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New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) These are the top stories at 1 pm: NATION DEL11 VIRUS-LD CASES India records highest daily spike of over 1.31 lakh COVID-19 cases; 780 deaths take toll to 1,67,642 New Delhi: India registered a record single-day spike of 1,31,968 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, pushing its infection tally to 1,30,60,542, while the death toll increased to 1,67,642 with 780 more fatalities in a day, highest since October 18, the Union Health Ministry data showed.

DEL18 JK-LD ENCOUNTER Seven terrorists gunned down by security forces in two encounters in J-K's Shopian, Pulwama Srinagar: Seven militants, including terror outfit Ansar Ghazwatul Hind chief Imtiaz Ahmad Shah, were gunned down by security forces in two encounters in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian and Pulwama districts, police said on Friday.

DEL15 RAHUL-LD VACCINE Is it right to export vaccines, put Indians at risk, asks Rahul Gandhi New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned the export of COVID-19 vaccines, and asked if it is right to do so and put the lives of Indians in danger.

DEL12 EC-MAMATA-NOTICE EC notice to Mamata Banerjee over remark on central forces New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee for her alleged statements against central armed police forces deputed on election duty in the state.

BOM6 MH-US-LD INDIAN COUPLE Indian couple found dead in US after 4-yr-old girl seen crying Mumbai: An Indian couple was found dead at their home in the US after neighbours saw their four-year-old daughter crying alone in the balcony of their house, family sources said on Friday.

LEGAL LGD11 SC-ITALIAN MARINES Deposit compensation for Indian fishermen killed by Italian marines, SC tells Centre New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre to deposit in its account the compensation given by Italy for the kin of two Indian fishermen killed by Italian Marines off the Kerala coast in February 2012.

LGD5 SC-RELIGIOUS CONVERSIONS SC refuses to entertain plea for directions to curb black magic, forced religious conversions New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said persons above 18 years of age are free to choose their religion as it refused to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre and states to control black magic and religious conversion.

LGD4 DL-HC-RAPE-JOURNALIST HC grants interim protection from arrest to Mumbai journalist in rape case provided he joins probe New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Mumbai-based television journalist in a rape case provided he joins the police investigation.

BUSINESS DEL16 BIZ-TAX-COLLECTION Net direct tax mop up exceeds revised estimates at Rs 9.45 lakh cr in FY21 New Delhi: The net direct tax collection for the fiscal ended March 31 stood at Rs 9.45 lakh crore, an increase of 5 per cent over the revised estimates in the Union Budget.

FOREIGN FGN15 US-CHINA-LEGISLATION US bipartisan legislation lays out new strategy to counter China, seeks to strengthen ties with India, allies Washington: Two powerful US senators have introduced a major bipartisan comprehensive legislation that seeks to boost the country's ability to out-compete China, endorses the Quad initiative and calls for deepening America’s bilateral and regional partnerships, including with India. By Lalit K Jha FGN22 BANGLA-NARAVANE Army chief Gen Naravane visits Bangabandhu museum to pay tribute to Bangladesh's founding father Dhaka: Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane on Friday paid tribute to Bangladesh's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by visiting the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum here. SPORTS SPD4 SPO-SAILING-NETHRA-INTERVIEW From tennis and dancing to sailing, Nethra's journey to Olympics Chennai: By the time she was 12, Nethra Kumanan had tried her hand at tennis, cycling, basketball and even some Bharatnatyam but it was in sailing that she found her true calling in life, a choice she justified by becoming the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics. By C Shyam Sundar. PTI HDA