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Events 2000

 Fiji military pledges to restore Constitution
Fiji's military pledged today to restore the country's multi-racial Constitution in a setback for coup leader Mr. George Speight's attempt to ensure that top political posts are reserved for indigenous Fijians.

Agreement in Solomon Islands
Easing tensions in the strife-torn Solomon Islands, rebels who seized the Capital last week, agreed today to let the police take back control of law and order.

 Azhar put me on to a bookie: Cronje
Disgraced South African cricket captain, Hansie Cronje, has named former Indian cricket captain, Mohammed Azharuddin, as having introduced him to Mukesh Gupta (`MK'), ``a bookmaker or punter'', from whom he received $30,000 in return for a promise to throw the third Test match at Kanpur during South Africa's tour of India in 1996.

Purulia may sour Jaswant's Moscow trip
The case of five Russian pilots convicted in the Purulia arms-drop case may cast a shadow over the coming visit of the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, to Moscow.

PM apprised of attacks on Christians
The only Christian member of the National Commission for the Minorities (NCM), Mr.John Joseph, was granted an exclusive appointment with the Prime Minister, Mr.Atal Behari Vajpayee, here this evening, fuelling rumours about voices of dissent among the Commission members over their reaction to the recent attacks on Christians.

Naidu reiterates stand
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, reiterated his earlier statement that he never threatened to withdraw support to the Vajpayee Government over the issue of bomb blasts in two churches in the State.

Cronje says he dealt with Hamid, Mukesh, Sanjay
Before former South African captain, Hansie Cronje, began his sensational testimony today, the judge, Mr. Edwin King, addressed Cronje reminding him that though he had been offered immunity from prosecution if he told the truth, Mr. King had to be satisfied that Cronje had indeed made the full disclosure. The judge reminded Cronje - who admitted to having lied several times already - of the Gospel according to St John (`The Truth shall set you free').

Fernandes, Hoon discuss bilateral issues
The Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, met his British counterpart, Mr. Geoff Hoon, today in the first ministerial- level meeting between the defence establishments of the two countries.

'Peacekeepers still held hostage'
There is no change in the position of 21 Indian peacekeepers taken hostage by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, the Chief United Nations Spokesman, Mr. Fred Eckhard, said today.

Azhar must stay out of team till cleared: Dhindsa
The Sports Minister, Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said tonight that Mohammad Azharudin should, on his own, stay out of the cricket team till he is cleared of the ``serious allegations'' levelled against him by Hansie Cronje.

Go back with stowaways, Italian ship master told
Immigration officials here today asked the Croatian master of the hijacked Italian cargo ship ``mv Medstar'' to take back all the 14 stowaways and leave the Mumbai shores.

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