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 Centre, DMK agree on Sri Lanka policy
The DMK and the Vajpayee establishment claimed today that there were no differences between the Government of India and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister over the policy towards Sri Lanka.

 Split up Microsoft, orders U.S. judge
A U.S. Federal judge on Wednesday ordered that the Microsoft Corporation should be split into two, but a defiant Chairman of the company, Mr. Bill Gates, said he would keep fighting the issue in Federal Appeals Courts.

Attack on churches in 3 States
A series of bomb explosions occurred in churches in three States on Thursday causing concern to the minority community. While two churches were targeted in Andhra Pradesh, two bomb explosions took place in a Catholic church in Wadi town of Karnataka's Gulbarga district. In another incident, a bomb went off in a church at Vasco in south Goa damaging a portion of the building.

Trinamool wrests Panskura
Dealing a heavy blow to West Bengal's ruling Communists today, the Trinamool Congress candidate, Mr Bikram Sircar, won the prestigious Panskura seat by a margin of 41,460 votes, cashing in on the goodwill of the party supremo and Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee.

 Scenes of joy, despondency
The result of Panskura byelection was announced today amid scenes of joy and despondency in Trinamool and Left camps. Ms Banerjee, who has been camping in Midnapore town for the past 10 days, renewed her call for a grand alliance of anti-Left forces, especially the Congress, saying ``if we unitedly fight against the Left Front, it will be wiped out from Bengal.''

Three nations reject Pak. envoy nominees
In a major diplomatic setback for the Musharraf Government, at least three European Governments have rejected the appointment of retired Pakistani military officers as ambassadors. The countries involved are said to be Italy, Sweden and Belgium.

 Commonwealth team to reach Fiji today
Political dissent in parts of Fiji over the continuing crisis there came into a sharp focus today even as the ``civil coup'' leader, Mr. George Speight, asked the Commonwealth, especially Australia as its prime mover in the South Pacific region, to mind its own business. A Commonwealth delegation is expected to arrive in the Fijian capital of Suva tomorrow for urging a quick end to the current crisis.

Over 100 Tamil youth held
More than 100 Tamil youth have been taken into custody in connection with yesterday's suicide attack which killed Sri Lanka's Minister for Industrial Development, C.V. Gooneratne, and 22 others. The Minister's wife, Shyama, who was critically wounded in the blast, succumbed to her injuries in hospital this afternoon.

U.S. denies reports on mediation
The Clinton administration has denied reports that it has started ``secret diplomatic mediation'' between India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir dispute.


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