Highlights at 1300 hrs

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New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1300 hrs: Nation DEL14 FARMERS-RAJNATH Modi govt committed to farmers' welfare, hope protesting farmers soon withdraw stir: Rajnath New Delhi: On the birth anniversary of former prime minister Charan Singh, known for espousing the cause of farmers, the government on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to their welfare and expressed hope that the farmers protesting against farm laws will soon withdraw their agitation. DEL15 RAHUL-VACCINE When will India's turn come: Rahul to PM on COVID-19 vaccinations New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said 23 lakh people in the world had already received the COVID-19 vaccine and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi when India's turn would come.

DEL7 JK-DDC POLLS Results of 276 DDC seats declared; PAGD gets 110, BJP 74 Srinagar/Jammu: The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls by winning 110 seats, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party by getting 74 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.

DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 23,950 new cases New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,00,99,066 with 23,950 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 96.63 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

BOM2 MH-FARMERS-PAWAR Unfortunate that farmers have to protest for rights: Pawar Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said it is the responsibility of those in power to aptly honour farmers, but unfortunately cultivators are now forced to stage protest for their rights.

BOM3 MH-UNLOCK-WATER SPORTS Maha govt allows water sports, amusement parks to resume Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has allowed water sports as well as activities like boating and entertainment/amusement parks to resume as part of phase-wise easing of lockdown restrictions in the state.

MDS2 KL-VIRUS-SUGATHAKUMARI Eminent poet-activist Sugathakumari no more Thiruvananthapuram: Eminent Malayalam poet, conservationist and women's activist, Sugathakumari, who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was undergoing treatment, died at the government medical college hospital here on Wednesday.

Business DEL13 BIZ-CAIRN-ARBITRATION Cairn Energy wins arbitration against India in tax dispute New Delhi: British explorer Cairn Energy Plc has won an arbitration against the Indian government, seeking Rs 10,247 crore in retrospective taxes, sources said Wednesday.

Foreign FGN8 US-CYBER-ATTACK-BIDEN Cyber-attack constitutes grave risk to national security: US President-elect Biden Washington: The recent cyber security breach against the US companies constitutes a grave risk to the national security, President-elect Joe Biden has said, alleging that the Trump administration failed to prevent it. By Lalit K Jha FGN4 VIRUS-US-TRUMP-LD STIMULUS Trump refuses to sign COVID-19 relief bill, seeks USD 2,000 stimulus payment Washington: US President Donald Trump has refused to sign the COVID-19 relief bill, saying the USD 600 stimulus payment to most Americans was not enough as he asked Congress to increase the amount to USD 2,000. By Lalit K Jha Legal LGM3 KL-COURT-ABHAYA Catholic priest, nun sentenced to life in Sister Abhaya murder case Thiruvananthapuram: A CBI special court on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment the catholic priest and nun, who were found guilty of the murder of Sister Abhaya 28 years ago in Kottayam.

LGD2 DL-HC-VIRUS Frame SOPs for post-COVID-19 complications in patients, HC tells AAP govt New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the AAP government to frame standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with post COVID-19 complications and to ensure that facilities are available to test and quarantine travellers from the UK where a new strain of coronavirus has been discovered.

Sports SPD2 SPO-CRI-DDCA-BEDI Angry with idea of Jaitley statue at Kotla, Bedi asks DDCA to remove his name from stands, quits membership New Delhi: Lambasting the DDCA for deciding to install a statue of its late former President Arun Jaitley at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi has asked the body to remove his name from the spectators' stand, named after him in 2017.