Indian-origin MP in New Zealand takes oath in Sanskrit

MELBOURNE: Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the country’s Parliament. Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur, was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labour Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand. India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, Muktesh Pardeshi said on Twitter that Sharma took oath first in “New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language, followed by India’s classical language – Sanskrit, showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and…

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Indian origin Narcotics officer goes on trial in Singapore for assaulting a man

SINGAPORE: An Indian-origin officer with the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau has gone on trial after facing accusation of assaulting a man several times to extort a drug confession in 2017, a media report said on Monday. Vengedesh Raj Nainar Nagarajan, 33, denied allegations of voluntarily causing hurt to get a confession from Malaysian Sivabalan Kanniappan in 2017 after he was found with drugs on him at Woodlands Checkpoint, the Straits Times reported. Vengedesh has been suspended from service since October 5 last year. On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Han Ming…

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Indian-American doctor identifies possible Covid-19 treatment

WASHINGTON: An Indian-American scientist has discovered a potential strategy to prevent life-threatening inflammation, lung damage and organ failure in patients diagnosed with Covid-19. Published online in the journal Cell, the research coming from the lab of Dr Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, an Indian-born researcher working at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, identified the drugs after discovering that the hyperinflammatory immune response associated with Covid-19 leads to tissue damage and multi-organ failure in mice by triggering inflammatory cell death pathways. The researchers detailed how the inflammatory cell death signaling pathway worked,…

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Donald Trump has left America more divided than ever: Sikh leader

WASHINGTON: Outgoing President Donald Trump has left America more divided than ever and the country’s reputation under his presidency has been damaged on the international stage which will take years to repair, says an influential Indian-American Sikh leader. “This is a democracy at work, on both sides. Whether Democrat or Republican… people are excited and want to speak out. The election’s historic turnout means people are hungry to change the status quo on both sides. “We are more polarised and divided than I have ever seen being an American for…

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Indian Americans Vivek Murthy, Arun Majumdar among likely in Biden administration’s Cabinet: Reports

WASHINGTON: Two eminent India-Americans, including former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, are among the potential Cabinet picks in the next Biden-Harris Administration, according to media reports. Murthy, who currently is the top Indian-American advisor to President-elect Joe Biden on Covid-19, is a potential pick for the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services and Stanford University Professor Arun Majumdar for the post of Secretary of Energy, The Washington Post and Politico said in their reports on Tuesday that mentions a list of potential picks for various Cabinet-level positions in…

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Bihari NRIs congratulate Nitish Kumar, offer help in development of state | Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 Election News

WASHINGTON: Congratulating Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his electoral victory, Indian Americans who trace their roots to Bihar have offered their services in the development of the eastern state. A group of Indian Americans from Bihar on Tuesday urged the chief minister to identify education, health and industrialisation as focus areas of his government for the next five years. “Bihar has the potential to be a great tourist destination which will create thousands of jobs,” Alok Kumar, past president of the Federation of Indian Association, said, adding that he…

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Coronavirus pandemic mars Diwali celebrations of Indian Americans

WASHINGTON: The surge in coronavirus cases marred the Diwali celebrations of Indian Americans, who mostly remained indoors and avoided gathering with family and friends. But for the over four million Indian-American population in the US, this year is special given the historic election of Kamala Harris as the country’s next vice president. Harris, 56, is the first ever Indian-American to be elected as the vice president of the US. She is also the first women vice president, the first Black and African-American woman to this position. But for the coronavirus…

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Indian-American youth plays key role in organising Asian Americans for Biden campaign

WASHINGTON: A 30-year-old Indian-American youth from New Jersey has played a key role in organising the Indian-American and the diverse Asian American community for the Biden campaign ahead of the November 3 US presidential election. Amit Jani, who served as the campaign’s National Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Director for the Biden Campaign, was responsible for direct community outreach, political engagement, helping to craft policy for the community, media relations and more with the AAPI community. The AAPI community represents over 50 ethnicities, hundreds of languages spoken and a…

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Indian-American named Chief of Staff to Acting US Defence Secretary

WASHINGTON: Indian-American Kash Patel has been named as the ChiefofStaff to the Acting US Defence Secretary Chris Miller, the Pentagon has announced. The new appointment from the Pentagon comes a day after Trump fired Defence Secretary Mark Esper and designated the National Counter Terrorism Center Director, Chris Miller, as the Acting Secretary of Defence. Miller took over the functions and responsibilities of the new role on Monday, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. “Kash Patel, currently on the National Security Council staff, has been named by Acting Secretary Miller as his…

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Trump not conceding election is not unexpected, says Pramila Jayapal

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump not conceding the election despite major US news networks having declared Joe Biden the winner is not unexpected considering his ridiculous behaviour over the last four years, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said on Monday. “I wish we could have expected something different from Donald Trump, but this is the ridiculous behavior that we have seen for four years, to not concede the race, when all major news channels have called this, AP has called it,” Jayapal, who this week registered her third consecutive win to…

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Indian American among 14 White House Fellows announced this year

WASHINGTON: Indian American Pia Dandiya has been appointed the White House Fellow for the year 2020-21. Dandiya, the founding principal of Democracy Prep Endurance High School in Harlem, New York, is the only Indian American among 14 White House Fellows announced this year. Created in 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson, the White House Fellows program was designed “to give the fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs,” a media release said. Dandiya is at…

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US district court: Spouses of H-1Bs aren’t entitled to automatic renewal of work permits

MUMBAI: A US district court has observed that H-4 visa holders are not entitled to automatic renewal of their employment authorisation document (EADs). To mitigate the difficulties arising owing decades-long green-card backlog for those immigrants from certain countries, such as India, the Obama administration had introduced the EAD program in 2015. This enables spouses of certain categories of H-1B visa holders (such as those on track for a green card) to apply for an EAD, which enables them to work. According to the latest available official data, up to December…

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