FBI Former Chief James Comey Testifies and Accuses Trump of Lying

The FBI’s former Director James Comey testified before the Congress Intelligence Committee on Thursday and said that President Donald Trump lied about the reasons of his firing.
James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arrives to testify before the Senate Intelligence Select Committee during an open hearing.

Washington, D.C.: The FBI’s former Director James Comey testified before the Congress Intelligence Committee on Thursday and said that President Donald Trump lied about the reasons of his firing.

Comey under oath said that he didn’t know that he was fired until he saw his news on TV. He testified before the Congress in regard to investigation on the possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the presidential elections.

“The administration chose to defame me, and more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization is in disarray and it was poorly led,” said the former FBI director. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”

Comey said that Trump told him multiple times to stay on and that he was doing a great job. He said he was surprised and shocked when he heard that he was fired.

The former FBI director reiterated in his testimony multiple times that he thinks that the president fired him because the president had felt that Comey was not leading the Russian investigation properly. Comey said that’s what he thinks based on what Trump had said in the TV interview.

Comey said that he got a feeling that the president wanted him to drop Michael Flynn’s investigation. Comey said that Trump told him “I hope you can let it go,” in one of his meetings with the president. Trump had fired Flynn as national security adviser in connection to his ties with Russian diplomats.

Comey said that Trump had told him that Flynn was a good man and he said he repeated the same to Trump over phone.

Based on the meetings he had with the president, Comey said he got the feeling that the president was asking for his loyalty. At one meeting, president asked the attorney general and chief of staff to leave, just to talk to him, he said. He said he felt that the president was directing him to do something for him. Though, he acknowledged that the president didn’t say anything explicitly to him that indicated that way.

But Comey confirmed to the congressmen that Trump was not subjected to any investigation pertaining to Russian involvement in the US election or in any other kind of investigation at the time he was fired. Trump is not under any investigation currently, as well.

Comey said he documented all his meetings with the president and said that one week after his firing he sent those memos to his friend at Columbia Law School to disseminate in the press. He said he thought it was very important to get it out to the public square. He said his goal was to win the appointment of a special counsel.

The congress has set up a special counsel with Robert Mueller, former director of FBI, as its chief to investigate into Russian involvement. Comey said he has complete confidence on Mueller’s ability to finish the investigation.

The former FBI director had nine interactions with President Donald Trump and three of them were in-person. One time he dined with the president. Six times he said he had phone conversations with the president. And in all cases president had taken the initiative, according to what Comey had expressed.

Talking about the Russian involvement in the US elections he said that he has no doubt that Russia had meddled with the US elections. He said that they would come back. He said that the Russians are not against Republicans or Democrats, but they are after Americans.

However, he didn’t say anything about Attorney General Jeff Session’s role in his removal and in the Russian investigation. Sessions had recused himself from the Russian investigation due to his ties with the Russian diplomats.

When Kamala Harris, US senator from California, asked Comey if there was any process set up to run the recusal, Comey said that he had no idea about it and how much Sessions was involved in the investigation.

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Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban

A federal court has upheld the block on Trump’s travel ban on six Muslim nations.

Washington, D.C.: A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the block on Trump’s travel ban that restricted citizens from six Muslim nations entering the country.

The Trump administration said it would go to the Supreme Court.

“The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the power and duty of the executive branch, and will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In a 10-3 ruling, the 4th US court of Appeals passed the decision against the Trump’s executive order.

The court has pointed out that Trump as presidential candidate made many anti-Muslim statements that tell about his intentions.

“The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the president’s efforts to strengthen this country’s national security,” Sessions said.

Trump has signed an executive order banning the six nations – Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen – from entering the United States for 90 days and all refugees for about 120 days. The order stated that the immigration framework has to be tightened with these countries and that the temporary ban would allow the immigrant officials to review the rules with these nations.

Some countries are not sharing the information required to properly vet the immigrants and that these nations have to be more transparent, the order stated.

