Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·3-min read

FGN13 VIRUS-US-INDIA-LD VACCINE US to immediately provide raw materials required for manufacturing Covishield in India; sending life-saving supplies Washington: The US has assured India that it will immediately provide the specific raw materials required for manufacturing the Covishield vaccine, with a top White House official saying that the Biden administration was “working around the clock” to deploy all resources and supplies to bolster the country's fight against the deadly COVID-19 spike.

FGN21 VIRUS-INDIA-PICHAI-LD NADELLA Google, Microsoft’s Indian-American CEOs pledge support in India’s fight against COVID-19 Houston/Washington: Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella have assured help to India as the country grapples with a ravaging coronavirus crisis that has put enormous pressure on its hospitals due to a shortage of beds, oxygen and medical supplies.

FGN18 VIRUS-AUS-INDIA-AID Australia to send oxygen, ventilators, PPE to India as part of immediate support package Melbourne: Australia will send oxygen, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India as part of an immediate support package to the country which is battling with the latest surge of the COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.

FGN15 VIRUS-CHINA-INDIA-CARGO-FLIGHTS China's state-run airline suspends cargo flights rushing COVID-19 medical supplies to India Beijing: China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines has suspended all its cargo flights to India for 15 days, causing major disruption to private traders' efforts to procure the much-needed oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from China despite Beijing offering 'support and assistance' to the country to deal with the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

FGN8 LD OSCARS 'Nomadland' wins best picture at Oscars Los Angeles: 'Nomadland', Chloe Zhao's meditative drama about grief and finding solace outside the traditional structure of a family, won best picture Oscar at the 93rd Acamdey Awards with Zhao becoming the first woman of colour to win best director FGN16 SINGAPORE-HK-LD TRAVEL BUBBLE Singapore, Hong Kong to ‘cautiously’ begin air travel bubble flights from May 26 Singapore: Singapore and Hong Kong on Monday agreed to set May 26 as the launch date of the air travel bubble after the pandemic situation eased in the two major global aviation and financial hubs, months after calling off a similar agreement that would ease travel restrictions.

FGN11 VIRUS-UAE-LANDMARKS-INDIA-FLAG Landmarks across UAE lit up with tricolour to support India's COVID-19 battle Dubai: Prominent iconic buildings, including the Burj Khalifa, in the UAE were lit up with the tricolour to show solidarity with India as it grapples with a growing COVID-19 crisis.

FGN17 VIRUS-UK-VACCINATION Britain extends COVID-19 vaccination drive to everyone aged 44 yrs and above London: Everyone aged 44 and above in Britain will now be able to book their COVID-19 jab starting on Monday as the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) vaccine programme expands further to more younger age groups. PTI PMS