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New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 PM: NATION: DEL27 LD INDOUS Rajnath-Austin meet: India, US resolve to expand strategic cooperation New Delhi: India and the US on Saturday resolved to further expand their global defence and security cooperation including military-to-military engagement, information sharing, logistics support as both sides vowed to work for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

DEL6 VIRUS-LD CASES Over 40k coronavirus cases recorded in India, highest in 111 days New Delhi: India saw 40,953 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, the highest single-day rise recorded in 111 days, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,15,55,284, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

CAL18 WB-LD PM RALLY Mamata's 'bhaipo' only single window in industry scarce Bengal, Bengal in BJP's DNA: Modi Kharagpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday launched a frontal attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging her lawmaker nephew Abhishek was the only 'single window' in the state without crossing which no work gets done.

CAL19 MZ-LD CM-MYANMARESE Mizoram CM writes to Modi, wants asylum for Myanmar refugees Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has called 'not acceptable' the Centre's order to prevent illegal immigration from Myanmar and ensure speedy deportation of refugees, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide them asylum on humanitarian grounds, an official said on Saturday.

DEL37 LAW-NEXT CJI Govt asks CJI SA Bobde to recommend his successor New Delhi: With a little over a month left before Chief Justice of India SA Bobde retires, the government has started the process of appointment of next CJI, asking the incumbent to recommend his successor, sources said Saturday.

DEL34 ASHOKA-ACADEMICIANS Academicians write open letter to Ashoka University over Pratap Bhanu Mehta's resignation New Delhi: Over 150 academicians from prestigious universities across the globe like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, London School of Economics and MIT, have written an open letter to trustees of Ashoka University, expressing distress over political commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehta's resignation from the varsity under 'political pressure'.

DEL33 MHA-NIA-HIRAN MHA hands over Mansukh Hiran death case to NIA New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been handed over the probe into the death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran whose body was found in a creek days after a vehicle laden with explosives was parked near the Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, officials said on Saturday.

CAL22 AS-POLL-LD RAHUL Congress will eliminate hatred, bring peace in Assam: Rahul Mariani: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed the BJP, accusing it of attacking Assam's culture, language, history and brotherhood, and promised to eliminate hatred and bring peace if his party is voted to power in the state.

DEL36 DL-KEJRIWAL-DOORSTEP Doorstep ration delivery scheme will have no name: Kejriwal New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the doorstep ration delivery scheme of his government would not have any name, a day after the Centre red flagged 'Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna' which was scheduled to start from March 25.

CAL15 WB-MAMATA-LD BJP BJP biggest extortionist in the world, should never be allowed to rule Bengal: Mamata Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday slammed the BJP, branding it as the 'biggest extortionist' in the world, which should never be allowed to rule the state.

MDS5 KL-POLL-UDF-MANIFESTO Congress led UDF releases 'People's' manifesto, promises 5 lakh homes to poor Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition Congress led UDF on Saturday released a'People's Manifesto' for the April 6 assembly polls, promising Rs 2000 monthlypension to homemakers, Five kg free rice to all white card holders and five lakh homes to the poor.

BUSINESS DEL5 BIZ-PAR-ESSENTIAL-COMMODITIES ACT Par panel asks govt to implement Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act in letter & spirit New Delhi: A Parliamentary Panel has asked the government to implement in 'letter and spirit' the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act -- one of the laws against which farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for more than 100 days now.

DCM5 BIZ-FINMIN-STATES 20 states complete ease of doing biz reforms New Delhi: As many as 20 states have successfully completed ease of doing business reforms, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday.

FOREIGN: FGN25 PAK-HINDU-LD JOURNALIST Hindu journalist killed in Pakistan's Sindh province Karachi: A 31-year-old Hindu journalist in Pakistan has been shot dead by some unidentified assailants while getting a haircut at a barber shop in the country’s Sindh province, the police said on Saturday.

FGN9 US-QUAD-LAWMAKERS US lawmakers and experts support historic QUAD leadership summit Washington: Top American lawmakers and experts have applauded the first Quad summit of leaders from the US, India, Australia and Japan and supported the move of President Joe Biden to address the challenge posed by China in the Indo-Pacific region. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS