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Trump Praises India-Americans for Playing Incredible Role in His Admin November 14, 2018 12:11

President Donald Trump, who has appointed more than two dozen Indian-Americans to senior positions since he took office in 2017, has praised them for their "incredible" performance in his administration.Reflective of the recognition of the inherent talent that Indian-Americans have in various fields, Trump has entrusted members of this small ethnic community, comprising about one percent of the total United States population, with the task of running some of the crucial departments of his administration."I'm grateful to have numerous Americans of Indian and Southeast Asian heritage who fulfill critical roles across my administration. And they’ve done an incredible job," Trump said as he hosted Diwali celebrations in the historic Roosevelt Room on Tuesday.Except for the former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, some two dozen of his top Indian-American lieutenants were present at the celebrations.Haley, the first-Indian-American appointed to a top Cabinet-level position, resigned last month as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And as a Diwali gift to the community, Trump surprised many by announcing that he has nominated his regulatory czar Neomi Jehangir Rao, to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Rao, 45, would replace the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, where he served earlier before heading to the apex court.In eight years, former president Barack Obama had appointed more than 50 Indian-Americans to key administration positions, including Raj Shah as United States Agency for International Development administrator; Nisha Desai Biswal as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and Richard Verma as the U.S. Ambassador to India.By appointing more than two dozen Indian Americans in key administrative positions, Trump seems to be on the track to break the record set by his predecessor Obama. At the White House Diwali event, Trump profusely praised the significant role of Indian-Americans in the development of the country and his administration as well."Many of them are here today, including the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commissions, Ajit Pai," Trump said as he asked him to come near him."Ajit, where's Ajit? Come here, Ajit. I just didn't like one decision he made, but that's all right," he said as the small audience burst into laughter. "Not even a little bit. But he's independent," said the president.Seema Verma, who in her capacity as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is playing a key role in healthcare reforms, Trump said and (she) is doing a great job. "Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Neil Chatterjee. Where is Neil? Good. Nice to see you," said the U.S. president indicating that he personally knows each one of these Indian-Americans."The acting administrator of Drug Enforcement, and another person that I've become very close to, Uttam Dhillon," Trump said."Uttam, where are you?... Come on up here, Uttam. Look. Now you're famous. He’ll do a great job," said the president.Then he called Under Secretary of State, Manisha Singh. "Manisha, hi. Congratulations. Great job," Trump said as he finally made a big shout-out to his close aide Raj Shah, the White House Deputy Press Secretary. Shah is the first Indian American to hold this position."Deputy White House Press Secretary, Raj. We just have to say "Raj. Where's our Raj? Come here, Raj. Good job. Raj has been with us for a long time, and what a great job he does," Trump said acknowledging the key role this young Indian-American in the 30s has been playing in the White House.-Sowmya Sangam

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U.S. Comedian Jokes over Statue of Unity, Receives Counterblast November 14, 2018 12:02

