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Prime Minister Modi takes Gandhi’s historic train ride

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, waves from a train carriage at Pentrich Railway station in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Saturday July 9, 2016. Narendra Modi is taking the same historic train trip that Mahatma Gandhi took in 1893 when he was thrown off the train because of his race. Modi is on a four nation trip to Africa.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, waves from a train carriage at Pentrich Railway station in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Saturday July 9, 2016. Narendra Modi is taking the same historic train trip that Mahatma Gandhi took in 1893 when he was thrown off the train because of his race. Modi is on a four nation trip to Africa.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday marked a historic South African train journey by Indian independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi that ended up shaping the fate of both countries.

Modi’s ride came in the prime minister’s efforts to commemorate the journey, during which a young Gandhi in 1893 was ejected from a South African train when he refused an order to move from a first-class carriage because of his race. The encounter during his train ride influenced Gandhi’s decision to resist racial segregation and other social injustices through the usage of nonviolent protest, first while living in South Africa then in his native India.

Sitting in a wood-paneled car with local officials Saturday, Modi’s ride was protected by much heavier security. However, the prime minister also took some time in South Africa to mingle with some of nation’s residents of Indian origin, of which there are more than one million of.

“We didn’t expect him to go and mix with all the people, but he did,” said Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Gandhi and a former member of South Africa’s parliament. “That’s good. That is what we need.”

Modi would later tell reporters that he’d had the great fortune to pay his respects at places “that are memorable for being part of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and in India’s independence journey.”

India’s government says it was the first country to sever trade relations with South Africa over its former harsh system of racial segregation, which finally ended in the 1990s after being in place for multiple decades.

Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma met on Friday, paying tribute to what Zuma called “two liberation icons,” Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, who was elected in 1994.

After his time in South Africa, Modi continued his four-nation African visit with a stop in Tanzania. His fourth and final stop on the tour, meant to raise India’s profile in Africa, where China’s presence has been strong, will conclude when the prime minister visits Kenya. He began his trip last week in Mozambique.

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Indian Supreme Court ends Ayodhya dispute: Hindus receive land, Muslims get alternative site

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a decision over a subject that has been politically and culturally sensitive for several decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while deeming the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 a crime.

The unanimous decision by five justices, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, paves the way for the construction a new Hindu temple at the site, believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. The decision ends the oldest land title dispute in India.

A board of trustees will be established in the next three months to determine construction plans for the temple. While the court ruled in favor of the Hindu petition, they ordered five acres of land to be set aside at an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque to be built.

Ahead of the verdict political leaders appealed for peace and calm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

The court was also clear the desecration of the Babri Masjid was still a criminal matter and a court case on that issue is still pending.

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Indian Supreme Court to rule on ‘Ayodhya’ dispute

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Indian Supreme Court To Rule On Ayodhya Dispute | Diya TV News

AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — The Indian Supreme Court is expected to issue its verdict on the dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi / Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, India on Saturday, November 9th. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this politically sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

India’s credit rating was cut to negative by Moody’s Investors Service, the first step toward a downgrade, as concerns mount an economic slowdown will be prolonged and debt will rise. Meanwhile, China said it has agreed with the United States to cancel tariffs on each others’ goods in phases, a key demand of Beijing to end a trade war that has affected economic growth globally.

India and China will surpass the U.S. as the World’s Centers of Tech Innovation by 2035, according to Bloomberg New Economy Global Survey, which gathered views from 2,000  business professionals in 20 markets.

And Harsimran Kaur becomes first female player from the NBA Academy’s Women’s Program in India to be invited to The NBA Global Academy.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Skilled immigrant category H-1B visa denials continue to rise

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H-1B visa denial rates dramatically increase | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Trump administration’s new immigration policies are leading to a significant rise in the rejection of petitions for H-1B visas, with the highest denial rate among major Indian IT companies, according to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy.

The Maine Ethics Commission imposed a $500 fine on House Speaker Sara Gideon‘s former political action committee over reimbursements worth $500 made to her in 2016. The commission said there was no attempt to deceive the public. Gideon is now running for Maine’s Senate seat against longtime incumbent Susan Collins.

Next week, the U.S. and India will hold their first-ever tri-service military exercise. It’s codenamed “Tiger Triumph” and will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. All three Indian military services will work alongside the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine corps

On the heels of announcements by Facebook and Google putting forth $1 billion each towards affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area, Apple upped the ante and will set aside $2.5 billion for housing programs, including $1 billion for first-time home buyer mortgage assistance.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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