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Shashi Tharoor blames U.S., India for failed Secretary General bid

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Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian politician and author Shasha Tharoor, who in 2006 finished second place in the race for U.N. Secretary General, blames the United States and India for his failed candidacy and not China – one of the five permanent members of the Security Council who hold veto power – thwarting it.

During a story he wrote for Open Magazine, a current affairs and features magazine in India, Tharoor revealed that, “I believe the time has come, a decade on, to set the record straight.”

His tell-all is also aimed to silence allegations by a Pakistani envoy, Syed Mushahid Hussain, who pronounced recently that “if India had settled the Kashmir issue, Shashi Tharoor would be Secretary-General today.”

He further wrote that China had nothing to do with his not becoming the top boss at the U.N., and on the contrary had assured support for him, as in 2006 a candidate from Asia was favored to win the election.

The Secretary-General’s position cannot be held by any of the Permanent Members of the Security Council. Traditionally, the position has gone to candidates from small nations. The five members of the Council – US, UK, Russia, France and China – have veto power to halt any candidature.

He writes:

…in some respects my entire working life had seemed like a preparation for the job. In my nearly three decades at the UN, I had developed an unusually varied experience in all the key areas a Secretary-General would need to handle—humanitarian, with 11 years at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, including handling the complex issues of refugees rescued at sea; political, having dealt with high-level diplomats and politicians in my seven years of peace-keeping at the end of the Cold War, particularly during my stewardship of the UN operations in the former Yugoslavia; administrative, having headed the UN’s largest Department, Public Information, with more than 800 staff in 77 offices worldwide, and led successful efforts for reform, streamlining budgets while motivating staff; and media relations, having served as the Secretary-General’s Director of Communications and then as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. In addition, I spoke both the UN’s working languages, English and French, fluently, and having spent four years in the Secretary- General’s Executive Office, was thoroughly familiar with the kinds of problems and issues the UN chief dealt with on a daily basis. At the risk of immodesty, I could, as the expression goes, hit the ground running.

According to Tharoor, the U.S. did not want him as the new Secretary-General because of their interest to strengthen bilateral relations with South Korea and stubbornness to stop another ‘strong’ outspoken candidate like Annan, to get the job. Also, he blames India for its lackadaisical approach to his candidature, which led to US not taking it up seriously enough.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave office

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave office | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The first Indian American to lead the Federal Communications Commission is stepping down. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s leaving on January 20th, once President-Elect Joe Biden comes into office. He started as a FCC commissioner in 2012 and was appointed to the top spot by President Trump in 2017. The FCC oversees at least one-sixth to one-third of America’s gross domestic product.

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris sent their best wishes to members of the Sikh community observing the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism. It’s the first time an incoming Presidential Administration acknowledged the birth of the Guru.

Four Indian Americans are part of the latest batch of Rhodes scholars. Swathi Srinivasan, Vijaysundaram Ramasamy, Garima Desai and Savarni Sanka are headed to the University of Oxford in England, where they plan to study and focus on a broad range of topics including climate change and COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Neera Tanden chosen to lead OMB

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Neera Tanden chosen to lead OMB | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The CEO of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, was selected by President-Elect Joe Biden to join his cabinet and direct the Office of Management and Budget. She would become the first-ever Indian American and South Asian to serve in the President’s cabinet. But Republicans and even some progressives are on the record saying Tanden is not the choice for this position, given some of the tough talk she has engaged with on Twitter against political rivals. Biden also announced Janet Yellen is his pick for Treasury Secretary, and selected an all-female White House communications team, with Jen Psaki serving as Press Secretary.

China is once again blaming COVID-19 on other nations. This time their scientists are pointing the finger at India, claiming the virus likely jumped from animals to humans in 2019 through contaminated water and then spread to Wuhan.

Chinese authorities also blamed Italy and the U.S. in recent months without much evidence. This latest accusation by China towards India comes as tensions continue over their shared border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India bans 43 more Chinese mobile apps

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India bans 43 more Chinese mobile apps | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — The Indian government continues its ban on Chinese apps, adding 43 new mobile apps to a growing list blocked in the world’s second largest Internet market. This time, popular shopping app AliExpress by Alibaba and Tencent backed Snack Video joined the blacklist. With the new additions, the Indian government has now banned more than 200 Chinese made apps over national security concerns.

Kash Patel, who became Chief of Staff to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller just two weeks ago, is now in charge of the Defense Department’s transition to the Biden administration. Patel, who is in the Middle East now serving Thanksgiving meals to troops, is considered a Trump loyalist after playing a key role in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe while working for Congressman Devin Nunes.

The India Community Center in the Bay Area celebrated its 17th Annual Banquet virtually, highlighted by a conversation with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent. Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Gupta received the ICC Inspire Award and spoke of his experience on retaining his Indian heritage, while growing up, living, and working in the US.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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