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Twitter Suspends 200 Pakistan Accounts After Anti-India Tweets August 20, 2019 13:27

Twitter said to have suspended 200 accounts in Pakistan after anti-India tweets started emerging from the country which was objected by the authorities in India. The Pakistan government has specified to the microblogging site that 200 accounts that were suspended in the past week were apparently posting about Kashmir, according to Dawn News.A large number of Pakistani Twitter users including journalists, activists, government officials and fans of the military over the last one week reported that their accounts were being suspended after they posted in support of Kashmir.Simultaneously, #StopSuspendingPakistanis was trending on Twitter in Pakistan.On Sunday, Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor had said the authorities had taken up with Twitter and Facebook the suspension of Pakistani social media accounts posting content on Kashmir.Giving details about the complaint lodged with Twitter, the Prime Minister's Focal Person on Digital Media Arslan Khalid told Dawn news that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had lodged an official complaint with Twitter's regional office on Monday."We are approaching this case with a multi-pronged strategy where PTA has sent the complaint mentioning (200) accounts to the regional office seeking an explanation for their suspension. We are also working on a long-term strategy through the National IT Board (NITB) so that such a situation does not arise again," he said.The Twitter account of Punjab chief minister on digital media, Mashwani Azhar was also suspended. A screenshot of Twitter's notice to Azhar purports that the platform suspended the account for impersonation.Twitter, however, maintains that it enforced policies judiciously and ensured impartiality of all users, regardless of their political beliefs and country of origin, reports Dawn News."We believe people on all sides of an issue have a fundamental right to discuss them within the boundaries of our policies, which prohibit terrorism, hateful conduct, platform manipulation, and abuse. At Twitter, no one is above our rules." The spokesperson did not comment on the reasons that led to certain accounts being suspended.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indians in UAE Thrilled by Modi’s Visit to the Country August 20, 2019 12:31

The announcement of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates this weekend is exciting Indian expats, despite him not holding a public meeting this time, which many NRIs were hoping for. Narendra Modi is scheduled to reach the UAE on Friday and will hold official meetings in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced. “There will be delegation-level talks with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as the presentation of the Order of Zayed, the highest civil decoration of the UAE on the PM followed by a banquet hosted in honour of the Prime Minister,” announced T.S. Tirumurti, secretary, economic relations, at MEA.Tirumurti said a commemorative stamp of Mahatma Gandhi will be released on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.“Arrangements for the launch of RuPay card in the UAE will also be put in place,” he added.Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri tweeted that the visit will be “another important milestone in India’s Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with the UAE.” Look forward to the visit of PM @narendramodi to UAE on August 23-24. Another important milestone in our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. He will also receive the Sheikh Zayed Medal, UAE'S highest civilian award. — IndAmbUAE (@navdeepsuri) August 19, 2019 Modi’s visit marks “truly an amazing and remarkable phase in the long and historic relationship between two great countries,” Yousuf Ali M.A., chairman and managing director of Lulu Group was quoted as saying by Gulf News. “The third visit of PM Modi to the UAE emphatically underlines the importance and respect India has for the UAE. Obviously, the highlight of the visit is the presentation of the Zayed Medal, the highest civilian honor of the UAE, and I see this as an honor for India and [all the] Indians residing here in the most harmonious, peaceful, prosperous and tolerant country in the world,” he said.“I would say this is the golden era of UAE-Indo trade relationship and that is aptly visible in many sectors, right from oil to trade, infrastructure development to tourism and aviation,” he added. Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya and chairman of the Dubai chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, was quoted by Gulf News, saying the visit will further boost economic relations between India and UAE.“Both countries already enjoy a great relationship with a large Indian population in the UAE. The Indian businessmen here enjoy a great atmosphere living and doing business in the UAE. We are looking forward to better trade and investment ties between the two countries with this visit,” said Vachani. Adeeb Ahmad, MD, LuLu Financial Group and Twenty14 Holdings, said the visit is an affirmation of the close-knit ties between the two countries. “We are truly blessed to be a part of the prolific UAE-India growth story and we look forward to having a truly fruitful visit by the prime minister. We are confident that this visit will also provide further momentum to increase trade and investment on both sides.”Sudhesh Giriyan, CEO, Xpress Money, a Finablr company, welcomed the decision to launch the RuPay card in the UAE. “Since the UAE has the largest Indian diaspora and witnesses thousands of Indian tourists every year, it is very relevant and timely to launch the card here. Indians domestically have enjoyed a host of benefits with the RuPay Card which will now be extended internationally.”Dubai resident Sajeev Purushothaman was quoted by Gulf News saying: “It will be a proud moment for Indians when he receives the prestigious Zayed Medal. We are expecting our PM’s presence in the UAE next year again during Expo 2020 in Dubai and the opening of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.”By Sowmya Sangam

