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 Help ease the burden, Naik tells States
The Finance Ministry has agreed to deposit Rs. 4,429 crores into the oil pool account as part of a three- pronged strategy to tackle the situation arising out of the spurt in international crude prices, without imposing much burden on the consumer. The amount was withdrawn by the Government about a decade ago and the Petroleum Ministry has been seeking its return.

 India for global group on oil prices
The Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, in his speech to the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF called for the establishment of a joint consultative group with representatives drawn from industrial as well as developing countries which would periodically review oil prices as well as the demand and supply situation.

 Naoko Takahashi scores a 'first' for Japan
Naoko Takahashi clocked an Olympic best while winning the women's marathon gold for Japan here on Sunday. In a country where marathon running is close to religion, Takahashi's feat, first- ever Olympic marathon gold for Japan, should set off wild celebrations.

Pakistani poet's visa extended
Pakistani writer, Mr. Aftab Hussain, who fled to India in March following ``harassment'' by the military regime for publishing poems of the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, has been given 180 days extension of visa for stay in this country although he had sought political asylum.

Gopal still awaiting word from Veerappan
Four days after the Government emissary and editor of the Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran , Mr. R. R. Gopal, left on his fourth forest mission to negotiate with the brigand, Veerappan, the release of the Kannada actor, Mr. Rajkumar and three other hostages, it is still a waiting predicament for Mr.Gopal.

Bengal violence a threat to democracy: Advani
The Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, today said violence in West Bengal was a ``constant threat'' to democracy in that State.

Protests over tigers issue
People from as many as 62 villages surrounding Nandankanan Zoological Park are now up in arms against the shifting of tigers and lions to the zoos in Andhra Pradesh.

LTTE 'abducts' 10 girls
The LTTE abducted ten school girls in the eastern province to conscript them for filling up its depleted ranks after the Sri Lankan troops captured Chavakachcheri in the Jaffna peninsula, an Army spokesman, Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, said. They were abducted from Kokkadicholai when they were returning home after attending their tuition classes on September 14.

Crash averted in Colombo
A major disaster, involving a Sri Lankan Airlines A330 Airbus, was averted at Sri Lanka's Bandarnaike airport. It was piloted by a Sri Lankan and two Indian trainees.

NAM 2002 in Bangladesh
A summit of the non-aligned movement will be held in Bangladesh in March 2002, a Foreign Ministry official said today. ``By that time, Bangladesh will have finished its next parliamentary elections.

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