Thursday, Feb 23st 2017 | Time 14:49 Hrs(IST)
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Benin cult priests charged over anti-voodoo prayer deaths

COTONOU, Feb 17 (Reuters) Four Christian priests from a Benin anti-voodoo cult were arrested and charged today for their suspected role in five deaths during prayers held last month in anticipation of the end of the world.
The followers of the "Very Holy Church of Jesus Christ of Baname" died after they were instructed to seal off their prayer rooms, burn incense and charcoal and wait for the world to end, residents and a survivor told Reuters. Others were treated in hospital for severe breathing problems.
The four priests were charged with manslaughter in the capital Porto Novo and were sent to prison pending trial.
The group's young woman leader, Vicentia Chanvoukini, known as "Lady Perfect" and considered a god by her followers, was not charged.
"Those who died are not really members of the church, they are people who came to test us," she told local radio.
The cult, which denounces Benin's local voodoo culture, has thousands of followers in the small West African country. There have been several violent clashes between the Baname followers, who often wear red scarves to identify themselves, and members of other faiths since 2009.
About 40 percent of Beninois follow voodoo, which includes worship of royal pythons at the country's pink Temple of the Python. Voodoo also enjoys its own national holiday.
Voodoo traditions endure despite efforts by Christian missionaries to stamp them out in centuries past. Today, many Christians and Muslims in Benin incorporate traditional African beliefs into their faith.
REUTERS CJ PR2039
Top News
UP Assembly polls: 16 pc polling till 1000 hrs, violence in Mahoba injures five

UP Assembly polls: 16 pc polling till 1000 hrs, violence in Mahoba injures five

Lucknow, Feb 23 (UNI) Amid violence in Mahoba in Bundelkhand region, an estimated 16 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 1000 hrs in 53 Assembly seats of the Uttar Pradesh where polling is underway in the fourth phase today.

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23 Feb 2017 | 12:35 PM
BJP, Shiv Sena in jubilant mood over victories in Maharashtra local body polls

BJP, Shiv Sena in jubilant mood over victories in Maharashtra local body polls

New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The Shiv Sena and BJP leaders in Mumbai and also in the national capital were in jubilant mood today after Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit and the saffron party - though contesting separately - notched convincing leads in crucial civic body polls in the metropolis and other key cities across Maharashtra.

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23 Feb 2017 | 2:12 PM

Seven killed in Lahore blast

Islamabad, Feb 23 (UNI) At least seven people were killed and 15 others injured as blast rocked Lahore's commercial area, local media said today.

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23 Feb 2017 | 1:42 PM
3 soldiers, woman killed in militant ambush in Kashmir

3 soldiers, woman killed in militant ambush in Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 23 (UNI) Three Army personnel and a woman were killed and three soldiers injured in a militant ambush in the wee hours in south Kashmir district of Shopian, a police spokesman said.

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23 Feb 2017 | 12:06 PM
PM to unveil 112-foot statue of Shiva in TN

PM to unveil 112-foot statue of Shiva in TN

Coimbatore, Feb 23(UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the 112 feet statue of Shiva known as ‘Adiyogi’ on Mahashivaratri tomorrow.

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23 Feb 2017 | 11:58 AM
Govt directs NAFED to procure pulses directly from farmers

Govt directs NAFED to procure pulses directly from farmers

New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) In order to provide remunerative prices to farmers for their produce, the Government has directed National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) to procure pulses directly from the farmers.

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23 Feb 2017 | 2:45 PM
Iraqi security forces storm Mosul airport

Iraqi security forces storm Mosul airport

BAGHDAD, Feb 23 (Reuters) - US-backed Iraqi security forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul stormed the city's main airport and a nearby military base today, state television said.

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23 Feb 2017 | 12:19 PM
India's satellite launch wins accolades from international media

India's satellite launch wins accolades from international media

15 Feb 2017 | 10:02 PM

New Delhi, Feb 15 (UNI) India today carved out a niche in annals of space science by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single mission, overtaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russia in 2014 and winning accolades from the international community and the global media.

TransferWise launches international money transfers via Facebook

TransferWise launches international money transfers via Facebook

21 Feb 2017 | 12:57 PM

By Anna Irrera NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) Money transfer company TransferWise has launched a new service that allows users to send money internationally through Facebook Inc's chat application, as competition in the digital payments landscape intensifies.

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