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 Hopes recede for survivors
The death toll in Friday's disastrous earthquake in Gujarat was today officially confirmed at over 25,000, even while uncleared debris lay in heaps in large parts of the worst- affected Bhuj town, district headquarter of Kutch. In Anjar, Rapar and other towns only 30 per cent debris has been cleared.

Fernandes sticks to his figure
The Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, today defended his estimate that the toll in the killer quake in Gujarat might be more than 1,00,000.

Quake aftermath
The Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, was gheraoed by agitated residents of this town who complained of ``gross neglect'' by the State administration in respect of rescue and relief operations.

Donations continue to pour in
Donations and relief materials continued to pour in today with the European Union pooling in 38 million Euros (Rs. 160 crores) while Oman, which was the first to send a consignment of aid, sent two more by chartered flights. Bhutan has also contributed Bhutanese currency 20 million to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.

Rly. budget may be harsh: PM
After telling the country here yesterday that it should be ready to bear additional burden to cope with the gigantic task of relief and rehabilitation in the earthquake- ravaged Gujarat, the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, today asked the countrymen to be ready for increases in the railway budget in view of the widening gap between income and expenditure.

Sinha hints at fresh taxes
The Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, today hinted at imposition of fresh taxes due to the earthquake in Gujarat.

 Minister's remarks cost his job
The Karnataka Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Infrastructure Development, Mr. T. John, resigned today following a storm over his remark that the Gujarat earthquake was ``god's punishment for the attacks on missionaries'' there.

`No meddling with statute'
Stung by the President's criticism of attempts at tinkering with the Constitution, the chairman of the statute review panel, Mr. Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah, today reassured him that nothing would be done to undermine his authority or the parliamentary form of democracy.

Bofors case adjourned
The extradition proceedings against Mr. Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Italian national wanted by the CBI in the Bofors case, were adjourned till February 10 by the sessions court judge, Mr. Akhtar Bin Tahir.

Illegal survey
An attempt by two foreign ships from indulging in illegal survey and collection of `strategic hydrographic data' in the Indian nautical zone was foiled by the Indian Coast Guard personnel recently, the Coast Guard chief, Vice-Admiral John C. Desilva, said here today.


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