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Following are the top foreign stories at 1700 hrs

·3-min read

FGN41 UK-NIRAV MODI-2NDLD EXTRADITION PNB scam case: Nirav Modi loses extradition fight, UK judge rules he has case to answer in India London: Nirav Modi, the diamond merchant wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, on Thursday lost his legal battle against extradition as a UK judge ruled that he does have a case to answer before the Indian courts.

FGN34 PAK-INDIA-LD CEASEFIRE Pakistan, India agree on strict observance of all agreements, cease firing along LoC Islamabad: Pakistan and India have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and address each other's core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence, the Pakistan Army said on Thursday.

FGN28 UN-INDIA-LD TERROR Would be compelled to take pre-emptive strike when confronted by imminent attack from non-state actor operating in third state: India at UN United Nations: India told a UN meeting that a country would be compelled to undertake a “pre-emptive strike” when confronted by an 'imminent armed attack” from a non-state actor operating in a third state, as it highlighted several proxy cross-border terror attacks, including one in Pulwama, perpetrated against it from its neighbourhood, a clear reference to Pakistan.

FGN43 CHINA-XI-LD POVERTY President Xi claims complete victory in eradicating absolute poverty in China Beijing: President Xi Jinping on Thursday declared that China has scored a 'complete victory' in its fight against poverty by lifting over 770 million people out of it in the last four decades, calling it another 'miracle' created by the country that will go down in history.

FGN35 PAK-LANKA-DEFENCE-CREDIT Cash-strapped Pak offers USD 50 mn new credit line to Sri Lanka to boost defence cooperation Colombo/Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan has offered a USD 50 million new credit line to Sri Lanka to boost cooperation in defence and security sectors.

FGN27 PAK-LAWMAKER-HINDUS Pak Lawmaker apologises for tweet hurting Hindu community's sentiments Karachi: A Pakistani lawmaker from Prime Minister Imran Khan's ruling party was forced to apologise and delete a tweet deemed disrespectful to the minority Hindu community after it led to widespread condemnation and calls for action against him.

FGN22 US-BIDEN-LD CIA-NOMINEE Out competing China will be key to national security in decades ahead: Biden's CIA nominee Washington: Out competing China will be key to America's national security in the decades ahead, President Joe Biden's pick to lead the CIA has told lawmakers, stressing that Beijing is the 'biggest geopolitical test' that the US will face.

FGN20 US-MURTHY-CONFIRMATION-HEARING Senate committee to hold confirmation hearing of Dr Vivek Murthy as US Surgeon General Washington: Indian-American physician Dr Vivek Murthy, President Joe Biden's nominee to serve as US Surgeon General, is expected to reflect on the death of his seven family members in India and America due to COVID-19 to highlight his plans to end the pandemic during his confirmation hearing on Thursday. PTI PMS PMS