Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·3-min read

VIRUS-CHINA-2NDLD VACCINE China grants conditional approval to its homegrown COVID-19 vaccin Beijing: China has granted conditional approval to the country's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine developed by state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, an official announcement said on Thursday. By K J M Varma FGN18 UN-INDIA-TIRUMURTI India will promote fundamental values, reinforce multilateralism at UNSC: Amb Tirumurti United Nations: India will promote fundamental values like human rights and development and reinforce multilateralism while underlining the need for greater cooperation in the UN Security Council, India's envoy to the United Nations has said as the country begins its two-year tenure in the powerful organ of the world body on Friday. By Yoshita Singh FGN24 UK-HONOUR-INDIANS Indian-origin frontline workers, artists in UK New Year’s Honours List London: Indian-origin frontline workers, academics, actors and musicians are among 1,239 people recognised for their extraordinary contributions in the UK’s annual New Year’s Honours List released on Thursday. By Aditi Khanna FGN 20 PAK-LD TEMPLE 26 arrested over attack on Hindu temple in northwest Pakistan Peshawar, Dec 31 (PTI) Pakistani police have arrested 26 people belonging to a radical Islamist party after a Hindu temple was vandalised and set on fire by a mob protesting its renovation in northwest Pakistan.

FGN 9 US-VISA SANCTIONS-TRUMP Trump extends visa sanctions on countries refusing to repatriate their nationals Washington: US President Donald Trump has indefinitely extended the visa sanctions on countries refusing to repatriate their citizens who violated laws in the United States. By Lalit K Jha FGN27 PAK-PMLN-ASIF Pak court remands former foreign minister Khawaja Asif into NAB custody for 14 days Lahore: Pakistan's former foreign minister and opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PM-N) stalwart Khawaja Muhammad Asif was on Thursday remanded in the custody of the anti-graft body for 14 days in the assets beyond means case. By M Zulqernain FGN25 LANKA-INDIA-FISHERMEN India gets consular access to its detained fishermen in Sri Lanka Colombo: Indian fishermen, apprehended in Sri Lanka for allegedly poaching in its territorial waters, have been provided consular assistance by the Consulate General of India in Jaffna, the Indian High Commission here said on Thursday.

FGN26 VIRUS-PAK-CHINA-VACCINE Pakistan to procure 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines from Chinese company Sinopharm Islamabad: Pakistan has decided to pre-book 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, the health ministry said here on Thursday, as the number of coronavirus cases reached 479,715 after 2,475 new infections were detected in the country. By Sajjad Hussain FGN 8 US-BIDEN-APPOINTEES 61% of Biden's White House appointees are women, 54% people of colour Washington: Sixty-one per cent of the new White House appointees are women and 54 per cent are people of colour, President-elect Joe Biden's transition team has said, asserting that the Biden-Harris administration will prioritise diversity of ideology and background, and foster talent to address the country’s most complex challenges. By Lalit K Jha FGN23 YEAR-CHINA Chinese aggression wrecks celebratory year to mark 70 years of Sino-India diplomatic ties Beijing: It was meant to be a year of grand celebrations to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between China and India, but the Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh in May has profoundly disturbed bilateral ties, carefully developed after the 1962 war. By K J M Varma MRJ