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 Vajpayee keeps tabs on Kashmir situation
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, camping at Manali, was reported to have telephoned Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, the influential Shia leader who was injured yesterday in a bomb blast.

Paswan defends decision
The Union Communications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, today vigorously defended the free phone bonanza to the telecom staff but refrained from commenting on reports that the Prime Minister had put the package on hold. ``I don't know what view the Prime Minister's Office has taken and therefore I don't want to react at all,'' he told reporters here today.

Curfew eased in Jaffna
With the fighting between the security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in northern Sri Lanka tapering off over the last few days, the Government has eased the nearly 24-hour curfew in Jaffna town.

Speight goes back on offer
The clock was put backwards in Fiji today in regard to the much- promised release of the political hostages including the duly elected Prime Minister, Mr. Mahendra Pal Chaudhry. Instead of taking steps to set them free, the chief hostage-taker and the ``civil coup'' leader, Mr. George Speight, called on the new military rulers to quit the centre stage first. The martial law authorities, too, confirmed that an earlier agreement between them and Mr. Speight had now run into rough weather.

 Stage set for productive engagement with China
As the President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, heads home after a week-long visit to China, India can have the satisfaction that its post-Pokhran diplomacy with the great powers has now acquired a better balance.

Jaswant ends Singapore visit
The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, today left for New Delhi on completing a productive round of discussions with leaders across the entire political spectrum of Singapore - the Prime Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, and the Senior Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, besides the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, and the Foreign Minister, Prof. S. Jayakumar.

CPI(M) plumps for 'third alternative'
With the BJP's ``steel frame'' beginning to show signs of wear and tear - both in terms of its organisational coherence and electoral pull - and the Congress(I) showing no sign of revival, the CPI(M) thinks that time is ripe for a ``third alternative''.

Prabhakar submits video cassettes to CBI
Former all rounder Manoj Prabhakar on Saturday submitted to the Central Bureau of Investigation video recording of what he said were interviews with the who's who of Indian cricket, politicians and certain others on the existence of match-fixing and betting in the game.

CBSE X results
Overall 65.4 per cent of the 4,79,591 students cleared the Class X examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education, the results of which were announced today.

DMK chief's formula for solving Sri Lankan crisis
In a dramatically major shift in the DMK's approach to resolve the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the party president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, tonight said Sri Lanka should either agree for a `territorial separation' on the lines of the Czech and Slovakia republics or grant more rights to the Tamils to enable a ``permanent solution'' to the ethnic strife there.


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