The Statue of Unity, honoring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, has turned to be a worldwide topic of dialogue for being the tallest statue in the world, exceeding several prominent statues across the globe, including the Statue of Liberty. While the inauguration of Sardar Patel's statue came as proud moment for the country, and amid reports that more than a lakh visitors went to see it in the first 11 days since it was open, Trevor Noah, host of 'The Daily Show', an American television program ridiculed the statue in a section on his broadcast.Trevor Noah on Monday spoke about the Statue of Unity during his show in which he questioned India's intentions of building a $400 million (Rs 2,989 crore) statue. He went onto 'suggest' that it would have been better to build the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, by giving a bizarre reason that 'he was much skinnier, which would have reduced the cost by half':"$400 million.. for a statue? You realize for that amount of money you can fly the caravan back from Sweden first class...What are you doing India? I am not saying that India shouldn't build statues, but not build one of like Gandhi. He is also famous and he was much skinnier… Then they could have saved the materials, same height, half the cost," Noah said. #Memes are masquerading.@Trevornoah on @TheDailyShow questions India's "statue of unity"."Why not build one of #Gandhi's" instead of #SardarPatel.@realDonaldTrump using #HBO's @GameOfThrones memes for "economic sanctions" on #Iran.WatchTillEnd#Trump#India #CaravanInvasion pic.twitter.com/q7rfhJii6i — Younis Sideeq Wani (@younissideeq) November 11, 2018 Interestingly, his remarks on the Statue of Unity were not interpreted in good taste by the netizens on social media, as they ended up reminding the 'The Daily Show' host regarding the chronicle and significance behind the Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for India. Some of the comments Tweetaratis: @Trevornoah Just saw you trash-talking about Statue of Unity. You poor thing, you don't even know the significance of Sardar Patel. You never knew anyone beyond Gandhi because you were busy cracking poor jokes just to make idiots who watches your show laugh. You'll reach nowhere. — Karan Bhogle (@youcallmekb) November 13, 2018 @Trevornoah You can't understand the contribution of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. So please shut-up ur mouth. Statue of Unity is not only a statue but it is Pride of India. You looks really illiterate person — Abhishek Singh

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Rajinikanth's Petta Release Date November 14, 2018 11:54

Superstar Rajinikanth is busy wrapping up back to back films. His long delayed film 2.0 is finally hitting the screens on November 29th. Shankar is the director and Lyca Productions produced the big budget sci fi thriller. Rajinikanth also wrapped up the shoot of his next film which has been titled Petta. Karthik Subbaraj is the director and Simran, Trisha essayed the female leads. The film is currently in final stages of post-production and there have been several speculations about the film's release. The makers today announced that Petta will release during Sankranthi 2019 and a new poster has been unveiled today. Vijay Sethupathi, Sasikumar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bobby Simha will be seen essaying other pivotal roles in Petta. Anirudh Ravichander is the music composer and Sun Pictures are the producers. Rajinikanth will be seen essaying two different roles in Petta.  

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Trump Receives Backlash as He Omit Hindus in Diwali Tweet November 14, 2018 11:54

President Donald Trump on Tuesday made a massive error while tweeting about the Diwali celebrations at the White House.In an outrageous error, President Trump utterly missed out mentioning the main and sizable religious group which observes Diwali, that is, Hindus, while giving out his Diwali greetings.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Trump wrote, "Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States and around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family and friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New Year."Along with the tweet, President Trump also shared pictures of him taking part in the Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya and a YouTube link of the celebrations.The mistake of missing Hindu religious group was immediately pointed out to the United States President by Twitteratis. A large number of Twitter users criticized Trump by commenting upon his tweet or quoting it to point out the error.In a follow-up tweet posted a little later, Trump, however, rectified his mistake and recognized Diwali as the Hindu Festival of Lights. "It was my great honor to host a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the Roosevelt Room at the @WhiteHouse this afternoon. Very, very special people!" he tweeted. Delivering a short address during the Diwali celebrations, Trump called India-U.S. relations as a "bulwark for freedom, prosperity, and peace"."The United States has deep ties to the nation of India, and I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi. We're trying very hard to make better trade deals with India, but they're very good traders," he further asserted. India's Ambassador to the United States, Navtej Singh Sarna, was also present at the event along with his wife, Avina Sarna.-Sowmya Sangam

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DeepVeer Wedding: Guests at Nuptial Get Mobile Cameras Sealed November 14, 2018 11:48

