Following are the top foreign stories at 2020 hours

·4-min read

FGN42: UK-LD MALLYA London: A consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday moved a step closer in their attempt to recover debt from loans paid out to Vijay Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the High Court in London upheld an application to amend their bankruptcy petition, in favour of waiving their security over the embattled businessman’s assets in India.

FGN28: BANGLA-JOURNALIST-LD ARREST Dhaka: A senior Bangladeshi woman journalist, known for her investigative reporting, was arrested on charges of violating a colonial-era official secrecy law, the police said on Tuesday, triggering protests by the rights groups and her colleagues.

FGN31: CHINA-AFGHAN-TALKS Beijing: China, which has stepped up its diplomacy between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the wake of the US troops withdrawal from the war-torn country, has offered to host peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

FGN44: ISRAEL-HAMAS-5THLD STRIKES Gaza City (Gaza Strip): A strike launched from Gaza killed two Thai workers inside a packaging plant in southern Israel on Tuesday, police said, hours after Israeli airstrikes toppled a six-story building in the Palestinian territory that housed bookstores and educational centres.

FGN32: VIRUS-UK London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that experts continue to monitor the data on the B1.617.2 variant of COVID-19, first identified in India, but there is nothing conclusive yet that indicates that it would force Britain to deviate from its roadmap to lift lockdown restrictions fully next month.

FGN41: TUNISIA-MIGRANTS-LD DROWN Tunis (Tunisia): Tunisian authorities say more than 50 migrants have drowned off the coast of the North African country, while 33 others were rescued by workers from an oil platform.

FGN24: VIRUS-SINGAPORE-MANPOWER Singapore: Singapore is witnessing manpower shortages due to COVID-related travel restrictions in the country and it has not been able to 'adequately replace' migrant workers who have left the island nation over the last year, the government said on Tuesday.

FGN18: NEPAL-POLITICS Kathmandu: Nepal's ruling CPN-UML headed by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has formed a 10-member joint task force from the two rival factions to iron out intra-party differences that threatens the stability of the minority government, according to media reports.

FGN4: US-VACCINES Washington: The United States will share 20 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses with other countries, taking the total number of such shots to 80 million, President Joe Biden said on Monday.

FGN26: VIRUS-CHINA-US-VACCINES Beijing: China on Tuesday welcomed US President Joe Biden’s announcement to share 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with other countries but termed as 'despicable' his assertion that Beijing and Moscow are trying to influence the world with their jabs.

FGN6: US-ISRAEL-BIDEN-LD NETANYAHU Washington: US President Joe Biden, in a telephonic call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, supported Israel’s 'right to defend itself' against indiscriminate rocket attacks and encouraged him to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians, the White House has said.

FGN8: VIRUS-WHO-SII-VACCINE-PLEDGE New York: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that once the devastating COVID-19 outbreak in India recedes, the Serum Institute of India will need to “get back on track and catch up” on its delivery commitments to COVAX, the global initiative to supply coronavirus vaccines to nations around the world.

FGN15: LANKA-CHINESE-PORT-BILL Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has declared that certain provisions of the Chinese port city bill, which is opposed by the Opposition, are inconsistent with the Constitution, the country’s Parliament here was told on Tuesday.

FGN5: US-BIDEN-LD TAX RETURNS Washington: US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday released their tax returns, according to which in 2020, she had an income of more than USD 1 million as compared to his USD 607,336.

FGN9: VIRUS-US-INDIA-DOCTORS Houston (US): Two major Indian diaspora organisations in the US have partnered with an online telehealth platform to provide free medical advice for COVID-patients in India where a second wave of the coronavirus has left the country's public health system severely strained.

FGN21: VIRUS-AUS-PM Melbourne: Pledging that he will not risk Australian lives, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said the strict measures adopted by his government have avoided 30,000 deaths in the country due to the 'raging' COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries. PTI SCY

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