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Battles on Jaffna doorstep
Pitched battles raged on the doorstep of Jaffna town today, with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam denting Sri Lankan Army defences close to the town. Curfew was imposed in Jaffna, which is home to about five lakh civilians.

Arms arriving for Sri Lanka
Despite their military gains, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may now encounter tougher resistance from the Sri Lankan troops who are now getting fresh arms supplies from abroad, highly-placed sources in the Government said.

We are 1 billion today
The countdown has begun for the one-billionth child -- officially -- to be born at the Safdarjung hospital here. The United Nations Population Fund has sponsored a `function' to mark the arrival of the one billionth baby. Two or three babies are to be born at the appointed hour of 12.56 pm at this hospital. Whoever arrives on time shall become the focus of world media attention.

'S.C. ceiling no hurdle to quota'
The Government today assured the Lok Sabha that it would not allow the Supreme Court's ceiling of 50 per cent on SC/ST job reservation to come in the way of individual States going in for a bigger quota.

'Contacts with Hurriyat do exist'
Claiming that an informal channel did exist between the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and the Government of India for a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the Peoples Democratic Party chief, Mr. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said here today that there was a real change in the perception of the BJP-led Government.

BJP not for J&K division
The Bharatiya Janata Party today rejected the idea of division of Jammu and Kashmir, saying that while the formation of regional councils for better, all-round development of the state could be considered, there was no question at all of agreeing to divide the State.

Countrywide strike today
Workers owing allegiance to major Left and centrist trade unions are all set to respond to the call for a countrywide general strike tomorrow given by the National Platform of Mass Organisations (NPMO).

Provisional bail for Laloo
The Patna High Court today granted a provisional bail for three months to the former Chief Minister and RJD leader, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, on the condition that he would not tamper with the evidences or influence witnesses in the disproportionate assets case. He is likely to be released tomorrow.

Sibu Soren unseated
The Patna High Court today set aside the election of the JMM(S) president, Mr. Sibu Soren, to the Rajya Sabha and declared the Samata Party leader and industrialist, Mr. D.N. Sahay, elected in his place.


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