Sargenta Pimenta attendee, Julia Saber.

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva travels in Mumbai local train

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva today travelled in a local train and also inspected the operations of the suburban rail system which has been supported by the international financial institution. Georgieva arrived here last night on her first India visit. "She visited our office in Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and interacted with senior officials about the various World Bank-funded projects in the city," said an official from the MRVC.

The Corporation, a joint venture between the Maharashtra Government and Indian Railway, has been tasked with executing various projects in the metropolis. After meeting with MRVC officials, she left with her team, bought a second class suburban train ticket at Churhgate station and got into a ladies compartment. During her journey, she interacted with commuters and patiently heard their experiences while travelling in suburban trains, said a member of her visiting team.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Awesome: Aamir khan new ad for Star plus gone viral


Brazil Carnival : Thousands of revellers brought politics to Carnival

Amid the dancing and drinking, one group wore large cardboard feet to represent the Rio de Janeiro state governor, Luiz Fernando de Souza, more popularly known as "Pezao" or "Big Foot." He was recently ordered by the courts to step down from office amid pending corruption accusations, but he has appealed.

"This is the bankruptcy of Rio. This is the end of Rio in the hands of this government. What fear. What terror. What fright," said "Pezao" reveller, Marco Antonio Oliveira. "This is a very funny criticism for the problems our city, our state is living through in health, in education, in the public services. We have a good Carnival message for the people," added his friend, Fernando Martins.

Others dressed as Brazilian President Michel Temer in various forms, including the devil. And still others carried messages for the Brazilian justice system that many see as corrupt. The name "Boitata" originates from the indigenous Brazilian language tupi-guarani, meaning "fire snake", and crowds united in a host of colourful and imaginative fancy dress costumes.

The Boitata street party, which is in its 21st edition, is traditionally seen as one of the most innovative and multicultural in Rio de Janeiro. Some 60,000 were expected to attend on Sunday. The party stretches through the streets of downtown Rio and historic Rio.

Bolivia Carnival : Music and dancing filled the streets of the tradition...

Music and dancing filled the streets of the traditional mining town of Oruro, Bolivia on February 25 to celebrate Carnival, which is dedicated to the patron saint Virgin of Socavon, whose 45-metre (150-foot) tall statue stands tall over the town. Wearing elaborate and colourful costumes, dancers whirled through the town that sits at a breath-taking 3,710 metres (12,171 feet) above sea level in an annual ceremony recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The colourful Oruro Carnival, or Anata, has its origins in the ancient festival of Ito celebrated by the indigenous Uru people who would travel to the town to celebrate the protective Waka gods. After the Spanish prohibited indigenous rituals in the 17th century, the event merged with Christianity in a celebration that remains distinctly Andean to this day.

The faithful believe that the Virgin of Socavon (Our Lady of the Mineshaft), also known as the Virgin of the Cadelaria, has protected the city since it was founded by the Spanish in 1606. According to legend, the devil wanted to destroy the people of Uru Uru, as Oruro was called then, because of their faithfulness to God.

The devil sent four terrible plagues to kill the residents but, each time, the Virgin protected the townspeople, slaying the devil with a flaming candle. Years later in 1756, they say, the Virgin Mary appeared to a thief named Chiru-Chiru. As he lay dying in a mine he was using as a hideout, the Virgin appeared to him and he repented of his sins.

After his death, the image of the Virgin Mary holding a flaming candle appeared miraculously on the mine's wall. Almost 130 communities are represented in the Carnival, each one of them with a unique dance and costume in honour of the Virgin of Socavon. Many of the dances commemorate parts of the legend while others lay tribute to the town's diversity of communities, fusing indigenous, Spanish and African traditions.

"The Oruro carnival is a reflection and collection of rituals-- a ritual to mining, a ritual to agriculture, among others that compose it. It is precisely this diversity that has been recognized as oral and intangible patrimony to humanity by Unesco. We are now experiencing the Oruro Carnival which is the best one in Bolivia and the world," said Oruro Governor Victor Hugo Vasquez.

Lasting over 20 hours, the parade brings together 25,000 dancers and more than 100 bands organized in 52 fraternities. They wind 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) through the hills of Pie de Gallo, along the city's western edge, to end at the sanctuary of the Virgin of Socavon. The celebration, which dates back some two centuries, will run through Monday (February 27). Bolivian Tourism Ministry has said it expects the event to draw over 400,000 visitors, most from within the country, according to media reports.

Thriller Zombie Walk parade in Athens, Greece

Zombies, vampires, monsters and other strange creatures took to the streets of the Greek capital on February 25, as Athens staged its annual "Zombie Walk" for the Carnival. The theme of the monstrous walk in the city centre was dedicated to the hit streaming series 'Stranger Things' and the 1980s movies that influenced it.

Men, women, teenagers and small children donned costumes and masks, put on grotesque makeup, wigs and torn clothes and gathered across the Greek parliament before wandering in the streets of Athens teasing and scaring passers-by with their "living dead" parade.

"The big surprise was for me as I walked out from my house door. I just loved how everybody reacted accordingly or not," said 30 year-old Athens resident Christos who participated for the first time in the event.

The "Zombie Walk" - made famous first in the United States - is now known throughout the world and many cities, including London, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Mexico City among others, have staged the creepy parade.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Shocking Video: Congo probes video showing apparent massacre by soldiers

Democratic Republic of Congo must investigate credible reports of atrocities including summary executions by the armed forces, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said on February 21. The U.N. human rights office has documented the killings of more than 280 people since July 2016 in a flare-up in violence in Kasai Central province, where Congolese forces have been battling an uprising by the Kamuina Nsapu militia. "There are multiple, credible allegations of massive human rights violations in Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental and Lomami provinces, amid a sharp deterioration in security situation there, including people being targeted by soldiers for their alleged affiliation with a local militia," Zeid said in a statement.

"It is time to stop a blunt military response that does nothing to tackle the root causes of the conflict between the government and local militias but instead targets civilians on the basis of their presumed links to the militias," he said. The U.N. statement followed the emergence of a video at the weekend that appeared to show Congolese troops shooting dead members of the militia in the province. The original video, which was shared widely on social media and seen by Reuters, shows men in Congolese army uniforms saying they are participating in an operation against the Kamwina Nsapu militia.It was not possible to confirm the video's authenticity independently or establish when it was recorded.

The U.N. said its peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, was not in a position to verify the origin or authenticity of the video, which showed unarmed victims being shot at point blank range as they lay bleeding on the ground. After initially promising an investigation, the government has dismissed the video as a "montage" created by political opponents based in Brussels. The video is filmed from slightly behind the roughly dozen men wearing Congolese military uniforms and shows them advancing on foot towards a group of men and women on a dirt road.

They open fire for 45 seconds then advance closer to inspect the more than 10 dead and wounded, including at least two women. "This one here isn't dead," one of men says in the western Congolese Lingala language, referring to a bloodied young man lying in the grass. Another uniformed man then shoots him in the head. Several of the men who have been shot have slingshots and wooden batons. None appears to have been carrying a gun.

Never Before Seen Video: bull escaped from a slaughter house chased by p...

