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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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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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Googling ‘idiot’ Bringing up Donald Trump Pictures Drags Google in Trouble

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech

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Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

US Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, in an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, asked its CEO Sundar Pichai why so many pictures of President Donald Trump appear when she does a Google search for “idiot”.

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” the California Democrat told Pichai during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday here.

“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” Lofgren asked Pichai, according to the Washington Post.

The Google CEO — who was at the hearing to address allegations of political bias in his company’s widely used search engine — said the results were based on billions of keywords ranked according to over 200 factors such as relevance, popularity, how others were using the search term, to determine how to best match a query with results.

“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” Lofgren asked. “It’s basically a compilation of what users are generating.”

Republicans have long accused Google of political bias, which the company has strongly denied.

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Why googling ‘idiot’ brings up Trump photos, Congresswoman asks Pichai. VOA

In August, Trump said in a tweet that a Google search for “Trump News” showed only reports from “Fake News Media.” He concluded it was “rigged” against him so “almost all stories and news was bad.”

House Republicans said they wanted to hold the hearing — entitled “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices” — to make sure the search giant was being impartial.

“Americans put their trust in big tech companies to honour freedom of speech and champion open dialogue,” Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said in a statement before the hearing.

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech.

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In response to Republicans who complained about Google searches, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said: “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

“And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter, consider blaming yourself.” (IANS)