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NEWS|Current Affairs 
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In his final budget speech in this government, Finance Minister P Chidambaram provided some relief to students today. In the vote on account speech, Chidambaram announced a moratorium scheme on interest payment on education loans and said that the move will benefit more than 9 lakh students.The Finance Minister allocated Rs 2,600 crore for the education loan moratorium. In his final budget speech, Chidambaram proposed a moratorium period for all education loans taken up to 31 March, 2009 and outstanding on 31 December, 2013. He said that the government will take over the liability for outstanding interest, but the borrower would have to pay interest for the period after 1 January, 2014. "I intend to provide the funds in the current financial year itself. Accordingly, a sum of Rs 2,600 crore will be transferred to Canara Bank, the designated CSIS banker," he added.The finance minister said the details of the scheme would be announced soon.Chidambaram also said that the UPA government has focussed on education and the expenditure has increased from Rs 10,145 crore 10 years ago to Rs 79,251 crore now."UPA prioritized spreading access to education," he added.

Scandal-plagued former Washington mayor Marion Barry dies

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Scandal-plagued former Washington mayor Marion Barry dies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Marion Barry, the scandal-plagued former mayor of Washington, D.C., who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine before making a surprising return to office, died early on Sunday ag...


Two senior Thai police face royal insult charge as cases mount

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Two senior Thai police face royal insult charge as cases mount

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Two senior Thai policemen face royal insult charges, a national police spokesman said on Sunday, and warrants have been issued for their arrest, the latest in a mounting number of ...

Palestinian home torched, owner blames Israeli settlers

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Palestinian home torched, owner blames Israeli settlers

KHIRBET ABU FALAH, West Bank (Reuters) - A Palestinian home was torched in the occupied West Bank on Sunday and "Death to Arabs" daubed on a wall in Hebrew, in an attack that its owner blame...

Islamic State has lured 550 Germans into fighting - spy agency

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Islamic State has lured 550 Germans into fighting - spy agency

BERLIN (Reuters) - The number of Germans fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq has increased sharply to 550 and around 180 have returned, the head of Germany's domestic intellig...

Tunisians vote for first freely elected president

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Tunisians vote for first freely elected president

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisians went to the polls on Sunday to vote for their first directly elected president, in the final step to be taken to full democracy after the 2011 revolution that ended the ru...

PREVIEW - Prospects rise for a 2015 U.N. climate deal, but likely to be weak

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PREVIEW - Prospects rise for a 2015 U.N. climate deal, but likely to be weak

OSLO (Reuters) - A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too w...

Obama widens post-2014 combat role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan

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Obama widens post-2014 combat role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has approved plans to give U.S. military commanders a wider role to fight the Taliban alongside Afghan forces after the current mission ends next mo...