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CNN, WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE DAILY CALLER (US)

Worldcrunch

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan battled through a tough vice presidential debate Thursday, with commentators largely suggesting that the result was a draw.

Immediate polls showed that voters were split on who won the debate with CNN putting Ryan at 48% and Biden on 44%. CNBC also swayed toward Ryan, with 50% of respondents, to Biden's 36%, while CBS gave 50% to Biden and 31% to Ryan.

As the only showdown between the vice presidential nominees, the debate Thursday featured a wide variety of topics, but wound up largely dominated by foreign policy, with Biden and Ryan sparring over Iran, Afghanistan and Syria.

The global emphasis seemed to play into Biden's hands, with the Vice President and former longtime Senator repeatedly alluding to his vast experience in foreign affairs. Still, the 42-year-old Ryan, who has focused mostly on domestic issues during his 13 years in Congress, managed to hold his own.

Biden was on the attack last night, after President Obama's somewhat lackluster performance last week, mentioning Romney's now infamous "47%" remark. However, many have noted Biden's techniques of smirking, grinning and interrupting Ryan as an attempt to belittle the Republican nominee.

For those brief moments you don't see a #BidenSmirk on my face, know that I've got a #BidenSmirk in my heart. #VPDebate

— Biden Smirk (@BidenSmirk) October 12, 2012

Pundits are shocked at Joe Biden's laughing and eye rolling. What? They should be shocked at Paul Ryan's blatant distortion of facts.

— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) October 12, 2012

At one point, Biden quizzed Ryan on his and Romney's plans to cut tax bills of the wealthy, and after his response, quipped, "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey."

Biden is hitting in one answer all the things Obama left out in the entire first 90 minute debate

— Bill Maher (@billmaher) October 12, 2012

CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen said: “Overall on substance, I think it was a draw. Each side will draw a lot of encouragement from it.”

“But I did want to make a point: On style, I think Paul Ryan won the debate. And that is, Biden, the dismissive laughs, the interruptions, the sort of shouting — I think that Ryan was calmer and frankly more presidential. On style, not substance, I think it was a Ryan victory. On substance, I thought it was a draw,” Gergen said in the Daily Caller, a Washington D.C. based news and opinion website.

What most seemed to agree upon was the praise for moderator ABC News' Martha Raddatz, who remained calm and articulate throughout:

Somehow at this debate, Paul Ryan came in third.

— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 12, 2012

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Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

Photo of women harvesting saffron in Kashmir

Harvesting of Saffron in Kashmir

Mubashir Naik

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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