Following are the top foreign stories at 2000 hours

·3-min read

FGN37 VIRUS-UK-OXFORD-2NDLD VACCINE UK becomes world's first to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as cases surge London: The UK on Monday began rolling out the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, becoming the first nation to inoculate people with the cheaper and easy-to-handle jab outside of trials.

FGN38 UK-2NDLD ASSANGE WikiLeaks founder Assange can't be extradited from UK to US, British judge rules London: A British judge on Monday rejected the United States' request to extradite WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges on mental health grounds, saying his extradition would be “oppressive”.

FGN39 CHINA-VIRUS-ORIGIN China denies coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab, says global outbreaks caused pandemic Beijing: China on Monday vehemently refuted the US charge that the novel coronavirus was leaked from a bio lab in the country and asserted that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world.

FGN36 LANKA-JAISHANKAR Jaishankar to arrive in Sri Lanka on three-day visit on Tuesday Colombo: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka during which he will hold talks with the country's top leadership and discuss issues of mutual and bilateral interests, the foreign ministry here said on Monday.

FGN40 US-INDIA-S400 India's S-400 deal with Russia may trigger US sanctions: Congressional report Washington: India's multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger US sanctions on New Delhi, a US Congressional report has warned.

FGN24 US-INDIA-TRADE India-US trade ties hit by tariff policies under Trump administration: US Congress report Washington: Under the Trump administration, US-India tensions have increased over each side's tariff policies, a Congressional report has said, noting that the two sides have also held concerted negotiations to address these trade frictions.

FGN41 CHINA-CPC-OFFICIAL-GRAFT China’s ex-chief of aircraft carrier programme expelled from CPC for graft Beijing: China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled former chief commander of its ambitious multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier programme Hu Wenming for corruption and abuse of power, and launched a legal proceeding against him in one of the major defence scandals of the country, the top anti-graft agency said on Monday.

FGN21 NEPAL-PRACHANDA-WIFE Ex-Nepal PM Prachanda tavelling to Mumbai for wife's treatment Kathmandu: Nepal's former prime minister and chairman of a rival faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' is travelling to Mumbai for the treatment of his ailing wife.

FGN16 US-BIDEN-INAUGURATION Biden inauguration to include presidential escort, virtual parade Washington: President-elect Joe Biden's low-key inauguration on January 20 will include a Pass in Review on the East Front, a presidential escort to the White House, and a virtual parade across America following his official swearing in at the US Capitol, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced.

FGN10 US-MALALA-SCHOLARSHIP US Congress passes 'Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act' for Pakistani women Washington: The US Congress has passed the 'Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act' which will expand the number of scholarships available to Pakistani women to receive higher education under a merit and needs-based programme. PTI PMS PMS