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Over 100 Indian-Americans gathered for a gala celebrate Donald Trump’s Inauguration in Washington

Several Indian-Americans gathered at Donald Trump's Inauguration gala along with the Indian Ambassador in the US, Navtej Sarna

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Donald Trump. Wikimedia

Washington, Jan 21, 2017: Several Indian-Americans gathered for a gala here to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th US President, an event skipped by many from the community, with Shalabh Kumar, a key member of the President’s panel on Asia-Pacific affairs, also conspicuous by his absence.

At least a hundred Indian-Americans attended the gala that took place at the Grand Ballroom of the central Mayflower hotel in Washington on Friday, American Bazaar online reported.

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Indian ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna and his counterparts from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Korea and Singapore were also present.

“This is a great celebration of Asian success,” Sarna said at the event, largely attended by Republican crowd.

“I am very happy that Indian-Americans are part of the successful large Asian community.”

Virginia Republican Puneet Ahluwalia, one of the organisers of the event, told the American Bazaar that it was “a grand success”.

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“We were able to create a platform for the AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islanders) community to come together and celebrate the Trump election. The gala also made a strong statement that we are very much part of the American mainstream and will play an effective role in the next administration.”

Ahluwalia added that by showing up in good numbers, the Indian-American community has showed their desire for “the US-India relationship to be on the front and centre for the next administration”.

Dozens of dignitaries attended the event, including Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, Representative Barbara Comstack, Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Governor Ralph DLG Torres as well as a number of Republican leaders from various Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities.

“The (Trump) administration is looking to increase its relationship with the Asian countries,” said Royce, the California Republican known to be one of the most staunchly pro-India voices in the US Congress.

“We should reach out to our friends in Asia. We will work to further and deepen this relationship,” said the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

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Indian-American Republicans who were present included Californian K.V. Kumar, Floridian Harry Walia and Ahluwalia who along with Shalabh Kumar form Trump-Pence campaign’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee.

Shalabh Kumar was, however, not present.

The formal part of the ball began with a rendition of the US national anthem. Indian food and Bollywood dance were other highlights of the event.

-IANS

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US to begin Jerusalem Embassy move preparations: Tillerson

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Photo: wikimedia commons

Washington, Dec 7. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that the State Department will “immediately” act on President Donald Trump’s order and start preparations to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump announced in a televised speech that he officially recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and instructed the State Department to relocate the US embassy to the city, reports Xinhua news agency. (Read: Trump to Announce US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Move Embassy)

Tillerson, who is on a Europe visit, said in a statement on Wednesday night that the US has consulted with “many friends, partners and allies” about the relocation ahead of Trump’s decision.

Though hailed by Israel, Trump’s announcement immediately drew strong opposition and widespread criticism from Arab and European countries that such a move would inflame tensions and fuel violence in the Middle East.

Tillerson said that the US had taken measures to protect Americans in the region.

“The safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority, and in concert with other federal agencies, we’ve implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions.”

Trump’s announcement marked a dramatic departure from his predecessors’ foreign policy.

Although the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which required the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, former Presidents, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, consistently renewed a presidential waiver to delay the relocation out of consideration for national security interests.

The status of Jerusalem, revered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site by Jews, lies at the core of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

The international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and no foreign countries have their embassies in the city.(IANS)

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Sulabh International unveils World’s biggest Toilet Pot model

The NGO gave 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

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Sulabh launched biggest pot toilet models
Sulabh International in working towards improving sanitation. Wikimedia Commons

Sulabh International on Sunday launched the “world’s biggest” toilet pot model in Haryana’s Marora village — popularly known as ‘Trump village’ — on the occasion of World Toilet Day.

As per a release by the non-profit, the mega Indian-style pot, made of iron, fibre, wood and plaster of Paris, measuring 20×10 feet, was unveiled to create awareness about the use of toilets in the village dedicated to US President Donald Trump.

Sanitation expert and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, also dedicated 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

“This large pot replica will be shifted to Delhi’s Sulabh Toilet Museum,” the release quoted Pathak as saying.

He said the idea behind naming a village after Trump was to highlight the issue of sanitation and cleanliness globally.

Puneet Ahluwalia, a member of the ruling Republican Party in the US, said that such an initiative would go a long way to motivate masses towards cleanliness and safe sanitation. (IANS)

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Exposed! Paradise Papers reveal Tax-haven Secrets of the Super-rich! Even Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t been spared!

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

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paradise papers
Paradise Papers expose tax haven secrets of ultra-wealthy, including Queen Elizabeth. The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive - and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth. VOA

London, November 6, 2017 : A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate secretly invest vast amounts of cash in different offshore tax havens, media reports said on Monday.

The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files in the Paradise Papers on Sunday that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

The material which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with 100 other media organisations including the Guardian, the BBC and The New York Times.

Some of the revelations in the Paradise Papers include millions of pounds from Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate that has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund and some of her money that went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.

Paradise Papers detail extensive offshore dealings by US President Donald Trump’s cabinet members advisers and donors including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The leak shows how social media giants Twitter and Facebook received millions in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions along with aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations including Nike and Apple.

It also includes information about a tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust managed by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief wealth manager.

The leak also includes how some of the biggest names in the film and TV industries protect their wealth with an array of offshore schemes and the complex offshore webs used by two Russian billionaires to buy stakes in Arsenal and Everton football clubs.

The disclosures will put pressure on world leaders including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

Offshore finance is about a place outside of one’s own nation’s regulations to which companies or individuals can reroute money assets or profits to take advantage of lower taxes reports the BBC.

These jurisdictions are known as tax havens to the layman or the more stately offshore financial centres (OFCs) to the industry. They are generally stable secretive and reliable often small islands but not exclusively so and can vary on how rigorously they carry out checks on wrongdoing. (IANS)