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New Delhi, Dec 16 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1 pm.

NATION DEL17 DL-FARMERS-LETTER-GOVT Stop holding parallel talks with other farmer bodies: Protesting farmer unions to govt New Delhi: An umbrella body of 40 farmer unions protesting against the new agri laws wrote to the Centre on Wednesday, asking it to stop holding 'parallel talks' with other farmer bodies over the contentious legislations.

DEL19 PM-LD VIJAY DIWAS PM lights 'Swarnim Vijay Mashaal' to start 50th anniversary year celebrations of 1971 war win New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday lit the 'Swarnim Vijay Mashaal' from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial here, marking the beginning of the 50th anniversary year celebrations of India's victory over Pakistan in 1971.

MDS3 KL-POLLS-COUNTING Kerala local body polls: Counting begins, traditional fronts confident Thiruvananthapuram: Counting of votes polled in the crucial local body elections began on Wednesday morning with the traditional political fronts-CPI (M)-led LDF, Congress-headed UDF and BJP-NDA- keeping their fingers crossed as its result is generally seen as pointer to the upcoming Assembly election.

CAL2 DEF-INTRUSION-CHAUHAN No intrusions, major faceoffs in Eastern Command area since Ladakh crisis: Chauhan Kolkata: Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Anil Chauhan on Wednesday said there have been no intrusions or major faceoffs in the area of responsibility of the Eastern Command since the Ladakh standoff between Indian troops and China's PLA.

DEL13 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 26,382 new infections, 387 more fatalities New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 99.32 lakh with 26,382 infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 94.56 lakh, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

DES3 AP-CM-JAL SHAKTI AP CM meets Jal Shakti Minister; discusses Polavaram project New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy on Wednesday called on Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and demanded early release of funds to the tune of Rs 55,656 crore for the Polavaram project.

BOM1 MH-GEETA-VISIT 5 yrs after return from Pak, Geeta searches for family in Maha Nanded: Geeta, the Indore-based hearing and speech impaired woman who returned to India from Pakistan in 2015 after staying there for several years, has come to Nanded in Maharashtra with the hope of finding her parents.

LEGAL BOM2 MH-HC-METRO HC stays transfer order, work on Metro car shed land in Mumbai Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed an order passed by Mumbai suburban district collector allotting 102 acre of salt pan land in Mumbai's Kanjurmarg area for the construction of an integrated Metro car shed.

LGD1 DL-HC-CHILD LABOUR HC seeks Centre, AAP govt responses on PIL for back wages to child, bonded labourers New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the responses of the Centre and the AAP government on a Public Interest Litigation seeking recovery of back wages due to rescued child and bonded labourers.

FOREIGN FGN9 US-NDAA-INDIA US Congress passes defence policy bill that calls out Chinese aggression against India Washington: The US Congress has officially passed the USD 740 billion defence policy bill, which among other things include calling out Chinese aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). By Lalit K Jha FGN3 US-GANDHI-STATUE Desecration of Mahatma Gandhi's statue appalling: White House Press Secy Washington: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has described as 'appalling' the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi's statue outside the Indian embassy here and said his reputation should be respected, especially in the US capital. By Lalit K Jha FGN7 UN-INDIAN-CHINA UN chief appoints Siddharth Chatterjee as United Nations Resident Coordinator in China United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed senior UN official Siddharth Chatterjee of India as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China. By Yoshita Singh FGN18 NASA-INDIAN-SPACEX Indian-American Raja Chari among 3 astronauts selected by NASA for SpaceX Crew-3 mission Washington: Indian-American US Air Force Colonel Raja Chari has been selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.