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Indian wins $1 million in draw in UAE

DUBAI: An Indian man on Tuesday hit a jackpot to become the latest winner of the $1 million Dubai Duty Free raffle, according to a media report. Kuwait-based Sandeep Menon is the 132nd Indian to win the whopping prize money at the raffle since its inception in 1999, the Khaleej Times reported. “I’ve never won anything in my life, especially not something as huge as this. I am extremely grateful to Dubai Duty Free for this great surprise,” Menon said. Another Indian emerged co-winner in the raffle with each of them driving home a luxury vehicle, the report said. Dubai-based Santhi Bose won a BMW R Nine T Scrambler. She had bought her winning ticket on June 26, the paper said. Dubai-based Egyptian national Hossam Hussein Salman won a BMW 750Li Luxury Silver Metallic. Earlier this month, a 30-year-old Indian had won a $1.9 million in a monthly raffle in…

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Kerala girl discovers rare beetle in the UK

KOTTAYAM: A 10-year-old girl, a native of Kerala, discovered a rare beetle in the UK which has now become part of the collections at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. It was Sarah Thomas, daughter of Thomas John and Betty Thomas who found the beetle while taking part in the insect initiative of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The 5mm specimen was later placed under a microscope and identified as a False Darkling Beetle by Darren Mann, a professional entomologist and head of the Museum’s Life Collections. “It’s Anisoxya fuscula, which is rated as Nationally Scare in Great Britain,” says Darren Mann in a press note released by the Museum of Natural History of the University of Oxford. “We seldom see these outside old forest habitats and this is the first beetle of its kind to be added to the collections for around 70 years,” he added. Sarah…

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Indian-American Seema Nanda becomes CEO of Democratic party

WASHINGTON: Indian-American Seema Nanda, who took over as CEO of the opposition Democratic National Committee last week, has vowed to fight for the “soul of the country” and help elect Democrats in every corner of the US. “We are fighting now for the soul of our country – for our democracy and for opportunity,” Nanda, the first Indian-American ever to be CEO of either the DNC or the Republican National Committee took over reigns of the main opposition party last week on July 23. In this capacity, she is be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the powerful DNC. “Democrats are offering the positive solutions so desperately needed right now – solutions forged by the strength of our diversity, the rigour of our ideas, and the decency of our values. Since Trump took office, it’s been clear that the number one best way for us to set our country back…

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Indian-American senatorial candidate attacked by ‘racist’ opponent supporter

NEW YORK: An Indian-American senatorial candidate has been assaulted allegedly by a racist man who punched him in the face leaving him severely bleeding at a town hall in Massachusetts, according to media reports. Shiva Ayyadurai, 54, who is running Independent against powerful incumbent Elizabeth Warren from the Democratic party was attacked last week by her supporter, Boston.com reported. Ayyadurai, an eminent scientist and an outspoken critic, was punched by a man, wearing a t-shirt which said “liberal” and a Warren for Senate sticker. He approached Ayyadurai with an umbrella while he bullhorned a queue of Warren supporters outside a town hall in Great Barrington, where the Democratic Senator was scheduled to appear, the report said. “I was just punched in face by a racist @SenWarren supporter,” Ayyadurai tweeted. “This is how these white privileged white supremacists react. What you just witnessed is how you white supremacists react when you…

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Indian student killed in Australia, teenager booked for murder

MELBOURNE: A 25-year-old Indian student in Australia has been killed after meeting a teenage girl he had met through a dating site. Maulin Rathod, an accounting student, died last night at a local hospital, after he was found critically injured at the girl’s house on Monday night. Rathod had visited a 19-year-old girl’s house in Sunbury suburb in west Melbourne about 9 pm (local time) on Monday. According to media reports, emergency services were called to the scene and Rathod was found with life-threatening injuries. The teenager, who lived alone, has been arrested and charged with intentionally causing serious injury. The reports said her charges will be reviewed following his death and upgraded to manslaughter or murder. The girl faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court last night and was remanded in custody to appear again. According to Rathod’s friend Lovepreet Singh, he was the only child and had moved to Australian…

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Indian-origin entrepreneur develops algorithm to combat fake news

LONDON: An Indian-origin entrepreneur’s UK-based start-up that uses a machine-learning algorithm to sift fact from fiction is set to combat fake news around the world, including plans for a project specifically targeted at India. Lyric Jain, a Cambridge University engineering student originally from Mysore, set up Logically last year and has since developed the West Yorkshire-based start-up into a machine-learning platform to filter real from fiction. The platform, which is currently going through technology trials with partners and advisors, will have its full public launch in September for the UK and the US, and hit India by October. The aim is for the service to work as a news aggregator as well as an indicator of factual accuracy. “The Logically platform gathers the biggest news stories from over 70,000 domains and determines the credibility of the claims across each article. It does this by using a machine learning algorithm that…

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British Sikhs to get ethnicity status in 2021 census: Report

LONDON: Britain’s strong Sikh community is all set to be listed in the 2021 census as a distinct ethnicity rather than only as a religion, the UK Statistics Authority has said, a major step that will give the community a fair access to all public services in the country. Last year, over 100 British MPs, including Indian-origin lawmakers, had asked the authority to include Sikh as a separate ethnic box for the 2021 census. The 2021 census is set to list Sikhism as a distinct ethnicity rather than only as a religion, The Sunday Times reported. In the most recent census in 2011, more than 83,000 Sikhs refused to tick any of the choices in the question on ethnicity, rejecting options such as Indian in order to write “Sikh” in the space for “any other ethnic group”, it said. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is considering the inclusion of…

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Indian-origin landlord jailed for fire deaths in UK

LONDON: An Indian-origin landlord in the UK has been jailed for 12 months over his failure to ensure proper fire safety standards which led to the death of two children in a fire at a property owned and managed by him, the first prosecution of its kind in the country since new smoke alarm regulations were introduced in October 2015. Kamal Bains, a letting agent responsible for the property in Huddersfield area of West Yorkshire, failed to fit smoke alarms to the house for tenants. The 51-year-old was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind in the UK since new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations were introduced in October 2015. “Failing to adhere to the legislation is a criminal offence and one which can have tragic consequences,” said Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Steve Thomas, who…

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Indian-Americans donate $1 billion a year: Survey

WASHINGTON: Indian-Americans, who are among the ethnic groups with highest per capita income, donate about $1 billion per year, far less than their potential of $3 billion philanthropy in the US, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind survey. The survey, which assessed the giving habits of Indian-Americans, concluded that the community donates in the range of 1.5 per cent of their income per year, compared to the average American donation rate of four per cent per year. With a strong 4.1 million members, Indian-Americans have one of the highest median household incomes of any ethnic community in the US, and it is recognised as being well educated and socially aware. Released during the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit at Georgetown University here yesterday, the Indiaspora-Dalberg Community Engagement Survey found that Indian-Americans volunteer at nearly double the national average but give substantially less financially, ultimately leaving significant social impact on the table….

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Sharath Koppu’s father has questions about Kansas City killing

KANSAS CITY: The father of an engineering student from India who was fatally shot in Kansas City said Tuesday that he wishes a person of interest in the killing had been arrested rather than shot to death by police, because he wants to know why the man killed his son. Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said the man, 25-year-old Marlin Mack, had never drawn law enforcement’s attention in the Missouri city until he became a person of interest in the July 6 killing of 25-year-old Sharath Koppu during a robbery at a restaurant. Police fatally shot Mack on Sunday after he opened fire on officers with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle outside a motel and later at a home, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said Monday. Three officers were wounded in the gunfight. Investigators believe Koppu was the random victim of a robbery, police spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina. Koppu’s…