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Afternoon briefing: India’s diplomat meets Taliban ‘foreign minister’, PM Modi gets witty at National Creators Awards

India’s top diplomat for Afghanistan has met the Taliban ‘foreign minister’ Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul and discussed relations between the two sides and issues related to economic cooperation. JP Singh, the joint secretary heading the external affairs ministry’s division for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, met Muttaqi on Thursday, the latest in a series of contacts between Indian officials and Taliban leaders. Like other countries, the Indian side doesn’t formally recognise the Taliban regime in Kabul. Dig Deeper

Taliban ‘foreign minister’ Amir Khan Muttaqi(AFP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sharp wit was on display on Friday as he presented the first-ever National Creators Award at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. Playback singer Maithili Thakur, who is trained in Indian classical music and folk music, was announced the winner of ‘Cultural Ambassador of The Year’. After handing over the award to Maithili Thakur, PM Modi asked her to display her singing talent in front of the audience. Dig Deeper

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Rohit Sharma was in marauding form as he completed the 12th century of his Test career against England on Day 2 of the Dharamsala Test. The India captain, continuing his red-hot form in the current World Test Championship cycle, notched up his 2nd century of the series and came close to completing 400 runs. Rohit is the only Indian in WTC’s top-10 run-scorers as he and Shubman Gill – through a terrific partnership for the second wicket – propelled India into the lead. Dig Deeper

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Showtime review: If Karan Johar makes a show on nepotism, there will be takers. Backed by the head of Dharma Productions, the show is created by Sumit Roy, one of the co-writers on Karan’s last directorial Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. Like that movie, Sumit captures the zeitgeist of the area he’s venturing into. The observations and relevance? Spot on! But the soul? There’s something amiss. Dig Deeper

Lifestyle and Health

Psittacosis, a respiratory bacterial infection, also known as parrot fever, has killed five people across Europe this year. The infection of birds caused by Chlamydophila psittaci (C. psittaci), can also be passed on to humans if they happen to inhale particles from their feathers or dry faeces. Due to the illness, four people have died in Denmark and one in the Netherlands; dozens more have been hospitalised across Austria, Germany and Sweden, as per World Health Organization (WHO). People infected with parrot may have pneumonia-like symptoms including cough, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. Fever, muscle ache, headache and gastronomical symptoms may also appear. Dig Deeper

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