Desi News

Indians and Indian-Americans in U.S. celebrate Prime Minister Modi’s decisive win

More than a thousand Indian-Americans and Indians living abroad, crowded into the Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, N.J., to celebrate the massive re-election victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the day he was sworn-in for a second term as the leader of that country May 30. Attendees line up for the lamplighting ceremony at the May 30, 2019, celebrations at Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, N.J., for an event organized by the Overseas Friends of BJP to celebrate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisive win in the general elections. (Photo: Gunjesh Desai/ nayaface.com) That was just one of numerous similar events held around the United States before and after Modi’s swearing-in, with jubilant groups of supporters who had given time and effort into campaigning for him long distance and some by traveling to India. Victory parade held May 27, 2019, on Oak Tree Road in Iselin, N.J. to celebrate Indian…

Desi News

How Mount Everest became a tourist destination

“The plain truth,” the author Jon Krakauer wrote, “is that I knew better, but went to Everest anyway.” It was 1996. Krakauer, a correspondent for Outside magazine, was to hike to Mount Everest’s base camp and write a story for the publication. Instead, he met the guides who helped pioneer the commercial climbing business on the world’s highest peak, and convinced the magazine to let him climb to the top. His editors obliged. FILE PHOTO Climbers make their way to the summit of Everest, Nepal May 22, 2019. REUTERS Phurba Tenjing Sherpa By the end of his trip, eight climbers had died during a storm. At the time, it was the deadliest attempted ascent on the mountain. Eleven people have died on Everest this year, due in large part to the vast contingent of unqualified and unguided alpinists who now flock to the mountain during climbing season, the very phenomenon…

Desi News

Indian-American Minneapolis Fed chief says he’s ‘not quite there yet’ on need for interest rate cut

It’s too early for the Federal Reserve to begin cutting interest rates despite increasing concerns about low inflation and an escalating trade war, said Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Neel Kashkari, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 2017. (Photo: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer) “Either of those could be cause for changing the path of monetary policy,” Kashkari told Bloomberg Television on Friday. “I’m not quite there yet. I take a lot of comfort from the fact that the job market continues to be strong.” Kaskhari, one of the more dovish policy makers at the U.S. central bank, will be a voter next year on monetary policy. His remarks follow comments Thursday from Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida opening the door to a rate cut if risks to the economic outlook worsened, while stressing the U.S. economy was…

Desi News

For the first time ever, eight unbeatable National Spelling Bee champions emerge, several of them Indian-Americans

The Scripps National Spelling ended May 30 night with not one, not two, but 8 co-champions in a first-ever such result in the competition that makes national headlines and is telecast live on the premier sports channel, ESPN. Organizers took to Twitter to announce the results after 20 breathtaking rounds of trying to get the number of competitors down from 8. But the kids were relentless, winning on every word —until organizers gave up, and announced them all winners, labeling them “Octochamps” ‏Verified account @ScrippsBee Eight co-champions declared at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, almost all of them of Indian origin. (Photo: Srippsbee Twitter announcement) “Your first official look at our 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-Champions. Each spelller will receive a Scripps Cup and $50,000 cash prize from Scripps. After 20 rounds of intensive, record-breaking competition, they’re all going home as winners,” the Scripps National Spelling Bee said on Twitter,…

Desi News

Federation of Indian Associations, Chicago, announces plans for August gala

The Federation of Indian Associations, Chicago, (FIA), announced details for the ’10th Anniversary Awards Gala Night and India’s 73rd Independence Day’ celebration the organization plans to hold in August. Several dance groups performed at the kick-off event hosted by the Federation of Indian Associations, Chicago, May 19, 2019, including Alokita Dhar and Sindhu Naidu, Diya Talati and Me Marathi Group. (Photo courtesy FIA, Chicago) Founding President Sunil Shah, Founder, Onkar Sangha, President Ninad Daftari and all the board members and executive members hosted a kickoff event May 19, as a curtain raiser to announce that the mega event would he held August 16th at The Meadows Club, Rolling Meadows, IL, a press release from FIA said. Some of the proceeds from the event would be donated to charities Akshay Patra and Pratham, Sunil Shah told Desi Talk via email. India’s Consul General Sudhakar Dalela, with red shawl, was among the…

