Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hours

·1-min read

FGN15 VIRUS-UK-MINISTER Delta variant around 40 per cent more transmissible, says UK minister London: The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India, is around 40 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha or so-called Kent variant of concern (VOC), UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday. By Aditi Khanna FGN6 LANKA-SHIP Data recorder recovered from fire-stricken ship sinking off Sri Lanka Colombo: Marine experts in Sri Lanka recovered the data recorder of the Singapore-flagged fire-stricken cargo ship sinking slowly off the country's capital, officials have said as authorities appointed a panel to look into the impact of the incident on the marine environment.

FGN7 NEPAL-SC-POLITICS New Constitutional Bench formed to hear petitions against House dissolution in Nepal Kathmandu: A new Constitutional Bench of the Nepal Supreme Court was formed on Sunday to hear a bunch of petitions against the May 22 dissolution of the House of Representatives after differences among justices over its composition delayed the crucial hearing, according to media reports.

FGN13 CHINA-VIRUS-VACCINE China authorises CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for children above 3 yrs Beijing: China has authorised the emergency use of CoronaVac, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac, for children aged between 3 and 17 years, Sinovac Chairman Yin Weidong said. By K J M Varma FGN10 LANKA-RAINS 14 die as heavy rains lash Sri Lanka Colombo: At least 14 people have died and over 240,000 affected in flash floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rains in Sri Lanka, officials said on Sunday.

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