Friday, February 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Barak-Arafat fail to resolve row
JERUSALEM, Feb 3 (DPA) — A meeting between PLO Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at the Erez border crossing point near Gaza ended today with a dispute over Israeli troop withdrawals from the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister David Levy said the differences over withdrawals from 6.1 per cent of the West Bank, which Israel had committed itself to last year, persisted. Mr Levy however, dismissed, suggestions of a crisis in bilateral relations, saying that the talks would probably be resumed within a few days.

2 Bihar MLAs resign
PATNA, Feb 3 (UNI) — The Ruling RJD today received another setback when two party legislators, Mr Mohan Ram from Darbhanga (Rural) and Mr Yogendra Prasad Shahu from Lalganj resigned from the party’s primary membership for being denied tickets. According to a report from Hajipur Mr Sahu resigned from the party and filed his nomination as a BSP candidate from the seat.

Mohapatra expelled
BHUBANESWAR, Feb 3 (PTI) — Biju Janta Dal President Naveen Patnaik today expelled senior party leader and chairman of the Political Affairs Committee Bijoy Mohapatra from the BJD for six years. Mr Patnaik also wrote a letter to the returning officer of the Patkura Assembly constituency that Mr Mohapatra was no longer the party’s official candidate from the seat, party sources said.

Dara denied bail
BARIPADA, Feb 3 (PTI) — The Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate, Karanjia, has rejected the bail plea of Dara Singh, the prime accused in the gruesome killing of Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons.

Additional charge
NEW DELHI, Feb 3 (TNS) — The Minister of State for Employment and Poverty Alleviation today formally took additional charge of Youth Affairs and Sports. After taking the charge, Mr Dhindsa said all programmes relating to youth affairs and sports would be given special attention.

  Building collapse
SEVILLE, Feb 3 (Reuters) — One floor collapsed on top of another in a furniture store packed with bargain-hunters in southern Spain today, injuring more than 160 persons, officials said. The store on the outskirts of Seville was crammed with several hundred customers attracted by a discount sale of sofas when the accident occurred.

Direct rule
LONDON, Feb 3 (DPA) — Britain said today it was suspending Northern Ireland’s fledging government and reimposing direct rule from London. A statement by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office said Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson would shortly introduce measures to lift autonomy granted to the province two months ago. The move to call a halt to Ulster’s brief experiment with cross-community power-sharing is envisaged in the Northern Ireland peace agreement if any party to it fails to live up to its commitments.Top

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