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Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel in hot water over alleged comment maligning India

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Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel

Snapchat chief executive Evan Spiegel.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — During a 2015 meeting to discuss Snapchat’s creative growth, Anthony Pompliano says he expressed concern that the app was not taking off overseas. Pompliano, who had just been recruited away from Facebook to join the company, insists that he presented ample methods to address the issue, but that Evan Spiegel, the company’s chief executive, abruptly cut him off.

“This app is only for rich people,” Spiegel said, according to Pompliano. “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”

Pompliano’s allegations were revealed in a recently filed lawsuit, filed in redacted form in L.A. Superior Court in January. On Monday, Snap Inc. — the parent company of Snapchat — dropped its efforts to keep the unredacted complaint under seal and released it in a public filing. In the suit, Pompliano tells the story of his brief three-week tenure with the company, during which he says he learned that the company was exaggerated its user data and that top executives were “completely misinformed” about key metrics.

Snapchat had previously argued that Pompliano’s lawsuit contained trade secrets that were capable of damaging the company, and helping its competitors. But in a notice to the court filed earlier this week, Snap said it was dropping the effort to keep the unredacted complaint sealed because it “has nothing to hide” since going public last month. Snap described Pompliano as a “disgruntled employee fired for poor performance” who filed the lawsuit out of thirst for publicity.

“The simple fact is that he knows exactly nothing about Snap’s current metrics,” the company’s attorneys wrote. “He and his lawyers are — not to put too fine a point on matters — just making things up.”

John Pierce, Pompliano’s attorney, said that Snap withdrew its effort to seal the complaint because the company knew it would lose.

“This attempt to save face by Snap should serve as a reminder that no matter how big you are (or how many billions of dollars you have) in our system everyone has to play by the same set of rules,” Pierce said.

Pompliano says Snapchat was inflating its registration completion rate, which it claimed was about 87%. In fact, Pompliano says it was less than 40 percent. The company was also claiming to retain 40 percent of its users after seven days, when in fact the figure was closer to 20 percent, Pompliano claims.

Pompliano says he raised concerns that advertisers were being misled with several people, including Jill Hazelbaker, the vice president of communications. According to the lawsuit, Hazelbaker said she had raised similar concerns internally but had been ignored.

According to the lawsuit, Pompliano brought up the app’s lackluster performance in India and Spain, saying both countries have high mobile penetration and should be ripe for improved growth, at which point Spiegel made the remark about not being interested in “poor countries” and stormed out.

Pompliano claims that Spiegel then met with two other executives and determined that “Mr. Pompliano presented a risk to Snapchat’s IPO.”

Just days later, Pompliano says he was fired, a security guard handed him a box and escorted him out of the building, and his phone was wiped of Snapchat accounts and data.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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