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Monday, February 14, 2000

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11-member Constitution review panel announced
The Government today announced the setting up of a 11-member Constitution review Commission to be chaired by Mr. Justice M. N. Venkatachalaiah. The Commission is expected to give its report `within a year' and suggest changes, if any, within the framework of parliamentary democracy.

Accord with PM; RSS backs off
The Central Government will not revise the conduct rules for Government servants which forbid them from becoming members of or participating in the activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.

 Advani promises 'violence-free' polls
The Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, today took serious exception to the `widespread' violence that killed several security men in Bihar during the first-phase of election on Saturday. Mr. Advani assured that steps would be taken to ensure that the remaining phases were ``violence-free.''

Central team reviews J & K situation
The law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir was reviewed at a high- level meeting between a Central team and the State administration here today. The meeting decided that the militants be dealt with greater firmness to frustrate their designs.

Pie on his face
The outgoing chief of the IMF, Mr. Michel Camdessus, was hit on the face with a cream pie by an American anti-free trade activist at the UNCTAD meet here today.

Osama in Jalalabad?
Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden appeared in Afghanistan' eastern town of Jalalabad, the private news agency, NNI, has said, quoting media reports. He ``will stay in the eastern zone for a short time to carry out important tasks.''

Maran for globalisation with 'safeguards'
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Murasoli Maran, today called for globalisation with ``safeguards'' and cautioned the international community against creating a new ``networking behemoth'' involving the World Bank ,the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation.

Kashmir not on agenda of U.N. session: Annan
The Kashmir question will not figure in the planned agenda of the prospective ``millennium session'' of the United Nations General Assembly, according to the U.N. Secretary- General, Mr. Kofi Annan. Affirming this in Bangkok today, Mr. Annan did not indicate, one way or other, whether the Kashmir issue will altogether be taken off the U.N. agenda.

India, Pak. lobbyists step up heat in U.S.
Although India has made it clear that whether the U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, should visit Pakistan or not is a ``sovereign decision'' that should be taken by Washington; and Pakistan has made no bones of the fact that it does indeed wish (and hope for) Mr. Clinton to include the country in his South Asia programme, both New Delhi and Islamabad are engaged in a battle by employing ``a bevy of highly paid lobbyists,'' says The New York Times.

U.S. and India's French connection
As India prepares to receive the U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, in a few weeks from now, the United States is clearly the flavour of the month in New Delhi.

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