However, a judge from Hawaii blocked the President Trump’s new travel ban about two months ago. Now, the 4th Court of Appeals has upheld the block.

“Then-candidate Trump campaign statement reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States,” the court said.

The court said that the president’s power couldn’t go unchecked. “As here, when the president wields his power through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” the court said.

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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump fired the FBI Director James Comey over the handling of Hillary Clinton’s email investigations. But is this the real reason?
James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arrives to testify before the Senate Intelligence Select Committee during an open hearing.

Washington, D.C.: The White House announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump fired the FBI director James Comey, over the handling of Hillary Clinton’s email case. It has released two separate letters – one from President Donald Trump and the other from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office, the statement from the press secretary stated.

The letter also stated that Trump took the decision of firing based on the clear recommendations from both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The FBI Director James Comey has been working on the Hillary Clinton’s email case, but most importantly he has been leading the investigation on whether Trump’s team  colluded with Russians during the presidential elections.

The removal came as a shock to many experts and politicians, as it is an extraordinary decision that not every president takes, especially at a time when the FBI is working on investigations that involved the White House.

The FBI under the leadership of James Comey made a sensational decision a week before the election to reopen the Hillary Clinton’s email case. The Clinton campaign claimed that they lost election because of the reopening of the email case and blamed James Comey for his decision. Comey defended by saying that he was just following the rules.

Trump, who supported Comey’s decision at the time, has fired Comey for apparently mishandling the very same case. Experts say that it is merely a pretext to fire Comey, while the actual reason could be the FBI’s investigation into the Russian interference with the elections and collusion with Trump’s team during the elections.

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The US House Passes Bill to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

The US House has passed the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is a significant legislative victory for Trump. However, this is just a beginning and there are many roadblocks ahead to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Washington, D.C.: The US House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday. The bill won the floor of the House with a narrow victory of 217 to 213 votes. The bill will now be introduced in the Senate for its approval.

“We suffered with the Obamacare,” said President Trump at the celebration held at the Rose Garden in the White House. “People were suffering so badly with the ravages of the Obamacare.”

Trump said that the premiums were going up and the deductions were going up, and that the Obamacare was dead. He congratulated Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for their hard work in bringing all the groups together. He said that the effort brought the Republican Party together.

This is the beginning of the end of Obamacare, said the Vice President Michael Pence at the celebration.

Obamacare took 17 months. Hillary Clinton tried to push medical bill valiantly to all her fairness, but failed, Trump said.

“We did it in just eight weeks,” Trump said.

Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have along with other members tried to pass the bill in the Senate more than a month ago with no success. The major failure is said to be with the replacement plan that doesn’t adequately support the pre-existing conditions, diseases or any other medical conditions one may have at the time of subscribing for a medical plan.

After going through a lot of negotiations and closed-room meetings with the House of Representatives, the Trump team has accommodated some pre-existing conditions in the bill, gaining a greater acceptance for the bill. However, for the bill to become the law, it has to be approved by the Senate before the president gets to sign it.

During the process, the bill will likely be amended multiple times, in which case the bill will have to come back to the House of Representatives. Also, winning on the floor of the Senate is not an easy task for the Republicans. They have 52 seats in the Senate and Democrats have the rest of 48 seats. For the bill to pass the Senate, a total of 60 votes are required. Having said that, the task of winning at House was unthinkable a month ago. This can be seen as a first major victory for Trump.

Talking at the celebration, Paul Ryan said that the stakes were just too high with Obamacare. He said that the insurance companies were fleeing away because of Obamacare, and as an example pointed to Iowa, where insurance companies have dropped from 94 out of 99 counties, leaving no choice for those residents.

Ryan said that Obamacare is spiraling out of controlm and it is time to shift the power of making health decisions from Washington, D.C. to states and to the people. He referred to the new replacement plan as a more “patient-centric” plan.

