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New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi decided to send Indian troops to Sri Lanka in 1987 without consulting his officials, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh has said.

Kiev/The Hague, July 31 (IANS) A group of international experts Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysian passenger airliner in eastern Ukraine after the Ukrainian government called a daylong truce in that restive region.

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Thursday underlined India's "good relations" with Israel even as she said that New Delhi "supports" the cause of Palestine.

Addressing a press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the minister said: "We fully support the cause of Palestine but we have good relations with Israel."
Her comments came as Israel continued a major military offensive against the Hamas in Gaza that has claimed over 1,300 lives. Palestinians say that most victims have been civilians.

Glasgow, July 31 (IANS) India's artistic gymnast Ashish Kumar finished sixth in the men's floor final at the Commonwealth Games here Thursday.

With a score of 15.533 points, England's Max Whitlock clinched the gold while Canada's Scott Morgan (15.133) took the silver. New Zealander David Bishop (14.55) won the bronze medal at the SSE Hydro.
The 23-year-old Ashish finished sixth out of eight competitors with a score of 13.8 points.

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) The petrol price was Thursday lowered by Rs.1.09 per litre, the second reduction in three-and-a-half months, while diesel rates were hiked by 50 paise a litre.

Bangalore, July 31 (IANS) A day-long shutdown across the city by pro-Kannada groups to protest sexual assaults on minors and rising crimes against women ended peacefully Thursday amid tight security though normal life was affected.

Glasgow, July 31 (IANS) Indian shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and P.C. Thulasi won their respective Round of 16 matches to enter the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games here Thursday.

Men's singles second seed Kashyap needed only 24 minutes to move past Australia's Jeff Tho 21-7, 21-8 while fifth seed Gurusaidutt beat Andrew D'Souza 21-13, 21-9 in 27 minutes at the Emirates Arena.
Later sixth seed Thulasi defeated Canadian Rachel Honderich 21-12, 21-7 in 31 minutes to move into the women's singles last eight.

Bogota, July 31 (IANS/EFE) Bolivia has joined the majority of Latin American governments in condemning Israel's offensive in Gaza, announcing that it will demand visas from Israelis.

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday wrote to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, condoling the assassination of his cousin Hashmat Karzai.

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday refuted former union minister Natwar Singh's allegation that she had access to government files, while also voicing her wish to write a book herself for "everyone to know the truth". She was backed by former prime minister Manmohan Singh who said "private conversations should not be misused for capital gains".

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