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 PM okays Paswan 'bonanza'
A crucial meeting at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) today approved the controversial ``free-telephone bonanza package'' announced by the Communications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, for the serving employees of the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Department of Telecom Services (DTS).

Jaswant to lay stress on cessation of hostilities
During his Sri Lanka visit beginning tomorrow, the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, will convey India's desire for an early cessation of hostilities and end to terrorism that has brutalised the island nation.

Cronje offered immunity for full disclosure
South African cricketers Hansie Cronje, Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams have been offered immunity from criminal prosecution if they reveal everything about their alleged involvement in match-fixing, an official said today.

Dhindsa for leniency
The Sports Minister, Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today advocated leniency for those Indian players who come forth ``honestly'' and reveal any information or involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

 LTTE asks for ceasefire
The LTTE has urged a temporary ceasefire in Jaffna to enable evacuation of civilians after fighting erupted on Friday in the Thenmarachchi division breaking a lull.

Indian diplomatic effort in Sierra Leone
The 21 Indian soldiers continue to be held hostage in Sierra Leone, even as New Delhi has launched a feverish diplomatic exercise to get them released.

No quick end to Sierra Leone crisis
With Indian peacekeepers taken hostage in Sierra Leone, it is now becoming clear that there are no quick fixes to bring the impasse in the West African State to an early end.

 Syrian President Assad dead
Mr. Hafez al Assad, President of Syria, friend of India and one of the towering personalities of West Asia, died today. The announcement was made on Syrian TV. His death has exposed Syria and the region to a bout of uncertainty.


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