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Janmashtami 2019: Story of Lord Krishna’s Birth August 20, 2019 11:45

Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Gokulashtami or Janmashtami, is celebrated widely by Hindus marking the birth of Lord Krishna, born on the eighth day or Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in Shravan month in Mathura in northern India. This year, Janmashtami falls on August 24. Lord Krishna is considered a supreme godhead in Hinduism and a central figure in the Bhagavad Gita. He is known by names such as Janardhana, Mukunda and Satchitananda. Believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, Krishna is the three principal deities in Hinduism besides Shiva and Brahma. Said to be born in 3,228 BCE to Yadava prince Vasudeva and his wife Devaki, Lord Krishna was brought up in a cow-herding family by Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul.  Destruction of Devaki’s Seven Unborn Children   During Devaki and Vasudeva’s wedding, their chariot was driven by her cousin King Kamsa, a tyrant who confined his father Ugrasena and took the throne. At that very moment, a voice boomed from the skies: “Devaki’s eighth child will be the cause of your death. Oh, Kamsa!”                         (Image source from: iStoryBooks)At once Kamsa grabbed Devaki by the hair ready to strike a blow with his sword. Vasudeva stepped in on time and pleaded Kamsa to spare her with a promise that he would hand over each of their children to him if he spared Devaki.Kamsa agreed but not before imprisoning Devaki and Vasudeva in the dungeons. Every time a child was born to them, Kamsa would kill each of them by smashing their heads against the wall.After killing seven of Vasudeva and Devaki’s children, Kamsa was gearing up to kill the eighth, the child prophesied to kill him. Devaki was distressed about the destiny of the unborn child as she spent her days in the dungeon. Krishna’s Birth on a Rainy Night                         (Image source from: coremc.us)One stormy night when heavy rains lashed outside and the being Yamuna over flooded, her eighth child was born. But the birth of the child set off a series of godly events. The dungeon was flooded with celestial light. A voice from the heavens told Vasudeva: “Take your newborn son to Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul. He will be safe there. Yashoda has given birth to a daughter. Switch the children’s places.”Vasudeva was perplexed to find the prison guards asleep as if they had fallen prey to a magical spell. He opened the prison doors and headed out in the torrential rains.                         (Image source from: Isha Foundation)Vasudeva thought he and his infant son would never survive the rains. But just then, a colossal thousand-headed snake came out from the floodwaters sheltering the two from the storm.                        (Image source from: Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir)Once he reached Nanda’s house, he left the child by Yashoda’s side and took the girl child born to them back to the dungeons.The prison guards informed Kamsa about Devaki and Vasudev’s eighth child. He stormed into the dungeon, grasped the infant and threw it against the wall. As soon as he did this, the girl child turned into the eight-handed goddess Durga. She roared: “Fool! Your killer is already born and sheltered elsewhere. One day, he will come for you. Count your days!”Kamsa’s Death                         (Image source from: Godhead)The gods ordained the birth of Krishna. As the world was reeling under evil men, like Kamsa, Lord Vishnu himself made up his mind to rid the evil by taking birth as Lord Krishna. Raised as a cowherd in a rustic surrounding, Krishna soon realized his life’s purpose and killed his evil uncle, Kamsa. After killing him, he reinstated his grandfather Ugrasena back on Mathura’s throne.By Sowmya Sangam

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Megastar Chiranjeevi's Sye Raa Teaser is Here August 20, 2019 11:44

Megastar Chiranjeevi is all set to test his luck with Sye Raa, a periodic drama that is made on a massive budget of Rs 200 crores. Surendar Reddy is the director and Nayanthara is the female lead. Amitabh Bachchan, Jagapathi Babu, Kicha Sudeep and Vijay Sethupathi will be seen essaying other pivotal roles in this action drama. The makers unveiled the teaser of Sye Raa today and it is promising to the core. Packed with stunning visuals, Sye Raa teaser is a visual feast. Sye Raa teaser proves that the film is made on lavish standards without any compromise. The huge sets erected and the cinematography work, background score stands out from the teaser. The action stunts will surely be remembered for a long time. Amit Trivedi is the music composer and Rathnavelu is the cinematographer. Ram Charan's Kondidela Production Company bankrolled Sye Raa and the film is announced for October 2nd release in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam languages.

