Tribal villagers sacrificed hundreds of animals, including roosters, goats, sheep and buffaloes, Tuesday in a village in Odisha as part of an annual religious ceremony despite a government ban on animal slaughter and protests by animal rights activists.
In defiance of the prohibitory order clamped by the administration Monday, residents of over a dozen villages gathered near Khairguda village in Bolangir district, about 300 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, and sacrificed the animals in a forested area.
"The area is surrounded by a forest. Animals were sacrificed near Sulia temple and in nearby areas," an eyewitness told IANS.
However, police claimed villagers performed only a symbolic sacrifice at Khairguda. "Most of the animals were sacrificed in other places near the village," police said.
People sacrifice thousands of animals every year in the district as part of their age-old Sulia yatra or the annual killing festival. They believe that all their suffering is because of divine wrath and the sacrifice of animals will ensure that deities will protect them.
Animal sacrifices did not take place at Khairguda in the past few years because of strong opposition by animal rights activists and the local administration.
To prevent the sacrifices, police had clamped prohibitory orders in the village under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits assembly of more than four people in an area.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon Tuesday met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to brief them on developments along the Line of Control (LoC).
The meeting took place at Sushma Swaraj's residence.
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Sushma Swaraj, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, and Jaitley, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to discuss the situation along the LoC.
Border tensions have escalated sharply since Jan 6 when a Pakistani soldier was killed in alleged firing by Indian forces along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
Two days later, on Jan 8, Pakistani soldiers killed and mutilated the two Indian soldiers - one of the soldiers was decapitated and his head taken - in Mendhar sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Armstrong made the confession during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is to be broadcast on Thursday.
According to news.com.au, Armstrong was stripped of all seven Tour titles last year after a voluminous US Anti-Doping Agency report that showed him as a 'ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race'.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labelled the doping routine reportedly carried out by the US Postal Service team that Armstrong once led 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen'.
After a federal investigation of Armstrong was dropped without charges being brought last year, USADA stepped in and carried out its own investigation.
The agency accused Armstrong of masterminding a 'complex and brazen drug program' that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers, the report added.
Blast in a market in Quetta city of southwest Pakistani
15 killed, 103 injured in Egypt train derailment
At least 15 people were killed and 103 injured when an Egyptian military train derailed near Cairo Tuesday, the country's health ministry said.
The train, carrying young conscripts, was en route from southern Egypt to a military camp in Cairo when it derailed in the Giza neighbourhood of Badrashin, Xinhua reported. The cause of the derailment was not immediately known.
Last November, an Egyptian train rammed into a school bus killing 50 people, mainly schoolchildren. The incident led to the transport minister's resignation. The country witnessed its worst railway accident in 2002 when over 360 people were killed in a train fire, Al Jazeera reported.
10.00 am:Cleric fires up Pakistanis, demands government resign
A cleric who has fired up Pakistanis angry at perceived government corruption and indifference demanded the country's political leaders resign in a speech to thousands of his supporters who amassed in the capital early Tuesday and clashed briefly with security forces.
The dramatic entry into Pakistani politics of Tahir-ul-Qadri, a preacher who until recently lived in Canada, has sparked concern from some that he is seeking to derail elections at the behest of the powerful army. Polls are expected this spring.
Qadri has denied that and insisted his vague demands for election reform are simply meant to root out corruption in the political system. He pledged several weeks ago to lead a "million-man march" on Islamabad to press his demands.
During a 40-minute speech delivered behind bullet-proof glass in the early morning, Qadri told his supporters that the government's mandate was finished.
"I give you time until tomorrow to dissolve national and all four provincial assemblies otherwise the nation will dissolve them on their own," he said. He vowed to address his followers later in the morning in front of the parliament building.
Qadri called on the demonstrators to break through the containers blocking them from the government offices and peacefully march toward the protected enclave that is often called the "red zone" in Islamabad.9.00 am:
A man in Russia will face trial for attempted murder after allegedly hiring two friends to kill his heavy-drinking mother, who survived the brutal attack, the investigative committee said.
According to investigators, last summer the man from Mari El region offered two acquaintances 2,000 rubles (about $65) to kill his mother because he had "grown tired" of her behaviour when she became drunk.
Detectives said the two men arrived at the woman's home July 1, struck her on the head and gagged her with a towel before driving her into a forest. There they strangled her, stabbed her three times and dropped her into a nearby ravine, where they covered the body with branches to hide it.
Passers-by discovered the women shortly after, and she survived after receiving medical care.
The three men - aged 20 to 25 - face several charges, including attempted murder. If found guilty, they could face life in prison.
Egypt's state news agency says 19 people have been killed and more than 100 injured when two railroad passenger cars derailed just south of Cairo.
The official MENA news agency quoted Health Ministry officials as saying that the 107 wounded were being treated in hospitals near the site of the accident in Giza's Badrasheen neighborhood.
The train was carrying army recruits when it jumped the track Monday evening.
The accident comes the same month that President Mohammed Morsi named a new transportation minister who is a member of his Muslim Brotherhood group. The post had been left vacant in the aftermath of a train accident that killed 49 kindergartners on their way to school in November.7.30 am: