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Report: Lychee fruit triggered illness in Bihar village for decades

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A fruit vendor offers lychees to customers from his roadside stall in Amritsar, India.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Every year since 1995, a mysterious illness has swept across and plagued the little town of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, India.

Around May and June each year, scores of young children would begin showing signs of a fever. They’d have seizures and convulsions, before ultimately slipping in and out of consciousness.

Then in 2014, hundreds of children were brought to hospitals, exhibiting symptoms of an illness, branded locally as “chamki ki bimari,” or “tinsel disease.” Of the 390 children admitted for treatment, 122 died. Teams of researchers and medical experts worked exhaustively to find the cause, but had no such luck.

Until now.

According to a new report, which was published in The Lancet Global Health medical journal on Tuesday, claims to have discovered what’s been causing the deadly disease: Lychee.

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and India’s National Centre for Disease Control compared test results of children who had developed the mysterious illness, and children who had not. Analysis of blood and spinal fluid samples showed no signs of infection or exposure to chemicals and insecticides.

However, the majority of children who had fallen ill had eaten lychee fruit recently. Those same children were also six times more likely to visit a fruit orchard within 24 hours of falling ill, the study said.

Muzaffarpur, conveniently, happens to be India’s largest lychee farming region.

According to the report, parents said children that lived in infected villages spent most of their days eating from lychee trees, and would return home “uninterested in eating a meal.” The report said that children that fell ill were twice as likely to have skipped dinner, which, according to the researchers probably resulted in “night-time hypoglycaemia.”

The Indian government issued a statement Wednesday advising children to henceforth “minimize litchi fruit consumption” in affected areas, and eat an evening meal during the “outbreak period.”

But researchers say there are still questions about the mystery that remain unanswered. For example, while orchards surround a multitude of India’s villages, typically only one child from each village develops an illness from eating lychee. Therefore, the report said, the equation could also include a child’s individual genetics.

“The synergistic combination of litchi consumption, a missed evening meal, and other potential factors such as poor nutritional status, eating a greater number of litchis, and as yet unidentified genetic differences might be needed to produce this illness,” the study said.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson pushes for India COVID relief

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Rev. Jesse Jackson pushes for India COVID relief | Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Reverend Jesse Jackson is standing in solidarity with Indian Americans in California who are rallying the community to send more Covid-19 relief to India.  Reverend Jackson is also voicing solidarity for other communities of color as African Americans celebrate Juneteenth, the new Federal holiday marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

And Satya Nadella is now even more powerful at Microsoft. The tech giant’s CEO was named chairman of the board elevating his current role atop one of the world’s most valuable companies. The Indian American has served as chief executive since 2014, has helped transform the PC maker into a leader in cloud computing in recent years, resulting in  a market cap of close to $2 trillion.

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given away another massive chunk of her fortune. This time nearly 3  billion dollars to a variety of charities. Several Indian organizations like Goonj, Antara Foundation, and GiveIndia have also benefited from this generosity.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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US – India trade hits record $9 billion

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U.S.-India trade hits record $9 billion | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — For the second month in a row, the U.S.-India bilateral goods trade crossed $9 billion dollars.  It had never happened once before that. This is a comprehensive document covering trade in goods and services, and shows India and the U.S. remain strong strategic partners.

the U.S. Senate confirmed Radhika Fox as the first Indian American and woman of color to lead the office of water at the Environmental Protection Agency. Her supporters say she will focus on making sure everyone’s point of view is heard and taken into account.

And British Pakistani rapper Frenzo Harami is being criticized for his anti Hindu post on Instagram. Harami uses vulgar language to describe Hindu minorities living in Kashmir. He apparently went on this tirade after claiming youtube banned one of his videos.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India’s COVID rate drops dramatically

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India’s COVID rate drops dramatically | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India’ s Covid-19 infection rates are starting to consistently drop each day.  The ministry of health reported a little more than 60,000 cases in the past 24 hours. That’s a dramatic decrease from the peak of more than 400,000 cases in one day just a few months ago. 

India has also decided to partially open the Taj Mahal to visitors. And as restrictions ease, several shops, malls, and restaurants have started to reopen in multiple cities this week. but Authorities continue to advise mask wearing and social distancing.

Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a dinner party for a bipartisan group of female senators at her official Washington, DC residence. 16 Democrats and eight Republicans. Vice President Harris is doing this against the backdrop of intense negotiations over President Biden’s agenda in Congress and a border crisis raging on her watch.

And one of the fiercest critics of Big Tech companies like Apple and Amazon is now leading the Federal Trade Commission.  Lina Khan will be tasked with voting on enforcement matters in areas of both competition and consumer protection. the 32 year old South Asian will be the youngest person to ever lead the agency.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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