A bull lead New York Police Department on a wild chase on February 21, morning after it reportedly escaped from a slaughter house, local news outlets reported. Hovering over the Queens neighborhood of New York, news helicopters captured the drama as the animal was followed by dozens of officers and cornered by multiple police vehicles. Several hours into the chase, the bull was tranquilized and captured in the yard of a home. It is not clear what will happen to the bull.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Awesome Video: China builds an entire city of ice in Harbin

Experienced in the urban setting of his sport, freerunner Jason Paul of Germany pushed his skills to the limit recently, taking on China's slippery Ice City in Harbin. With temperatures often below 25 degrees Celsius, Harbin's "International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival" features a sculpted ice city, including towers, palace and bridges. Alongside increased concentration, Paul made use of some unfamiliar equipment throughout his stunts, using shoe spikes on certain runs

Monday, February 20, 2017

A small plane crashes into a shopping centre near airport outside Melbou...

A small plane crashed into a shopping centre near an airport outside Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, on February 21 and officials said an unknown number of people may have been killed. "We understand that there potentially was a catastrophic engine failure but we are unsure at this stage. It gained a slight degree of altitude before crashing into the back of the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) and Focus on Furniture buildings that you see behind me. At this stage the fire is still ongoing and ourselves and the MFB (Metropolitan Fire Brigade) are working to put out the fire before we can take the matter any further," said Police Divisional Superintendent, Mick Frewen.

"It was a private charter flight, that I can tell you but as to the number of passengers onboard and the exact destination of the flight at this point in time." The network broadcast pictures showing smoke billowing from the shopping mall near Essendon airport, a small airfield close to Melbourne, and firefighters hosing down the burning wreckage. Local media reported that there were five people onboard.

CCTV: murder caught on camera in Delhi, capital of India


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ice dragon boat race contest in Ottawa, Canada

An ice dragon boat contest was held on the Rideau Canal by Canada's capital city of Ottawa on Saturday, the first event of its kind hosted in North America. The race was staged as part of Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations and was promoted by both Canada and China, where dragon boat racing originated. "There are 60 teams competing in total, and they signed up very fast. The list for competitors was full just 10 minutes after we opened for sign-ups," said Charge d'affaires Wang Wentian of the Chinese embassy.

The 60 teams participating mainly came from the U.S. and Canada. Over 100,000 speculators gathered on the lake to watch the ice dragon boat race. Morphed from the traditional Chinese festive sport of dragon boat racing, the ice dragon boat glides along a frozen lake surface while maintaining the technique and competitive spirit of the original sport. The game was invented so people from colder regions could still enjoy dragon boat races during the winter season. Competitors said they fully enjoyed the experience though it was the first time for most. "The ice is perfect and it's very fun in these boats, they move very fast," said one competitor.

"We're really happy to see that actually we will be celebrating Chinese culture in the context of (Canada's 150th anniversary) here right now in Ottawa," said Heritage Minister Melanie Joly.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two vehicles fall into a sinkhole caused by heavy rainfall in Los Angele...

Video shows one of the two vehicles falling vertically into the sinkhole, the sinkhole was caused by heavy rainfall that has continuously poured down on Los Angeles, local media reported. Intense rain, heavy snow and strong winds pounded California and southern Oregon on February 17, prompting the evacuation of dozens of homes east of Los Angeles, officials said. As much as 10 inches (25 cm) of rain could fall at a rate of 1 inch (3 cm) per hour in parts of southern California on Friday, said the National Weather Service, raising the risk of mudslides.

The severe storm, with what may be California's heaviest rainfall in six years, comes as months of wet weather have dramatically eased California's years-long drought. However, the heavy rain and melting snowpack threatened to undermine a spillway at one of the largest dams in the country, which prompted the evacuation of 188,000 residents earlier this week. In higher areas of eastern California and western Nevada, as much as 2 feet (60 cm) of snow could cause whiteouts, forecasters said. The area should also expect gusts of 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), potentially causing widespread power outages on Friday and Saturday, the service said.

Thousands of dead fish wash ashore in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Gulf

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on the shores of Costa Rica's Gulf of Nacoya on the Pacific, covering beaches and dotting the coastline of beaches. According to officials, sardine species at Abangaritos Beach in Puntarenas have mostly been affected but no exact cause has yet been determined. The bodies of the fish cover approximately two kilometres (1.2 miles) of the coastline. Costa Rica's coast guard have taken samples of the water to determine the cause of the incident.

"Most probably it was a natural phenomenon that caused this that resulted in an increase in algae and this caused a release of excess oxygen and given that the fish are here in great quantities they could not breathe. That is what could have happened, given what he have to go off now. But it could also be pollution. After eight days after the samples are taken, we will know if there's another theory," said marine biologist for Costa Rica's coast guard, Fredy Campos. Authorities have urged locals not to eat the sardines.

Shocking: Mother, son cheat death twice after car knocks them off bridge...

A mother and child were knocked off a sloping road in China on February 12, by a reversing jeep that went out of control, a surveillance video shows. The footage shows a jeep crashing into the pair as it reverses, taking them along as it plunges a few metres down into what appears to be the entrance of a parking lot. The woman is then seen scrambling to get herself and the child out of the way as the vehicle lands a few seconds later on to the ground. Identified as "Mrs. Dai", the woman told state broadcaster CCTV that she had "freaked out". She suffered multiple fractures and the was in a coma, CCTV said. Preliminary investigation showed the accident took place after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Shocking road Accident in China


baby panda learning its first lesson, "Don't sit in mama's spot!"

As the expression goes "Life doesn't come with a manual. It comes with a mother," baby pandas at a research base in Chengdu City in southwest China's Sichuan Province were taught several harsh life lessons by their mother on Thursday. One of the video clips from the panda enclosure, captured a baby panda learning its first lesson, "Don't sit in mama's spot!" The unfortunate baby panda was sitting in the right spot at the wrong time. Mama panda won't let her favorite spot on her favorite tree be occupied by anyone - not even her own cub. Mama reached over and gripped her cub with her teeth and dragged him by the neck back on to the wooded platform. Baby panda must have thought it could get away with sitting in mama's spot without her noticing, but mama always has an eye out for her spot.

In another clip, mama teaches lesson number two, "Don't climb mama's tree!" Mama's naughty cub didn't even get far up the trunk when she darted towards it and forcefully knocked him off and reclaimed her favorite tree in victory. Baby panda must not have fully understood the first lesson, so this session was very necessary.

In the last clip one unlucky baby panda may have learned its harshest lesson yet, "Don't let mama see you have food." In what appears to be an innocent scene of mama cuddling baby, is in fact a cuddle fight for food. Mama panda could be seen locking her cub in a tight embrace as he struggles in vain to keep his delicious treat away from her. Unfortunately, baby must have learned by now that he doesn't stand a chance against mama as she knocks the delicious treat from his hands and feasts on her prize while he walks away in defeat.

Giant pandas look cute and harmless, but appearances can be deceptive. Pandas can be fierce and dangerous too. Even in captivity, where pandas are used to being cooed over by humans.

Funny videos: two panda cubs rolling down a slope whilst wrestling with ...

Pandas can always bring joy to people with both their cute appearance and funny behaviors. In a video clip released by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Wednesday, two panda cubs can be seen rolling down a slope whilst wrestling with each other. The panda cubs are actually two sisters and respectively named Ya Zhu and Ya Yun.

