Following are the top foreign stories at 2000 hours

·2-min read

FGN39: NEPAL-LD STRIKE Kathmandu: Over 200 people were arrested on Thursday for their involvement in arson and vandalism during a general strike called by the Nepal Communist Party's splinter faction-led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ that paralysed normal life across the country.

FGN36: UK-VACCINE-TEMPLE London: The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, one of the UK’s largest temples known as Neasden Temple, has opened a new vaccination centre to aid the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines being administered by the National Health Service (NHS).

FGN28: LANKA-BOMBING-LD REPORT Colombo: Asserting that he will never allow extremism to 'raise its head again' in Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday said he has received the final report of a panel probing the 2019 Easter Sunday blasts and his government will bring the perpetrators to justice.

FGN23: UK-VACCINE-TRIAL London: Health chiefs in the UK on Thursday began what they have described as a world-first clinical trial of patients who will receive different COVID-19 vaccines for their first or second dose, to detect its impact on immunity against coronavirus.

FGN32: US-INDIA-2NDLD FARMERS Washington: Recognising that peaceful protests are a hallmark of a thriving democracy, the US has said that it encourages dialogue between the protesting farmers and the Indian government to resolve their differences.

FGN38: UK-AIRCRAFT CARRIER London: The UK government has announced plans for the deployment of a new Carrier Strike Group led by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year as part of its “renewed focus” on the Indo-Pacific region, following talks with Japan.

FGN42: UK-MINISTERS-MATERNITY LEAVE London: The UK government will table a new bill in Parliament on Thursday to allow Cabinet ministers to be able to go on maternity leave for six months on full pay.

FGN18: VIRUS-UN-SERUM-VACCINES United Nations: The Serum Institute of India (SII) and UNICEF have entered into a long-term supply agreement for the AstraZeneca/Oxford and the Novavax vaccines, with the UN children’s agency saying it will have access to up to 1.1 billion doses of vaccines for around 100 countries. PTI SCY