HIGHLIGHTS

·4-min read

New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1.15 pm.

IN THE PIPELINE We are thinking of setting up impartial & independent panel of agri experts and farmer unions to resolve impasse on farm laws: SC ON THE WIRE NATION DEL25 INDOBANGLA-MODI India, Bangladesh ink 7 pacts; restore cross-border rail link New Delhi: In a reflection of their rapidly growing ties, India and Bangladesh on Thursday sealed seven agreements to expand cooperation in diverse areas, and restored a cross-border rail link which was in operation till 1965.

DEL17 BSF-LD TERRORISTS-PUNJAB BSF guns down two Pakistani intruders along International Border in Punjab New Delhi: Two Pakistani 'armed intruders' were shot dead by the Border Security Force along the International Border in Punjab in the early hours of Thursday, the force said.

DEL13 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19 caseload in India climbs to 99.56 lakh New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 99.56 lakh with 24,010 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 94.89 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

DEL7 UP-AYODHYA-MOSQUE Foundation stone for Ayodhya mosque to be laid on R-Day; blueprint this week Ayodhya (UP): The blueprint of the mosque to replace the Babri Masjid will be unveiled this Saturday and its foundation laid on Republic Day on the five-acre land allotted for it here, members of the Trust formed for its construction said.

BOM2 MH-AC-LOCAL TRAINS AC local train services begin on CR's main line in Mumbai Mumbai: The Central Railway on Thursday started air-conditioned local train services on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Kalyan section here.

BOM3 MH-SESSION-SENA Parl session cancelled to evade discussion on key issues: Sena Mumbai: Criticising the Centre's decision not to hold the winter session of Parliament, the Shiv Sena on Thursday claimed the Union government wants to evade discussion on issues like the ongoing farmers' protest, country's economic situation and border standoff with China.

MDS3 TN-PAR-DMK DMK slams Centre over its decision to not to hold winter session of Parliament Chennai: The DMK on Thursday slammed the Centre for its decision to not to hold the winter session of Parliament in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and charged it with having a 'big brother' attitude by 'ignoring' opposition parties on such matters.

LEGAL LGD7 SC-NSA SC refuses to interfere with HC order quashing detention of Kafeel Khan under NSA New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the Allahabad High Court verdict which had quashed the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered his immediate release.

LGD3 SC-LD KAMRA SC to decide on Friday whether to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce its order on Friday on a batch of petitions seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against stand-up comic artist Kunal Kamra for his alleged scandalous tweets against the apex court.

FOREIGN FGN8 BANGLA-INDIA-SUMMIT-HASINA India is our true friend: Bangla PM Hasina Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that India is Bangladesh’s true friend as she expressed her gratitude to the country and the Indian Army for their support during the 1971 liberation war.

FGN2 CHINA-MOON-SAMPLES China's spacecraft successfully brings home moon samples Beijing: China’s Chang'e-5 probe successfully touched down on Earth in the early hours of Thursday, bringing home the first samples of the moon in over 40 years. By K J M Varma FGN9 US-INDIA-OFFICIAL US has stood with India as it faced Chinese aggression: White House official Washington: Expressing concern over China’s increasing aggression across the globe from Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea and along the India-China border, a senior White House official said the US has stood with New Delhi during its military standoff with Beijing. By Lalit K Jha FGN4 UN-INDIAN Indian entrepreneur named among 'Young Champions of the Earth’ winners by UN environment agency United Nations: A 29-year-old Indian entrepreneur is among the seven winners of the prestigious 'Young Champions of the Earth' 2020 prize given by the UN environment agency to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious action to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. By Yoshita Singh PTI IJT