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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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Trump Speaks to Modi, Aims to Reduce Kashmir Tensions

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Modi Kashmir Tensions Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Modi by phone to get India’s perspective on Kashmir. Modi told Trump the anti-India rhetoric from Pakistani leaders was not conducive to peace. Later, President Trump in a tweet called Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “good friends,” of his and that he’s working “towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.”

Kabul, Afghanistan was the site of a horrific suicide bombing that took place at a wedding, killing 63 people. The bride and groom survived. Afghan officials blame the attack on the United States and their prolonged presence in the region.

A 35-year-old man from India on a hunger strike at a Texas ICE facility was force fed, according to his attorney, becoming the latest detainee seeking asylum in the U.S. fed in such a manner. The man stopped eating tko protest his confinement. ICE says they will do what it takes to “preserving the lives of those in its custody.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Protests staged to counter Indian Independence Day

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Protests staged to counter Indian Independence Day

LONDON (Diya TV) — As the diaspora celebrated India’s 73th Independence Day, counter protests were staged as well. In London, things got violent as protesters carrying Khalistani and Kashmiri flags tried to make their presence felt amidst the pro-India crowd. Injuries have been reported, caused by hooligans throwing things into the gathering, forcing the cancellation of the cultural performance.

The scene was raucous in Houston as well, where supporters of Khalistan stood outside of the consulate. A few dozen protesters were on hand at the San Francisco consulate as well, but they were drowned out by pro-Indian chants.

Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna announced he has joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus to promote peace in the region. The Indian American politician in his second term in the House is also a member of U.S.-India Caucus. In a statement, Khanna said he’s supported legislation condemning the terrorist bombing in Kashmir and wants to promote a stronger defense tie up between the U.S. and India, adding he wants to engage all the regional players, so the U.S. can withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

And the UN Security Council held a closed door meeting on Kashmir. Pakistan is lobbying for a formal session to present its case. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called the U.S. and other members of the council in advance of the meeting held at the insistence of China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Independence day celebrated amidst Kashmir controversy

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Indian Independence Day celebrated amidst Kashmir controversy

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Indians around the world are marking the 72nd anniversary of India’s freedom from British rule with a series of ceremonies, the largest of which took place in New Delhi at a celebration featuring Indian Prime Minister Modi. Over the course of 90 minutes, Mr. Modi spoke about his government’s accomplishments during his term and the pressing matter that is of interest globally, Kashmir. Watch his full remarks in primetime tonight on Diya TV. Coverage begins at 6 pm.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services made their controversial public charge rule official. It will deny green cards to immigrants who have received federal aid and benefits, impacting one million immigrants annually who have received public aid. Aging parents are also likely to be disqualified.

And the Philadelphia community is in mourning over the loss of three members of the Khurana family, who died when their small aircraft crashed shortly after take-off on a flight heading for Columbus, Ohio. The victims, 60 year old Jasvir Khurana and his wife, 54 year old Divya, were respected physician-researchers teaching at Temple and Drexel respectively. Their 19 year old daughter, Kiran, graduated from high school last year. The Khuranas were on their way to visit their other daughter in California. The FAA and NTSB ruled the crash was an accident.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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