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New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 PM: NATION: DEL8 VIRUS-LD CASES India records 54,069 new cases of COVID-19, 1,321 deaths in a day New Delhi: India reported 54,069 new cases of COVID-19 in a day which took the infection tally to 3,00,82,778 while 1,321 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 3,91,981, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Thursday.

DEL54 PM-MEET-LD JK PM meets J-K leaders to chalk out future course of action New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with 14 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.

DEL48 PM-LD TOYCATHON PM asks people to be vocal for local toys, calls for improving India's standing in 'Toyconomy' New Delhi: Calling on people to be 'vocal for local toys', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said about 80 per cent of the toys were being imported by India with crores of rupees going abroad and asserted that it was very important to change this situation.

BOM7 GJ-COURT-LD RAHUL Defamation case: Rahul Gandhi appears before Guj court, denies charges Surat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeared before a magistrate's court in Surat on Thursday to record his statement in a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA, and denied making any defamatory remarks on people with 'Modi' surname.

DEL25 CONG-LD SONIA Congress members should work to address vaccine hesitancy: Sonia Gandhi New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said the party must play an active role in ensuring full COVID-19 vaccination coverage and address vaccine hesitancy wherever evident.

DEL55 BIZ-2NDLD RELIANCE-AMBANI-ARAMCO Reliance to conclude Aramco deal this year; Aramco rep on co board Mumbai: Saudi Aramco chairman and head of the Kingdom's cash-rich wealth fund PIF Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan will join the board of Reliance Industries Ltd as a precursor to a USD 15 billion deal that is now expected to conclude this year.

BOM5 MH-OPPOSITION-ALLIANCE-SENA Rahul should join hands with Pawar to bring Oppn parties together: Sena Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Thursday said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should join hands with NCP chief Pawar to align all opposition parties together to take on the ruling BJP at the Centre.

DEL44 BIZ-JIO-GOOGLE-AFFORDABLE SMARTPHONE 'JioPhone Next' to be most affordable smartphone; will be available from Sept 10: Ambani New Delhi: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced 'JioPhone Next', a power-packed affordable smartphone that has been jointly developed by Jio and tech titan Google.

DEL12 NCR-TWITTER-PROBE Ghaziabad assault case: Twitter India MD expected to join probe Ghaziabad: Twitter India's Managing Director Manish Maheshwari is expected to appear in person before the Ghaziabad Police on Thursday in connection with a probe related to the assault of an elderly Muslim man here recently, officials said.

BOM13 MP-BJP MEETING-NADDA Nadda slams Digvijay, Kamal Nath for ‘creating confusion’ among people through their remarks Bhopal: Hitting out at senior Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath over their recent statements on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the coronavirus situation, respectively, BJP president J P Nadda on Thursday accused them of creating confusion in the minds of people.

LEGAL LGD2 SC-STATE BOARD EXAMINATION-RESULT SC directs state boards to declare internal assessment results by July 31 New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the state boards to declare internal assessment results of Class 12 examination by July 31, making it clear that there can't be a 'fit-all' scheme and each board was autonomous and free to formulate its own evaluation method for students.

FOREIGN FGN12 US-LD H1B US allows some H-1B visa seekers to re-submit their applications Washington: Some foreign guest workers in the US will be able to re-submit their applications for the H1-B visa, the most sought-after non-immigrant visa among Indian IT professionals, if their petition was solely rejected because it was based on the initial registration period, according to a federal agency.

By Lalit K Jha FGN3 US-COURT-RANA-HEARING All set for in-person extradition hearing of Tahawwur Rana in LA Washington: A federal US court in Los Angeles has scheduled on its calendar the in-person extradition hearing of Tahawwur Rana, the Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman who is sought for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in India. By Lalit K Jha FGN5 VIRUS-WHO-DELTA-VARIANT Delta variant now reported in 85 countries globally, expected to become dominant lineage: WHO United Nations: The Delta variant, the significantly more transmissible strain of COVID-19, is expected to become a 'dominant lineage' if current trends continue, the WHO has warned after it was reported in 85 countries and continues to be detected in more places around the world. By Yoshita Singh FGN11 SCO-DOVAL-PATRUSHEV-MEETING NSA Doval meets Russian counterpart in Tajikistan; discusses plans for bilateral interaction in security sphere Moscow: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has met his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Tajikistan during which they discussed plans for the Russia-India interaction in the security sphere and cooperation among the security and law-enforcement agencies, according to a media report.

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