HIGHLIGHTS AT 1 PM

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New Delhi, Dec 28 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1 pm: NATION DEL17 PM-LD METRO PM inaugurates India's first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro's Magenta Line New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that metro train services will be extended to 25 cities with an over 1,700-km network by 2025 in the country as he flagged off India's first-ever driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line.

DEL8 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: Over 20,000 new infections reported in single-day New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,02,07,871 with 20,021 infections being reported in a day, while recoveries have surged to 97.82 lakh, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

DEL18 CONG-FOUNDATION Sonia Gandhi, Rahul skip Congress Foundation Day event New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday gave the party's 136th Foundation Day event a miss with senior party leader A K Antony unfurling the flag at the AICC headquarters here.

BOM3 MH-ED-DESHMUKH Anybody speaking against BJP faces ED or CBI: Maha minister Nagpur: In an apparent swipe at the Centre, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said whoever speaks against policies or leaders of the BJP is facing action by the Central agencies, a day after it came to light that the ED had summoned Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's wife in the PMC Bank money laundering case on December 29.

BOM2 MH-HAZARE Anna Hazare threatens to launch his 'last protest' for farmers Pune: Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on a hunger strike if his demands on issues concerning farmers are not met by the Union government by the end of January next year, and said it would be his 'last protest'.

LEGAL LGD1 SC-JUDICIARY-PIL Plea in SC seeks direction to Centre, states to double number of judges in HCs, courts New Delhi: A plea was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre, states and Union Territories to take steps to double the number of judges in high courts and subordinate courts, and implement a judicial charter on disposal of cases in a three-year time period.

LGD2 SC-ADVOCATE Right of being represented through lawyer is part of due process clause, says SC New Delhi: Right of being represented through a lawyer is part of “due process clause”, the Supreme Court has said while setting aside the Allahabad High Court order which had dismissed an appeal filed by a man in a 1987 murder case noting that his counsel had not appeared during the hearing.

BUSINESS DCM5 BIZ-TIPS-FACEBOOK Tips Industries, Facebook ink global licensing deal New Delhi: Music record label Tips Industries on Monday announced a global deal with social media giant Facebook to license its music for videos and other social experiences across Facebook and Instagram.

DCM6 BIZ-YEAR-POWER Power sector limping back to normal; ensuring 24X7 power supply, discoms' fin health key challenges New Delhi: Limping back to normal after bearing the brunt of the pandemic this year, the power sector needs a slew of reforms, especially implementation of consumer rules to achieve the government's ambitious target of 24X7 electricity supply for all in 2021, and also steps to improve the financial health of discoms.

DCM4 BIZ-YEAR-MINING India's mining sector to witness reforms, flurry of activities in 2021 New Delhi: The country's mining sector will see 'hectic activities' in the new year with the central government's approvals for pending mining reforms expected in January itself and efforts continuing to bolster overall mineral output.

FOREIGN FGN15 US-TRUMP-TIBET Trump signs Tibet policy to preempt Chinese move on Dalai Lama's succession Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill which calls for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China's interference.

FGN14 US-GANDHI-KING Trump signs into law Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative that among other things paves the way for establishing an educational forum between America and India to study the work and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

FGN11 VIRUS-US-TRUMP-LD PACKAGE Trump signs massive coronavirus relief and spending package into law Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed into law a massive USD 2.3 trillion spending bill that includes a USD 900 billion coronavirus relief package, averting a government shutdown and extending coronavirus aid to millions suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic.

FGN13 VIRUS-SAFRICA-PREZ Urgent action expected in S Africa as hospitals run out of beds, oxygen amid COVID-19 spike Johannesburg: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to recall ministers and top officials from their festive season break to seek urgent ways of addressing an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with hospitals turning away patients due to a lack of beds and oxygen.

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