Highlights

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION DEL33 LD PM Modi lays foundation stone of Light House Projects, says housing for poor, middle class a priority New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Light House Projects being executed with modern technologies in six states will show a new direction to the housing construction sector in the country and further strengthen cooperative federalism.

DEL56 PM-LD NEW YEAR As new year begins, PM Modi pens poem to strike message of optimism, resolve New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on the first day of the new year on Friday and shared a poem penned by him to give a message of optimism and resolve to win over darkness and obstacles.

DEL71 DL-FARMERS-LD DEMANDS Ahead of Jan 4 talks with govt, farmer unions warn of firm steps, announces multiple actions New Delhi: Upping the ante ahead of the next round of talks, farmer unions on Friday warned that they will start shutting all malls and petrol pumps in Haryana if the government fails to resolve their main demands for the repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP in the January 4 meeting.

DEL59 JK-LD SHELLING Soldier killed in Pak firing, shelling in J-K's Rajouri district Jammu: An army man was killed as Pakistani troops opened fire and shelled forward posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Friday, officials said.

DEL41 MEA-CHINA-INDIANS India calls for urgent assistance for 39 Indian sailors on board two ships in Chinese waters New Delhi: India on Friday called for 'urgent, practical and time-bound' assistance to 39 stranded Indian sailors on board two ships in Chinese waters considering the 'grave' humanitarian situation developing in the vessels.

DEL51 INDOPAK-LD-PROTEST India lodges protest with Pak over vandalisation of temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa New Delhi: India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the vandalisation of a Hindu temple in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the neighbouring country and sought strict action against those responsible for the incident, sources said on Friday.

DEL70 INDOPAK-PRISONERS India asks Pakistan to ensure early release of Indian prisoners New Delhi: India on Friday called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 185 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners whose nationality has already been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistani authorities.

DEL11 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 20,035 new cases New Delhi: The daily new coronavirus infections in India remained below 30,000 for the 19th consecutive day taking the COVID-19 caseload to 1,02,86,709, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.83 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

DEL55 VIRUS-UK STRAIN-POSITIVE New COVID-19 strain: Total 29 people in India test positive New Delhi: A total of 29 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

DEL67 VARDHAN-VACCINE-DRY RUN Vardhan reviews preparedness for COVID vaccination trial run on January 2 New Delhi: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness at various session sites in the country for coronavirus vaccination trial run on January 2.

DEL69 RSS-HINDU-GANDHI Hindus can never be anti-India, patriotism is their basic character, says RSS chief citing Gandhi New Delhi: If someone is a Hindu he will be patriotic and that will be his basic character and nature, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Friday while citing Mahatama Gandhi's remarks that his patriotism originates from his dharma.

DEL29 INDOPAK-NUKELIST-EXCHANGE India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations New Delhi: Continuing a 30-year practice, India and Pakistan on Friday exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral arrangement that prohibits the two countries from attacking each other's atomic facilities.

DEL14 DL-LD COLD Severe cold wave in Delhi on New Year's Day; minimum temperature lowest in 15 years New Delhi: A severe cold wave swept through Delhi on New Year's Day as the mercury plummeted to 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 15 years, and 'very dense' fog lowered visibility to 'zero' metres, affecting traffic movement.

LEGAL LGD1 DL-HC-MISSING WOMAN Missing woman willfully marries man, HC directs her forthwith release from children’s home New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday directed forthwith release of a woman from children's home noting that she was a major and married a man with her free will.

FOREIGN FGN15 UN-INDIA India set to begin its two-year tenure as non-permanent member of UNSC United Nations: India, which has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the UN Security Council, will begin its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the powerful organ of the world body on Friday. By Yoshita Singh FGN23 US-TRUMP-VISA-LDALL BAN Trump extends freeze on H-1B, other work visas until March 31; Indian IT professionals to be hit Washington: US President Donald Trump has extended the freeze on the most sought-after H-1B visas by Indian IT professionals, along with other types of foreign work visas and green cards through March 31 to protect American workers, saying that the reasons for which he had imposed such restrictions amidst the pandemic have not changed. By Lalit K Jha TDS TDS