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Friday, February 18, 2000

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 'Peaceful polling' in Bihar, Orissa, E.C. satisfied
An estimated 60 to 65 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise for the second phase of election to the Bihar Assembly in a `by and large peaceful' polling. In Orissa, where the first phase of election was held to the Assembly, the voter turnout was 60 per cent and it was incident-free.

 U.S. will mediate on J&K if asked: Clinton
After saying, initially, that India and Pakistan would have to sort out ``this business of Kashmir'' between themselves and that Washington could not get involved unless asked to by the two countries, the President, Mr. Bill Clinton, has made it known now that the United States would ``absolutely'' be willing to get involved to try and help mediate in the Kashmir issue if asked to.

India's stand will not change: PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, was today quoted as saying that the Indian public would ``seriously disapprove'' of the U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, visiting Pakistan after his trip to India next month.

BJP's 'warning' to CVC
Clearly unhappy with the Central Vigilance Commission for having referred a list of politicians connected earlier with the hawala scandal to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a further probe into accumulation of unaccounted money, the BJP virtually warned that ``such actions will diminish the sanctity of the CVC''.

'Panel must study foreign origin issue'
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, today said that the issue of barring people of foreign origin from occupying top constitutional positions should be taken up by the newly set-up Constitution review panel.

ICHR decision independent: BJP
The BJP today claimed that the Government had nothing to do with the withdrawal from the Oxford University Press two volumes of the book, ``Towards Freedom'', edited by Dr. Sumit Sarkar and Dr. K. N. Panikkar by the Indian Council of Historical Research.

French Foreign Minister arrives
The French Foreign Minister, Mr. Hubert Vedrine, arrived here today on a two-day visit to bolster bilateral ties.

Deepa Mehta firm on filming 'Water'
The filmmaker, Ms. Deepa Mehta, has said that the shooting of her controversial film, `Water,' will begin very soon in India and not outside the country.

Maran to discuss trade with China, not Karmapa issue
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Murasoli Maran, today left Bangkok for Shanghai to begin a visit to China, the first by an Indian political leader since the recent flight to India by the Tibetan Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee.

Ultras strike in Assam
Three police personnel were killed and five seriously injured when their vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device near Nawchalia village in Nalbari district this afternoon.

Bajrang Dal shifts venue
The national convention of the Bajrang Dal will be held at Brindavan from March 3 to 5 instead of Bhopal to avoid a confrontation with the Madhya Pradesh Government, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad working president, Mr. Ashok Singhal, said here today.

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