Desi News

Indian man sentenced to 7-plus years in U.S. prison for participating in international call center scam

An Indian citizen in Florida, who was convicted for participating in an India-based call-center scam, has been handed a stiff sentence of seven years and six months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington, May 30. Police escort men who they said were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of tricking American citizens into sending them money by posing as U.S. tax officials, at a court in Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo Sharvil Patel, 23, of Tampa, Florida, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and pleaded guilty on Feb. 6.  As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment of $80,000. According to court documents outlined in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, from 2014 through at least 2016, Patel conspired with U.S.-based co-conspirators and India-based call…

Desi News

Indian-American Congressman recognized for service to constituents

United States Representative Ro Khanna, D-California, won a prestigious Congressional award given out for extraordinary public service. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, serves the 17th District. (Official photo from Congressional Website of Congressman Khanna) Khanna was one of just six lawmakers recognized May 30, by the Congressional Management Foundation, (CMF), an organization that works directly with Members of Congress and staff, as well as with citizen groups, to enhance their operations and interactions with each other. It gives due recognition to the non-legislative .achievement and performance in congressional offices and by Members of Congress. Khanna received the 2019 Constituent Service Award on the House side, along with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, on the Senate side. The Indian-American Congressman who is serving his second term, represents California’s 17th Congressional District which is in the heart of Silicon Valley. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Budget, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform committees…

Desi News

Indian-American neurologist in Louisiana pleads guilty to health care fraud

An Indian-American neurologist from Mandeville, Louisiana, pleaded guilty March 30, for his role in a scheme to unlawfully prescribe controlled substances, namely oxycodone and hydrocodone, without performing the required face-to-face examinations, and his role in a scheme to commit health care fraud where Medicaid and Medicare paid more than $1.5 million for medications. Dr. Anil Prasad, 62, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana, to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  Sentencing is set for Sept. 4, 2019, before Judge Milazzo. Apart from prescribing controlled substances without seeing patients, Prasad also knew that his ‘patients’ were getting paid by Medicare and Medicaid, an amount that totaled $1,657,461.15 for those prescriptions, Prasad admitted. According to a press release from the Justice Department, Prasad, in pleading guilty, admitted that…

Desi News

As lawmakers take pre-emptive step to save it, leading attorney says H-4 work authorization not in immediate danger

Two Congresswomen from California have re-introduced legislation May 29, to protect the much-treasured work authorization for spouses on H-4 Visas, which affect mostly women from India. A man exits the transit area after clearing immigration and customs on arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., September 24, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/Files But even as the Trump administration has warned it is moving toward revoking the privilege, a leading attorney who was behind drafting the Obama-era rule, says the right to work is not going anywhere fast. Representatives Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, both Democrats, reintroduced the “H-4 Employment Protection Act,” in a renewed bid to prevent the Trump Administration from revoking an Obama-era rule that extends work authorization to certain spouses of H-1B visa holders, including thousands of immigrants in Silicon Valley. Indian spouses, mostly women, were the largest beneficiaries of the H-4EAD. Currently, the H-4 EAD…

Desi News

US lawmakers introduce legislation to protect H-4 visa workers

WASHINGTON: Two influential US lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives to protect work authorisation of H-4 visa workers, mostly spouses of Indian professionals having H-1B visas. The introduction of such a legislation by the two lawmakers from California comes days after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that it would publish this month the long-promised regulation that would prevent the work authorisation to spouses on H-4 visas. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. This week, the Trump administration announced plans to overturn current the DHS regulations that allow certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who are stuck in Green Card backlogs to obtain employment authorisation, pursue their own professional goals and contribute to the US economy, said the lawmakers Anna G Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. Many H-4…