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Trump’s H-1 B Visa Effect: Infosys To Hire 10,000 American Workers

Indian IT Firms rely on H-1B Visa programme, which was ordered to review by federal agencies by Trump

California: In the next coming two years, Infosys, one of India’s biggest out source, will hire 10,000 American workers according to Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys. Company is also planning to open four Technology centres in US  for local hiring in that country.

The first  Technology centre will be in Indiana, Home State of US Vice president Mike Pence, which will commence from August 2017. This will create 2000 jobs by 2021 for American workers.

Indian IT companies became political targets in US after Trump became President for displacing jobs of American workers to foreign clients. Companies like Infosys and TCS became main targets on this issue who are in a plan to ramp up local hiring in that country in coming days.

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Trump Sacks Indian American Surgeon General

Dr Vivek Murthy who was appointed as Surgeon General by the Obama administration was fired by Trump government.

Washington: Sticking to his ‘hire American’ slogan, the Trump administration dismissed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the first Indian to hold the post. He was appointed by Obama government. Dr Vivek Murthy was replaced by his deputy, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams.

The US Department of Health and Human Services in a statement released on Friday said that “the leader of US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Murthy was asked to resign his position as Surgeon General after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration.” Saying that he was relieved of his duties as Surgeon General, the statement said he would continue to serve as a member of the commissioned corps.

He was appointed as US Surgeon General in December 2014. Meanwhile, Dr Vivek Murthy is second Indian-American to be fired from a senior position by the Trump administration. The US Attorney from New York Preet Bharara who was sacked after he refused to resign his post was the first one.

“As my colleague, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams takes over as Acting Surgeon General, know that our nation is in compassionate and capable hands. Thank you, America, for the privilege of a lifetime. I have been truly humbled and honoured to serve as your Surgeon General. I look forward to working alongside you in new ways in the years to come,” Dr Murthy wrote on his Facebook Post.

Vivek Murthy’s parents hail from Karnataka, India. He received an MD from the Yale School of Medicine and an MBA in Health Care Management.

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Trump signs “Buy American, Hire American” Order

Trump cracks down on H1B visa abuses and says that the lottery system should be replaced with the highest-paid applicants first system.

Washington: US President Donald Trump signed the executive order on Tuesday at around 3:30 PM that would crack down on the H1B visa abuses to allow only highly skilled foreign workers pass through the program.

“We believe jobs should be offered to American workers first,” Trump said before signing the order. “We are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first.”

Right now, widespread abuse in the immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by the workers brought in from other countries to fill in the same job for sometimes less pay, Trump said.

Speaking to the Snap-on company workers at Kenosha, Wisconsin, he said that American workers have long called for reforms to end these visa abuses, and today their calls have been answered for the first time.

Trump said that H1B visa reform is a long overdue. The program right now issues visas based on the lottery system and Trump said that the system was wrong and needs correction. Instead, he said the visas should be issued to highest-paid applicants, and never be used to replace an American worker.

Trump’s message was clear. He wanted the jobs to be given first to American workers, as he promised during the elections. Even as his 100-day presidency is nearing, there is not much for him to show as his accomplishments. Multiple judges have challenged his initial efforts toward travel ban. His approval rating has come down recently and people have grown suspicious of him.

It was important for him to re-establish trust in people especially from the states like Wisconsin. Standing amid the workers he said the historic action declares the policy of the Government to aggressively promote and use American goods and hire American workers to produce the goods.

Trump emphasized that federal departments should buy American products when they fund projects. He expressed concern that over the period, excessive waivers and reckless exemptions have gutted the American standards. The results have been, he said, countless jobs and contracts that were lost to cheap subsidized and low quality foreign goods.

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Trump To Sign Executive Order On H1B Visa Program

US President Donald Trump will sign an order directing federal departments to put forward reforms to hire only highly skilled foreign workers.

Washington(DC): US President Donald Trump will sign executive order on Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, directing the federal departments to come up with changes needed in the temporary visa program to achieve the policy of “Hire American, Buy American.”

A press brief was held on Monday at the White House to give reporters a background on the executive order that Trump is expected to sign the next day.