In another clip, Ya Yun with her wiggly bottom struggles to climb up a tree but to everyone's amusement she falls down. However Ya Yun didn't stop the entertainment there. In the last clip, Ya Yun can be seen taking a small tumble from the wooden platform all the way to the bottom of the enclosure. A sight many of us would find hard not to laugh at.

Air strikes : videos purport to show hitting the al-Waer neighbourhood o...

Amateur videos uploaded on February 17, show what appeared to be air strikes hitting the besieged al-Waer suburb of Homs in Syria.The footage shows explosions followed by clouds of smoke rising over buildings. In one video, people can be seen scrambling amid scenes of chaos inside a building in the immediate aftermath of a blast. For months, the rebel-held Al-Waer district had been spared the intense bombardment by Syrian and Russian air forces suffered by other areas controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's opponents. But the area has been hit by strikes lately, with the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying 27 people have been killed in the neighbourhood over 11 days of violence.

Car bomb kills a child and wounds 17 others in Turkey's southeastern tow...

Riot police tightened security measures after a car bomb exploded in the garden of a housing complex in Turkey's southeastern town of Viransehir on Friday (February 17), killing a child and wounding 17 other people, the provincial governor's office told Reuters. Initial findings showed that an unidentified individual thought to be between 18 to 20 had parked the car loaded with explosives outside the complex in the evening hours, Sanliurfa governor Gungor Azim Tuna was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu agency.

"A terror attack was carried out as the car bomb was remotely detonated. The housing complex has been largely damaged," Gungor was quoted as saying. The blast shattered windows in several buildings nearby and was felt across the neighbourhood, a witness said. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Twitter called it a terrorist attack saying it targeted judges, prosecutors and clerks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. The conflict flared up again in July 2015 after the collapse of a two-year-old ceasefire. The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Leftist and Islamist groups have also carried out bomb attacks across Turkey in the past, with Islamic State blamed for some recent attacks.

The last attack was in early January when an offshoot of the PKK clashed with police and detonated a car bomb outside the courthouse in Aegean city of Izmir, killing a police officer and a court employee.

Shocking Video: Texas police car pushes flaming truck away from restaurant

A Texas police officer used his police car to move a truck engulfed in flames away from a busy restaurant on February 11, police dash cam video shows. The video released by the City of Glenn Heights police department shows officer Chris Womack spotting a burning Ford truck next to a local restaurant, and using his patrol car to nudge the vehicle away from the building and into the parking lot. Womack was in the area because he was responding to a call about a fire at a drive-thru restaurant.The police department told Reuters that the fire started in the truck's engine.The fire department arrived after the police and put the fire out. No injuries were reported.

Thousands of ducks have taken up residence in the famous Peterhof Park n...

Thousands of ducks have taken up residence in the famous Peterhof Park near St.Petersburg for the winter instead of migrating to warmer places. The birds filled ponds and canals surrounding the Royal palace, attracting local residents and tourists who enjoyed watching the ducks swimming and feeding them bread. Peterhof was not the only St.Petersburg suburb which birds took a fancy to, they've decided to spent cold months in some parts of the city and other outskirts as there was everything there they needed to survive cold winter months.

"This year, about 7500 birds spent winter in the city," said Vladimir Khrabry, an ornithologist at Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Science. "There's food here. There's an opportunity to stay and mate, eat...water is good and clean here and there are few predators" he added. Another reason for the ducks to stay were milder winters which prevented local ponds and canals from freezing.

Strike4Democracy: Protesters in New York join country-wide demonstration...

A second consecutive day of protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's month-old administration unfolded on February 17, in cities across the country, with activists urging Americans to skip work and school in a show of dissent. Strike4Democracy, one of the groups organizing what it calls the #F17 General Strike, said more than 100 public protests were expected. About 16,000 people responded to a Facebook page for a march at New York's Washington Square Park on Friday.

Protests also were planned in large and small cities across the country, including Chicago, New Orleans and Mason City, Iowa. Strike4Democracy urged Americans to stay away from work if possible and take part in a community service. It suggested people refrain from making purchases and instead donate their lunch money to a worthy cause and contact congressional representatives about the strike.

The actual turnout in Manhattan, however, was only a few hundred people from disparate groups. Organizers described it as more of an informational gathering of disparate groups that had a uniting focus.
"There's a strike taking place today. Many of the people here, including myself are on it today. It's taking place in 100 different cities in 30 states today," explained organizer Andrew Thornebrook. "But, the primary purpose of this rally is to create an organizational network by which people across the nation can coordinate mass strike movements with more frequency in the coming months."

The Strike4Democracy website said the protest was aimed at halting "the authoritarian assault on our fundamental, constitutional rights" and the victimization of women, Muslims, immigrants and others.
"A number of people here come from a number of different movements, whether it be the pipeline (Dakota Access), or the ban, or the wall, or women's reproductive rights, but all these people from different movements are understanding that the strike, especially mass strikes, are a very good means of pursuing those goals," added Thornebrook.

The planned actions follow the Day Without Immigrants nationwide protest on Thursday against Trump's immigration policies. Businesses shut their doors, students skipped class and thousands of demonstrators gathered to highlight the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Trump, who took office last month, has signed an executive order temporarily banning entry to the United States by travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees. Federal appeals court judges have temporarily blocked the travel ban.
Since his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump has faced a steady stream of protests and marches, highlighted by a series of mass rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of people on the day after he was sworn in.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

36 couples married in Valentine's Day mass wedding on West Palm Beach, F...

Thirty-six couples took part in a St. Valentine's day mass wedding in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 15. The Palm Beach County clerk waived the normal weddings fees during the celebration for the couples dressed in their finest wedding outfits. The couples exchanged vows simultaneously and didn't seem to mind sharing that special moment as they said "I do." After the vows the couples got to celebrate with a champaign toast and reception.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dimple Yadav Campaigns for Sister-in-law Aparna


Horrible: Congress leader brutally murdered in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, India

A day after the gruesome murder of Bhiwandi Congress corporator Manoj Mhatre, 53, police have identified five out of the eight assailants who executed the crime on Tuesday night. While the police have formed teams to arrest the assailants, the Thane crime branch has launched a parallel investigation in this case.

Deputy commissioner of police (Bhiwandi zone) Manoj Patil said “Eyewitnesses have identified the accused. We suspect them to be from Bhiwandi,and have launched a manhunt to arrest them.” The police, however, are yet to recover the gun and the sword used in the crime.

Patil said, “The assailants fired three bullets at Mhatre, one of which struck him in the back. They also chopped off one of his arms. Though Mhatre was first rushed to a nearby private medical facility, he was shifted to Jupiter Hospital in Thane after his condition deteriorated. He died during treatment.”

Mhatre, a resident of Oswalwadi and a Congress corporator in Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, was attacked by eight men around 9.30pm while his driver was parking car. Mhatra had returned home after attending a meeting. While six of them attacked Mhatre, the remaining caught the driver and threatened him of dire consequences if he tried to save the corporator. The Narpoli police have booked all the assailants under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Britain mainline Steam train replaces regular passenger service for firs...

Hundreds of enthusiasts lined the historic Settle to Carlisle route in northern England on Tuesday (February 14) to witness the maiden journey of the first regular passenger steam train in 50 years. "A lot of people stand there and watch in awe, other people, they look up from their iPads, and their phones and the newspapers and they're like: 'Wow, what's that?' and it's just like a time machine," said Graeme Bunker, operations director at A1 Steam Locomotives Trust charity that helped build the locomotive.

