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 Help tide over drought, PM appeals to people
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, today appealed to the people to contribute generously to the National Fund for Calamity Relief to enable the Government to meet the severe drought conditions in several States, especially Gujarat and Rajasthan, admitting that funds released to affected States were inadequate.

Free India from economic bondage, says RSS chief
In a veiled attack on the country's economic reform process, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mr. K. S. Sudarshan, today suggested a ``second independence movement'' to free India from the bondage of economic superpowers. ``We have to fight for the second independence to gain economic freedom in the same manner in which we had fought the British Raj.''

Govt. not serious, says Geelani
Reiterating the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) stand on resolving the Kashmir issue, its chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, said on Sunday that the Indian Government was not serious about negotiating the issue.

Christian group attacked near Agra
Less than a fortnight after a Christian priest and nuns were assaulted in Mathura, a Christian group from Hyderabad was attacked and Biblical literature was set on fire by Bajrang Dal activists on the outskirts of Agra.

DMK chief sees 'shift' in BJP's attitude
With a ``perceptible shift'' in the BJP's attitude to the minorities in the past several months, the DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, today fortified his party's case for being part of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

Sri Lanka protests Vaiko's remarks
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, has lodged a ``strong protest'' with the Indian Government against remarks reportedly made by the MDMK leader, Mr. Vaiko, at an ``LTTE- sponsored meeting at Geneva''.

 Widespread ire over re-union
The Clinton administration is being slammed for the manner in which it went about the re-union between Elian Gonzalez and his father, Mr. Juan Miguel Gonzalez. Meanwhile, the ``spectacle'' has moved from Little Havana in Miami, Florida to Washington with the relatives of Elian coming to this town on Saturday.

Optimism on the eve of Sino-Indian JWG meet
Amidst hopeful signs of improving bilateral ties, senior Indian and Chinese officials will meet here this week to discuss the long-standing boundary dispute and prepare the ground for the visit of the President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, to China next month.

Ghani Khan to brief Sonia
The West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr. A. B. A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury today said that he would explain their stand on the proposed ``mahajot'' (grand alliance) with Trinamool Congress to the party president Ms. Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.

Inflation vaults to 4.64 p.c
Inflation rate scaled a new high of 4.64 per cent for the week ended April 8 following sharp increase in the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.


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