The appealing Bollywood beats echoed around the perfect surrounds of Lake Como as Bollywood super-couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone held their Mehndi and Sangeet on Tuesday. Ranveer's event took place at the ultra-luxurious CastaDiva Resort overlooking Lake Como while Deepika's ceremony took place at the even more glamorous Villa d' Este about 5 kilometers away. The duo wanted a private wedding in presence of some of their close friends and family members. They started the wedding rituals with an engagement ceremony followed by Sangeet and Mehendi functions. All the invitees have arrived and the venue has been locked down. A strict no-photos policy is being followed by guests at the venue but several details about the festivities are being shared, which gives us a general idea about #DeepVeerKiShaadi, which has gripped the attention of the fans of the star couple. Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh arrived in Italy with their respective families over the weekend and apparently, no Bollywood guests (except for those who are performing) have been invited to the wedding. Deepika and Ranveer will host two receptions - first, on December 21 in Deepika's hometown Bengaluru, and second, on December 28 for the film fraternity. To guarantee extreme privacy all the visitors are being given special wristbands and even their mobile phones camera are being covered with stickers by security guards. Even on the lake itself, numerous security boats patrol just outside the property to avoid any trespassing photographers determined to leak intimate moments from the wedding. Ranveer's stylist Nitasha Gaurav tweeted saying:   No pictures but it was love personified to see them together today. Couldn’t stop my tears, but these were tears of happiness and so I hope they never do. #DeepVeerKiShaadi #ranveerkishaadi #foreverlove — Nitasha (@Nitasha22) November 12, 2018 Deepika Padukone will reportedly wear a Sabyasachi creation on the day. -Sowmya  

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Melania Trump Calls for Firing of Senior National Security Adviser November 14, 2018 10:18

In a rare decision, the United States First Lady Melania Trump has called for the ouster of Mira Ricardel, a senior national security adviser in the Trump administration.Ricardel had reportedly battled with the first lady's staff during her trip to Africa earlier this monthAccording to some media reports, Ricardel is believed to be the origin of negative stories about Melania Trump.The news has come among speculation of a possible shake-up of President Donald Trump's cabinet following earlier this week's midterm elections. The Republican president was anticipated to do some changes as he prepares for the second half of his term in office.Though initial reports said Ricardel had been escorted out of the White House, later on, it turned out to be clear that the adviser remained in her office."It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, said in a terse statement. She gave no explanation for wherefore the first lady wanted Ricardel out but several officials said it was related to Mrs. Trump's trip to Africa in October.A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Ricardel has never met the first lady. A smiling Ricardel had a prominent spot at the front of the room at a White House celebration marking Diwali on Tuesday.-Sowmya Sangam

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Donald Trump - "India Best Trade Negotiators" November 14, 2018 09:29

"The United States has deep ties to the nation of India and I am grateful for my friendship with Prime Minister Modi," Trump said at Diwali celebrations in the historic Roosevelt Room of the White House. He said: "We're trying very hard to make better trade deals with India. But, they're very good traders. They're very good negotiators. You would say right. The best. So we're working. And it's moving along."-Sowmya Sangam

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Over 8,400 Hate Crimes Reported in U.S. in 2017: FBI November 14, 2018 09:24

More than 8,400 hate crime incidents have been reported in the United States in 2017, according to an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) report released on Tuesday.The hate crime incidents included 24 against Sikhs, 15 against Hindus, and over 300 against Muslims, while the report topped with 1,678 hate crimes committed against the Jews.Altogether, as many as 8,437 hate crimes were recorded in the year 2017. The report further said that nine anti-Buddhist hate crimes were also registered earlier this year.According to the report, a total of 24 anti-Sikh, 15 anti-Hindu and 314 anti-Muslim hate crimes were reported in the U.S.The Sikh Coalition, a community-based organization that defends Sikh civil rights, said that in 2017, it received 12 anti-Sikh hate crime cases and tracked a total of 24 anti-Sikh hate-related incidents across the nation."This figure alone is under-representative of the problem since many individuals impacted by hate do not report the incidents."For the reported cases to law enforcement, a historical challenge is that agencies routinely fail to identify bias during investigations. Even when they do, they often do not report it to federal authorities, so the data never shows up in the statistics," it said."Even with incomplete data, this new report shows our elected officials that hate in America is thriving and profoundly impacting the safety and well-being of minority communities nationwide," said Sim Singh, Sikh Coalition senior advocacy manager.He said politicians were culpable when they drive divisive policies and "bigoted political rhetoric" that routinely puts lives at greater risk.There are about 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S. In the aftermath of the 2012 Oak Creek, Wisconsin massacre inside a gurdwara, the FBI eventually agreed to begin tracking anti-Sikh hate crimes in 2015.There has been an increase in racism and crimes against South Asian Americans since the November 2016 election of President Donald Trump, first Indian-origin U.S. Senator Kamala Harris said recently, calling on Americans to stand united and speak the truth to deal with these issues. Multiple Incidents Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in Kansas in the Midwestern U.S. in February earlier this year.A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner Harnish Patel was shot dead outside his home in South Carolina on March 2.A 39-year-old Sikh man Deep Rai was injured on March 3 when an unidentified person shot him outside his home in the city of Kent.An Indian-origin girl was racially abused on a train by an African-American man in New York on February 23.-Sowmya Sangam

