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Donald Trump nominates Indian-American to key administration post

WASHINGTON: Indian-American Bimal Patel has been nominated to a key administrative position in the Treasury Department by US President Donald Trump. Patel, from Georgia, has been nominated to be an assistant secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions. Currently, he serves as the deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Prior to joining the US Department of the Treasury, Patel was a partner and head of the Financial Advisory and Regulation practice in the Washington, DC, office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, the White House said. Patel previously served as a senior advisor to director Jeremiah O Norton on the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University, teaching an undergraduate course on banking regulation. Patel earned his BA from Stanford University, MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University,…

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15 people, five Indian BPOs, indicted in massive call centre scam in US

CHICAGO: As many as 15 people, including seven Indians, and five India-based call centres have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar scam which defrauded over 2,000 US citizens, resulting in over $5.5 million in losses, the Department of Justice said on Friday. The scam involved call centre operators who called potential victims while impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or individuals offering payday loans, US Attorney Byung J Pak said. Later, they threatened victims with arrest, imprisonment, or fines for failing to pay taxes or penalties to the government, the Justice Department said in a statement. In connection with the scheme, seven individuals were arrested on Thursday in the United States. Seven co-conspirators and five call-centres based in Ahmedabad were also charged for their alleged involvement. The indictment alleges that the defendents were involved in a sophisticated scheme organised by co-conspirators in India, including a network of call centres…

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Boris Johnson and Indian-origin wife announce divorce

LONDON: Boris Johnson, Britain’s former foreign secretary and his Indian-origin wife, Marina Wheeler, on Friday announced they plan to divorce amid claims that the flamboyant politician had cheated on his lawyer wife of 25 years. The couple made the announcement in a joint statement after a report appeared in the Sun newspaper around the couple’s separation over Johnson’s alleged unfaithfulness. “Several months ago, after 25 years of marriage, we decided it was in our best interests to separate,” the statement said. “We have subsequently agreed to divorce and that process is under way. As friends we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead. We will not be commenting further,” it added. Wheeler, a respected human rights lawyer, is the daughter of former BBC journalist Charles Wheeler and his second wife Dip Singh. Johnson has often made reference to his wife’s Indian roots to categorise himself as…

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Indian-origin man gets 3-yr jail term for making prank calls to Singapore Police

SINGAPORE: An Indian-origin Singaporean serial prank caller was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on Thursday for repeatedly making nuisance calls to the police, despite being jailed for the same offence previously. Gurcharan Singh, a 61-year-old cleaner, usually made the “999” emergency calls after drinking alcohol, the court heard. The latest incidents occurred over two days in June, with Singh making two calls on the first day and 15 on the second. On June 10, Singh called the police using a public phone at a void deck of an apartment block in Chai Chee housing estate. In one of his calls, he told the operator: “You are stupid.” He also said: “I put one dynamite to the immigration house.” He knew this message to be false, Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said. The police traced Singh’s phone call location and arrested him that day, according to a Channel News Asia…

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British MPs demand inquiry into cheating ‘scandal’ involving Indian students

LONDON: British parliamentarians have demanded an independent inquiry into the “forgotten scandal” of thousands of international students, including Indians, being accused of cheating by the UK government in an English language examination. In a parliamentary debate at Westminster Hall on Tuesday, Labour Member of Parliament P Gareth Thomas said that given the seriousness of the issue, the “scandal merits a proper, thorough independent inquiry”. “I strongly agree. In fact… an independent inquiry is necessary,” added Wes Streeting, the Labour MP who had called the debate, which was attended by Indian-origin Labour MP Seema Malhotra among others. Terming the incident as “social injustice” which happened under the “government’s watch”, Malhotra said the entire episode hit the reputation of the students’ families. She said the incident led to depression and affected whole families, including children, and demanded an “extensive apology and potential compensation”. The MPs also called on the UK Home Office…

