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 Sushma gets back I&B, Venkaiah, four others in
Ms. Sushma Swaraj and Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu made their way into the Atal Behari Vajpayee Cabinet today. Besides the two new Cabinet rank Ministers, there are four new Ministers of State - Mr. Shripad Naik of Goa, Mr. Pon Radhakrishnan (from Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu), Mr. Satyabrata Mukherjee of West Bengal, and Mr. U. V. Krishnamaraju of Andhra Pradesh); with these additions (all belonging to the BJP), the strength of the Vajpayee Council of Ministers has gone up to 75.

 Savon's golden hat-trick
Felix Savon, a modern-day gladiator, crowned a majestic boxing career at the millennium Olympics here today with his third consecutive gold medal in the heavyweight division to join another legendary Cuban, Teofilo Stevenson, in the sport's hall of fame. Savon beat the Russian fitness instructor, Sultan Ahmed Ibzagimov, 21-13 in the final.

'Nagappa threw a spanner in the works'
Despite ``almost clinching'' the release of Kannada actor, Mr. Rajkumar, and the others held hostage by brigand Veerappan, what eluded the prized moment was the sudden escape of one of the hostages, Mr. Nagappa Maradagi, on Thursday. This ``angered'' the brigand, the official emissary, Mr. R.R. Gopal, said today.

CPI(M) loses national party status
The Election Commission today derecognised CPI(M) as a national party but kept alive its registration as a State party in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal. The Commission ordered that the symbol of ``hammer, sickle and star'' shall be reserved for the party's exclusive use in the three States.

Difficult steps must for 9 p.c. growth, says PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today called for taking ``difficult steps'' to attain a nine per cent growth during the Tenth Plan period.

New Army chief
Gen. S. Padmanabhan today took over as the new Chief of Army Staff from Gen. V. P. Malik. Later talking to mediapersons, he asserted that his priority would be to bring in operational efficiency and introduce nuclear tactics to enable armed forces to face any nuclear threat.


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