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World Leaders show solidarity, as death toll rises to 70 in Lahore Blast

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Family members of a victim Monday in Lahore, Pakistan, where a suicide bombing killed dozens. Credit Arif Ali/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Family members of a victim Monday in Lahore, Pakistan, where a suicide bombing killed dozens. Credit Arif Ali/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Diya TV) — A suicide bomber set off an explosion near a children’s park on Easter Sunday in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least 69 people and injuring another 300, rescue workers and officials said. The powerful blast was the third bombing in Pakistan in the last month alone, a reminder that even as the military has begun a fierce crackdown on extremists over the past two years, Islamist groups remain a serious threat.

Global heads of state, leaders and prominent personalities joined in the fight against terror on Sunday evening and Monday morning, extending their thoughts and prayers to the South Asian nation.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first of world leaders to condemn the acts on Twitter, reportedly calling his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Several other leaders, including French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron following suit.

Translation: “Following the attack in Lahore, Pakistan, I express to the people of Pakistan the solidarity of France in these painful moments.”

Translation: “Indonesia strongly condemns the bomb attack in Lahore. Terror in any name cannot be justified. Deep condolences to the victims and people of Pakistan.”

Stateside, U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz issued statements of their own denouncing the attack.

Notable voices from around the region, like Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Nobel Peace Prize–winning education activist Malala Yousafzai. Mirza, who is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, opined the attack was “disgusting,” while Yousafzai said she was “devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people.”

Seemingly the perfect scenario to test out its ‘Safety Check’ feature, Facebook activated the program for the eighth time this year. However, a bug caused many subscribers several thousand miles away from the bombing to mistakenly ask whether or not they were safe. Subscribers in New York, London, Washington D.C. and throughout the Bay Area received the alert, and took to social media, expressing their confusion, annoyance and in some cases, alarm, after erroneously receiving ‘Safety Check’ texts or notifications.

Some of the push notifications referenced an explosion without stating its location, leading some to worry an explosion had taken place near them that they weren’t aware of.

In a statement, Facebook said “many users” were affected by the bug but did not release an official number. The company said it “worked quickly to resolve the issue” and apologized to any users who unintentionally received the alert. “We activated Safety Check today in Lahore, Pakistan, after an explosion that took place there,” Facebook said in a post. ”Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were okay. This kind of bug is counter to our intent.”

Facebook first launched ‘Safety Check’ in October 2014 to enable users to quickly tell their friends they were safe after a disaster such as an earthquake or flood. The company has since added a feature to include violent attacks to the tool, for the first time after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and after the attacks in Brussels last week. It allows Facebook users to mark on their profile that they are safe as well as tag other users who might be safe with them.

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — The U.S. has reached a grim milestone. More than 600,000 people have died from Covid-19 as officials race to vaccinate more people. But deaths have also been slowing for months because of an aggressive campaign to vaccinate the nation’s elderly and medically vulnerable people.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson just replaced an Indian American administrative law judge who ruled against the state health department in a significant abortion case. Last year, Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi turned aside Missouri’s effort to close the state’s last abortion provider, a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. Dandamudi also ruled against the state in a medical marijuana case.

And Pakistani Brit actor Riz Ahmed is forming a new coalition, pushing for more Muslim representation in media and Hollywood.  He’s partnering with several influential institutions like USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to give out financial grants and offer mentoring.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — A bus crammed with pilgrims coming back from a Muslim religious festival crashed in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Officials say the bus was overloaded and passengers were even traveling on the roof of the bus. The death toll is expected to increase. 

Police say man accused of killing four members of a Pakistani Canadian Muslim family targeted them for their Islamic faith. 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman is facing several murder charges for allegedly running them over in his pickup truck. Investigators say there is evidence this was premeditated and motived by hate.

Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, making history as the first sitting vice president to march in a Pride event.
The Biden-Harris administration has brought LGBTQ issues to the forefront of its agenda. One of the president’s first executive orders called for an end to discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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One in two Indian Americans have encountered racism

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Study: 1 in 2 Indian Americans report facing discrimination | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — According to a new study, Fifty percent of Indian Americans say they have encountered racism in the U.S. in the past year. Discrimination against darker-skinned people is the most common form of bias encountered and the main perpetrators are non-Indians. The study also shows Indian Americans are the second largest immigrant group in the US with more than 4 million living in the country.

Judge Zahid Quraishi has been confirmed by the US Senate, becoming the first Muslim American federal judge. Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, was serving as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

Former Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara’s dinner with an author who once despised Indian food is getting a lot of likes on the internet. On twitter, Tom Nichols is finally admitting his palate is expanding and he wants more Lamb Biryani. Bharara responded on social media by saying Nichols is still getting used to the butter chicken. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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