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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) These are the top stories at 12.30 pm: NATION DEL11 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India logs record surge of 2,73,810 new cases, 1,619 fatalities New Delhi: India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 1.50-crore mark with around 25 lakh cases being added in just 15 days, while active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

DEL15 RAHUL-CHINA National security jeopardised by Govt's wasteful talks: Rahul Gandhi on China New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the government of jeopardising India's national security, and termed its talks with China as 'wasteful'.

DEL18 DEF-IAF CHIEF FRANCE IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria leaves for France New Delhi: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Monday left for France, a visit billed as a 'significant step' in further enhancing mutual cooperation.

LEGAL LGD1 DL-HC-DISTRICT COURTS Take up only urgent matters via video conference: Delhi HC to district courts New Delhi: In view of an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered district courts to take up only urgent matters and that too through video conferencing.

BUSINESS DEL16 BIZ-VIRUS-FM-INDUSTRY Govt working to save lives, livelihood: FM tells India Inc amid COVID surge New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said she has taken inputs from various industry chambers on concerns of India Inc with regard to the management of COVID pandemic and the centre would continue to work with state governments to save lives and livelihood.

DEL9 BIZ-RUPEE-OPEN Rupee slumps 52 paise to 74.87 against US dollar in early trade Mumbai: The Indian rupee slumped 52 paise to 74.87 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday, amid fears that a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country could disrupt economic recovery.

FOREIGN FGN4 UAE-JAISHANKAR Jaishankar discusses bilateral ties, economic recovery post-COVID with UAE counterpart Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held another round of 'productive interaction' with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan here where the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, especially the strong focus on economic recovery post COVID-19.