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Wednesday, January 31, 2001

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 Govt. assessing damage; 10 more tremors
The authorities in the quake-hit areas of Gujarat are hoping the worst is over but are still assessing the situation closely before giving an all-clear signal.

Nation must share burden: PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today said the country must be prepared to share the financial burden brought on by the quake. The aid coming from abroad was in the form of loans which had to be repaid with due interest.

 Death, destruction, yet warmth
Four days after Friday's earthquake, this city remains a logistical nightmare for those planning relief. For one, the airport, part of an Indian Air Force base, is stretched to the limit in trying to cope with incoming relief and commercial aircraft. Yesterday, for instance, all traffic was affected because the Prime Minister arrived for an aerial survey.

Bush speaks to PM, assures all aid
The U.S. President, Mr. George Bush, today spoke to the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, and offered all possible assistance for the relief and rehabilitation of earthquake victims.

ADB announces $350 m loan
The Asian Development Bank today said $350 million would be made available immediately for rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the wake of the Gujarat earthquake.

Relief pours in as nations hike aid
Quake relief donations from abroad and within the country continued to pour in today with the British, German and Australian Governments raising the financial assistance in view of the severity of the disaster. Ministers and Members of Parliament also announced donations while public sector companies like the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) pitched in as well.

Five killed in chopper crash
Five army personnel, including a Brigadier, were killed when their helicopter crashed at Sanjichat, near the Vaishnodevi shrine, official sources said here today.

Sukh Ram discharged
The Delhi High Court today quashed a lower court order framing charges of criminal conspiracy and corrupt practices against the former Union Minister of State for Communications, Mr. Sukh Ram, Ms. Runu Ghosh, then financial advisor in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), and Mr. P. Rama Rao, owner of the Hyderabad-based company Advance Radio Masts Limited (ARML), and set them free in the 1996 telecom scam case.

CBI opposes Hindujas' plea to leave India
The special court for CBI cases will pronounce orders on February 1 on the plea of the three Hinduja brothers, accused in the Rs. 64 crore Bofors payoffs case, to leave the country even as the central investigating agency opposed their applications.

'MI6 advised against passport for Srichand'
The Tories gave a twist to the Hindujas passport affair today, alleging that Mr. Srichand Hinduja was investigated in 1998 by Britain's secret intelligence service MI6, who recommended that his application be turned down.

Mobs damage vehicles, five injured
At least five persons, including two police constables, were injured today as rampaging mobs, protesting demolition of a structure by the Nasik Municipal Corporation (NMC), resorted to heavy stone- pelting damaging more than hundred vehicles, police said.

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