Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·3-min read

FGN17 UN-INDIA-REFORM Security Council an ‘impaired’ organ; handful of countries stopping UNSC reform: India at UN United Nations: A handful of countries are using the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) as a “smoke-screen” and stopping progress on reforming the Security Council, which has become “impaired”, India has said, asserting that it is time for a “decisive movement” to achieve the long-delayed reform of the powerful UN body.

FGN18 VIRUS-US-LD BIDEN More Americans 'may die' due to COVID if Trump does not cooperate with transition process: Biden Washington: President-elect Joe Biden has warned that many more Americans 'may die' if incumbent President Donald Trump does not cooperate with the transition process and hamper the incoming administration's ability to tackle the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

FGN16 UN-PAK-INDIA Pakistan becomes 'Pavlovian' whenever India is mentioned: India at UNGA United Nations: India has slammed Pakistan for making “irrelevant and irresponsible” remarks in the UN, saying the General Assembly is a forum for serious debate, not frivolous allegations.

FGN14 US-OBAMA-LADEN-RAID Certain elements inside Pak military had links to al-Qaeda: Obama on raid that killed Osama Washington: Barack Obama has said that he had ruled out involving Pakistan in the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout because it was an 'open secret' that certain elements inside Pakistan's military, and especially its intelligence services, maintained links to the Taliban and perhaps even al-Qaeda, sometimes using them as strategic assets against Afghanistan and India.

FGN11 US-INDIAN-STUDENTS Indian students contributed USD 7.6 bn to US economy last year Washington: Indian students contributed USD 7.6 billion to the US economy in the academic year 2019-20, even though there was a 4.4 per cent drop in the total number of Indian students, according to a report.

FGN4 US-INDIA-OBAMA In many respects, modern-day India is counted as a success story, says Barack Obama Washington: Former US President Barack Obama has said that modern day India can be counted as a success story in many respects, despite bitter feuds within political parties, various armed separatist movements, and corruption scandals.

FGN8 US-OBAMA-MAHABHARATA Barack Obama spent childhood years listening to Ramayana and Mahābhārata Washington: Former US President Barack Obama said that he has always held a special place for India due to his childhood years spent in Indonesia listening to the epic Hindu tales of the Ramayana and the Mahābhārata.

FGN3 US-OBAMA-GANDHI Gandhi's writings gave voice to some of my deepest instincts: Barack Obama Washington: Former US President Barack Obama has said that his fascination with India largely revolved around Mahatma Gandhi, whose 'successful non-violent campaign against the British rule became a beacon for other dispossessed, marginalised groups'.

FGN19 VIRUS-UK-BEARD-COVER UK team trials ‘Singh Thattha’ to protect bearded doctors on COVID frontline London: A UK research team's innovative beard covering technique, dubbed as the “Singh Thattha”, which enables bearded medics to wear a well-fitting respirator mask while on frontline COVID-19 duties without the need for shaving has proved effective in initial trials. PTI PMS PMS