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Apple plans to resell used iPhones in India, provokes backlash

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shows the new MacBook during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows the new MacBook during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Apple has made multiple attempts to crack the smartphone market in India, and with a population of 1.25 billion, who could blame them? Their latest lobby to take control of the South Asian nation’s mobile phone market — by selling used phones — is meeting a wall of resistance.

Apple is seeking permission to become the first company allowed to import and sell used iPhones into the country, the tech giant’s second attempt in as many years. This time, however, the stakes are much higher and a ever increasing number of industry executives are standing in the way of the move, warning government officials in closed session meetings that it will open the floodgates to electronic waste, jeopardize local players, and make a farce of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program to encourage local manufacturing.

“Make in India could turn into Dump in India,” said Sudhir Hasija, chairman of Karbonn Mobiles, who said it sells about 1.7 million phones a month.

Apple’s 2015 application was rejected by the environment ministry. Things have since changed, dramatically. India now represents the world’s second-largest mobile phone population, and in turn, represents a vast untapped market for the company. To make serious their claims, Apple has amped up their presence in the country, and is on course to get the green light to open its first retail stores.

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Sensing a threat to their domestic products, the electronics manufacturing industry’s main representative body recently set up a lobbying arm who made direct contact with the government, vehemently opposing Apple’s application.

“Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?” asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the newly formed Mobile and Communications Council, which issued the letter. The group’s members include the largest Indian phone brands: Micromax, Intex and Samsung.

Apple currently only has its hands on 2% of the Indian smartphone market, while Samsung controls roughly a third, according to research data from the firm IDC. CEO Tim Cook says he’s trying to grow those numbers, and that’s the reason for planting his company’s stores in the country. Right now, the only way to obtain an iPhone is through a third-party vendor like a local electronics store.

Information from Bloomberg and Fortune contributed to this report.

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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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