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@britannica.co.in

 British, American special forces 'closing in' on Osama
London, Nov. 18. In a major breakthrough, British defence experts today claimed that the international search for the fugitive terrorist, Osama bin Laden, had been narrowed down to a 30-square mile range in southeastern Afghanistan, and the special troops trailing him were simply ``hours'' behind him.

Al-Qaeda 'slaughtering' deserters
London, Nov. 18. A bloody civil war is reported to have broken out between the elite foreign cadres of the Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, and the indigenous Taliban troops, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Maneka loses Culture portfolio
New Delhi, Nov. 18. In an unexpected development, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi was stripped of her ministerial charge of `Culture.'

13 Armymen, 3 civilians killed in 'fidayeen' attack
Srinagar, Nov. 18. At least 13 Armymen and three civilians were killed when a suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked a convoy near Maitra Bridge on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway today.

POTO to dominate session
New Delhi, Nov. 18. The Vajpayee Government is going to find itself batting on the back-foot most of the time during the Parliament session that begins tomorrow, with both the BJP and the Opposition positioning themselves for the electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh.

'Taliban's fall precursor to peace in J&K'
Amritsar, Nov. 18. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, saw the defeat of religious fanaticism in Afghanistan as a trend- setting example to the rest of the world and hoped that the fall of the Taliban could well be a precursor to peace in Kashmir.

 A light show to remember for stargazers
Mount Wilson (California), Nov. 18. Even veteran stargazers were amazed with the light show thousands of tiny meteors gave them early Sunday.

STF to stay
Bangalore, Nov. 18. Karnataka has ruled out withdrawal of the Special Task Force and conceding the other demands of the forest brigand, Veerappan.

Badal hospitalised
Chandigarh, Nov. 18. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, was admitted to hospital today after he suffered a thigh bone fracture from a fall in the bathroom at a guest house in Amritsar.

Quake in Bhuj
Pune, Nov. 18. An earthquake of slight intensity shook Bhuj in Gujarat early this morning.


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