The order has an additional clause on the H1B visa program, and calls on four departments – justice, labor, Homeland Security and State – to put forward reforms to see to it that H1B visas are rewarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.

Trump has talked a lot in his election campaigns about his agenda of “American First,” and how foreign workers are replacing Americans in their jobs. His administration has recently announced that it would take necessary steps to deter and stop abuses and fraud happening in the H1B visa program by properly enforcing existing laws.

The present order will ask the federal departments to review and recommend changes required to efficiently handle the program such that only skilled foreign workers are hired and at the same time asking departments to enforce laws to stop H1B visa abuses.

“Right now, as you may know, H1B visas are awarded by random lottery. And many people will be surprised to know that about 80 percent of H1B workers are paid less than the median wage in their fields,” said the senior administration official in the brief.

The official said that only about 5 to 6 percent, depending on the year, of H1B workers command the highest wage tier recognized by the department of Labor, there being four wage tiers. And the highest wage tier, for instance, in 2015, was only 5 percent of the H1B workers, he said.

The official criticized the past administrations for failing to recognize that the problems with unenforced Buy American laws and then the unenforced Hire American laws.

Trump has changed the political landscape, he said. The president wants to represent working-class citizens who felt underrepresented by the political system, the official said.

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Experts ask for Trump’s Strategy on Syria

Recent US air strikes in Syria attacking an airbase from where poisonous chemical gas was leaked causing many deaths begs the question about Trump’s strategy on Syria.

Washington D.C: The recent US airstrikes in Syria in retaliation to the chemical attacks that killed more than 100 civilians, raises the question of what’s next in Syria. How serious is Trump in engaging in that country and how far he can go?

No sooner the US attacked an airbase in Syria than the place is back to its regular operation — just within a day. Not just that, there is even a chemical attack on Saturday, April 8, that killed at least one Syrian. These provoking events, ensuing the US attack in Syria, precipitated the need for a long-term strategy in Syria from the US President Donald Trump.

Trump has said that he could shift his position on anything anytime. He can be unpredictable. When it comes to Syria, his administration’s first reaction to the chemical attack was that the Syrians would be deciding their leader. But that stand soon changed leading to the intervention. Now, another chemical attack in Syria, most likely by Assad Government, is testing Trump’s seriousness in his engagement in Syria.

This is not the first chemical attack in Syria. The Assad Government has killed thousands of its own civilians since the revolution that had taken inspiration from the revolt in Tunisia. Assad had crushed the revolution to a greater extent, and in doing so he used chemical weapons against the upsurge, showing Syrians his strength and the price for going against him.

Obama administration had warned Assad and drew redline cautioning him that America would interfere if he crossed the line. Assad crossed it by attacking his people with poisonous gas in 2013. The moderates who were fighting against the Assad regime wanted the US to interfere, but the US didn’t act to their disappointment.

From Obama’s perspective, interference meant boots on grounds and committing to fight till Assad regime fell, which made little sense keeping in view the American interests in the region. As per reports, Obama studied the case of interference and decided against it, as it could make the situation in Syria even worse.

Obama critics argue that America’s restraint at the time provided opportunity for Russia in the region. Russia was successful to an extent to make him give up chemicals used for attacks. Later, Russia supported Assad Government and apposed ISIS, which by then had occupied multiple cities in Syria and had expanded to Iraq. Iran and China also have accepted Assad as the legitimate leader.

The US has been fighting ISIS in Iraq. The US interference in Syria with a long-term strategy would strengthen ISIS in Syria, as Assad becomes weak. Trump has announced that his fight against terrorism would continue in the Middle East.

At the same time, the airstrike in Syria also distanced Russia and Iran from the US. The recent attack after the US airstrike in Syria can be seen as an act of provocation to test Trump. Now, the experts ask for Trump’s strategy on Syria.

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US President Trump’s Old Car Sold for whooping Price Of ……

Celebrities’ items, auction or resale, people will go crazy

Washington: People go crazy whenever celebrities’ items are auctioned. We have seen in India about the resale of bikes, cars, and any items used by film celebrities, fetching huge profits.

