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India to launch ‘cheapest smartphone,’ on Wednesday

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(DIYA TV) — Less than 10 years ago, a common flip phone with an underdeveloped camera would cost you several hundred dollars, before the new two-year contract. Now, cell phones are considered a simple commodity, perhaps easier to come by than water in some countries. On Wednesday, Indian smartphone manufacturer Ringing Bells will release the “Freedom 251,” which will sell for a measly $7 U.S.

It will sell for Rs. 500 in India, and was made possible “with the immense support” of the Indian government, according to a statement. The Freedom 251 has been touted as India’s cheapest smartphone, and is likely the most affordable of such in the world. Ringing Bells said it will release the exact retail price and features of the phone during an upcoming launch event. Set to be in attendance at the launch event are some of India’s top government officials, including Shri Manohar Parrikkar, Union Minister of Defense and Shri Murali Manohar Joshi, Honorable Member of Parliament.

The company is proud to present a product which they believe follows the theme of Prime Minister Modi’s platform and vision to connect all of India’s citizens. Further, the phone meets the standards of Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, a government project meant to entice multinational as well as domestic players to manufacturer their products in India.

Freedom 251’s release is strikingly similar to the release of the Aakash tablet, a product which was promoted by the Indian government to provide college students with affordable computing and Internet-browsing machines. Launched in 2011, the tablet was priced under Rs. 3,000, and became even more affordable to students throughout the country with a price of less than Rs. 2,500, before the program’s closure last year. The smartphones price gives it the true ability to significantly improve the lifestyle of the country’s citizens who have a low income.

It’s the second time in as many weeks Ringing Bells has made headlines — earlier this month the company announced the launching of the Smart101, a 4G ready smartphone with a price point of Rs. 2,999 (approximately $44 U.S.). The Smart101 sports a 5-inch display, 1.3GHz quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded to 32GB using a microSD card.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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