Top foreign stories at 1700 hrs

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FGN13 US-SENATOR-LD INDIA Top US Senator urges Defence Secy to discuss India's plan to buy Russian S-400 system and rights issues during visit Washington: An top American Senator has urged US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to take up with the Indian leaders the issue of India's plan to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence system and concerns on human rights issues during his visit to New Delhi this week. By Lalit K Jha FGN7 US-LAWMAKERS-WAIVER-WTO Biden called upon to support India, South Africa at WTO on COVID-19 vaccines Washington: A group of American lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to support the move by India and South Africa before the World Trade Organization for an emergency temporary waiver of some Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules to enable greater production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests. By Lalit K Jha FGN14 VIRUS-UN-INDIA India expected to register largest increase in child and maternal deaths in South Asia in 2020 amid COVID-19 disruptions: UN United Nations: India is projected to register the greatest increase in the number of deaths among children under 5 in South Asia in 2020 as well as the highest number of maternal deaths as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the country's health services, a UN report has said. By Yoshita Singh FGN28 NEPAL-POLITICS Nepal's ruling CPN-UML's meeting forms 24-member parliamentary board Kathmandu: The parliamentary party meeting of Nepal's ruling CPN-UML, led by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, formed a 24-member parliamentary board and three-member statute amendment task force on Thursday even as leaders of the rival faction boycotted the meet, according to media reports.

FGN17 US-INDIANS-GREEN CARD-PROTEST Indian-American healthcare workers in Green Card backlog hold demonstration before US Capitol Washington: A group of Indian-American frontline healthcare workers languishing in the Green Card backlog held a demonstration in front of the US Capitol urging lawmakers and the Biden administration to end the per capita country-specific quota. By Lalit K Jha FGN21 VIRUS-CHINA-VACCINE-DIPLOMATS China offers its COVID-19 vaccines to diplomats, foreign journalists Beijing: China has opened its mass domestic COVID-19 inoculation drive for the first time to Beijing-based diplomats and foreign journalists by offering a vaccine developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company. By K J M Varma PTI RS