Top foreign stories at 1715 hours

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FGN18 VIRUS-UN-SERUM-VACCINES Serum Institute of India, UNICEF enter into long-term supply for COVID-19 vaccines United Nations: The Serum Institute of India (SII) and UNICEF have entered into a long-term supply agreement for the AstraZeneca/Oxford and the Novavax vaccines, with the UN children’s agency saying it will have access to up to 1.1 billion doses of vaccines for around 100 countries. By Yoshita Singh FGN12 UN-ISIS-REPORT ISIL-K's new leader heads India operations; may have earlier affiliation with Haqqani network: UN United Nations: Global terror group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant - Khorasan's (ISIL-K) new leader Shihab al-Muhajir heads its operations in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and is said to have had an earlier affiliation with the dreaded Haqqani Network, according to a report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. By Yoshita Singh FGN24 SINGAPORE-WEF-MEETING World Economic Forum’s Singapore special meeting rescheduled to August Singapore: The World Economic Forum’s Special Annual Meeting in Singapore in May has been rescheduled to August 17-20 this year due to the international challenges in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation has said. By Gurdip Singh FGN17 UN-GUTERRES-MYANMAR Will do everything to mobilise global community to ensure coup fails in Myanmar : UN chief New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has vowed to mobilise the international community to put enough pressure on Myanmar to ensure that the military coup in the country “fails”, saying it is unfortunate that the Security Council is not yet united in dealing with the crisis. By Yoshita Singh FGN26 LANKA-DAY-RAJAPAKSA 'I am the leader that you searched for': Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa tell Lankans on Independence Day Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday told Sri Lankans that he was the leader that they searched for and openly flaunted his strong Sinhalese-Buddhist roots to say that he was the right man to hold the highest office in the country.

FGN23 UK-VACCINE-TRIAL UK begins world-first alternate dosing COVID-19 vaccine trial London: Health chiefs in the UK on Thursday began what they have described as a world-first clinical trial of patients who will receive different COVID-19 vaccines for their first or second dose, to detect its impact on immunity against coronavirus. By Aditi Khanna FGN25 NEPAL-STRIKE Normal life paralysed in Nepal during general strike, 157 protesters arrested Kathmandu: The normal life was paralysed across Nepal on Thursday during a nation-wide general strike called by the Nepal Communist Party's splinter faction-led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ to oppose the appointment of office bearers and members of various constitutional bodies by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli-led caretaker government. By Shirish B Pradhan FGN15 US-BIDEN-AUS-SKOREA Biden talks with Australian PM and S Korean President; discusses global, regional issues Washington: US President Joe Biden discussed global and regional challenges, ranging from Myanmar to China and the collective efforts to beat the COVID-19 pandemic with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to the White House. By Lalit K Jha IND IND