Powered by a Tornado locomotive, the trains puffed its way through a beautiful scenery of Eden Valley in Cumbria, across the Ribblehead Viaduct to Yorkshire Dales. Tornado 60163 is the first mainline steam engine built in Britain since the 1960s. The £3 million steam engine took 18 years to build and was completed in 2008. It can achieve speeds of 75 mph (120km/h)

The return of steam power to the Settle-Carlisle railway marks the reopening of the line, partially closed after landslides in February last year. For three days the steam train will carry passengers from Appleby, Cumbria to Skipton, North Yorkshire making four journeys each day. Regular train services are due to reopen on March 31.

Northern Rail, operator of the Settle-Carlisle line, said the demand was extraordinary and tickets have almost sold out. Steam trains hold a particular place in the British imagination due to the country's pioneering role in developing the railway industry in the 19th century, and to the enduring popularity of children's fiction character Thomas the Tank Engine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Immediate evacuations ordered below damaged California dam

Residents below the tallest dam in the United States near Oroville in Northern California were ordered to evacuate immediately on February 12 after authorities said an auxiliary spillway was in danger of imminent collapse. "Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered," the Butte County sheriff said in a statement posted on social media. "This is NOT A Drill. This is NOT A Drill. This is NOT A Drill."

The California Department of Water Resources said on Twitter at about 4:30 p.m. PST (0030 GMT Monday) that the spillway was "predicted to fail within the next hour." The Yuba County Office of Emergency Services urged evacuees to travel only to the east, south or west. State authorities and engineers on Thursday (February 8) began carefully releasing water from the Lake Oroville Dam some 65 miles (105 km) north of Sacramento after noticing that large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway.

Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 meters) from the top of the dam on Friday as levels in the reservoir rose because of a California winter of heavy rain and snow that followed several years of severe drought in the state. California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday (February 10) to declare a major disaster due to flooding and mudslides brought on by the storms.

The earthfill dam is just upstream and east of Oroville, a city of more than 16,260 people. At 770 feet (230 meters).) high, the structure, built between 1962 and 1968, is the tallest dam in the United States, besting the famed Hoover Dam by more than 40 feet (12 meters).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tour bus crashes near Taipei in Taiwan, killing at least 32

At least 32 people were killed when a tour bus crashed near Taipei on February 13 night, with television footage showing the bus careening toward a road barrier before flipping on its side. Of 44 people on the bus, 30 were pronounced dead at the scene and two died in hospital, the fire department said, adding that 12 people were still being treated in hospitals around Taipei, the capital. Many of the passengers were elderly, although the age range was early 20s to late 60s, according to city authorities.

The trip had been arranged by the Tieh Lien Hua Travel Agency, according to Taiwan's tourism bureau. An official with the agency said the tourists were "likely" all from Taiwan, but that it was still looking at passenger information.

It was unclear what caused the crash. Local television showed a video of the bus shot from behind flipping onto its side and skidding toward the hillside after it hit a road barrier when negotiating a highway interchange curve. Ambulances and fire trucks were lined up along the bend of the road as rescue workers used a crane to lift the battered bus from its wheels, after all the passengers were pulled from the wreckage.

Thousands of dogs strut their stuff in New York at the 141st annual dog ...

On Monday, judges began looking over an expected 2,800 contestants at exhibition halls on piers on the Hudson River. But before the dogs put their best foot forward for the judges, they were meticulously preened and primped backstage by their handlers. Now in its 141st year, the show is the second-longest continuously running sporting event in the United States after the Kentucky Derby.

"So we're here today at the 141st annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show and we have nearly 2,800 dogs entered in the show this year from 49 states and 16 other countries," said Westminster spokeswoman Gail Miller Bisher. "And so today, Piers 92 and 94, we have the breed judging, so this is where the dogs are trying to advance or trying to win Best of Breed and then advance to the group judging at Madison Square Garden," she continued. Three new breeds just added to the Westminster Kennel Club's registry are the Pumi, the Sloughi and the American Hairless Terrier.

"They're actually not new breeds, they're just new to the U.S. and so we have the Pumi, which is a Hungarian herding dog that will be in the herding group and it's historical for that breed because whoever wins Best of Breed today will be the first Pumi to be at the Garden at Westminster, so it's a big deal," Bisher said. "And then we also have the Sloughi, which is an ancient African sighthound hunting dog. And also we have the American Hairless Terrier and they're a fun little feisty dog, very smart and quick to learn." Nancy Nelson traveled with Zsa Zsa, her 5-year-old Pumi from Norwalk, Connecticut.

"There's only about 400 of them in the U.S. We'd like to say they're really cute. So we say they're Curious, Unique, Tenacious and Energetic," Nelson said. "So Zsa Zsa lives up to her name. She's very enamored of Ms. Gabor and misses her very much. She loves to shop. She likes to get out and about. And her favorite street in New York is 47th street where all the jewelry vendors are."

Five-and-a-half-year-old Toby the Sloughi has been the No. 1 Sloughi in the country since 2014, according to his owner, Erika Wyatt. He's a two-time specialty winner and was the Best of Breed Sloughi at the AKC National Championship in Orlando in December. "This is a breed that is naturally very aloof, they're not bred to be extremely outgoing or gregarious, and so they are naturally reserved around strangers," said Wyatt. "And plus, Toby lives in the country, we live on 12 acres at home and we traveled here and he can't believe there's so little grass in New York City."

Nearly 200 breeds and varieties were eligible for this year's Westminster competition. After judges select the best of each breed, the top dogs go to the main event at Madison Square Garden where they are narrowed down to best of each group: hound, toy, non-sporting, herding, sporting, working or terrier, which go on to compete for the "Best In Show" title.

California dam water level drops after massive evacuation

The evacuation of nearly 200,000 people living down river from the tallest dam in the United States remains in effect but officials are working on a plan to allow the residents to return to their homes, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference on February 13.California water officials were draining water from the Oroville Dam to relieve pressure on a damaged spillway that threatened public safety and led to a sudden evacuation order on Sunday.

"As I've said before, I recognize and absolutely appreciate the frustration that people who have been evacuated must feel. That was not a decision that I made lightly, that was a decision based on the best information provided to me by the subject matter experts in consultation with other public safety officials and we determined that although efforts to mitigate potential failure needed to take place, we couldn't guarantee that they would be completed in the time frame necessary to ensure that people could be evacuated," explained Honea.

Operators of the nation's tallest dam prepared on Monday to shore up a crumbling emergency spillway with bags of rock while bleeding off excess water from a rain-swollen lake to ease the threat of inundating the Northern California communities under evacuation orders downstream. We've bumped the flow up and this situation occurred late yesterday afternoon to mitigate the impact of that erosion that was occurring. That solution worked to reduce the threat, it took a while for that water to calm down and for us to get in and assess that condition at the downstream side of the emergency spillway. We're going to continue on the challenges that we have with this facility, as indicated are still working to really dig down into the reservoir and move as much as we can out of the reservoir so that we have space for the storms that we expect to come in as well as the snow runoff later this spring," said Bill Coyle, who is the acting Director of the California Department of Water Resources.

