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Shah’s fourth book, ‘Pandemic,’ hits shelves

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Sonia Shah speaks at a TedMed event

Sonia Shah speaks at a TedMed event

(DIYA TV) — Science journalist and prized-winning author Sonia Shah’s new novel, Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, officially hit the shelves of bookstores on Feb. 23. The book carries a simple narrative: Is a disease that will kill tens of millions coming?

Pandemic is Shah’s fourth book, and second about deadly diseases.

Its arrival comes at the same time public health officials in the U.S. are fighting the Zika virus, and Shah recently told NPR that epidemiologists are bracing themselves for what has been called the next “Big One” — a disease that could kill tens of millions of people in the coming years. Citing a 2006 survey, Shah says, “the majority of … pandemic experts of all kinds, felt that a pandemic that would sicken a billion people, kill 165 million people and cost the global economy about $3 trillion would occur sometime in the next two generations.”

Shah's new book, Pandemic, hit shelves on Feb. 23

Shah’s new book, Pandemic, hit shelves on Feb. 23

In her new book, Shah presents a discussion surrounding the history and science of contagious diseases. Specifically, she notes that humans put themselves at highest-risk by encroaching on wildlife habitats — about 60 percent of new pathogens come from the bodies of animals, according to Shah. And international travel perpetuates the spread of disease, Shah said. “Air travel shapes our epidemics in such a powerful way that scientists can actually predict where and when an epidemic will strike next just by measuring the number of direct flights between infected and uninfected cities.”

What can be done? Shah says epidemiologists can work more rigorously to identify outbreaks before they occur, but stopping them all together is a completely different matter. Living with the possibility of an outbreak is part of the hand of cards you’re dealt coming into this world, Shah said.

“Our relationship to disease and pandemics is really … part of our relationship to the natural world,” she says. “It’s a risk we have to live with.”

Information from NPR contributed to this report.

Arts

FBI: Amity CEO Ridhima Singh, others accused of major healthcare fraud

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Amity

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The FBI says, CEO Ridhima Singh of Amity Home Health Care is among the 28 people, that include doctors and nurses, accused in the scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home health care provider, Amity Home Health Care, with involvement in a kickback scheme that led to $115 million in tainted claims. The complaint said medical professionals received $8 million worth of bribes disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, reimbursements, entertainment or gifts, in what the Department of Justice said was simply “a cash for patients scheme.”

The man accused of stabbing and killing 62 year old Parmjit Singh in Tracy made his first court appearance. 21 year old Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy pleaded not guilty of homicide during his arraignment. Police are still investigating the motive behind the crime.

And Priyanka Chopra & her husband Nick Jonas were named by People Magazine as their pick for ‘Best Dressed of the Year.’

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Business

PM Modi’s Houston reception sold out, 50,000 to attend

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Modi Kashmir SanjayPanda FireEye

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — “Howdy, #Modi!”, the community event in Houston next month featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sold out, with more than 50,000 people registering for the program. This community summit will be at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team. The expected crowd will be the largest for a foreign leader in the United States other than for Pope Francis.

The Indian government has begun to ease restrictions in most areas of Kashmir, with barricades being lifted to allow more freedom of movement of people and traffic. Markets remained shut and phone and internet services are still suspended. Large security measures are also still in place. Students are being asked to return to school, but most classrooms are still mostly empty.

With a lot of narratives online about what’s going on in Kashmir, we asked Indian Counsel General in San Francisco, Sanjay Panda, to give context and sort out fact from fiction.

Fire Eye, an American-based cyber security firm says hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing nearly seven million records containing patient and doctor information. Fire Eye did not publicly name the website, but says the cyber criminals are mostly China-based and are selling the stolen data underground.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Featured

Indian PM Modi to address the United Nations in September

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Modi UN September

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session on September 28th. He is also expected to attend a multitude of high-level summits while in New York. He will also speak at a diaspora event in Houston on September 22nd.

India and the U.S. are “very close” to resolving all their trade-related differences, with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal planning to meet the U.S. Trade Representative in the next month.

India is the only major Asian economy that’s grown its export share since the start of the tariff wars in 2018. It’s also the one with the fewest trade links to China.

As opioid epidemic spreads globally, the Savera Medical Centre in Edmonton, Canada is perhaps the first clinic to focus on treating South Asians affected by opioids

And in a story but you’ve got to see to believe, there were more than students attending class at IIT Bombay. This cow wanted to in on some of the technical training.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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