Following are the top foreign stories at 2000 hours

·3-min read

FGN37: UK-JOHNSON-LDALL INDIA London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express his regret over not being able to visit India as planned for the Republic Day on January 26 due to the growing health crisis created by the new variant of coronavirus in the UK.

FGN35: PAK-SC-LD TEMPLE Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered authorities to start the reconstruction of a century-old Hindu temple that was vandalised by a mob in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last week and instructed them to recover the money for the restoration work from the attackers whose act has caused 'international embarrassment' to the country.

FGN36: JAISHANKAR-LANKA Colombo: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday reached Colombo for a three-day visit during which he will hold discussions with Sri Lanka's top leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

FGN33: CHINA-OFFICIAL-LD SENTENCE Beijing: The former chairman of the state-owned China Huarong Asset Management Co was sentenced to death on Tuesday after he was found guilty of graft and bigamy.

FGN30: UK-INDIA-ENVOY London: Alex Ellis, a British strategic expert, will take charge as the new UK High Commissioner to India, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced on Tuesday.

FGN14: VIRUS-INDIA-VACCINE New York: Global leaders have lauded India's leadership in scientific innovation and decisive action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country gets set to begin the world's largest vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus.

FGN15: VIRUS-INDIA-MISRI Beijing: The coronavirus pandemic has spurred India to strengthen itself to demonstrate that with greater capabilities it would help not just itself but also be a force for good on the global stage, India's ambassador to China Vikram Misri has said.

FGN20: VIRUS-UK-2NDLD LOCKDOWN London: The UK entered a tough new stay-at-home lockdown on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it has been “both frustrating and alarming” to see the speed with which the new variant of the coronavirus is spreading and declared that hospitals in the country are under more pressure from the deadly virus than at any time in the pandemic.

FGN11: US-BIDEN-LD TRUMP Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden has blasted Donald Trump for seeking to overturn the November 3 election result, saying the outgoing president spends most of his time 'whining and complaining' rather than doing 'the work' of his office.

FGN6: UNICEF-INDIA-BIRTHS United Nations: More than 371,500 babies were born worldwide on New Year’s Day and India is estimated to have recorded the highest number of births at around 60,000, according to the UN's children's agency.

FGN21: UK-LOCKDOWN-SUNAK London: UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Tuesday announced that businesses in the lockdown-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality and leisure are to receive a one-off grant worth up to 9,000 pounds. PTI SCY