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New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 2100 hours: NATION DEL65 VIRUS-HEALTH MINISTRY No evidence that vaccines will not work against new COVID variant: Government New Delhi: COVID-19 vaccines will work against new variants of the virus and there is no evidence that current vaccines will fail to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 mutants reported from the UK or South Africa, the government said on Tuesday.

DEL66 UP-4THLD PM PM attacks previous govts for delaying work on dedicated freight corridor project Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused previous governments of delaying the dedicated freight corridor project and ignoring modernisation of railways, and said politics should be kept away from infrastructure development.

DEL81 FARMERS-GOVT-LD LETTER Farmers write to Centre, take hard-line on agendas for Dec 30 talks New Delhi: Protesting farmer unions Tuesday wrote to the Centre on the talks scheduled between the two sides on Wednesday, saying the discussion will only be on the modalities of repealing the three legislations, giving a legal guarantee on the MSP, and on two other issues they proposed earlier this week for a resumption of the dialogue.

DEL85 VIRUS-MUTATION-ICMR Immune pressure due to non-judicious use of therapies can lead to virus mutation: ICMR chief New Delhi: Non-judicious use of therapies, that have not been scientifically established for treating COVID-19, put immune pressure on the virus which can lead to mutations, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Balram Bhargava on Tuesday amid concerns over the United Kingdom variant of the coronavirus.

DEL82 AVI-2NDLD UK-FLIGHTS-PURI UK flight suspension likely to be extended, says Aviation Minister New Delhi: India is likely to extend the suspension of passenger flights to and from the United Kingdom to check the spread of the new strain of coronavirus, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Tuesday.

DEL79 CONG-BANGLADESH-PANEL Cong forms panel to plan golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh Liberation War New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday set up a committee chaired by former defence minister AK Antony to plan and coordinate the party's activities to commemorate the historic 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

DEL87 ED-LD RAUT Sena leader Raut's wife again skips ED questioning in PMC bank money-laundering case Mumbai: Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, again skipped questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday in the over Rs 4,300-crore PMC Bank money-laundering case, official sources said.

DEL51 HEALTH-VIRUS-VARIANT-PASSENGERS Genome sequencing for all COVID-19 positive flyers who arrived in India from Dec 9 to 22 New Delhi: Samples of all international passengers who arrived in India from December 9 to 22 and tested positive for COVID-19 will be subjected to genome sequencing as part of the Centre's strategy to detect the mutated coronavirus strain that has emerged in the United Kingdom recently.

DEL72 FARMERS-SHAH-MINISTERS Tomar, Goyal meet Amit Shah a day before crucial talks with farmers New Delhi: A day before the next round of talks between the Centre and the farmers protesting against the three new agri laws, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal met senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah.

MDS19 TN-2NDLD-RAJINIKANTH Rajini does a U-turn; scraps political plunge plans citing health reasons Chennai: Making a U-turn, superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced he will not enter politics in view of his frail health, putting an end to his long-nurtured plans and describing his recent hospitalisation as a God's warning. BUSINESS DEL80 BIZ-RBI-BANKS Banks need to gear up to meet new challenges following unwinding of measures to combat COVID: RBI Mumbai: Cautioning of imminent stress in the banking sector after unwinding of the measures taken to combat the impact of COVID-19, the Reserve Bank on Tuesday said banks will need to adapt and adjust themselves to meet the upcoming challenges.

LEGAL LGD5 DL-HC-JAMIA-TEACHERS HC directs JMI, school not to discontinue contractual teachers services New Delhi: The Delhi high Court has directed that services of various contractual teachers working with a school, being run under the aegis of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, shall not be discontinued till March next year.

FOREIGN FGN32 UK-NIRAV-REMAND Nirav Modi's remand in UK extended till Jan 7 London: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi appeared via videolink for a routine 28-day remand hearing on Tuesday before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, where he was further remanded in custody until January 7 in the new year to conclude hearings in his extradition case. By Aditi Khanna FGN29 NEPAL-POLITICS-PROTEST Ready to forget everything if PM Oli accepts mistakes: Madhav Nepal at protest rally Kathmandu: Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party’s rival faction Madhav Kumar Nepal said on Tuesday that the party could still be united if Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli was willing to accept his mistakes, as thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Kathmandu against the dissolution of Parliament.

SPORTS SPD9 SPO-FOOT-NANDY 1956 Olympics fourth-place finishing football squad member Nandy dies Kolkata: A member of 1956 Olympics fourth-place finishing Indian football squad, Nikhil Nandy died here on Tuesday after a prolonged illness, according to family sources.