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USIBC hosts FCC Chairman Pai to discuss US India trade, tech and innovation

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Ajit Pai
Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the U.S.-India Business Council.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — One day after a controversial vote from the House to kill a landmark bill regarding broadband privacy regulations, FCC chairman Ajit Pai spoke at a meeting of the U.S.-India Business Council, he said the two nations are natural allies in more ways than one, including communication regulation.

Speaking to the Council, which is made up of more than 300 companies, Pai said the U.S. and India share more than $100 billion in bilateral trade, a figure that has more than tripled since a decade ago.

“As the country that invented the Internet and that’s home to the world’s most powerful and popular technology companies, the United States is an indispensable driver and beneficiary of the digital revolution,” he told the Council. “And it is worth nothing that many Indians and Indian-Americans are playing a prominent role in our high-tech success story. Multiple American technology companies now feature Indian or Indian-American CEOs, and nearly one in four Silicon Valley startups is founded by an Indian or Indian-American.”

Pai also paid his respects to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Digital India” initiative, saying the country’s leadership has begun to embrace the nation’s digital revolution. He said the FCC’s philosophies and policies are very much similar to those of “Digital India.” Because of the initiative, India has launched efforts to deploy fiber backbone to 600,000 villages, to dramatically expand public Wi-Fi hotspots in urban areas, and to connect every school and college with broadband.

“Like Prime Minister Modi, we don’t see the state of our digital infrastructure as a simple telecommunications issue,” said Pai. “It is an economic issue, a jobs issue, a competitiveness issues, an education issue, and a healthcare issue.”

His remarks came less than 24 hours after Congress voted to eliminate the consumer protections, a result that was very likely celebrated by Pai. The rules would have required home Internet and mobile broadband providers to get consumers’ opt-in consent before selling or sharing web browsing history, app usage history, and other private information with advertisers and other companies.

Pai has gone on record, more than once, as an ardent supporter of ISPs facing less strict regulations, similar to those of website operators like Google and Facebook.

“Last year, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through, on a party-line vote, privacy regulations designed to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies,” Pai said after yesterday’s vote. “Appropriately, Congress has passed a resolution to reject this approach of picking winners and losers before it takes effect.”

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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Business

Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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