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Sinha hopes sanctions will be lifted soon
The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, has expressed confidence that the United States will lift the economic sanctions against India ``as quickly as possible''.

Pant ready to clarify to Shabir Shah
The Centre's designated interlocutor on Kashmir, Mr. Kishen Chand Pant, is prepared to have an ``open mind'' on the clarifications sought by the resistance leader, Mr. Shabir Shah, about the nature of dialogue the Vajpayee Government wants to initiate in Jammu and Kashmir.

LeT belligerent
After lying low for several months, the Pakistan- based Lashkar-e-Taiba has said that it would step up militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir to scuttle the peace process, and vowed to continue `fidayeen' (suicide) attacks to achieve its goal of ``disintegrating India through armed struggle''.

No steps against workers: PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today assured the working class that his Government would not take any step which might affect their interests.

India not surprised by U.S. line on Pak.
India is not surprised by Washington's reluctance to designate the Lashkar-e-Taiba a terrorist organisation or put Pakistan in the dock as a state sponsor of terrorism.

India under 'Special 301' watchlist
India, along with the European Union and 14 other countries, has been brought under the `Special 301' priority watchlist of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for violation of the intellectual property rights.

LTC freeze to stay
The two-year freeze on leave travel concession for Central Government employees will stay, Finance Ministry sources said, scotching reports that the decision in this regard could be reviewed.

Counting deferred
The State Election Commission today decided to postpone counting of ballots, which was to have begun from May 5, for non-arrival of ballot papers from Kolkata for repoll on May 3. The Election Commissioner, Mr. M. L. Mazumdar, said here today that the Commission could not go ahead with scheduled repoll on May 3.

BJP candidate killed
The BJP candidate for the Dibrugarh Assembly constituency, Mr. Jayanta Dutta, and two other party workers were killed by suspected ULFA activists in a shoot-out at around 8.30 p.m. in Dibrugarh town today. Six people, including four policemen, sustained injuries in the shoot-out at the BJP office.


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