US Senate confirms 3 PIOs to key govt posts

Wednesday 09th August 2017 06:24 EDT

Washington: The US Senate has confirmed three Indian-Americans to key government postings, including one as the Trump administration's czar on intellectual property - an area of difference between the US and India. The Senate confirmed Neil Chaterjee as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Vishal Amin as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. Krishna Urs was confirmed as envoy to Peru. Urs - after Nikki Haley - is the second Indian-American to have been selected for an ambassadorial position. Amin will be responsible for enforcement of intellectual property. The US retained India on its priority watch list for “lack of improvement” in the intellectual property framework.

Indian doc held for groping teen mid-air in US

New York: A 28-year-old Indian doctor has been arrested for allegedly groping a minor girl who was sitting next to him on a New Jersey-bound United Airlines flight. The 16-year-old girl, who was travelling alone on July 23, was asleep, when a stranger's hand on her thigh awakened her, reports said. The man, identified as Vijakumar Krishnappa, sitting next to her quickly removed his hand , according to a court complaint, and the teenager went back to sleep. Then, she woke up again and this time, the man was groping her, the complaint says.

Hafiz Saeed to set up political party in Pakistan

Islamabad: Hafiz Saeed, the terrorist alleged to be behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, is to set up a political party in Pakistan. A charity founded by 68-year-old Saeed, who has a $10 million (£7.5 million) US bounty on his head and is under house arrest, said that it planned to launch a political wing. Saeed is alleged to have masterminded dozens of attacks within India, including the attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people. Gopal Bagley, a spokesman for India’s ministry for external affairs, said it was disturbing that “a person who has traded in bullets to take human lives is now trying to hide behind ballots”.

Bollywood company Eros wants Silicon Valley to buy its library

Silicon Valley: Eros, a Bollywood production company, is coxing Apple, Amazon and Netflix into bidding for its film and music library which holds more than 3,000 Indian films which could be worth about $1 billion, according to reports. The production house is understood to have started a review of its options about six months ago and had sought to strike agreements with leading broadcasters. The bid comes after Netflix and Amazon launched platforms in India last year amid a power struggle between the two to dominate the Indian market.

First Hindu minister in Pak govt in 20 years

Islamabad: Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi formed his cabinet last week, filling it with his toppled predecessor Nawaz Sharif 's aides and allies. It also included the first Hindu in a Pakistan government in more than two decades, Darshan Lal. The “reshuffle” was aimed at bolstering support for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ahead of the general elections in mid-2018, with President Mamnoon Hussain administering the oath of office to a 47-member cabinet that included 28 federal and 19 state ministers. Darshan Lal will be in charge of coordination between four Pakistani provinces. Lal, 65, is a practising doctor from Mirpur Mathelo town in Ghot ki district of Sindh. In 2013, he was elected to the national assembly for the second time on PML-N ticket on a reserved seat for minorities.

Indian American political activist Rajen Anand passes away

Virginia: Pioneering Indian American political activist Rajen Anand, who served during both the Clinton and Obama administrations at the US Department of Agriculture and founded the Indo- American Political Association, died on August 2 in Annandale, Virginia. Anand had celebrated his 80th birthday just two months before his death. He leaves behind his wife, Angela Anand; and two sons, Sunjay and Shabeen Anand. Anand’s wife, Angela Anand, said that her husband had been struggling with renal failure for a few years and was on dialysis. He was in the hospital when the end came. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family.

Indo-Canadian named Consul-General in San Francisco

Toronto: Rana Sarkar, an Indo-Canadian who was until recently national director for high growth markets at the Toronto-based multi-national KPMG, has been named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government as Canada’s Consul-General to San Francisco. Simultaneously, Sarkar has also been named a member of the high-profile Canadian official team for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US and Mexico. Sarkar was also a visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science and more recently a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Bangladeshi model commits suicide

Chittagong: Risila Binte Wazer, a Bangladeshi model from Chittagong, committed suicide by hanging herself in her own apartment. The reason for the drastic step was not known immediately. The 22 year old model had a lot going on in her life. Apart from walking the catwalk since 2012, she was raising a young daughter and also pursuing her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Atish Dipankar University of Science and Technology. Although the model’s Instagram bio says “Good soul, Happiest,” police said that the model was potentially having disputes with her husband. The model's young daughter was at her grandmother’s house while this unfortunate incident took place.

Ghana court quashes Indian's deportation

Accra: A court here has overturned a decision by the Interior Minister to deport an Indian for allegedly obtaining a fake marriage certificate to stay in the country. In his ruling, Justice Kweku T. Ackah-Boafo declared the move by Interior Minister Ambrose Dery "illegal" and said that the minister exceeded his jurisdiction by determining that the Indian had engaged in fraud and subsequently deported him. Ashok Kumar Sivaram was alleged to have acquired and forged a marriage certificate in support of his application for citizenship in 2015, said the report. Justice Ackah-Boafo said that the Interior Minister breached the rule of natural justice by not giving the plaintiff a hearing after he had accused him of allegedly committing fraud.

`WannaCry' hero arrested on hacking charges

San Francisco/Las Vegas: A cyber security researcher widely credited with helping to neutralise the global “WannaCry” ransomware attack earlier this year has been arrested on unrelated hacking charges, according to court documents. Marcus Hutchins, a 23-year-old British-based malware researcher, who gained attention in May for detecting a “kill switch” that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm, was detained by the FBI in Las Vegas, a justice department spokesman said. He was among tens of thousands of hackers who had descended on the city during the annual Black Hat and Def Con conventions. An indictment filed in a Wisconsin district court accused Hutchins, also known online as “MalwareTech”, of advertising, distributing and profiting from malware code known as “Kronos” that stole banking credentials and credit card data. Hutchins' alleged activity took place between July 2014 and July 2015.

Pak man decapitates wife for not quitting job

Islamabad: A Pakistani man decapitated his wife for not quitting her job as a labourer, the media reported. Police said 37-year-old Nasreen, a mother of three and a resident of Lahore, was found dead by her children with her head severed. According to a senior police official, Nasreen was killed by her husband Afraheem who did not like her job and had ask her to quit. Despite opposition, Nasreen continued with the job, the official said.

Prosecutors seek 12-year jail for Samsung heir

Seoul: South Korean prosecutors have recommended imprisoning billionaire Samsung heir for 12 years if he is convicted of bribery and other crimes in a corruption scandal. Prosecutors' recommendation concludes the four-month-long hearing over the allegations against Lee Jae-yong. The 49-year-old vice chair at Samsung Electronics was indicted in February on charges, including offering $38 million in bribes to a friend of then-President Park Geun-hye, to seek government help in a merger that strengthened his control over Samsung. Park was removed from office and is being tried separately. Lee has denied all charges and distanced himself from Samsung's now-disbanded secretive strategy office that oversaw the merger at the centre of the scandal.

The charges could entail at least five years in prison if Lee is convicted.

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