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THE HINDU
wishes its readers

A HAPPY VINAYAKA CHATHURTHI

As today is a holiday for our office on account of 'Vinayaka Chathurthi', there will be no edition dated 23rd August.

Basmati issue rocks Parliament
The granting of a patent on Basmati rice to an American company by the U.S. Patent Office sparked considerable heat in both the Houses of Parliament today.

Copy cannot be better than the original
The official stand on the United States Patent and Trademark Company granting the patent to Texas-based RiceTec for ``superior strain'' of Basmati rice is that it won't impact on rice exports.

 Stray violence marks Bihar bandh
Stray violence and disruption of rail traffic today marred the 12-hour Bihar bandh called by the NDA to demand the resignation of the Bihar Chief Minister, Ms. Rabri Devi, as police rounded up 4,000 people including the alliance's top State leadership during the shutdown that affected normal life across the State.

Privilege motion against Sinha
A privilege motion was moved today against the Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, in the Rajya Sabha by the Congress MP, Mr. Kapil Sibal, on the grounds that the Minister had ``deliberately misled'' the House while replying to a discussion on the Unit Trust of India (UTI) muddle.

Madras High Court CJ shifted
The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Mr. Nagendra Kumar Jain, has been transferred to the Karnataka High Court. A press communique of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs says, ``in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article of the Constitution, the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer'' Mr. Justice Jain as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

Western diplomats return
The fate of the eight arrested international aid workers in Afghanistan continues to hang in the balance as the three Western diplomats who had gone to Kabul to visit them returned here without achieving their goal.

SC directive to Chief Secy.
The Supreme Court today asked the Chief Secretary of the Orissa Government to be present in the court on August 29 to explain the steps taken by the State Government to implement the model sewerage system in the temple town of Puri.

Ranil invited for talks
The Prime Minister, Mr Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, today invited the leader of the United National Party for talks on forming a government of national reconciliation.

LS nod for Bill on freezing seats
The Lok Sabha today passed a Constitution Amendment Bill, extending the current freeze on the number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies till 2026 but providing for fresh delimitation to alter the size of the constituency.

Catholic, RSS leaders meet
Catholic and RSS leaders today came face-to- face for a dialogue in an effort to remove misgivings. The RSS was represented by its chief, Mr. K.S. Sudarshan, its chief spokesman, Mr. Madan Vaidya, and another senior member, Dr. S. Shastri; the Catholic Bishop Conference of India was represented by its secretary-general, Archbishop Oswald Gracious, the senior vice-president, Archbishop Vincent Concessaro, Father Donald D'Souza and Father Domminic Emmanuel.

India to stay away from Asian championship
India has decided not to take part in the second edition of the Asian test cricket championships, ending months of speculation.


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