Here is another example, but it is in the US — a car once used by the current American President Donald Trump.

Ferrari F 430, a model was purchased by Trump in the year 2004. He sold it in 2008 after driving it for about 3,000 miles with an approximate amount of $1,86, 900. Now the current car owner drove it for another 6,000 miles and kept for sale. Any guess on the price? It was sold for whopping $2,78,000, a price higher than the actual price.

The car was used for 13 years, but still the resale price was more than the actual price, and it is due to the craze for Trump, says the buyer.

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Yogi Is The New Trump Of India

Kolkota: Jadavpur University Campus once again witnessed slogans of Azaadi along with banners lifted against UP CM Aditynath Yogi. This is second time in the year protests raised by students for Azaadi of Kashmir, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Students in the protests lifted banners which include Yogi Adityanath as NEW TRUMP.

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Trump May Freeze Jobs for Spouses of H1-B Visa Holders

Washington, D.C: Trump administration’s Department of Justice has filed a brief in the Washington DC court of appeals seeking a 60-day freeze in the case regarding employment permission for H4 visa holders, who are mainly dependents on H1-B visa holders, according to the Times of India reporting on Wednesday. 

There are thousands of Indian spouses working under the H4 category. The rule was implemented under Obama’s administration through the Department of Homeland Security. Many Indians whose spouses are H1-B visa holders and are waiting for their green cards used this rule effectively. 

Even as uncertainty prevails among the Indians in the United States lately by the Trump’s approach toward immigration and the probable reformation of the H1-B visa program, there was a little relief however, that the H1-B restructuring would happen along with the comprehensive immigration reform, which might take time. But things seem to happen faster than expected. Especially, as the anti-immigration advocacy groups have become more active after Trump had come to the office.

Save Jobs USA, an American immigration counsel has filed the brief and the Department of Justice has immediately responded by filing a document on February 1st titled “Consent motion to hold proceedings in abeyance for 60 days.”

Immigration advocacy groups have reacted sharply to the Trump’s latest move. One, Immigration Voice has responded that this move is “especially concerning.”

At a time when many felt that living on H4 was a curse, the rule that permitted H4 visa holders to work has come as a gift to many Indian spouses who wanted to be independent in a foreign land, where nothing much could be achieved without financial independency. The rule has also contributed in the reduction of domestic violence, which has become a major concern for the Indians in the homeland.


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Naidu In Trouble For Comparing Jagan With Trump

Hyderabad: AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu faces setback after he compared Opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy with American President Donald Trump. Naidu has hit a bad patch particularly after the inauguration of new Assembly building complex at Amravati.

On day one of Assembly session, he was issued a notice by Supreme Court in ‘Vote for Note’ case and on the second day, his words at press conference were sent to Central Intelligence agencies which may lead to another trouble for Naidu.

During Press conference held at Velagapudi secretariat, Chandrababu Naidu compared Jagan with Trump saying Jagan has become ‘Andhra Trump.’

He further added that Jagan is disturbing the environment of AP like Trump. It is learnt that US officials requested Indian Central agencies to send the video visuals of AP CM Chandrababu Naidu with content of press conference held on Monday.

Naidu, who has strong beliefs on vasthu, may once again make changes in Assembly building complex if these two issues go against him.

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Don’t Fear Trump, Visit Chilkur Balaji Temple

Hyderabad: Chilkur Balaji temple, located on Hyderabad -Chevella route, was in news once again. Balaji Temple was famous for students who are attending interviews for Student visas or H1 for the past 20 years. Software people used to call Chilkur Balaji as VISA GOD.

Recent hate crime, Trump’s new policies on H -1 Visas have led the people to Chilkur Balaji temple which has been flooded with devotees from 3 weeks.

But this time the devotees were visiting not for VISAS, but to pray for the safety of their loved ones who are in US. On behalf of their loved ones, devotees are performing 108 pradakshanas which they strongly believe, is the only hope to keep their dear one’s safety.

