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Vajpayee against 'activist' role by Centre
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, granted an audience to two of his Shiv Sena ``colleagues'', Mr. Manohar Joshi and Mr. Suresh Prabhu, to explain to them that the Centre was watching the developing situation in Maharashtra over the possible arrest of Mr. Bal Thackeray, and that it would everything possible - which was not much - to avert that eventuality.

Thackeray's appeal
The Shiv Sena chief, Mr. Bal Thackeray, has appealed to his followers not to enforce any ``bandh'', saying he did not want any violence or communal riots.

SC expresses concern
The Supreme Court, hearing related pending petitions on ``implementation of the Srikrishna Commission report today, expressed its ``distress'' and ``concern'' over the statements of some Union Ministers which were at variance with what was stated in an affidavit filed in the Court.

 Karunanidhi favours CMs' meet on autonomy: Farooq
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, today urged the Centre to take steps for an in-depth consultation on the question of autonomy to the States ``within the ambit of the country's sovereignty,'' even as his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, said Mr. Karunanidhi preferred a conference of all the Chief Ministers to discuss the issue.

 China ready to increase pace of talks on LAC
China is prepared to quicken the pace of negotiations with India on the clarification of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the two nations, according to the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan.

IT raids 'reasonably successful'
With the dust slowly settling on the nationwide raids on cricketers, bookies and sports administrators, murky details about betting, huge investments in property, unearthing of palatial houses, investments in jewellery and huge holdings in Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDRs) have come to light.

RBI hikes bank rate
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a series of measures to halt the slide of the rupee against the U.S. dollar, which includes an increase in the bank rate by one percentage point (from 7 per cent to 8 per cent) at the close of business today.

Wheat, rice prices cut
The Government today announced a reduction in the prices of rice and wheat sold under the Public Distribution System.

G-8 pledge on debt relief
The seven richest nations on Friday renewed a pledge to implement a package of up to $100 billion in debt relief for the poorest countries, but gave no indication of the fresh initiative critics have sought.


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