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3 Indian-Americans win primaries in race for US House of Representatives

WASHINGTON: Indian-Americans Hiral Tipirneni, Anita Malik and Sanjay Patel – all from the opposition Democratic party – have won their respective primaries to advance to the US Congressional elections in November. While Tipirneni and Malik – both women – are running for the US House of Representatives seats from Arizona, a State which is known for its Republican leanings, Patel is seeking to enter the House from the 8th Congressional district of Florida, a traditional swing State. Tipirneni won the Democratic primary from the 8th Congressional District of Arizona uncontested, while her party colleague Malik won the party primary in a three-way contest from the 6th Congressional District of Arizona. In November general elections, Malik is pitted against Republican incumbent David Schweikert. Tipirneni, who lost to Republican Debbie Lesko in the Special Elections early this year, is battling against the same opponent. Patel is challenging Republican incumbent Bill Posey. He…

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Indian man in UAE hits Dh12 million in monthly lucky draw

DUBAI: An Indian man in the UAE has won a whooping Dh12 million in a monthly raffle, according to a media report. George Mathew, who purchased ticket number 175342 at Big Ticket Abu Dhabi, was announced as the winner of the bumper prize on Monday, reported the Khaleej Times. Six other Indians also won prizes at the same lottery. Several Indians living in the UAE have won lottery in the recent times. Tajo Mathew,30, from Kerala, had hit a jackpot by winning a whopping $1.9 million in a monthly raffle in July this year. Earlier, an Indian driver in Dubai had won dirham 12 million in a raffle draw in Abu Dhabi in April. In January, another Keralite in the UAE had won a dirham 12 million in the biggest-ever raffle prize money in Abu Dhabi.

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Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner releases memoir of her struggle

LONDON: An Indian-origin campaigner who mounted a successful legal challenge to prevent British Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Brexit without Parliament’s approval has released a new memoir to trace her journey through death threats and abuse from Brexiteers. Gina Miller, born Gina Nadira Singh in British Guiana (now Guyana) to Guyana’s former Attorney-General Doodnauth Singh, reveals in her new book titled ‘Rise’ that she inherited her fighting spirit from her father, which prevented her from giving up even when online trolls threatened her children. “My father was actively involved in setting up a political party against our dictator [Guyana] and ironically I was sent to the UK to be safe. So, I have a sense of fatalism that I am exactly where I should be, fighting for things I learnt at my father’s knee,” she said, at the UK launch of her book here this week. Miller, an investment fund…

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9 distressed Indian construction workers rescued in Malaysia

MALDA: Nine construction workers from West Bengal have been rescued in Malaysia who were stuck there, Congress MP Mausam Noor said on Thursday. The nine men had gone to the country between May and June with help of an agent but did not receive benefits as per the contract. Their passports were also taken, Noor, the Lok Sabha MP of Malda Uttar constituency said in a statement. The Indian High Commission to Malaysia today informed Noor that the workers have been rescued, the statement said. The high commission also informed Noor that it was arranging for sending the workers back home. The incident came to light after the workers contacted their family members here, who sought help from Noor. He informed the Indian High Commission to Malaysia about their condition on August 28 following which it started the rescue work, the statement said. In am email today, the high commission…

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Angry woman in UK gets Indian-origin boyfriend arrested for drunk driving

LONDON: An Indian-origin man in the UK has been fined and banned from driving for 17 months after his angry girlfriend called police for drunk driving. Kamaljit Sagoo had been out celebrating his 44th birthday with his friend on June 18 when the couple got into a fight. He jumped into his car to drive to a nearby store to buy cigarette paper when she called the police and informed them that he was drunk behind the wheel of his car. “Unusually, he has been reported by his partner for driving while drunk and he was later found by police in the driver’s seat of his car,” prosecutor Lorna Rimell told North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in north-east England. “He then failed a roadside breath test,” she said. According to local media reports, Sagoo blew 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit in the UK is…