Highlights

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9.30 pm: NATION DEL125 2ND LDALL PRESIDENT Kovind defends new farm laws and condemns R'Day violence; says govt 'vigilant' amid standoff with China New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday strongly defended the three new agri laws saying their benefits have begun reaching 10 crore small farmers instantly, and condemned as ''very unfortunate' the Republic Day violence and 'dishonour' to the tricolour during the tractor parade by the protesting farm unions here.

DEL34 LD PM There should be discussion, presentation of different views in Parliament: Modi New Delhi: On the first day of the Budget Session, which is set to be stormy with the opposition parties boycotting the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked MPs to debate and discuss all the issues that concern people of the country, and hoped that they will not shy away from contributing to fulfill people's aspirations, by making full use of Parliament and following all the propriety of democracy.

DEL129 DL-ISRAEL EMBASSY-2NDLD BLAST Minor blast outside Israeli Embassy in Delhi, no injuries reported New Delhi: A minor IED blast took place outside the Israeli Embassy in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi on Friday evening, police said. No one was injured.

DEL61 DL-SINGHU-2NDLD VIOLENCE Tension at Singhu border as 'locals' clash with farm protesters, police fire tear gas New Delhi: Police fired tear gas and resorted to baton charge Friday to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws.

DEL152 BIZ-2NDLD SURVEY Indian economy to witness 'V-shaped' rebound with 11% growth next fiscal: Eco Survey New Delhi: India's economy is likely to grow by 11 per cent in the fiscal year beginning April 1 as a vaccine drive and rebound in consumer demand help it emerge from the carnage inflicted by a strict coronavirus lockdown, the Economic Survey said on Friday.

DEL14 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 18,855 fresh cases, 163 more fatalities; recovery rate surges to 96.96 pc New Delhi: With 18,855 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has gone up to 1,07,20,048, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,03,94,352, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.96 per cent, the health ministry said on Friday.

DEL73 PRESIDENT-OPPN-LD BJP President above political differences, Oppn boycotting his address 'unfortunate': BJP New Delhi: Terming the boycott of President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the joint sitting of Parliament by opposition parties as 'unfortunate', the BJP on Friday said as the symbol constitutional head of the country, the President is above political differences, and attacked the Congress, saying its 'arrogance' is the 'real problem'.

DEL156 RAHUL-LD FARMERS Farmers' agitation will spread across country if not resolved soon: Rahul New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday warned that the farmers' agitation will spread across the country if not resolved soon and asserted that the only solution to the issue was to throw the new agri laws in the 'waste paper basket'.

CAL1 WB-GANGULY-CONDITION Sourav Ganguly's health condition stable after angioplasty Kolkata: Indian cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly's health condition is stable and he had a good sleep on Thursday night, while doctors are planning to carry out requisite medical examinations on him on Friday, a senior official of the hospital where he is admitted said.

LEGAL LGD12 SC-CONTEMPT-LD ARTISTS Contempt case against comic artist: SC says criticism growing, everybody doing it New Delhi: Criticism of courts is “growing and everybody is doing it”, the Supreme Court said on Friday while giving three weeks to comic artist Rachita Taneja to file her reply on a plea seeking contempt action for her allegedly objectionable tweets against the judiciary.

LGD7 DL-COURT-LD RIOTS-UAPA-KALITA Delhi riots: Court rejects Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita's bail plea in UAPA case New Delhi: A court here has rejected the bail plea of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student and Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita, booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a northeast Delhi riots case, saying the allegations against her are prima facie and provisions of the anti-terror law have been rightly invoked in the case.

FOREIGN FGN36 CHINA-INDIA-JAISHANKAR-LD REAX China says border issue with India should not be linked with bilateral relations Beijing: China on Friday said the border issue with India should not be linked with bilateral ties, even as it welcomed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's remarks on the significance their ties and the importance New Delhi attached to relations with Beijing. By K J M Varma FGN12 US-PENTAGON-INDIA Biden admin to remain committed to a strong US-India bilateral relationship: Pentagon Washington: The Biden administration is going to remain committed to a strong bilateral relationship with India, the Pentagon has said, a day after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke for the first time with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS