Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·1-min read

FGN10 CHINA-US-3RDLD CONSULATE China closes US consulate in Chengdu, takes over building Beijing/Chengdu: China on Monday said it took control of the US consulate in Chengdu after it was formally closed as per Beijing's directive in retaliation to America's move to shut down the Chinese diplomatic mission in Houston.

FGN26 LANKA-POLLS Sri Lanka drops plan to conduct advance polling for people under quarantine Colombo: Sri Lanka's election commission on Monday dropped its plan to hold advance voting for persons under quarantine due to the coronavirus after questions were raised on its decision to operate mobile polling stations.

FGN 17 VIRUS-UK-ANTI-OBESITY UK launches new weight loss strategy after COVID-19 ‘wake up call’ London: The UK government on Monday launched a new anti-obesity drive to help people lose weight and become healthier after what has been pegged as a COVID-19 “wake up call”.

FGN25 VIRUS-VACCINE-BIGGEST-STUDY Virus vaccine put to final test in thousands of volunteers Washington: The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the US government -- one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.

FGN19 SAUDI-HAJJ Pilgrims arrive in Mecca for downsized hajj amid pandemic Dubai: Muslim pilgrims have started arriving in Mecca for a drastically scaled-down hajj as Saudi authorities balance the kingdom's oversight of one of Islam's key pillars and the safety of visitors in the face of a global pandemic. PTI TEAM NSA

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