Officials also were concerned about a large gouge that opened up last week in the dam's main spillway - a concrete-lined chute running adjacent to the eroding hillside spillway - after weeks of heavy rain in a state that has endured five years of drought. More storms are expected on Wednesday or Thursday.

The earth-filled dam lies just upstream and east of Oroville, a town of more than 16,000 people. At 770 feet (230 meters) high, the structure, built between 1962 and 1968, is the tallest U.S. dam, exceeding the Hoover Dam by more than 40 feet (12 meters). Evacuation orders remained in place on Monday morning for the estimated 188,000 people who live in the wider potential flood

Massive floods hit Bolivia, at least 2 people dead


Heavy snow brings Bolivia to a halt


Venice welcomes masked and costumed visitors for its carnival

Carnival cheer gripped Venice on February 11 as hundreds of revellers crowded the canal city's narrow alleys, squares and bridges ahead of an official opening parade in the early evening. Thousands of people will be dressing up in beautiful costumes and masks and will be parading through the ancient streets of Venice with central St. Mark's Square being the starting point of many festivities throughout the carnival fortnight.

The theme of the 2017 edition of the Venice Carnival is "CREATUM Vanity (af) fair" and some enterprising visitors have created their outfits from scratch. "We have all made our costumes ourselves, so each one of us sewed our own costumes," explained Rita Pierangelo who comes to the carnival every year from Vicenza, about an hour away by train.

Mauro Lotto said he had come to let his hair down. "Yes, we've come to have fun. To have some joy in this particular moment, it's right to let oneself go!" Some tourists from Poland had particularly timed their visit to the floating city to experience the carnival atmosphere.

"We think this is the best time to come to Venice for the carnival," said Isabella Rinkieczic." During the two weeks of carnival the city fills with visitors from across Italy and the world. Masked balls are held in ancient Venetian palaces, while concerts and gondola parades are organised in the piazzas and canals. The Carnevale di Venezia is among the oldest carnivals in the world.

Carnival madness first began centuries ago as a period of excess before the rigours of lent; the 40 days of fasting that traditionally precede Easter. Venetians could then hide their identities behind masks and do as they pleased. It was a pressure valve to ease class tensions, allowing the poor, for a brief and controlled period, to break Venice's rigid social order. This year's carnival runs until February 28.

Heavy snow and rain caused widespread flooding in portions of northern I...

Heavy snow and rain caused widespread flooding in portions of northern Idaho on February 10. Authorities were working to free people trapped in their homes in Weiser after an ice jam along the Weiser River caused massive flooding. Several homes and cars were submerged as water with chunks of ice filled the small town. Emergency workers used heavy machinery to clear through the ice to rescue people trapped by flash floods.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

unbelievable : heavy truck blows over in wind storm on Highway

Caught on camera: Semi truck blows over in wind storm...Things could have ended much worse after 90 mile-per-hour winds (145 kilometers per hour) sent a white a semi-truck sailing into a Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle on February 7, said Lieutenant David Wagener. The vehicle was blown over by the gale force winds along Interstate 80 in Elk Mountain, Wyoming, around 65 miles (104 kilometers) northwest of Laramie, officials said. The troopers who were on scene were responding to other traffic related incidents when the truck tipped over, but they were not in harms way when the truck tipped over. The two passengers aboard the truck were also unharmed. Authorities cautioned that the video should serve as a lesson to heed road closures and warnings due to wind advisories.

133rd edition of the King's Carnival in the French riviera town of Nice

Carnival joy filled the French riviera town of Nice on February 11 as it welcomed the 133rd edition of the King's Carnival, the city's biggest public event since the July 14 truck attack that killed dozens of revellers. The opening ceremony began with one of this year's themes, the "King of Energy", with floats echoing various sources of energy: electric, fossil fuel, solar, wind, as well as humans.

Blasts of confetti fell over stands filled with smiling and cheering carnival-goers as dancers and floats made up of giant effigies animated the parade. Security remained a top concern for the carnival after Islamist attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 86 people by ploughing a truck into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais.

Daniela Schubert, a carnival-goer from Marseille, said she was enjoying the colours and the event's ambiance. "Aside from the extra security, no the vibe hasn't changed," she said. A perimetre was installed around the carnival and crowds of revellers queued for security checks. Floats carrying giant figures of the main player's in France's presidential election such as conservative candidate Francois Fillon, socialist Benoit Hammon and the far-right's Marine Le Pen were paraded through the crowd.

A giant creation of U.S. President Donald Trump sitting on barrels of oil was one of the 17 floats that rolled through the streets of Nice. Following a tradition dating back to 1294, the Mediterranean city has been transformed into a festive landscape. Around 390,000 visitors are expected to join the festivities which run until February 25.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dangal Girl Zaira Wasim At A Book Launch in Mumbai, published by Penguin

The 16-year-old actor was speaking at the launch of Zuni Chopra’s book The House that Spoke. Zaira said perhaps the biggest difference between youngsters belonging to different regions would be that they have different stories to share.“They have different stories to tell you, they have their own ideas about almost everything. So, apart from that ideology I don’t think there’s any vast difference.”The Kashmir-set book published by Penguin, is the debut novel of Zuni, 15, daughter of filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra and film critic Anupama Chopra.

Dangal Girl Zaira Wasim At A Book Launch in Mumbai, published by Penguin

The 16-year-old actor was speaking at the launch of Zuni Chopra’s book The House that Spoke. Zaira said perhaps the biggest difference between youngsters belonging to different regions would be that they have different stories to share.“They have different stories to tell you, they have their own ideas about almost everything. So, apart from that ideology I don’t think there’s any vast difference.”The Kashmir-set book published by Penguin, is the debut novel of Zuni, 15, daughter of filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra and film critic Anupama Chopra.

Full Video: Dangal girl Zaira Wasim opens up about growing up in Kashmir

Dangal star Zaira Wasim says she grew up in Kashmir without going out much and had a slightly different teenage life as compared to others. The young star said she always remained in her zone and hasn’t even been to the huge hill next to her house. When asked how was it growing up in Kashmir, Zaira said, “I was always in my own zone. I think my life was a little different from how the life of a 16-year-old person should be. I never went out much.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Panda cubs chasing each other make visitors scream with joy, southwest C...

They're so adorable! Two panda cubs chasing each other in the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in southwest China's Sichuan Province are cute enough to make you want to scream with joy. The breeding base captured footage of one panda cub chasing and trying to beat the other in the garden after the chased tried to tease the chaser. People were happy seeing little cubs acting in the same way as like children.

Most spectacular family photo of 500 members goes viral in China

A picture thought to be the most spectacular family photo during the Spring Festival in China this year has gone viral. The photo, shot by a drone in Shishe village, Shengzhou City in eastern China's Zhejiang province, shows more than 500 members from the Ren family.

The members, all between the 25th and 31st generation of the family, live in Beijing, Shanghai, Xinjiang and Taiwan, and were brought together by a project to update their family tree during the holiday. Spring Festival is an occasion for family gatherings, with many choosing to take family photos.

Firefighters rescue a family from truck hanging over cliff in Southwest ...

These people are not shooting at dusk a thriller movie with wire-harnesses. They are preparing to rescue a family of four from the cabin of a heavy-duty truck hanging on a cliff in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Tuesday. Firefighters improvised with a crane arm to wire up one of them for the rescue challenge, while the truck was barely balancing itself on the edge of a 40-meter high cliff.

