Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·2-min read

FGN11 VIRUS-US-TRUMP-LD PACKAGE Trump signs massive coronavirus relief and spending package into law Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law a massive USD 2.3 trillion spending bill that includes a USD 900 billion coronavirus relief package, averting a government shutdown and extending coronavirus aid to millions suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic. By Lalit K Jha FGN15 US-TRUMP-TIBET Trump signs Tibet policy to preempt Chinese move on Dalai Lama's succession Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill which calls for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China's interference. By Lalit K Jha FGN17 NEPAL-POLITICS-CHINA Chinese delegation meets NCP’s Prachanda, Madhav Nepal Kathmandu: A high-level Chinese delegation led by a vice minister of the Communist Party of China met senior Nepal Communist Party leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Monday and discussed the political situation in the country, amid an intensified efforts by Beijing to patch up differences between the two warring factions of the party.

FGN13 VIRUS-SAFRICA-PREZ Urgent action expected in S Africa as hospitals run out of beds, oxygen amid COVID-19 spike Johannesburg: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to recall ministers and top officials from their festive season break to seek urgent ways of addressing an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with hospitals turning away patients due to a lack of beds and oxygen. By Fakir Hassen FGN14 US-GANDHI-KING Trump signs into law Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative that among other things paves the way for establishing an educational forum between America and India to study the work and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. By Lalit K Jha FGN19 VIRUS-UK-VACCINE Vaccinators line up as Oxford/AstraZeneca jab on brink of approval in UK London:The UK’s National Health Service is lining up thousands of medics and volunteers on Monday to be ready to deliver jabs up and down the country as the Oxford University vaccine against COVID-19 is on the brink of getting regulatory approval. By Aditi Khanna FGN18 YEAR-SAFRICA 2020: A tough year for South Africa due to sluggish economic growth Johannesburg: The coronavirus outbreak negatively impacted South Africa's economy with the GDP falling to -51% year-on-year, but officials ensured to keep the momentum forward in business interactions and bilateral ties with India by holding virtual events and meetings, a new normal in the year of the pandemic. By Fakir Hassen. PTI MRJ MRJ