HIGHLIGHTS

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 pm: NATION DEL31 PM-VIRUS-WORKSHOP Collaboration shown in fighting COVID valuable takeaway: PM Modi at workshop with 10 nations New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for greater integration among South Asian and Indian Ocean island countries, saying the spirit of regional solidarity shown during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven such integration is possible.

DEL12 MEA-QUAD-LD-INDOPACIFIC Third Quad ministerial meeting to discuss regional, global issues New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will join his counterparts from the US, Japan and Australia on Thursday under the framework of Quad coalition to deliberate on ways to enhance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the region.

DEL23 JK-ARMY LD ENVOY J-K: Heightened vigil at LoC pushed terror groups to dig tunnels to infiltrate, Army tells envoys Srinagar: Heightened vigil along the Line of Control has pushed terror groups and Pakistani establishments to send militants into India using tunnels dug under seasonal river beds along the International Border in the Jammu region, the army on Thursday told a group of 24 foreign envoys visiting Jammu and Kashmir.

CAL16 AS-PM-PROJECTS Correcting historical mistake of neglecting Assam, its development our priority: PM Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Thursday that his government is correcting the 'historical mistake' of neglecting Assam, and the states development is its priority.

DEL34 RAIL ROKO-TRAINS Farmers' rail roko agitation: 25 trains regulated in northern railway zone New Delhi: Around 25 trains have been regulated in the northern zone due to the 'rail roko' call by farmers protesting the three agri laws on Thursday, a zonal railway spokesperson said.

CAL19 WB-SHAH-YATRA BJP will end cut-money culture, bring development in Bengal if voted to power: Shah Kakdwip (WB): Alleging that the TMC government has introduced a 'cut-money' culture in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the BJP's fight is to end it and take the state to the path of development if voted to power in the upcoming assembly polls.

DEL15 VIRUS-VACCINATIONS India third on list of countries with highest cumulative vaccination numbers: Health ministry New Delhi: India is third globally, after the US and the UK, in highest cumulative vaccination numbers, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

DEL21 MOE-PM-LD PARIKSHA PE CHARCHA PM Modi's 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' to be held online due to COVID-19 New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's annual interaction with students 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' will be held online this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 12,881 new cases, 101 fresh fatalities New Delhi: India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,09,50,201 with 12,881 new infections, while the recoveries surged to 1,06,56,845, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

CAL6 WB-LD MAMATA-MINISTER Attack on Bengal minister a conspiracy, was being pressured to join another party: Mamata Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday alleged the bomb attack on state minister Jakir Hossain was part of a conspiracy as certain people were 'pressuring' him to switch over to another party.

BUSINESS DEL30 BIZ-STOCKS-CLOSE Sensex sheds 379 pts; Nifty ends below 15,200 Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 379 points on Thursday, tracking losses in index heavyweights HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid a weak trend in global markets.

LEGAL LGD19 DL-HC-3RDLD TOOLKIT Toolkit case: Have not leaked anything to media, police tells Delhi HC New Delhi: Delhi Police Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it has not leaked any material to the media in relation to its probe in the FIR against climate activist Disha Ravi for her alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing the ongoing farmers' protest.

LGD12 SC-LD GOGOI SC closes case to probe larger conspiracy behind sexual harassment allegations against ex-CJI Gogoi New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday closed the proceedings initiated to probe a “larger conspiracy” behind sexual harassment allegations against ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi and 'fixing' of benches at the top court.

FOREIGN FGN33 CHINA-INDIA-LADAKH China says disengagement of Chinese, Indian troops in eastern Ladakh going on smoothly Beijing: China on Thursday said the disengagement process of the Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the eastern Ladakh border was progressing smoothly and expressed hope that both sides will make concerted efforts to achieve the goal. By K J M Varma FGN18 US-H1B US reaches H-1B visa cap for 2021 Washington: The US has received enough petitions needed to reach the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2021 and successful candidates for the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians, would be decided by a computerised draw of lots. By Lalit K Jha FGN12 UN-INDIA-VACCINES UN chief 'extremely grateful' for India's 200,000 COVID vaccines for peacekeepers United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is 'extremely grateful' for the gift of 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses announced by India for peacekeepers, the spokesperson for the UN chief has said. By Yoshita Singh. PTI CK