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Tuesday, February 15, 2000

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 Foreign elements behind Bihar violence, says PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today attributed the violence during the first phase of Bihar elections on Saturday to ``external forces'' and promised that his Government would do everything possible to control the menace.

Opposition slams review panel constitution
Even as the BJP today sought the cooperation of all political parties in reviewing the Constitution, saying it was intended to ``strengthen'' the system, the Opposition called the exercise politically motivated and questioned the choice of some of the members of the panel which would review the Constitution.

 'Signing CTBT will help'
In the first signs of an easing of the global nuclear blockade against India, France says it is ready to consider civilian nuclear energy cooperation if New Delhi adopts a positive approach towards the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Abdullah hits out at autonomy opponents
The poll-plank of my party is getting greater autonomy for the State and if it is denied, it would amount to a breach of trust, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, said here today.

Reforms: States found wanting
The Planning Commission has found most of the States wanting in pushing the economic reforms programme, including the pro-active ``reform-oriented'' States such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Deepa Mehta to test Bengal waters
The Jyoti Basu Government in West Bengal will allow the filming of the controversial film, Water only after ensuring that the script would not in any way hurt the sentiments of the widows.

Wiranto suspended
14. The developments in Indonesia over the supremacy of the democratically elected leader took a decisive turn today in Jakarta as the President, Mr. Abdurrahman Wahid, placed Gen. Wiranto under `suspension' as the Senior Minister for Politics and Security and installed Mr. Suryadi Sudirya, in his place.

Chandrika presents budget
The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, today made a surprise visit to Parliament and presented the 2000 budget. According to the parliamentary programme, the Junior Finance Minister, Mr.G. L. Peiris, was due to unveil the annual budget.

Advani's shadow on review panel
Though the announcement about the composition of the ``Constitution Review Commission'' was made on Sunday, in the name of the Prime Minister, many others, including Mr. L.K. Advani, Mr. Ram Jethmalani, Mr. Soli Sorabjee and Mr. Justice (retd.) M.N. Venkatachalaiah had their say. The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Arun Jaitely, himself a leading lawyer, was also consulted.

'Foreign origin not a priority issue'
The Constitution Review Commission Chairman, Mr. Justice (retd.) M. N. Venkatachalaiah, said today that the issue of barring people of foreign origin from occupying high Constitutional offices was not a priority item.

Protest against Valentine's Day
Activists of various student organisations, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad(ABVP) today held demonstrations against the Valentine's Day programmes being held in the city and forced more than 100 youth celebrating the day in various restaurants to leave.

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