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 PM rules out restoring pre-1953 status to J&K
Ruling out the possibility of restoring the pre- 1953 status for Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today indicated that the Centre was prepared to consider more ``political and financial powers to the States''.

 Ten tigers die at Nandankanan Zoo
In a shocking incident, as many as 10 tigers, seven of them precious white tigers, have died in the Nandankanan Zoological Park situated on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The first death occurred on Tuesday evening, while three tigers died in the night. Six died today.

 Delhi reiterates support to Sri Lanka
India today renewed its support to any ``forward movement'' in the Sri Lankan political process to find a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict in the island-nation.

Uttar Pradesh CM to stay
A crucial dinner meeting at the Prime Minister's residence this evening decided against all previous indication that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Ram Prakash Gupta, will be replaced. The BJP president, Mr. Kushabhau Thakre, after a three-hour meeting, said Mr. Gupta would continue in office.

 PM promises increased support to renewable energy sector
Expressing concern over the lack of a well- coordinated approach to generation, transmission and distribution of power, which has resulted in chronic scarcity of electricity in several States, the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, today underscored the need for further simplifying the process to encourage large-scale private sector investment to ensure development of the country's natural energy resources in a sustainable manner.

Cong., Left criticise Govt. on autonomy
The Vajpayee Government's handling of the autonomy issue came under sharp attack from the Opposition today with the Congress(I) pointing to the `contradictions' in the National Democratic Alliance over it and the Left saying that the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly resolution should not be mixed up with the larger question of autonomy for the State within the framework of Article 370.

BJP invites NC to join talks on devolution of powers
The Bharatiya Janata Party today invited the National Conference to ``join the discussion on devolution of more powers for States in a constructive manner'' even as the Prime Minister suggested in Chennai that it was for Dr. Farooq Abdullah's party to decide if it wished to stay with the National Democratic Alliance or leave.

India may join 'Shanghai Five'
India may join the Shanghai Five, a regional summit devoted to security and struggle against international terrorism that unites Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Akash test-fire successful
The indigenously-built multi-target surface-to- air missile Akash was successfully test-fired from the Interim Test Range at Chandipur- on-sea near here today.


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