Top foreign stories at 1700 hrs

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FGN15 UN-INDIA-FARMERS Important to respect peaceful protests, non-violence: UN chief's spokesman on farmers' stir United Nations: In the wake of violence and clashes between farmers and police in India, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said it is important to respect peaceful protests, freedom of assembly and non-violence. By Yoshita Singh FGN18 IMF-INDIA-FARM-LAWS India’s new agri laws have potential to raise farm income; social safety net needed: IMF's Gopinath Washington: India’s recently-enacted agri laws have the potential to increase farmers’ income, but there is a need to provide a social safety net to the vulnerable cultivators, IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has said. By Lalit K Jha FGN22 IMF-INDIA-BUDGET-GOPINATH IMF favours extension of pandemic support measures, thrust on infra investment in Budget Washington: Ahead of India’s annual budget presentation next week, IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has favoured the extension of the pandemic support measures, thrust on investment in infrastructure and expanding health sectors programmes like Ayushman Bharat, and a very credible divestment path for commercially viable companies. By Lalit K Jha FGN25 SINGAPORE-INDIAN-TERROR Indian-origin youth in Singapore detained for planning to attack Muslims at 2 mosques Singapore: A 16-year-old Singaporean boy, a Protestant Christian of Indian ethnicity, was detained last month under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after planning to use a machete to attack Muslims at two mosques in March, on the anniversary of New Zealand's Christchurch attacks. By Gurdip Singh FGN23 PAK-KAPOOR-HAVELI Owner of Raj Kapoor's ancestral home in Pakistan refuses to sell building at govt rate Peshawar: The owner of Indian film legend Raj Kapoor's ancestral home in Peshawar has refused to sell the building at the rate fixed by the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, saying the prime-location property has been severely undervalued.

FGN20 LANKA-INDIA-VACCINE Sri Lanka to procure 2 to 3 million doses of anti-COVID vaccine from India: Official Colombo: Sri Lanka will purchase 2 to 3 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from its Indian manufacturing company Serum Institute of India during the next two days, a top Sri Lankan official said here on Wednesday.

FGN17 US-BLINKEN-DIPLOMACY Blinken becomes US Secretary of State; says will revitalise American diplomacy Washington: US’ new Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has kicked off his mission to revitalise American diplomacy by making calls to his counterparts in neighbouring countries -- Mexico and Canada and two Asian allies -- South Korea and Japan. By Lalit K Jha FGN12 US-HARRIS-LAB My 1st job was cleaning laboratory glassware in mother’s lab: US VP Harris Washington: US Vice President Kamala Harris has said that her first job was to clean pipettes in her mother’s laboratory, as she visited the National Health Institute headquarters for the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine. By Lalit K Jha FGN8 US-INDIAN-LAWMAKERS Indian-origin US lawmakers Jayapal, Krishnamoorthi named to key congressional committees Washington: Indian-origin US lawmakers Pramila Jayapal and Raja Krishnamoorthi have been named to key congressional committees on budget and the COVID-19 pandemic by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. By Lalit K Jha FGN13 US-BIDEN-RACISM-ORDERS Biden signs orders on racial equity, takes steps to address 'systemic racism' in US Washington: US President Joe Biden has signed a series of executive orders to ensure racial equity across the country, acting on one of his core campaign promises to dismantle 'systemic racism' that has plagued America far too long. By Lalit K Jha IND IND