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Article excerpt

maybe it was a PRANK

In a country as politically conscious as India, it's usually not hard to find such a high-profile official as the chief of state on any given day. In the city of Bangalore Monday night, however, a local TV announcer was reading - over the air - a list of names of missing persons. When photos were available, they were shown as well. Part-way into the list, a picture of President K.R. Narayanan appeared for six seconds. Viewers knowing his whereabouts were urged to contact the local police. Narayanan couldn't have been out of sight for long. By the next day he was in the reviewing stand in the capital, New Delhi, for a parade in honor of India's National Day.

National Book Critics name finalists for 1998 awards Winners of the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Awards will be announced March 8 in New York. Early this week, the group of some 400 editors and critics released the names of its 1998 finalists in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, biography/autobiography, criticism, and poetry. …