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Indians concerned about traveling to U.S. after Kansas Shooting

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A church service in Olathe, Kan., in honor of two immigrants from India who were shot in a bar.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Jeena Sharma was applying for a work visa that would allow her to come to the US when the news broke that two Indian engineers in the country had been shot at a Kansas bar by a man who drunkenly questioned their immigration status.

The shootings, which took place last Wednesday, was quickly eclipsed by other happenings across the nation, specifically those happenings in Washington. However, back home in Mumbai, Sharma received a stern lecture from her family against the move.

“She asked me: ‘Why do you even need to go to the States? Why do you need to go to a country that doesn’t want you? I’m going to be scared for your life every day,’” Sharma said she was told by her mother.

The body of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the 32-year-old software engineer fatally shot in the Olathe, Kan., bar, was expected to arrive by Monday in Hyderabad.

India is second only to China as a feeder to American colleges, with around 165,000 students enrolled in the 2015-16 school year, according to the Institute of International Education. Additionally, Indians are the largest recipients of temporary skilled worker visas, known as H-1B visas, which the Trump administration intends to cut back on. And close to half a million Indians, who mostly went to the United States legally as students or tourists or on work visas, have stayed on after their visas expired, the Pew Research Center estimates.

 

Reports of rising hostility in America toward immigrants have stunned many Indians and Indian-Americans, said Alyssa Ayres, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who visited Hyderabad recently.

“I had a guy on a plane sitting next to me, who turned to me and said, ‘Is it true, what they say about America under Trump?’” she told The New York Times. “There is a kind of confusion: What is happening to the United States? People can’t believe what they’re reading.”

The diplomatic effect, if any, of the Kansas shootings has thus far been muted. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not commented on the incident, though the subject will certainly be raised this week, along with the thorny issue of curtailing H-1B visas, when Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visits Washington.

Sunny Choudhary, a 23-year-old college student, said she opted against applying to graduate school in America because “recent conditions, they are turning into, I think, hostile conditions.” After the election of President Trump, he added, “my parents said: ‘No, you should not go there. Now we won’t let you go there.’ ”

Information from The New York Times contributed to this report.

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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