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Indian Americans in Florida open doors for hurricane Irma evacuees

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People wait outside the Germain Arena to take shelter from Hurricane Irma in Estero, Florida, just south of Fort Myers. Photo: Bryan Woolston/Reuters

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – With Hurricane Irma beginning its destructive path into Southern Florida, the Indian-American community has opened up its doors for evacuees.

Having hit the Florida Keys with wind gusts upwards of 130MPH, the hurricane has displaced millions, with people fleeing the path of the storm. The extreme winds have also caused extensive damage; even lesser devastated areas have still been affected with debris scattered across their properties. Debris can collect on roofs and accumulate in guttering which can build up into an unsightly blockage and could potentially turn into a source of property damage down the line if services like Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Tampa are not sought to remove the problem. As the hurricane reaches further inland, Indian-Americans in surrounding areas are opening the doors of their homes, businesses and places of worship to provide shelter. Displaced evacuees have been housed in Indian-American homes, hotels, banquet halls and other makeshift shelters. The Consulate General of India’s Atlanta office led the efforts, tweeting and co-ordinating with community leaders

More than 400 homes in Orlando are ready to provide shelter to those evacuating. Sriram +1703-829-6064 can be contacted. – Twitter @CGIAtlanta

SEWA International USA, one of the organizations helping in relief efforts provided shelters to more than 300 families in homes of its volunteers in and around Atlanta. It is estimated by SEWA that Indian-American community members have taken in at least 2,000 families. Consulate officials even visited the shelters in Tampa & Florida to ensure the families were safe.

One of the major concerns is the storm surge. “What’s scary is the unbelievable storm surge potentially in my own town, 15-feet of storm surge above ground level. And we are talking about that and something with the keys. People have asked what can we do, the first thing I tell them is pray, pray for everybody in Florida,” Florida Governor Rick Scott stated to Fox News.

President Trump took time from speech at the Pentagon addressing the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks to address the pending gloom of the catastrophic hurricane: “These are storms of catastrophic severity and we are marshaling the full full resources of the federal government to help our fellow Americans in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and all of those wonderful places and states in harm’s way. When Americans are in in need, Americans pull together. And we our one country. And when we face hardship we emerge, closer, stronger and more determined than ever.”

According to the U.S. 2010 census, over 120,000 Indian-Americans live in Florida, and that figure is believed to have increased significantly in seven years. He largest concentration of Indian-Americans is in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, followed by Tampa Bay and Orlando.

It is estimated that 5.6 million people were ordered to evacuate and that more than 6.2 million people in Florida are without power. Scott stated that Irma would be “way bigger than Andrew,” the 1992 hurricane that was the most destructive to hit the state.

“It’s a worst-case scenario for Florida on the west coast,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long.

Thousands of homes in Florida were reported to have a power outage.

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Impact commits $10M to supporting Indian American candidates

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Impact

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American IMPACT, a political organization working to put Indian Americans in public office, announced a new $10 million commitment to support Indian American candidates nationwide. They also announced public interest lawyer Neil Makhija will be IMPACT’s new Executive Director. The number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced questioning by the House Judiciary Committee about the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in recent weeks and the Trump administration’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll show the clash between Congressmember Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Barr that’s making headlines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged YouPlus, a Silicon Valley startup, and its CEO Shaukat Shamim with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about the company’s finances. The complaint states Shamim told investors YouPlus earned millions of dollars in annual revenue and had more than 100 customers, including Fortune 500 companies. But the scheme dissolved when Shamim is said to have told certain investors YouPlus had earned less than $500,000 and obtained only four paying customers since the company’s 2013 inception.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feds arrest entrepreneur Mukund Mohan for PPP fraud

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Mukund Mohan

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — U.S. attorneys arrested serial Indian American entrepreneur Mukund Mohan on charges of allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program with fake and altered documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through six shell companies. Mukund Mohan was a former Microsoft and Amazon executive and is currently the CTO of BuildDirect.

Shahid Buttar, who is running for Congress in San Francisco against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being accused of sexual harassment by comedienne Elizabeth Croydon. Buttar said Croydon’s charges are false.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started building iPhone 11 units in a facility near Chennai in India. It’s the first time Apple has made one of its top-tier phones in India. India is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, second only to China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India & China slowly move towards disengagement

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India and China held virtual talks and agreed on a complete disengagement of troops along the line of control. But there remains sticking points in multiple areas along the border. India insists bilateral relations will not improve until “full peace and tranquility” are restored.

Police in Schenectady, New York are facing major scrutiny after footage was released of one of their officers applying a neck hold to 31 year old Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. He was treated and released, but he continues to face two charges of running away and resisting arrest. He’s accused of slashing his neighbors tire, causing $200 of damage. His attorneys are fighting to get prosecutors to drop the charges.

The UK Parliamentary Group, which visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and heavily criticized the Indian government for their recent constitutional change applying to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, acknowledged they received nearly $18,000 from the Pakistan Government to make the trip.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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