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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) These are the top stories at 5 pm: NATION DEL12 VIRUS-LD CASES India reports 92,596 fresh Covid infections; active case tally drops to 12,31,415 New Delhi: India reported 92,596 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 2,90,89,069, while the number of active cases dropped to 12,31,415, according to the Union Health Ministry's data updated on Wednesday.

DEL2 CHOKSI-BAIL-COURT Mehul Choksi's bail hearing adjourned till June 11 New Delhi: The Dominica High Court has adjourned the bail hearing of fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi till June 11, local media reports stated.

DEL24 PRASADA-LD BJP Congress leader Jitin Prasada joins BJP New Delhi: Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday, in a shot in the arm for the saffron party as it prepares for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled for early next year.

DEL27 MEA-INDOUS SHRINGLA Foreign secretary holds productive meeting with US Charge D' Affaires New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday held talks with US Charge D'Affaires Daniel B Smith focusing on ways to combat the coronavirus pandemic including supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

DEL31 CBI-BANK CBI carries out searches in Yes Bank case New Delhi: The CBI has carried out searches at multiple locations in Delhi and NCR after registering an FIR against Gautam Thapar, Avantha Realty and others for alleged diversion of over Rs 466 crore in Yes Bank during 2017-19, officials said. CAL3 WB-FARMERS-MAMATA Farmer leaders to meet Mamata to elicit support for stir Kolkata: Farmer leaders led by Rakesh Tikait and Yudhvir Singh of the Bharatiya Kisan Union will be meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday to elicit her support for the ongoing farmers' stir against the new agriculture laws and for a Minimum Support Price for farm produce.

DEL23 VIRUS-VACCINE-DOSES Over 1.33 crore Covid vaccine doses still available with states: Centre New Delhi: More than 1.33 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories and over 3 lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by them within the next three days, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

DEL41 CAB-MSP Govt hikes paddy MSP by Rs 72/qtl to Rs 1,940 for 2021-22 crop year New Delhi: The government on Wednesday raised the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy marginally by Rs 72 per quintal to Rs 1,940 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year, while the rates of other kharif crops were also hiked.

DEL17 UP-PRIYANKA-MOCK DRILL Agra hospital 'mock drill': Priyanka Gandhi slams Uttar Pradesh govt New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday attacked the Yogi Adityanath dispensation over the reported 'mock drill' at a private hospital in Agra in which oxygen supply was allegedly cut off for five minutes, and asked if the Uttar Pradesh government will bring out the truth and punish those guilty.

DEL15 DL-HOSPITAL-MALAYALAM-APOLOGY Delhi hospital official apologises to staff over controversial 'no Malayalam' circular New Delhi: The nursing superintendent of GB Pant Hospital here has apologised for issuing a controversial circular that barred nursing staff from speaking in Malayalam on duty, saying he had 'no intention to disrespect any Indian language, region, or religion'.

BOM11 MH-AGRI LAW-GOVT Maha govt will amend agri law to protect interest of farmers: minister Mumbai: The Maharashtra government will amend its agriculture law to protect farmers and APMCs as the three Central farm laws are not in the interest of agriculturists, state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said on Wednesday.

CAL5 WB-HIGH TIDE-EVACUATION 4,000 people evacuated from Yaas-hit Bengal islands after high tide warning Kolkata: More than 4,000 inhabitants of cyclone Yaas-hit Mousuni and Ghoramara islands in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district have been evacuated to safety following warning of new moon high tides on June 11 and June 26, a state minister said on Wednesday.

CAL4 AR-VACCINE-FREE RICE Arunachal villagers lap up offer of free rice in return for Covid jabs Itanagar: Free rice in return for a COVID-19 jab, and as much as 20 kg.

LEGAL LGD5 DL-HC-FERTILISER-MP Fertiliser scam: HC to hear on June 11 RJD MP Amarendra Dhari Singh’s plea challenging remand order New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it will hear on June 11, a plea by RJD Rajya Sabha MP Amarendra Dhari Singh, arrested in a money laundering case related to an alleged fertiliser scam, challenging trial court’s order granting his 10-day custody to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). FOREIGN FGN12 US-CHINA-SENATE-LD BILL US Senate passes key bill to combat Chinese competitiveness Washington: The US Senate has passed a major legislative package aimed at improving the country’s economic competition with China and holding its Communist government accountable for predatory tactics.

By Lalit K Jha FGN8 VIRUS-US-INDIA-VACCINES-LD LAWMAKERS India strategic ally of US, needs America's help in fighting COVID-19: top lawmakers Washington: India is a strategic ally of the US and it needs America's help in its ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, top lawmakers here have said, urging the Biden administration to share the extra vaccines with New Delhi.

By Lalit K Jha. MA MA