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HRW honours rights activists with 'Alison Des Forges Award'

HRW honours rights activists with 'Alison Des Forges Award'

New York, Aug. 11 - Four courageous and tireless advocates for human rights are the 2015 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

Natalia Molchanova, world's greatest free diver presumed dead

Natalia Molchanova, world's greatest free diver presumed dead

New York, Aug 5 - Natalia Molchanova, regarded as world's greatest free diver is feared to be dead after she failed to surface from a dive in the Balearic Sea, near Spain.

The son of the 53-year-old diver, who has previously reached depths of 75 metres on a single breath and could go without air for nine minutes, was diving for fun with three others without fins, on the coast of Formentera, but is yet to surface, the New York Times reported.

As per the reports, Molchanova, who holds 41 world records and is a 23-time world champion, was diving in an area with particularly unpredictable currents.

While the water temperature was about 26 degrees celsius, a layer deep below the surface could have been cooler, and such a contrast could "shock the system.

HRW tells UN to act to empower women in conflicts

HRW tells UN to act to empower women in conflicts

New York, Aug.1 - The United Nations and member countries should tackle problems that women in armed conflict endure around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released yesterday.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, a landmark resolution on women, peace, and security, which the Security Council will debate in October 2015.

"The Security Council and governments are better informed than ever about the horrors inflicted on women and girls in armed conflict, but they still drag their feet on the most basic actions to help," said Sarah Taylor, women, peace, and security advocate at Human Rights Watch.

Nepal temple bans animal sacrifice

Nepal temple bans animal sacrifice

New York, July 29 - A temple in Nepal that conducts mass slaughter of animals every five year at a festival has banned animal sacrifice, said Humane Society International.

According to the New York Times, millions of pilgrims from India and Nepal attend the festival at the Gadhimai temple that lies about 90 miles south of Kathmandu.

About 500,000 buffaloes, goats, chickens and other animals were killed at the temple in 2009, according to the humane Society.

Campaigners said that those numbers dropped in 2014 after India's Supreme Court banned taking animals across the border to Nepal for sacrifice there, campaigners said. (ANI)

Bonding time for President Obama, teenage daughters during NYC getaway

Barack Obama

New York : It's inevitable: At some point, teenage kids just aren't that into their parents anymore. Parent Barack Obama, who happens to be president, set out to combat that trend by hanging out with his teenage girls on a New York overnighter.

The trio, plus some of the girls' friends, seemed intent on packing a lot into their 24 hours together in the city. But no one was out of the hotel door too early on a rainy today morning after zigzagging around Manhattan in dad's motorcade into the wee hours last night.

They finally emerged about 11:30 am, as the sun broke though, for a quick stroll through Central Park, joined by the president's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng and her husband, Konrad Ng. Next it was lunch in Gramercy Park at Upland, featuring California-inspired cuisine.

Former US President George H. W. Bush 'stable' after breaking neck bone

George H W Bush

New York, July 16 - Former U. S. President George H. W. Bush reportedly fell at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, and broke a bone in his neck but the injury is not 'life threatening', his spokesman Jim McGrath has said.

He added that Bush had been hospitalised, was 'very stable' and would be treated with a neck brace, reported the CNN.

"We are not expecting a long stay," said McGrath.

The former president turned 91 last month and has been suffering from a form of Parkinson's disease. (ANI)

Would you pay $8,200 for these grapes?

Would you pay $8,200 for these grapes?

New York, 10 July : A single bunch of grapes have fetched around 8,200 dollars in Japan, becoming possibly the most expensive grape variety.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Ruby Roman grapes, which are valued for their sweetness, low acidity and perfectly round shape, were won at auction by Hotel Nikko Kanazawa chef Masayuki Hirai.

The bunch contained only 26 grapes, which meant each tiny orb was worth about 315 dollars.

The special breed of grapes was developed over 14 years, and had first appeared on the market in 2008. It is claimed that they break auction records every year.

Last year, a bunch of Ruby Romans sold for 5,200 dollars at an auction. (ANI)

Diamond prices decline in June: Rapaport Study

Diamond prices decline in June: Rapaport Study

New York, July 9 - Diamond prices continued to soften in the month June with many categories trading at deep discounts to the Rapaport Price List.

Markets were relatively quiet as U. S. demand after the JCK Las Vegas show was weaker than in previous years, and Far East demand remains cautious. Diamond manufacturers are under pressure and continue to lose money on their rough supply.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPIa,¢) for 1-carat laboratory-graded diamonds fell 0.9 percent during June. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds declined 2.5 percent and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds dropped 2.6 percent. RAPI for 3- carat diamonds decreased 1.7 percent.

RAPI for 1-carat diamonds fell 1.6 percent during the second quarter of 2015 and on July 1, 2015 was down 15.3 percent from a year earlier.

Hundreds killed in Yemen as Saudi steps up airstrikes

Hundreds killed in Yemen as Saudi steps up airstrikes

New York, July 7 - Hundreds of people have died in Yemen after airstrikes have been stepped up in the country over the past three days, health workers and security officials said.

The airstrikes were carried out by a military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, which has been trying to defeat the Houthis, a Shiite rebel group from northern Yemen for months, reported New York Times.

On Monday, 80 people were killed in a twin blast near the southern port city of Aden and in the Amran Province in the north, according to a local security official.

Smaller casualties were reported in separate attacks.

Full-scale war in Yemen erupted in March, when Saudi Arabia launched its offensive to drive the Houthis from the capital, Sana'a. (ANI)

44 killed in twin blast in Nigerian city of Jos

44 killed in twin blast in Nigerian city of Jos

New York, July 6 - Two bombs have exploded at a mosque and an elite Muslim restaurant in Nigerian city of Jos, killing at least 44 people.

Sixty-seven people have been injured in the blast and are being treated at hospitals, ABC News quoted National Emergency Management Agency coordinator Abdussalam Mohammed, as saying.

According to the survivors, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, the explosion at the Yantaya Mosque came as leading cleric Sani Yahaya of the Jama'atu Izalatul Bidia organization, which preaches peaceful co-existence of all religions, was addressing a crowd during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Jos has been frequently attacked with violent religious confrontations. It has been targetted with bomb blasts by Boko Haram militants.

Hillary Clinton accuses China for hacking government information

Hillary Clinton accuses China for hacking government information

New York, July 6 - Hillary Clinton has recently aired accusations against China claiming that it hacks everything that doesn't move in America.

During a campaign event in the state of New Hampshire, the 67-year-old presidential candidate claimed that the Chinese hackers have stolen huge amounts of government information, reported the Quartz.

Further, US officials have also blamed China for several cyber-security breaches over the past few years.

Commenting on the issue, the US director of national intelligence James Clapper said that China is a leading suspect in the hack of OPM, but Beijing has denied the allegations.

Chris Christie jumps into 2016 US presidential fray

Chris Christie jumps into 2016 US presidential fray

New York, July 1 - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has launched his bid for the United States presidential elections in 2016, promising to bring back 'strength and authority' to the Oval Office.

During the launch of his bid, Christie walked up to the stage without a prepared text and vowed to campaign and lead as a 'colourful teller of hard truths'. He told a gathering of supporters at his alma mater, Livingston High School, "There is one thing you will know for sure: I say what I mean and I mean what I say," reported The New York Times.

Christie portrayed himself as the only candidate in the Republican field who was 'forthright and forceful enough' to run the U. S. He declared that he was not running for the post as surrogate for being elected 'prom king of America'.

Afghanistan battling extremists from 10 countries 'alone', says Ghani

Afghanistan battling extremists from 10 countries 'alone', says Ghani

New York, July 1 - Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has said that the Islamic Republic is battling extremists from around 10 countries and is making all the sacrifices 'alone'.

Addressing a gathering of women activists, politicians and diplomats in Kabul on Tuesday, Ghani called for an 'enhanced' regional cooperation to address regional challenges. He also urged the international community to help Afghanistan in eliminating the militant threat, reported NBC News.

The statements came as reports broke of Afghanistan's decade-and-a-half-long insurgency gaining ground and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) making inroads into the war-torn country.

FBI sets up command centres to tackle potential terror threats on US Independence Day


New York, June 30 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly set up command centres across the United States to monitor any potential terror threats around its Independence Day on July 4, a federal law enforcement source said.

The source added that while no credible, specific threats surrounding the holiday had been received, its symbolic significance could make it a potential target for terror groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), reported Fox News.

Law enforcement authorities however, are particularly concerned about soft targets like shopping malls and other areas, which witness large gatherings of people and light security.

Outdated fashion rules that men need to break

Outdated fashion rules that men need to break

New York, June 27 - Stylish men are always in fashion but there are certain taboos that they need to break and throw the outdated fashion rules out of the window says fashion gurus.

Choosing an outfit that never goes out of fashion can be a difficult task and when it comes to men as they always opt for blue, but instead one should try out for white as it looks great any time, reported Business Insider.

"Always match belt with shoes" is an old male fashion mantra that men follow for every occasion, but in reality this works only with formal settings other-wise it may portray a person as particular or fussy.

Also, wearing socks with pants was once classy but now shoes without socks are in, unless it is a formal event.

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