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Sinha for better ties with U.S.
The Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, here to attend the Spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, met the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Mr. Paul O'Neill, on Friday. A range of issues, including the intensification of economic ties between the two countries, was discussed.

A first for space tourism
American businessman, Mr. Dennis Tito, blasted off into space aboard a Russian rocket at 1.07 p.m. on Saturday, heading for the International Space Station and becoming the world's first space tourist. The Itar-tass news agency reported that the Soyuz-TM capsule separated from the booster nine minutes after blast-off and that the capsule had entered into its orbit.

Centre, NSCN-K declare ceasefire
The prospects of peace in strife-torn Nagaland brightened today with the Government entering into a formal ceasefire agreement with the Khaplang group of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K). It already has a four- year-old ceasefire with the other NSCN faction led by Isak Swu and T. Muivah.

JKDFP deliberates on talks offer
The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) today began formulating its response to the Centre's offer of unconditional talks on the Kashmir issue.

Mamata still not clear on NDA: Panja
The dissident Trinamool Congress leader, Mr. Ajit Panja, today sharpened his attack against the party leadership, accusing it of ``fooling'' the people by not taking steps to complete the process of pulling out from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

CBI chief appointment after final orders: CAT
The Bangalore Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), with reference to a petition filed before it by an officer of the rank of Director-General of Police, has ruled that the appointment of a new director for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) shall be made only after its final orders on the petition.

Quake hits Capital
An earthquake shook the Capital this morning forcing people to flee their houses in panic. Most of the residents in east and west Delhi felt the shock as the tremor took place at 8.37 hours.

19 prisoners escape
Nineteen prisoners escaped from the Sendhwa sub- jail in Barwani on Friday night by cutting the iron bars and scaling the wall, police said here today.

17 sentenced for gang-rape
Seventeen persons were sentenced to life term by the sessions court here today for their involvement in the gang-rape of nuns at Navapara in 1998.


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