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‘75 Percent of My Liver is Gone, Surviving on 25%’: Amitabh Bachchan August 20, 2019 11:09

Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan made some shocking revelations regarding his health. The Bollywood megastar revealed he did not know he was suffering from Tuberculosis for eight years and said that he has does not mind calling himself a tuberculosis survivor. At NDTV's Swasth India launch Amitabh was speaking to doctor Harsh Vardhan urging him to spread awareness about regular check-ups to facilitate early diagnosis."I keep quoting my personal example all the time and try and propagate the idea of getting yourself detected and I don't mind saying this publicly I am a tuberculosis survivor, Hepatitis B survivor... Bad blood infusion went in and 75 percent of my liver is gone but because I was able to detect it even after a period of 20 years when 75 percent of my liver is gone. I am still surviving on 25 percent," said Big B.  The 76-year-old star, who has been associated with various health campaigns such as Hepatitis B, Polio, Tuberculosis and diabetes, urged people to get tested and diagnosed.  "Then there is a cure. Even with Tuberculosis. I did not know for almost 8 years I was suffering from Tuberculosis. I keep saying that with immodesty if it can happen to me to anyone. Therefore if you are not willing to get yourself tested then you would never find out and there's never going to be a cure for it," he said. By Sowmya Sangam

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Aditya Roy Kapoor Is All Set to Marry This Indian American Model August 20, 2019 09:49

Bollywood actor Aditya Roy Kapoor, who earned fame for his emotional performance in Ashiqui 2, is reportedly all set to tie the knot with his longtime girlfriend Diva Dhawan early next year. The couple, who are tight-lipped about their relationship, is set to get engaged in the next couple of months. According to a leading tabloid, Aditya and Diva “want to take their relationship to the next level and don’t want to wait too long to get hitched.” The source revealed that “Adi is dating Diva Dhawan. They are very much in love and have been together for quite some time now.”Earlier this year, on Koffee With Karan, Karan Johar put questions to Aditya about his ex-girlfriends, which includes Shraddha Kapoor and also Parineeti Chopra. However, Aditya replied he has dated neither. Karan further urged him about his closeness to Diva, and Aditya denied dating her too.  Diva is an Indian American model who has made Mumbai her abode. She has walked the ramp for some of the celebrated Indian designers such as Manish Malhotra and Tarun Tahiliani, etc. She has also been featured in editorials in leading fashion magazines.                           (Image source from: Instagram/diva.dhawan)On the work front, Aditya is currently shooting for Malang alongside Disha Patani. He has wrapped up shooting for Sadak 2 which is directed by Mahesh Bhatt and also stars Alia Bhatt. Speaking about his role in the film to a leading daily, he said, “Sadak 2 is a landmark film because Bhatt Saab is coming back to direction after 20 years. I’ve interacted with him a few times, he has this crazy exuberance and an almost childlike excitement. After doing so many films, he’s still excited about doing it all over again. He shares a special relationship with Sanjay sir and will be directing Alia for the first time, so it’s a special film for so many reasons.”By Sowmya Sangam

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American Airlines Names Priya Aiyar as Senior Vice President August 20, 2019 06:10

American Airlines Group has hired an Indian American Priya Aiyar as the senior Vice President and General Counsel. She succeeds Paul Jones, who retired from American earlier this year.Aiyar, a former Obama administration official, holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.“We are thrilled to welcome Priya to American Airlines,” said Steve Johnson, American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs on August 5. “Priya is an outstanding lawyer and an extraordinary intellect, and her strategic perspective, integrity, energy, unique experience, passion for the law, and demonstrated ability to build and inspire teams make her the perfect person to lead our legal strategy and the team over the coming years. We remain focused on evolving our culture and attracting the best and brightest to American and, in both respects, we could not have found a better person.”Read: American Airlines Leave Special-Needs Kids Stranded at Airport Aiyar’s will be the lead of the the major a major American airline’s Legal Affairs team and its legal strategies, including company’s corporate governance, securities, and corporate finance, business and commercial, litigation, competition and antitrust, compliance, privacy, environmental, employment, and intellectual property legal issues and work.“We are enormously proud of what Paul and our terrific legal team have accomplished,” Johnson added. “I’m looking forward to working with Priya to build on that American work and take us to the next level.”                         (Image source from: The Rhodes Project)Aiyar joins American from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she has been a partner and brings more than 18 years of government and private sector experience. She served as Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury as well as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy. Aiyar occupied senior legal roles within the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Federal Communications Commission and was a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC. She began her legal career as an employee to Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.By Sowmya Sangam

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Trump Asks PM Modi, Imran Khan to Reduce Tensions over Kashmir August 20, 2019 05:39