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Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt's 'Brahmastra' to Release on Christmas 2019 November 14, 2018 06:58

The makers of Bollywood flick Brahmastra starring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt will hit the theaters on Christmas 2019. Directed by Ayan Mukerji, the fantasy adventure franchise is being produced by Karan Johar through his banner, Dharma Productions. Filmmaker Karan Johar on Tuesday tweeted a poster which read: "'Brahmastra' now releasing on Christmas 2019."   PART 1!!!! #BRAHMASTRA #CHRISTMAS2019 @DharmaMovies written and directed by AYAN MUKERJI pic.twitter.com/1z4nObXybS — Karan Johar (@karanjohar) November 13, 2018 The film will likewise feature Amitabh Bachchan, Dimple Kapadia, Akkineni Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy in crucial roles. The movie will see Ranbir playing a character with special powers. The team recently completed a shooting schedule in Bulgaria. -Sowmya      

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Indian-American Neomi Rao to Replace Kavanaugh on DC Circuit Court November 14, 2018 06:44

An Indian-American Neomi Rao has been nominated to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, said President Donald Trump on Tuesday.However, a formal statement in this regard is expected to be made by the White House on Wednesday."She is going to be fantastic. Great person," he said.The powerful United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is considered next to the U.S. Supreme Court."I just nominated Naomi to be on the DC circuit court of appeals, the seat of justice Brett Kavanaugh. That could be a big story," Trump proclaimed during the White House Diwali celebrations on Tuesday. Rao thanks the president for the "confidence" he has shown in her by nominating her to the powerful U.S. court.If made official by the Senate, the 45-year-old Rao would be the second Indian-American judge after Sree Srinivasan on the DC Circuit, which has legal power over important regulatory, national security, and separation of powers questions. Currently, Rao is the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).Related content: Trump Interviews Indian Descent Woman to Supplant KavanaughTrump made the announcement at the White House Diwali celebrations in the presence of his top Indian-American officials and Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Singh Sarna.Named the 'regulatory czar' of Trump administration in her current capacity, she supervises carrying out of the Administration's deregulatory agenda and regulation-related executive orders.She was confirmed by the Senate with a 54-41 vote in July 2017 to head the OIRA and is known among legal circles as an extremely respected administrative law scholar who has distinguished herself for her right-of-center views, media reports stated.An erstwhile clerk for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rao was recommended for the position by former White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump's nomination of Rao is in acknowledgment of her contribution in reducing regulations. Earlier, Rao has served in all three branches of the federal government, and before taking on her present-day role in the executive branch, she was associate counsel and special assistant to the president for the George W Bush administration.She has been best-known for advancing the separation of powers in the three branches of government.Before joining the Trump administration in July 2017, Rao taught at GMU (George Mason University) as an associate law professor, where she as well founded and directed the Center for the Study of the Administrative State. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, Rao also employed in the private sector, in the international arbitration group of the London-based law firm, Clifford Chance LLP.Born to Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao, both Parsi physicians from India, Rao grew up in Michigan and did her education from Detroit High School. She is married to Alan Lefkowitz and the couple has two children.-Sowmya Sangam

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