One by one, the firefighters pulled to safety the two daughters, the wife and the husband who was driving the truck. None of the rescued got injured in the process. Once on firm grounds, the driver recalled how his machine broke through the highway guard rail and perched on the cliff edge. Local traffic police have stepped in to investigate the cause of the accident.

Actress Shruti Ulfat arrested for posting video with cobra

Actress Shruti Ulfat who was seen in daily soap ‘Nagarjuna-Ek Yoddha’ was arrested on Wednesday, four months after she posted a video with a protected species of cobra on social media. The video that went viral on social networking sites raised eyebrows of many wildlife activists.

Miracle Rescue: Teenage girl falling into 20 meter deep well saved in ce...

A 12-year-old girl who fell into a 20-meter deep well was saved after 8 hours of efforts in Luohe City, central China's Henan Province, on Tuesday. The girl fell into the well when she was flying a kite with two other girls on a farmland in Houzhang Village of Linying County. Out of some luck she was stuck at a point about 8 meters from the mouth of the well, with her head above the water. Some villagers called for help, and local firefighters and police rushed to the site.

They sent a firefighter down into the well at first, trying to pull the girl out. However, the girl had her waist stuck in the well wall horizontally and the firefighter failed to deliver her out after three attempts. Then the rescuers decided to try other means. They used four excavators to remove the mud around the well and dismantled the well pipe section by section, stopping at the place near the girl and tying a safety rope around her. Finally she was delivered out of the well. The girl was sent to hospital right away, and she is in stable condition now, according to the doctor, except for some scratches.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Unbelievable: man grab her wife's hair, prevent dangerous suicide attemp...

In a harrowing rescue attempt, a man saves his wife from falling to her death by grabbing her hair after she tried to commit suicide in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. On Sunday in Shiquan County, Ankang City, police rushed to the top of a residential building after the woman’s family alerted them of her suicide attempt. The footage shows the husband in a gray coat grabbing the woman’s hair as she dangles from the side of the building.

Rescuers managed to pull both of them to safety, eventually sending her home. "We had only one idea at that time was to save her, not let her fall down from our hands. So we rushed to her and controlled her right hand. We persuaded her while pulled her up," said Zuo Yu, a local policeman. The reason for her suicide attempt is unknown.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Obama kiteboarding: Former US president is trying dangerous water sports...

Former U.S. president Barack Obama is trying some new and dangerous water sports that the Hawaii native had to miss out on for safety reasons while serving in the White House. Obama, whose eight years as president ended last month when he was succeeded by Donald Trump, learned to kiteboard while vacationing last week on a Caribbean island owned by British billionaire and adventurer Sir Richard Branson, who published an account of their trip on Tuesday (February 7) in an online blog post.

Photographs and video on the website of Branson's Virgin Group show the former president, a life-long surfer, figuring out the increasingly popular sport in which people ride a board while being pulled behind a kite. "Being the former president of America, there was lots of security around, but Barack was able to really relax and get into it," Branson wrote. Obama and his wife, Michelle, were spotted last week in the British Virgin Islands, and people posted photos of them on social media. Branson owns 120-acre (48-hectare) Moskito Island, which is part of the archipelago.

Kiteboarding was chosen in 2012 as a sport for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, replacing windsurfing. The decision was criticized at the time because the sport can be lethal, and it was reversed within months. According to Branson, Obama studied the pastime for two days and flew a kite from the beach, "as if going back to being a child again," before heading out into the waves.

Branson was trying to learn a similar sport, foilboarding, which uses a modified board that rises a few feet above the water. He wrote that he challenged the ex-president over which of them would succeed first. Obama triumphed, he said, by kiteboarding for 100 meters (328 feet). "Winner - Barack," appeared as the text on a video clip of the outing.

Panda cubs wrestling makes visitors squeal with joy in southwest China’s...

They’re so fluffy! There are few things in life that make you want to scream with joy, but it seems that two rowdy giant panda cubs wrestling with each other is enough to make you want to snatch these bamboo-gnawing critters from the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.The breeding base captured footage of the two cubs nipping at each other’s necks, only to be interrupted by tumbling down the log platform. Startled, they tried to climb back up as if the first to do so could gain the love of spectating tourists squealing with delight.

In another corner, a mother panda also tried to have fun by rolling around on the grass with her cub, but the little one was getting too cozy with big momma, so she tried to calm him down by nudging him down a slope. Needless to say, it’s been difficult to take in this much panda cuteness and still be conscious.

Jolly LLB 2 promotion : Akshay Kumar and Huma Qureshi in Amity Universit...

Akshay Kumar is in Delhi for the promotions of his upcoming social comedy, Jolly LLB 2 that is slated to release on 10 February 2017. The actors' presence at Amity University created hysteria there as students came out in large numbers just to get a glimpse of the Khiladi. In a video posted by Akshay Kumar on Facebook, thousands of students are seen singing 'Soch Na Sake' from his recent super-hit film, Airlift. Akshay Kumar is seen standing and walking on edge of the balcony while interacting with the students.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Oldest captive fish euthanized in his mid-90s by Chicago aquarium

The longest-living fish in a zoological setting, a lungfish known as Granddad acquired by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in 1933, has been euthanized after suffering failing health well into his mid-90s, aquarium officials said on February 06. Granddad, who came to Shedd from Australia in anticipation of the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair, was seen by more than 104 million people during his time in Chicago, aquarium president Bridget Coughlin said in a statement announcing his death."For a fish who spent much of his time imitating a fallen log, he sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages who would hear his story and learn about the incredible biology that makes his species a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet," Coughlin said.

According to the aquarium, lungfish, which can live to be more than 100 years old and are a protected species in Australia, have existed for nearly 400 million years and fossils show they have remained unchanged for over 100 million years. A Shedd spokeswoman said Granddad's exact age was unknown but that he was believed to be in his mid-90s. The aquarium said Granddad was euthanized after losing interest in food and showing signs of organ failure. Lungfish, which are native to the Mary and Burnett rivers in Queensland, Australia, have a single primitive lung and are among the few fish that can breathe air.

Baby condor and flamingo chicks are welcomed at Bolivian zoo

An endangered condor and 14 flamingo chicks were unveiled on February 6, at Vesty Pakos Zoo, in La Paz, Bolivia. The female condor was named Illimani, in honour of the emblematic mountain of La Paz. It was born on December 20, 2016, and became the first animal of this species to be born in captivity in Bolivia. Zoo director Andrea Morales said she hoped more condors would be born at the zoo in the future. "We were lucky to have a baby condor, a female, born on December 20. The egg was brooded since October of last year and after that, the baby condor was born. Currently, the parents of the baby condor take care of it in the interior of its nest and they have the nest well protected," said Morales.

Illimani was kept from the public until Monday, when zookeepers felt it was big and healthy enough to ensure that it will grow to adulthood by year's end. The zoo also introduced 14 month-old flamingo chicks to the public. The chicks were born after zoo workers recovered eggs in Laguna Colorada, located in the National Reserve of Andean Fauna Eduardo Abaroa, in the highlands of the department of Potosi. Eleven of the flamingos are of the James species and three of the Andean species. This reserve does not buy animals, all the species it houses are recovered animals who have been injured in their environment or by animal traffickers. Many are returned to their natural habitat, as part of the native species rescue program.

