HIGHLIGHTS AT 5 PM

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New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 pm: NATION DEL14 AVI-LD UK-FLIGHTS India-UK flights to remain suspended till Jan 7: Puri New Delhi: Passenger flights between the UK and India would remain suspended till January 7 and they will resume in a 'strictly regulated' manner thereafter, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.

DEL1 VIRUS-UK 20 people found with new UK variant of coronavirus New Delhi: Twenty people who returned to India from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new UK variant genome of SARS-CoV-2 so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 20,549 fresh cases New Delhi: India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,02,44,852 with 20,549 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.34 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 95.99 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

DEL29 FARMERS-MEETING Union ministers meet farmer groups to break deadlock over agri laws New Delhi: The sixth round of talks between the protesting farmer unions and three Central ministers got underway here Wednesday afternoon to break the over one-month-long deadlock on the recent agri laws.

DEL43 FARMERS-MEETING FOOD Govt-farmers meeting: Ministers join union leaders to share langar food New Delhi: Three union ministers joined farm leaders on Wednesday to share 'langar' food arranged by protesting farmers during their sixth round of talks to resolve the deadlock over new farm laws.

DEL19 JK-LD ENCOUNTER Three militants killed in J-K encounter Srinagar: Three unidentified militants were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in Parimpora area of the city, police said on Wednesday.

DEL33 AVI-SUSPENSION-INTERNATIONAL Suspension of scheduled international passenger flights extended till Jan 31 New Delhi: The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till January 31, aviation regulator DGCA said on Wednesday.

DEL32 UP-CONVERSION-CIVIL SERVANTS Retd bureaucrats term UP 'epicentre of hate politics', seek withdrawal of anti-conversion ordinance New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has become the 'epicentre of the politics of hate, division and bigotry' and the institutions of governance are 'steeped in communal poison,' alleged 104 retired civil servants in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

BOM1 CG-NAXAL-BLAST C'garh: CAF jawan injured in pressure IED blast by Naxals Bijapur: A Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) jawan was on Wednesday injured when a pressure improvised explosive device (IED), planted by Naxals, exploded while it was being defused by security personnel in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, police said.

DEL39 MH-PAWAR-INTERVIEW Maha govt stable, attempts to bring it down won't succeed: Pawar New Delhi: Confident that any attempt by BJP to bring down the Maharashtra government won't succeed, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has asserted that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi dispensation is stable and it will continue to rule the state.

MDS3 KA-VIRUS-UK-MINISTER 7 in Karnataka found positive for new coronavirus strain: Health Minister Bengaluru: Seven people who returned to Karnataka from the UK, were found to be infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Wednesday.

MDS4 KL-CHURCH-MEMORANDUM Church dispute: Jacobite faction submits mass memorandum to Kerala govt Thiruvananthapuram: The Jacobite faction of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has submitted a mass memorandum to the Left government in Kerala demanding a legislation to resolve their centuries-old dispute with the Orthodox faction.

BUSINESS DCM34 BIZ-SAILORS-CHINA-MANDAVIYA Diplomatic talks with China on; stuck Indian sailors to reach India soon: Mandaviya New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said 39 Indian sailors stuck in China will be brought back soon as diplomatic talks are on with the neighbouring country.

FOREIGN FGN28 VIRUS-UK-OXFORD-LD VACCINE UK approves Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine London: The UK on Wednesday approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University and produced by AstraZeneca for human use, the second coronavirus vaccine to be cleared for rollout in Britain after the Pfizer/BioNTech jabs. By Aditi Khanna FGN16 VIRUS-HARRIS-VACCINE Harris receives first dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on camera Washington: US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine live on television as part of efforts to build public trust in the inoculation and urged Americans to get vaccinated for the virus.

FGN9 US-PROTEST-BALOCH COMMUNITY Protest held outside Canadian Embassy in Washington over killing of Karima Baloch Washington: Members of the Baloch community in the US held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Canadian Embassy here to protest against the recent killing of one of their popular leaders Karima Baloch in Toronto. By Lalit K Jha. PTI HDA