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 India, U.S. rule out support to Eelam
India today said that it was withholding any fresh initiative for ending the strife in Sri Lanka even as New Delhi and Washington reiterated their rejection for an independent Tamil State.

Blast near Norwegian embassy
There was a minor explosion near the Norwegian Embassy here tonight which the police said was caused by a device flung by two men on a motorcycle. There were no casualties. The device landed in an unoccupied house next door to the embassy.

 Harsh decisions needed to set things right: PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, dedicated the INSAT-3B satellite to the nation at a in the Raj Bhavan here this afternoon. Later, while laying the foundation stone for the Rs. 8,000-crore refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation at Paradip, Mr. Vajapayee stressed on the need for harsh decisions and attacked the Opposition for criticising his Government's economic policies.

France to set up Mirage shop in India
France has offered to establish a part of the manufacturing facility for the latest generation of its prestigious aircraft, Mirage, in India in a package for cooperation in the defence-related field. Envisaging labour- sharing, the French proposal is intended to bring down the cost and to make the aircraft attractive price-wise.

C'wealth, U.N. pressure on Speight
The United Nations and the Commonwealth today exerted moral pressure on Mr. George Speight, the ``civil coup'' leader in Fiji, to set free the democratically elected Prime Minister of Indian origin, Mr. Mahendra Chaudhry, as a prelude to a constitutional settlement of the continuing crisis in the South Pacific island-republic.

Subsidies large, reform stuck: World Bank
The World Bank's Country Director for India, Mr. Edwin Lim, gave India a sharp rap on the knuckles when he said, ``The benefits of growth are not being translated into poverty reduction. Household survey data shows poverty stagnating in the Nineties. India's fiscal position has worsened in recent years.

IDF skirts curbs issue
The two-day meeting of the India Development Forum 2000 concluded here today without any clear indication whether economic sanctions against India adopted by several donor nations in the aftermath of the Pokhran nuclear tests had been lifted. The head of the Indian delegation, Dr. E.A.S. Sarma, when asked about the reaction of donor nations said the question had not arisen.

Menon may be envoy to China
The Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon, is likely to posted to Beijing as India's new Ambassador. The current Ambassador to China, Mr. Vijay Nambair, is being shifted to Pakistan, as per an earlier announcement.

HC notice to Prasar Bharati on cricket telecast
The Karnataka High Court today passed an interim order directing the Prasar Bharati not to permit any person to exploit internet rights for cricket matches played in India, and hosted by the BCCI, without inviting tenders or auctioning the rights.

Ask Sidhu, says Prabhakar
The former cricket all-rounder, Mr. Manoj Prabhakar, today named Mr. Kapil Dev who allegedly tried to bribe him six years ago and said compatriot Mr. N.S. Sidhu ``knows everything''.

India is our trusted partner, says Russia
India being Russia's strategic partner, there can be no arms supplies to Pakistan, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Ilya Klebanov, said on Wednesday.


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