Superior fog: Menacing misty wall blankets largest of Great Lakes of Nor...

In a rare atmospheric phenomenon, an enormous wall of icy fog has been filmed billowing over Lake Superior in Minnesota. The fog was filmed by local photographer Levi Drevlow on December 18, and it looks like something out of a disaster movie, dwarfing a freighter in the port of Duluth as it fearlessly steers straight towards the snowy fog bank. While scary-looking, the cloud is actually quite natural, the result of a quick temperature drop to -18 Celsius (about -0.4 Fahrenheit). The difference between cold air and warm water is what sent the dense vapor hundreds of feet upwards above the largest of North America’s Great Lakes.

The fog itself is harmless (apart from covering sailors in hoarfrost head to toe). It is, however, a harbinger of more dire weather. According to meteorologists, Minnesota and neighboring states are in for severe blizzards on Christmas Day. Heavy snowstorms, thunderstorms and periods of freezing rain will hamper travel along interstate highways and may cause aerial delays. Power outages are also expected. Apart from Minnesota, the extreme weather on Saturday and Sunday is expected to hit Montana, Wyoming, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Canada reintroduces bison to its oldest national park

Parks Canada has reintroduced a herd of plains bison to the country's oldest national park in Banff, Alberta, officials said on Monday (February 06), more than 130 years after the iconic North American animal last grazed the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. The conservation team moved 16 bison from a protected herd in central Alberta into an enclosed pasture in Banff National Park in the west of the province last week. The herd will stay under observation in the remote Panther Valley until summer 2018, when the animals will be released into the full 1,189-square-km (460-square-mile) reintroduction zone in the park's eastern valleys.

Parks Canada said bison were once dominant grazers and that bringing them back would restore their missing role in Banff's ecosystem. "This would be one of only four plains bison herds in North America that would be fully interacting with their predators and shaping the ecosystem as they did over a hundred years ago," said Kasper Heuer, the bison reintroduction project manager. Those predators will include wolves and bears native to the park.

Ten pregnant female bison and six young bulls were disease tested and radio collared before being herded into five shipping containers and driven 400 km (250 miles) cross Alberta by truck. The conservation team taped rubber hoses to their horns to prevent the animals injuring each other while in transit. Since the Panther Valley is not accessible by road, officials attached the shipping containers by long line to a helicopter and flew them in one at a time for the last 25 km (16 miles).

Vast bison herds of up to 30 million animals once migrated freely across North America. The animal was nearly hunted to extinction, and rangers estimate bison have not grazed in Banff National Park since before it was established in 1885. Bison have great spiritual meaning for North America's aboriginal groups, having once provided an important source of food, clothing and shelter. The reintroduction also coincides with the 150th anniversary of Canada's 1867 confederation into a federal union.

Snowfall : Heavy snow sweeps across northwest China's Xinjiang

A strong cold front started to hit northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since Saturday and brought along sharp temperature drop as well as snowfalls in many parts of the region.Visibility was affected by the heavy snow that shrouded Wenquan County of Bortala Autonomous Prefecture and made it hard for residents to walk and drive on snow-covered roads.Local authorities have arranged snowplows to clear the snow to ensure safety of vehicles.

As heavy snow fell on the Ili River Valley since early morning of Saturday, staff members of the local traffic administration have been busy clearing snow on roads to ease traffic jams. Temperature dropped by 8-12 Celsius degrees in Yining County, and the snow on ground was 5 to 15 centimeters thick after the snowfall in the morning."We will watch and see the situation tomorrow morning. If the snow gets milder or stops by that time, we will soon end our snow-cleaning operation. So our entire snow-cleaning operation will depend on the snowfall. Normally. we have to work non-stop for over 15-16 hours to get snow removed," said Yang Youwei, an official from the local road management bureau of Yining. Regional meteorological authority forecast that the snow will last until Monday in most parts of Xinjiang.

Crash between bus and truck, 16 people died and 34 were injured in Honduras

At least 16 people died and 34 were injured in Honduras on Sunday (February 5), in a crash between a bus and a truck on the outskirts of the capital, officials said. A Honduran transit official spoke to the media about the specifics of the crash. "Sadly, a bus was headed towards the town of San Miguelito. It was driving on the right-hand side, but as a result of its own weight and dragging on the pavement it had a collision. And sadly, various people were injured and died in crash. We cannot give an exact figure," said the chief, Leonel Sauceda.

The survivors counted their blessings."Yes sadly as you can see there was great human loss that has occurred, but my daughter who was there, and thank God survived with her teacher Margarita. She's also alive, thank God. A miracle, and we truly trust in God that everything will come out okay," said Alvaro Zambrano, whose daughter survived.

The tabulation of the dead and injured was still being made, hospital officials said."They are saying that at the accident site 12 people died, and four here in the hospital school, which would make a total of 16. That is an unofficial stat that is being given at the accident site, and more victims could be added," local hospital spokesman, Miguel Osorio said.The crash took place about 10 kilometers outside the capital Tegucigalpa on a road heading to the south of the country, said police transport deputy inspector Carlos Espana.

Japan's annual snow festival featuring ice sculptures of iconic locations

The annual Sapporo snow festival kicked off on Monday (February 6) featuring ice sculptures of iconic locations, movie characters, celebrities, and even the U.S. president, Donald Trump. One of the largest exhibits of the festival was Paris' famous monument, the Arc de Triomphe, measuring 17.5 metres in height and 24 metres in width - one-third the size of the original.

A short ceremony was held in front of the monument, where people gathered to watch the French flag hoisted at full mast. Other recognizable figures included singer Pikotaro, who rose to fame when his song "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" went viral on Youtube last year. Locals also built a sculpture of Trump holding an apple and a pen - Pikotaro's iconic dance move.

The Sapporo Snow Festival, marking its 68th event this year, will be showcasing more than 200 sculptures until Sunday (February 12), and is predicting a turnout of more than 2 million visitors.

Heavy snow and avalanches kill dozens in Afghanistan

Dozens of people in Afghanistan were killed after heavy snow and avalanches hit over the weekend February 4-5. In the northern province of Badakhshan, as many as 19 people were killed and 17 injured due to avalanches, collapsed roofs and road accidents, said Naweed Frotan, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The government was working to reach at least 12 districts in Badakhshan that had been completely cut off, he said.

In eastern Afghanistan, at least 50 people died and dozens more were missing on Sunday after an avalanche buried a village in Nuristan, provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said. At least five other deaths from collapsed roofs were reported elsewhere in Nuristan. Heavy snow also blanketed the Afghan capital of Kabul, where the government closed its offices on Sunday, and wreaked havoc on major roads in the country, including the Kabul-Kandahar Highway and the Salang pass north of Kabul.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lion dance championship concludes Lunar New Year Celebration in south Ch...

The 5th China Central Television (CCTV) Lunar New Year Cup Lion Dance Championship wrapped up in Dongguan in south China's Guangdong Province on feb 4. Six teams from the cities of Foshan, Shanwei, Shenzhen and Zhongshan took part in the competition at Huayang Lake National Wetland Park. Breathtaking performances by skillful lion dancers jumping on 21 pillars won much applauses from audiences. Half of the pillars were about two meters in height with the highest one reaching 2.5 meters.

