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Meetkumar Desai arrested for flooding emergency service lines

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Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai

Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian American teenager Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai was arrested for carrying out a cyberattack that swamped Arizona’s emergency services with several bogus calls, an incident he claimed was a non-harmful practical joke gone wrong.

Desai was taken into custody after the Surprise Police Department notified the Sheriff’s Office of more than 100 hang-up 911 calls.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office arrested the 18-year-old. He’s been alleged of carrying out a cyberattack on the 911 system, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement. He was booked into county jail on suspicion of three counts of computer tampering. Interference with critical infrastructure could have disrupted the 911 system in the Phoenix area and potentially other states.

Investigators traced the calls after having originally discovered they were originating from a link posted on the social media website, Twitter. When clicked, the link redirected investigators to a website named “Meet Desai.” It was hosted out of San Francisco. Additionally, when the link was clicked, it continually called 911 and would not let the caller hang up.

Peoria police and the MCSO also received a large number of calls, and the volume had the potential to shut down 911 service across Maricopa County, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Meet claims that his intention was to make a non-harmful, but annoying bug that he believed was ‘funny’,” the Sheriff’s Office statement said.

Desai told investigators he was approached by a friend with a bug, he took it and tweaked it so it would add pop-ups, prompts to open e-mail applications and activation of automatic telephone dialing on iOS devices. The bug used code Desai wrote himself entirely. He told investigators he was interested in programming, bugs and viruses, according to the release, especially ones that he could change or manipulate, it added.

He might have been motivated by an incentive program from Apple Computer, investigators said, as he was seeking to earn one of the cash prizes the company awards for consumers who discover bugs and viruses in their iOS operating system.

 

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US sends aid, and bans travel from India

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US ends aid, bans travel from India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — The Covid-19 crisis continues to spiral out of control in India. And now the U.S. is instituting a travel ban.  It goes into effect on May 4 but won’t apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents and their spouses. Meanwhile foreign aid is flowing into India from places like Israel, America, and Germany.

Sikh’s in Indianapolis held a memorial service to remember the victims of the Fed Ex facility shooting last month. Four of the people who died were from the Sikh community.  Police have not identified a motive for the shooting, yet. It’s unclear if the shooter, a former employee at the facility, was targeting Sikhs. There are a high number of Sikhs, immigrants and refugees who work in the facility.

And mega stars from the Indian diaspora raised more than 3 million dollars for Covid-19 relief in India.  Jay Shetty, Lilly Singh, Deepak Chopra, and Jay Sean. The virtual event was called help India Breathe and aired on Diya TV. The funds are going to three major areas of relief on the ground including food, direct cash transfers to families, and makeshift hospitals.

You can watch the fundraiser and still continue to donate:

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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American Coronavirus aid arrives in India

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American Covid-19 aid arrives in India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — American aid is finally starting to arrive in Covid-19 battered India as vaccination sites run out of shots and thousands of people gasp for air. A U.S. military transport plane delivered more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly one million rapid coronavirus test kits, and other supplies. The country has been reporting an average of more than 350,000 new cases of Covid infections every day for the past week.

After seven hours of public comment and testimony from hundreds of people on whether caste should be added to the county’s non-discrimination policy, the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission deferred their vote pending futher testimony and likely another public hearing. Equality Labs and the Hindu American Foundation each made presentations for and against this potential new category at the hearing, that was broadcast exclusively on Diya TV.
Watch the full event here:

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history during President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress just by taking their seats — marking the first time two women would be sitting behind the President.  Biden’s Indian American chief speech writer Vinay Reddy wrote the president’s address, adding to the historic evening.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — No end in sight to India’s deepening Covid-19 crisis as the number of new virus cases in the country shatter records. India added nearly 400 thousand new cases on Thursday, breaking the record set a day earlier, boosting the country’s death toll to more than 200 thousand. US officials have urged Americans to leave the country because of the deteriorating conditions.

Several members of the Dalit community and their supporters are addressing the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission to discuss their experiences with caste discrimination. They want the commission to recommend that the Board of Supervisors make caste a legally protected category against discrimination like race, age, gender and sexual orientation. Equality Labs is pushing this agenda but critics say it is anti-Indian and anti-Hindu.

And the Senate overwhelmingly passed an Asian Hate crimes bill and created a new position at the Justice Department to fast track reviews of potential Covid-19 related hate crimes. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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