Nearly 2,400 Indians are languishing in various American jails for illegally crossing the US border to seek asylum in the country, according to the latest figures. These detainees, a significant number of whom are from Punjab, are seeking asylum, claiming that they “experienced violence or persecution” in India. As many as 2,382 Indians are lodged in 86 jails in the US, according to the information obtained by North American Punjabi Association. As of October 10, a total of 377 Indian nationals are detained at California’s Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Centre, 269 at Imperial Regional Adult Detention Facility, 245 at the Federal Correctional Institution Victorville, and 115 at Washington State's Tacoma ICE Processing Center. The Trump administration has introduced a number controversial policies in line with its hardline stance on immigration. Last week, the administration decided to restrict the entry of illegal migrants who cross the border with Mexico.
Moon thanks PM for sending him 'Modi jackets'
South Korean President Moon Jae-in thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending him some "Modi jackets." Moon uploaded photos of him wearing the jackets in a Twitter posting, saying they "fit great." "This is a Modi jacket modified from a traditional Indian outfit so that it can be worn with ease in South Korea too," Moon said in the message. "During my visit to India, I told Prime Minister Modi that what he was wearing looked great and he sent me some exactly my size. I thank him for his great kindness." Moon made a state visit to India in July. Moon also congratulated Modi on his selection as winner of this year's Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his contribution to world peace through his economic vision.
Indian American named member of National Academy of Medicine
The National Academy of Medicine announced its latest cohort of 85 members with Indian American Prof John Kuriyan among those named. Included in the group of new members were 75 regular members and 10 international members. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Kuriyan is professor of the departments of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at U.C. Berkeley. He was named for pioneering contributions to understanding the regulation of eukaryotic cell signaling by proteins such as Src-family kinases, and for determining the structural and molecular origin of the specificity of the first precision medicine, the cancer drug Gleevec, the academy said.
Indian student creates space-detecting algorithm
An Indian student in the US has created a space-detecting algorithm that can help tackle the problem of finding a parking spot by using big data analytics and save a person’s time and money. Sai Nikhil Reddy Mettupally, a student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, has also won second prize at the 2018 Science and Technology Open House competition for his creation. According to a university presser, Sai’s creation relies on big data analytics and deep-learning techniques to lead drivers directly to an empty parking spot. Sai conceived the idea shortly after the university transitioned to zone parking last fall.
Indian-American Sikh elected mayor
Successful Indian American businessman Harry Singh Sidhu has been elected as mayor of Anaheim, one of the largest cities in the state of California. Sidhu who served as member of the Anaheim City Council for eight years from 2002 to 2012, defeated Ashleigh Aitken in the November 6 mid-term elections. He would be the first Sikh mayor of the city. Born in India, Sidhu moved to the US along with his parents in 1974 as a permanent resident and settled in Philadelphia. Once sworn in, mayor-elect Sidhu will be one of the few Sikh mayors in the US, which includes Mayor Ravinder Singh Bhalla of Hoboken and Mayor Preet Didbal of Yuba City.
Bangladesh EC defers polling date to Dec 30
The Bangladesh Election Commission has postponed the polling date for the country's general election from December 23 to December 30 amid calls for a deferral from the new opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front and other parties. Chief Election Commissioner K.M. Nurul Huda made the announcement in Dhaka, a day after the opposition alliance, including former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), decided to contest the polls. The alliance also called for the election to be deferred by a month. Huda said the poll body welcomed the opposition alliance's decision to contest the polls. BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had earlier urged the government to ensure a level playing field for holding a free, fair and neutral election. The Election Commission will now accept nominations till November 28, said Huda.
Nasheed ends exile, returns to Maldives
Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed returned home from exile last week, two days after the country’s Supreme Court withdrew a warrant for his arrest. Nasheed, who had been jailed for 13 years on a controversial terrorism charge, was welcomed at Male airport by president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hundreds of supporters. It was not immediately clear what role he will have in the new government to be constituted by Solih this month. The 51-year-old democracy champion was branded a fugitive when he went into exile in 2016 after seeking medical treatment abroad while serving the jail sentence. He risked arrest if he ever returned to the Maldives under outgoing President Yameen, who jailed most of his opponents.
California wildfire kills 42 people, razes 6,500 homes
The number of people killed by a massive blaze in northern California rose to 42 on Monday, making it the deadliest wildfire in the history of the state. Thousands of firefighters spent a fifth day digging battle lines to contain the "Camp Fire" in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Sacramento, while search teams were on a grim mission to recover the dead. "As of today, an additional 13 human remains have been recovered, which brings the total number to 42," Sheriff Kory Honea said. The blaze is "the deadliest in California history," Honea said. The fire also forces evacuation of 75,000 homes. In addition to the loss of life, the fire blaze also razed 6,500 homes in the town of Paradise.
13 dead in mass shooting at southern California bar
At least 13 people were killed after shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, which is about 40 miles west of Los Angeles. The gunman reportedly used smoke grenades before opening fire at the bar. Reports said a gunman shot a security guard standing at the front of the bar before entering the building and throwing "smoke grenades all over the place".
Flight recorders of Lion Air jet retrieved from sea
Indonesian investigators said they found the flight data recorders from the Lion Air Flight JT610, a discovery that should help explain why the new Boeing 737 crashed, killing all 189 people on board, four days after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet disappeared off radar during a routine short-haul flight. Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency BASARNAS confirmed that they had found the flight recorders. So far, Basarnas, military and police personnel have retrieved 49 body bags with human remains of at least a dozen people, said the Director of the National Police Hospital in Jakarta. None of the victims were identified, even with DNA samples collected from the families. The Lion Air flight JT 610 flown by Indian captain Bhavye Suneja disappeared from the radars, 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta towards Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.
Suicide bomber kills six in Afghan capital
A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, killing at least six people near a police checkpoint, including policemen, officials said, but no militant group has yet claimed responsibility. Six people were killed in the explosion, said Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry. Ten policemen and civilians, including women, were injured in the blast. The attacker on foot detonated his suicide vest close to the checkpoint near a school in central Kabul, which is in the same area as the finance and justice ministries and close to the presidential palace. The attack came as hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Kabul to protest against the government's failure to prevent attacks by Taliban militants in two provinces. Afghan security forces suffered scores of casualties in heavy fighting at the weekend with Taliban militants in the provinces of Ghazni and Herat, officials have said.
Mystery of needles in Oz strawberries solved
A woman has been charged after a “complex” investigation into an Australian strawberry scare where needles were found stuck into the fruit, police said, in a crisis that sparked nationwide panic. Police said a 50-year-old woman was arrested and charged with seven counts of contaminating goods “extensive investigation”. She faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Police did not reveal the reasons and motives behind her alleged involvement. The sabotage crisis led supermarkets to pull the fruit from the shelves.
Chinese pilot honoured as ‘most beautiful veteran’
A pilot who made a successful emergency landing in May has been honoured as one of China’s 20 “most beautiful veterans” of 2018, authorities announced. Liu Chuanjian, a 41-year-old Sichuan Airlines pilot, was known for his professional reaction in making an emergency landing after the cockpit window broke during flight, ensuring the safety of all the 119 people on board, reports Xinhua news agency.