President Donald Trump on Monday spoke to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone, urging to work towards reducing tension between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region. "The president conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.Modi told Trump that he is hopeful that representatives from the two countries will meet again soon to talk about trade issues, the government said in a statement on Monday. Modi expressed hope that United States trade representative and India’s commerce minister would meet soon to discuss bilateral trade prospects, the government said. The White House in a statement said: "The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to strengthen United States-India economic ties through increased trade, and they look forward to meeting again soon.”  Trump Dials Imran Khan Soon after Trump’s 30-minute conversation with Modi, the U.S. President phoned Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the "the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir," the White House said in a readout of the call.During the conversation, Trump "reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint" on both sides, the White House said.The two leaders also agreed to work towards strengthening U.S.-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation, it added. Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019 Last month, India revoked Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.  ‘America Had Love Affair with India and Pak’                         (Image source from: Twitter/RaviBatra)Welcoming Trump's call to Modi and Khan, New York-based Indian American attorney Ravi Batra said the U.S. President, speaking for all Americans, essentially told "our dear friends" in the subcontinent to live terror-free, be good neighbors and give their citizens a better tomorrow with law and order."While speech is free and protected, hate-speech weaponizes the citizenry and leads to insurrection and civil unrest. America has had a love affair with India and Pakistan. It's time for a belated honeymoon on the subcontinent, even 73 years late," Batra said.In a tweet, Batra urged Modi to invite Imran Khan for "bilateral tea" in Kashmir. "Like Abraham Lincoln, India has clamped down to prevent terror and establish law and order. Time to invite," he said.By Sowmya Sangam

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U.S. Assures Support to American Tech Companies in India August 20, 2019 05:04

The United States ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster has written to top American companies in India assuring them of support for a level playing field in India, according to Reuters. In his letter, Juster urged the heads of leading U.S. technology companies in India to “participate personally” in discussions with government officials in New Delhi on e-commerce and data localization, issues that have made trade ties between the two nations resentful.According to industry executives with direct knowledge, it wasn't common to receive such letters from the U.S. administration but described the communication as the latest sign of Washington's determination to deter India from measures that hurt its companies."Our Embassy will continue working with you to ensure that U.S. firms compete on a level playing field. My team at the Embassy stands by ready to help," Juster said in his letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters."We look forward to your continued success in India."Though the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi did not comment on the letter but said the U.S. companies were the biggest origin of foreign direct investment in India. "We hope that the Indian Government will pursue policies that create a welcoming and predictable environment for U.S. investors," a spokesperson said in a statement.Read: Economists Predict U.S. Recession in 2020 or 2021: SurveyAccording to the United States and big technology firms, India has taken a series of protectionist measures by setting stricter foreign investment rules for the online retail sector and outlining plans to force companies to store more of their data locally. The decisions have already dealt a blow to companies such as Walmart Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Visa, and Mastercard, and the proposed data rules will also impact firms such as social media giant Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc's Google.Such proposals, according to critics, result in entry barriers for foreign firms and hold domestic Indian corporations in high regard, leading to an unfair competitive landscape between the two. Indian officials have said the rules were aimed at safeguarding interests of its small traders and citizens' privacy.In spite of negotiations to sort out trade disputes to some extent, there has been no major breakthrough: India said last month the countries had agreed to keep on with discussions "addressing mutual trade concerns".In his letter, Juster also said he had met Piyush Goyal, the Indian Trade Minister who told him the government was tasked on a "consultative approach" to the proposed regulations.                        (Image source from: Twitter/USAmbIndia)“There is some level of concern among U.S. officials that while Goyal has met industry officials in recent weeks, some top American company executives have not been forthright about expressing their policy concerns to the Indian government,” two other sources aware of the communication said."The Government of India is seeking stakeholder input, and, given the importance of these issues, we strongly encourage you to participate personally in future meetings with the Minister and other senior officials," Juster said in his letter.It was not clear precisely how many companies received Juster's letter, but according to sources at least four U.S. technology companies had received it."It is not normal to get such letters, but these are not normal times," said one of the executives.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Finally Returns Home After Long Legal Battle in Saudi Arabia August 19, 2019 13:23

A Non-Resident Indian hailing from Telangana who was accused of forging Iqama, a resident visa, returned home recently after battling for justice for three years in Saudi Arabia. The 68-year-old Gandam Narsaiah originally from Chandurti Mandal in Rajanna Sircilla district in Telangana state, was working as a mason in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After working with a company for three years, he switched to a new firm. He was then issued updated Iqama with new employer name. As part of a routine drive, on one occasion Narsaiah was checked by a patrolling team in Riyadh and they discovered that the Iqama was forged. Following this, he was shifted to a jail in Dammam, 400 km away from Riyadh, since the alleged Iqama had been issued from Dammam. While in prison, as Narsaiah fell ill he was then bailed out by prominent social worker Nass Vokkam of Kerala three years ago. Since then, Narsaiah’s accommodation was looked after by Nass. With the assist of Nass, Narsaiah proved that he was a dupe who had received the Iqama from an Egyptian who had offered him the job. It took almost three years to turn out that Narsaiah was guiltless. The charge sheet was examined by various departments of the Saudi government who eventually permitted him to leave the Kingdom. Since Narsaiah could not afford the air tickets, Al Rabia Polyclinic, which is run by Kerala origins, offered him a ticket to coming back to his native. By Sowmya Sangam

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