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Over 60 p.c. polling in final phase
The third and last phase of polling for the four State Assemblies concluded on a ``satisfactory note'' barring Bihar where eight persons, including seven gangsters attempting to capture booths, were killed. In Manipur, three police personnel of the Manipur Rifles were killed and three injured in an ambush on the convoy of a candidate. (A PTI report from Patna said 12 people were killed in poll-related violence in the State.)

 India, China sign pact on WTO
India and China today signed an agreement here pledging New Delhi's support to Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and for boosting bilateral trade, official sources said.

Opposition all set for attack
Even as the Government has given enough indications that it wanted the citizens to tighten their belts and prepare themselves for a ``harsh budget,'' Opposition parties have begun to flex their muscles to take on the ruling coalition. A direct target would be the setting up of the Constitution review commission and the Gujarat Government's order allowing government servants to take part in RSS activities.

Gujarat not to withdraw circular
The Gujarat Government had no plans to withdraw its circular, lifting the ban on Government employees participating in RSS activities in the State, according to the Minister of State for Home, Mr. Haren Pandya. The minister told PTI here today that the State Government had taken the decision after much deliberations and there was no question of going back on it.

ICHR white paper soon
The Chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), Prof. B.R. Grover, announced today that a white paper on the ``Towards Freedom'' project would be published shortly in view of the controversies it had spawned since its inception in the early Seventies.

Musharraf speaks of 'war hysteria'
Pakistan's military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf has accused the Indian leadership of ``trying to create a war hysteria'' and warned New Delhi of ``serious consequences'' if war was ``imposed'' by it.

'Downsizing' of Govt. on anvil
A significant scheme for ``downsizing'' the Central Government is said to have been formalised by the Vajpayee Government and an announcement of the details are likely to form part of the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha's Budget presentation on February 29.

Report on Kargil to be tabled tomorrow
The Government today announced that the Subrahmanyam committee report which went into the Kargil conflict would be placed in Parliament on Thursday.

Hijack plot unearthed
A plot to hijack a plane from Lengpui airport, near here, to force the release of the NSCN (I- M) leader, Mr. Th. Muivah, has been unearthed by the Mizoram police.

Gorkhas to ward off pirates
22. Gorkha warriors would soon take on a new assignment to protect ships from pirates in the Asia-Pacific region.

Five killed in Pak. shelling
Five civilians were killed and seven injured in heavy shelling from across the border in Kupwara sector last evening. Police killed the organiser of Lashkar-e-Taiba in a shootout in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Rafsanjani fails in first round
The former Iranian President, Mr. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's bid to enter Majlis in the first round of elections failed as reformists appeared set for a majority in the 290- member House.

Cong. plans rally against Gujarat order on RSS
The Congress(I) Working Committee, tonight decided to organise a rally here on March six to protest against the Gujarat Government's decision to lift ban on its employees from taking part in RSS activities.


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