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New Delhi, Dec 24 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1 pm: NATION CAL7 PM-VISVABHARATI Tagore's vision essence of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative: PM Santinekatan, Dec 24 (PTI) Prime Ninister Narendra Modi on Thursday extolled the pivotal role played by Visva- Bharati in India's freedom movement and furthering the cause of universal brotherhood.

DEL22 CONG-FARMERS PROTEST Rahul Gandhi meets president over farm laws, Priyanka Gandhi detained during protest New Delhi: Sharpening its attack on the government over the new three farm laws, the Congress on Thursday staged a strong protest outside the Congress headquarters here after they were prevented from marching towards Rashtrapati Bhawan.

DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 24,712 new cases New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,01,23,778 with 24,712 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 96.93 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

DEL23 VIRUS-ACTIVE CASES India's COVID-19 active cases now comprise only 2.8 per cent of total caseload New Delhi: The ongoing trend of contraction in India's COVID-19 active infections has led to shrinking of the share of active cases in the total caseload to 2.8 per cent, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

DEL11 DL-FARMERS-PROTEST Farmers protesting at Delhi borders remain resolute in seeking repeal of new agri laws New Delhi: Braving harsh cold, thousands of agitating farmers at the Delhi borders on Thursday remained steadfast in their demands to repeal the Centre's three new agri laws.

VIRUS-UK ARRIVALS Efforts on to locate 602 people who came to Goa from UK, UAE Panaji: In the wake of detection of a new COVID-19 variant in the UK, Goa health authorities are trying to track down 602 people who arrived in the state from Britain and the UAE since December 9, an official said on Thursday.

BOM1 MH-URMILA I don't regret my association with Congress: Urmila Matondkar Mumbai: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who recently joined the ruling Shiv Sena, has said she does not regret her brief association with the Congress and has high regard for that party's leadership.

CAL6 MG-VIRUS-UK ENTRY Meghalaya bars entry of travellers from UK Shillong: Amid concerns over the detection of a mutated and more infectious strain of COVID-19 in the UK, the Meghalaya government has barred the entry of individuals from the European country into the state.

LEGAL LGD1 SC-SABARIMALA Kerala govt moves SC against HC order increasing number of pilgrims to Sabarimala temple New Delhi: The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the state high court’s verdict which had directed it to increase the number of pilgrims to the historic Sabarimala temple to 5,000 per day, saying it will put a 'great strain' on police personnel and health officials in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BUSINESS DEL4 BIZ-STOCKS-OPEN Sensex rallies over 350 pts in early trade; Nifty tops 13,700 Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 350 points in opening trade on Thursday, tracking gains in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and ICICI Bank amid positive cues from global markets.

DCM7 BIZ-EY-HIRING EY to hire 9,000 professionals in 2021 in various technology roles Mumbai: Global professional services organisation Ernst & Young Services on Thursday said it will hire about 9,000 new workforces in India in 2021, in various technology roles across all member firms.

FOREIGN FGN13 PAK-QURESHI-INDIA No possibility of dialogue with India in prevailing situation, says Pakistan foreign minister Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that there is no possibility of a diplomatic dialogue with India in the prevailing situation, according to a media report on Thursday. By Sajjad Hussain FGN7 TRUMP-DEFENCE-2NDLD BILL Trump vetoes annual defence bill; cites certain provisions as risk to national security Washington: US President Donald Trump has vetoed the USD 740.5 billion annual defence bill, saying that certain provisions in it posed risk to the national security even as the House geared up to override the veto with bipartisan support. By Lalit K Jha FGN8 US-TRUMP-LD PARDONS Trump pardons former aides convicted during Mueller investigation, son-in-law's father Washington, Dec 24 (PTI) US President Donald Trump has pardoned 29 individuals, including former aides convicted during the Robert Mueller investigations on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and his son-in-law's father. By Lalit K Jha FGN12 YEAR-UN UN at 75 faces worst crisis since WW-II; India reaches out to virus-hit planet United Nations: Confronted with its worst crisis since World War II, the UN -- which marked 75 years of its existence in 2020 -- mounted a comprehensive global response to combat the pandemic that saw India, 'the pharmacy of the world', leading from the front as it extended a helping hand to over 150 nations to fight the invisible enemy. By Yoshita Singh SPORTS SPF11 SPO-CRI-WARNE Australia will blow away India at MCG: Warne Melbourne: Spin legend Shane Warne believes Australia will 'blow away' India in the Boxing Day Test as the visitors are still a 'bit shocked' by the Adelaide humiliation. PTI CK