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FCC Chairman Pai wants to continue disallowing cellphone use on airplanes

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Ajit Pai
Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to stop a plan to allow cellphone use on airplanes.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Monday he is proposing to end a 2013 regulatory proceeding that had sought to lift the ban on mobile phones on U.S. airlines.

The FCC had said in 2013 it would consider allowing air travelers to make mobile phone calls, but never finalized it.

“I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and Americas flying public against the FCCs ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

Pai’s statement goes against a much-maligned plan, which was proposed after then-FCC chair Tom Wheeler said there is “no technical reason” to bar the use of mobile devices on planes. However, critics, including then-Transporation Secretary Anthony Foxx, noted the annoyance that phone conversations might pose to other passengers. Indeed, more than 8,000 people weighed-in on the topic, voicing to the Department of Transportation their opposition of allowing voice calls on planes.

The in-flight experience is a key part of boosting airline satisfaction for consumers, according to J.D. Power. Consumer satisfaction with North American airlines hit a 10-year high last year, J.D. Power said. But in-flight services were one of the lowest-scoring factors in the survey.

Shares of in-flight WiFi provider Gogo rose more than 1.5 percent on Monday.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Nearly 200,000 ‘Documented Dreamers’ appeal to Congress for help

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Nearly 200,000 'Documented Dreamers' appeal to Congress for help | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — With no clear path to citizenship and facing deportation, younger Indian Americans who have aged out of their parents’ visas are now appealing to lawmakers for help. The Migration Policy Institute says about 190,000 kids and young adults will be in this situation once they turn 21 years old. Some of them have now formed a coalition saying it’s time to address this ongoing issue.

Electronic signature platform DocuSign appointed Indian American Shanthi Iyer as its new Chief Information Officer. Iyer spent more than 20 years at Cisco and will lead Docusign’s efforts to improve employee productivity and the customer experience.

And Indian start-up SimSim has been acquired by Youtube. The company helps small businesses connect with social media influencers and customers. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed but insiders say the company was valued at more than $70 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan | Diya TV News

KANDAHAR (Diya TV) — Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The 38 year old Indian national was Reuters news agency’s chief photographer in India. Siddiqui was credited for capturing some of the most powerful images during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17-year-old Indian-American Samir Banerjee clinched the junior Wimbledon singles tennis title. Celebrating Samir’s achievement, many Indians took to social media to congratulate the youngster.

Jeff Bezos blasted off into space Tuesday on his Blue Origin rocket ship. It was the company’s first flight with people on board.  Bezos is now the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft. The Amazon founder was accompanied by his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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