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India welcomes Bush plan for cuts in n-arsenal
In an unprecedented convergence of views with the United States, India today welcomed the plans for the unilateral reduction of American nuclear forces announced by the President, Mr. George Bush, last night.

 What Ivanov will seek from India
With Indo-Russian relations being described by both sides as ``problem-free,'' the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Igor Ivanov, is likely to focus on international issues in his talks in Delhi on May 4 and 5.

Centre permits FCI to export 30 lakh tonnes of rice
The Centre today permitted the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to offer for export 30 lakh tonnes of rice during the current financial year. Of this, 20 lakh tonnes has been carried forward from the last financial year. This was decided at a meeting of the Union Cabinet here today.

Special status for Uttaranchal
The Cabinet today decided to confer ``special category'' status on Uttaranchal, recently carved out of Uttar Pradesh. The decision would mean a more liberal flow of Central assistance to the new State in the Himalayan region.

EC reviews situation in 5 States
The Election Commission today reviewed the law and order situation in the five States where Assembly polls are to be held on May 10. The Commission expressed concern over unabated pre-poll violence in Assam.

'Order can't be challenged during polls'
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court was told by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. P. J. Thomas, that any matter which had the effect of challenging the electoral process could be brought up only after the election was over.

Bilateralism unhelpful: Geelani
The senior Kashmir leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has asserted that the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) had not rejected the Centre's offer of dialogue but merely reaffirmed its view that bilateralism was an unhelpful format for resolving the Kashmir problem. Mr. Geelani made these observations in an interview with a news website here.

Hasina not to visit India
Bangladesh today said it would favourably consider India's invitation for talks on border rowbut scotched speculation about Prime Minister, Ms. Sheikh Hasina, visiting Delhi later this month.

Blast near Panja's house
A powerful bomb exploded today in front of the residence of dissident Trinamool Congress leader, Mr.Ajit Panja, but no one was hurt. The explosion occurred at about 5.45 p.m when Mr. Panja was addressing a press conference along with West Bengal BJP president, Mr. Asim Ghosh and vice-president, Mr. Muzaffar Khan. A member of Panja's personal staff said two persons were seen speeding off on a two-wheeler immediately after the blast.

BALCO stir continues
The BALCO trade unions today announced that a decision would be taken on May 4 on the new management's offer to resolve the dispute over privatisation even as they maintained that they were continuing the strike.


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