After intense competition from all the participating teams,the Huangfeihong Zhonglian dragon and lion dance team from Foshan finally took the crown. Lion dance is a traditional celebration for people in Guangdong Province during the Spring Festival.

Snowfall: Heavy snow sweeps across northwest China's Xinjiang

A strong cold front started to hit northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since Saturday and brought along sharp temperature drop as well as snowfalls in many parts of the region. Visibility was affected by the heavy snow that shrouded Wenquan County of Bortala Autonomous Prefecture and made it hard for residents to walk and drive on snow-covered roads. Local authorities have arranged snowplows to clear the snow to ensure safety of vehicles.

As heavy snow fell on the Ili River Valley since early morning of Saturday, staff members of the local traffic administration have been busy clearing snow on roads to ease traffic jams. Temperature dropped by 8-12 Celsius degrees in Yining County, and the snow on ground was 5 to 15 centimeters thick after the snowfall in the morning. "We will watch and see the situation tomorrow morning. If the snow gets milder or stops by that time, we will soon end our snow-cleaning operation. So our entire snow-cleaning operation will depend on the snowfall. Normally. we have to work non-stop for over 15-16 hours to get snow removed," said Yang Youwei, an official from the local road management bureau of Yining. Regional meteorological authority forecast that the snow will last until Monday in most parts of Xinjiang.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Man spends 45 days to build church out of snow in Russia

A man in a remote Siberian village has built a church in the Omsk region made completely out of snow. He spent 45 days carving out his nearly 10 foot- (3 meter-) tall masterpiece until he was blue in the face.
Aleksandr Bityokhin, a former construction worker, was burning the midnight oil building the chapel so that Orthodox believers in Sosnovka would have a church of their own, even if a temporary one.

The nearest church is in the city of Omsk, dozens of kilometers away from Sosnovka, and the elderly and children are simply unable to make the trip.

“He followed the voice of his heart,” his mother Tatiana told Ruptly video agency. “He’s a passionate believer and wants to pray in his church, but since we have no means to regularly go to town or nearby villages, he has decided to build a church here.” It took as much as 12 cubic meters of fresh white snow to construct the church from scratch, the first in the neighborhood.

“As soon as the first snow fell in Sosnovka, I prayed and got down to work,” Aleksandr, 41, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. “First I created a draft of the chapel. I decided it would have 12 arches, in honor of the twelve apostles. Then I began to press the snow, step by step laying the foundation and the walls of the church.” Luckily, there was no problem with construction material, says Aleksandr, who had to quit his regular job at a construction site after being diagnosed with a serious disease.

Amazing: underwater restaurant in Brussels offers a new experience to ad...

The restaurant, called 'The Pearl', is installed at the bottom of one of the world's deepest indoor swimming and diving pools and opened at the end of 2016. For 99 euros per person, customers get a full meal complete with lobster salad, foie gras and champagne. Diners dive into the deep pool, filled with water kept at 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) to get to their meal in a spherical underwater cabin.
"I created this swimming pool 12 years ago as I have been a diving enthusiast since I was a teenager. I wanted to make it possible for anybody to learn how to dive in ideal conditions, it's the case here. And this latest thing there, the sphere, it's a bit like going back to a fetal state, like in a cocoon. And you can talk, discuss, exchange - but all of this in a muffled atmosphere that sort of looks like our very early days," the creator of the restaurant, John Beernaerts, said.

The two-metre wide sphere looks like a golf ball with windows and can fit up to four people. The restaurant took more than a year to build and multiple attempts to get the design, mechanics and its method of food delivery perfected. Divers who work at the NEMO33 diving centre also serve as the waiters, and they bring the meal packed in a waterproof briefcase. Inside 'The Pearl' it's dry and supplied with oxygen by NEMO33. "I think what's extraordinary is the fact of being underwater. The two of us are like a fish couple, we love being in the water. I think that what's really cool is the fact that it is unique. It's a dinner we will remember for all our life," customer Nicolas Mouchart said. Customers who have never dived before can take an introductory lesson before their meal. Sixteen people have eaten at the restaurant since it opened.

Miracle of Life : rescue team save three year old girl from collapsed bu...

Several people are still feared trapped after a building collapsed in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur on february 1, killing seven people. Rescue workers, armed with gas cutters, special cameras and earthmovers worked overnight to search for survivors and bodies under piles of rubble. A 3-year-old girl was rescued after being trapped under the debris for over 12 hours. According to officials, at least 25 to 30 people are trapped under the debris of the huge six-storey apartment that was being constructed in Kanpur's Jajmau area.

The police have filed a case against local Samajwadi Party leader Mehtab Alam who reportedly owned the building. Mr Alam and his family are on the run. The Kanpur Development Authority said they had served three notices to the builders asking for construction to stop as it did not have the necessary permits yet the construction continued. Early investigation indicates the building had a weak foundation. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), who were called in from Varanasi and Lucknow, as well as the Army continued relief and rescue operations through the night to find 18 survivors. "This is a highly insecure building. Wide spaces are not column supported. So it will take time," Alok Kumar Singh, an official of the NDRF, said.

Egyptian mummy Princess Naishu rests in YSR State Museum, Hyderabad, India

An Egyptian mummy Princess Naishu rests in Hyderabad at YSR State Museum. She is one of six Egyptian mummies in India, and is the only one in south India. Dated to have lived between 300 BC and 100 BC, Naishu is said to be the daughter of the sixth Pharaoh of Egypt. Archiology department officials are taking this as a pride and are giving complete care in preserving and maintaining the mummy. They also say it is important for the public to know about Naishu and her history. Many touristers from all over the world come to the state museum, most of them go back with amusement as it is not expected for them to come across a mummy in India. They say they are surprised.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

US President Donald Trump in Mexico City's Wax Museum

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto did not manage to meet in person last week, but they stood side by side at the Mexico City Wax Museum on January 31. The wax figures represent both leaders during Trump's controversial late-August visit to the country. Relations between the two nations hit a low point last week when Trump said Pena Nieto should call off a planned meeting if he was not ready to pay for the American's planned border wall.

Pena Nieto quickly cancelled the trip, but the two leaders later talked by telephone and agreed between themselves not to discuss the thorny issue of payment of the wall for the time being, according to the Mexican government. Trump's words have raised the ire of many Mexicans and museum employee Natalia Aguilera said they were prepared for protests after putting the Trump figure on display.

"We have seen videos and situations that have occurred in other museums like protests and something could happen here too, right? The people have protested and so far no one has damaged it, but they take photos - any number of people," she said.But most patrons on Tuesday observed the exhibit calmly, hopeful that relations between the two neighbours will improve. "I feel it and I see over there they have to begin looking at this new relationship in the future. They have to meet to bring about new agreements because at the end of the day we are civilized countries. And as civilised countries, we have to find this peace to have negotiations, right?" added Wax Museum Manager, Cesar Urbano.

And patron Monica Mendoza said it was interesting given all the controversy. "Well for us Mexicans, it is fun for us to come and see this image of Trump here with all the bad things he has expressed about Mexico. And I think there are two very emblematic characters and they have done much of what they have said - in our country, for example, Pena Nieto. And now Trump with everything he has done with the immigration policy and with the wall that we supposedly have to pay for," she said. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Monday (January 30) dialogue with officials from the Trump administration is continuing and further bilateral meetings could take place in the coming days.