WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) –  U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for a backlog of visa applications from Indian nationals and said the United States had a plan to address it. The comments came as he met with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The two discussed challenges that Indians have been facing in receiving visas to work and live in the United States.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Tokyo to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. During his time in office, Modi considered Abe a great friend and a strong foreign partner. Abe was assassinated earlier this year and was the country’s longest serving prime minister.

The Hindu festival of Navratri is underway in India and across the globe. In the U.S., multiple cities like Chicago kicked off the event with hundreds of people. Different states have their own share of rituals, traditions, and practices to worship the divine. The 9 day festival is also celebrated with a burst of bright colors.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.