Top foreign stories at 1715 hrs

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FGN30 VIRUS-CHINA-2NDLD WHO COVID-19: China flatly rejects WHO’s plan to revisit Wuhan lab leak theory Beijing: China on Thursday categorically rejected the WHO’s plan for the second phase of coronavirus origin-tracing in Wuhan, especially to probe the lab leak theory, as it dismissed reports that some of the employees of the facility were infected with the deadly virus before it spread to the city and the world. By K J M Varma FGN38 UK-INDIA-MARITIME EXERCISE UK Carrier Strike Group starts maritime exercises with Indian Navy London: The United Kingdom's Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2021, led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, has met up with the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal for three days of complex maritime interactions, the British government said on Thursday. By Aditi Khanna FGN21 VIRUS-DELTA-WHO Prevalence of COVID-19’s Delta variant among specimens sequenced over past 4 weeks exceeded 75 per cent: WHO United Nations/Geneva: The prevalence of the highly-transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 among specimens sequenced over the past four weeks exceeded 75 per cent in many countries worldwide, including India, China, Russia, Israel and the UK, the WHO has said. By Yoshita Singh FGN23 US-INDIA-BUSINESS-REPORT US says India ‘remains challenging place' to do business, urges to minimise bureaucratic hurdles Washington: India “remains a challenging place' to do business, the US has said, urging it to foster an attractive and reliable investment climate by reducing barriers to investment and minimising the bureaucratic hurdles. By Lalit K Jha FGN36 SA-ZUMA-BROTHER-FUNERAL Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma allowed out of jail to attend brother’s funeral Johannesburg: Jailed former South African president Jacob Zuma was granted compassionate leave by prison authorities on Thursday to attend his brother’s funeral. By Fakir Hassen FGN25 CHINA-FLOODS-TOLL China floods: Death toll goes up to 33 Beijing: The death toll in central China’s unprecedented flash floods triggered after the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years has reached 33 with eight people missing, officials said on Thursday. By K J M Varma FGN20 UN-TAX-INDIAN Indian Finance Ministry officer among 25 global tax experts appointed to UN tax committee United Nations: Rasmi Ranjan Das, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, is among a distinguished group of 25 tax experts from around the world appointed as members of the UN tax committee for the 2021 to 2025 term.

FGN16 UN-INDIA-PRESIDENCY UNGA president commends India for 'rich' programme of work during upcoming UNSC presidency United Nations: UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir has commended India for a “rich” programme of work during the country’s presidency of the UN Security Council in August when high-level open debates on maritime security, peacekeeping and threats to international peace and security by terrorism will be among the highlights. By Yoshita Singh FGN12 US-CHINA-AUSTRALIA-TRADE US closely monitoring trade situation between Australia and China, says USTR Washington: The United States is closely monitoring the trade situation between China and Australia, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has said.By Lalit K Jha IND

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