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GS 2 India appreciates sanctions waiver The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday expressed appreciation for the United States’ waiver on India-Iran energy trade and the Chabahar Port project. Not in direct talks with Taliban: MEA Facing a barrage of questions on its sudden shift in policy on attending talks with the Taliban, the Centre on Friday clarified that its delegation at the second 12-nation ‘Moscow format meeting of consultations on Afghanistan’ would not hold direct talks with the insurgent group there GS 3 Army fire power gets booster shot M777 Ultra Light Howitzers and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled artillery gun inducted into the force HAL trainer clears crucial spin test HTT-40, the indigenously-built basic trainer aircraft, on Friday cleared a challenging milestone — its first spin test — Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. said. Cause to remain alert Despite the recent announcement suggesting that the Jaipur Zika virus strains cannot cause foetal microcephaly, all possible measures to control transmission and monitor pregnancies should be taken. To the best of our knowledge, there is not a specific Zika virus strain — or mutation — linked to microcephaly. All Zika virus strains could possibly cause birth defects. Credit growth at 5-year high Demand from firms, NFBCs drive loan growth; however, deposits grow slower Most child deaths due to pneumonia in India This was stated in the ‘Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report’ released on Friday by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Don’t compare air pollution to smoking, say experts Anti-tobacco activists have expressed concern that comparing the ill-effects of air pollution to that of smoking will result in trivialising the catastrophic effects of smoking. Indonesia’s Toraja tribe live among the dead Martha Kande's family lived with her greying, shrivelled corpse at their home in Indonesia for seven months, as they prepared an elaborate funeral that is central to the Toraja people's centuries-old death rituals.