Thursday, January 20, 2000, Chandigarh, India

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TRAI to be disbanded
NEW DELHI, Jan 19 — The government tonight decided to disband the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and appoint a new body in its place, and divest it of judicial powers by setting up a telecom dispute settlement and appellate tribunal.

Talks begin with powermen
LUCKNOW, Jan 19 — Softening its stand, the Uttar Pradesh government today deferred its decision to dismiss the striking powermen as it entered into a dialogue with their leaders at various levels to end the deadlock on the fifth day of the state-wide indefinite strike, but said the notification trifurcating the state Electricity Board will not be rescinded.
Two voices of govt
NEW DELHI, Jan 19 — The government seemed to be speaking in two voices while handling the volatile situation following strike by powermen of UP.
NEWS ANALYSIS: Vested interests behind power stir

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Indo-US group on terrorism
LONDON, Jan 19 — India and the USA today decided to establish a joint working group on counter-terrorism and work together to ensure that the perpetrators of the recent hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft were brought to justice.

CPM-RJD pact on poll
NEW DELHI, Jan 19 — The Laloo Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which had once been an untouchable for its partners in the erstwhile United Front has now become acceptable to some of them, including its one time vehement opponent, the CPM.

Charges framed against Sharif
ISLAMABAD, Jan 19 — Pakistan’s deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz and five others were today formally charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, hijacking and terrorism after they pleaded not guilty before an anti-terrorist court in Karachi, three months after he was ousted in a coup.

Wednesday, Jan 19
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Kulsoom Nawaz (right), 49-year-old wife of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, arrives at the anti-terrorism court in Karachi
Kulsoom Nawaz (right), 49-year-old wife of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, arrives at the anti-terrorism court in Karachi where formal charges were framed against her husband and six others on Wednesday. — AFP photo

Three Samata Party leaders suspended
NEW DELHI, Jan 19 — Differences in the Samata Party over the issue of merger with the JD(U) came to the fore with the party leadership suspending three senior leaders hours after they had questioned the status of Mr George Fernandes as a member of the party and also attacked Mr Nitish Kumar for “obstructing” the Samata-JD(U) unity.

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Pak official expelled
NEW DELHI, Jan 19 — India today expelled a Pakistan High Commission official from here because of “activities incompatible with his official status”.

A nightmare in Singapore jail
AMRITSAR, Jan 19 — Punjabi youths, who had gone to abroad to seek greener pastures, underwent a nightmarish experience in a jail in Singapore, thanks to bogus travel agents.

J&K to get tough with strikers
JAMMU, Jan 19 — The state government has hardened its stand with regard to about 3.50 lakh employees who have been on strike for the past one month to press for release of two DA instalments and arrears of the Fifth Pay Commission.
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