So, don’t worry dear US residents, your kith and kin back home are taking care of you in the name of thanksgiving with 108 pradakshnas at Chilkur.

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USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H1-B Visas Temporarily

Washington DC: The USCIS has temporarily stopped premium processing of H1-B visas starting from April 3, 2017. The suspension may last for up to six months.

Any submission for premium processing after that date will be rejected, according to USCIC or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The USCIS stated that it has taken this step to improve the overall performance of the processing. It stated that it would allow the staff to work on the long-pending petitions and decrease the processing time for all the petitions.

However, the services has introduced “Expedited Processing” that will allow any petitioners who have a need to obtain H1-B visa to apply, but they will have to qualify for this kind of processing.

The USCIS website has outlined the criteria required to apply for the processing. The petitioner has to qualify in any one of these criteria to become eligible to apply. The suspension can be found here on its website.

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Indian in Lancaster was Shot Dead in “TRUMPLAND”

Hyderabad: Even as the people in the country, especially the Telugus in Telangana State, could recover from shock over the brutal and senseless killing of two Techies in separate shooting incidents in the United States recently, the shooting to death of a Gujarati businessman in Lancaster, South Carolina, on Friday night sent fresh tremors among hundreds of NRI families here in the state.

According to reports, Harnish Patel was shot dead by unknown assailants a few yards away from his house last night. Patel is stated to be the owner of a Speed Mark Shopping Store on the Highway. After closing his stores around 11.24 PM, he was returning home, when the assailants accosted and rained bullets on him. A woman in the neighborhood who had heard the gunshots had alerted the police by calling 911 Emergency. Immediately the Lancaster County police reached the spot and took up investigations.

According to Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile, Harnish Patel was shot twice and the police have recovered empty shells from the scene of crime. While the police have ruled out racial motive in the shooting, they were not able to pin point whether the motive could be attributed as robbery.

On February 22, a software engineer from Hyderabad Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead and his colleague Alok Madasani and another American were injured by a 51-year old Navy veteran, when they were in Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas City. Earlier in another incident in the US a techie from Hanmakonda Vamsi Reddy was also shot dead near his apartment in California.

These shooting incidents have triggered off not only unprecedented outrage, but also led to panic among the families of children who were either working or studying in the US.

The strong protests and condemnation all over the world over these incidents forced US President Donald Trump to express his anguish and concern. Trump asserted that his administration would not allow or tolerate such crimes. However, a sense of panic continued to reign supreme among the families of NRIs here, and they have even started putting pressure on their wards to think about returning back to India, as they fear that USA is no longer a safe place.

The latest shooting incident, the third within a few weeks has further heightened the concern among the NRI families here. (NSS)

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I Can’t Change the Color of My Skin.

Tanvi Kodali

Tanvi Kodali

The color of one’s skin does not offer grounds for questioning one’s legitimacy.

I’ve been meaning to speak up about the Kansas shooting for the past week. But, every time I try to do so, I fail to articulate my emotions — my mind just stops formulating sentences mid-way and my eyes blur out my computer screen with tears of fear.

I was born in Hyderabad, India and immigrated to America with my mom 17 years ago.

For as long as I can remember, the word “home” evoked the images of the neighborhoods I grew up in, in central New Jersey — never India. Growing up, I never saw differences in who I was in the two places. I guess this was because my family always lived in predominantly South Asian towns. I had the privilege to unapologetically be myself: speak my mother tongue, wear the types of clothes my mom grew up wearing, eat the food my parents grew up eating, and celebrate the holidays my parents looked forward to as children. But, while doing all of this, I still pledged allegiance to the American flag every day of elementary school; my passport claims that I’m an American citizen; and, if you didn’t know my name, couldn’t see the color of my skin, and only heard me speak, you would think that I was an American. In my eyes, I wasn’t the hyphen that most people place between the Indian and American when describing me. Rather, I was, and still consider myself to be an Indian American. I’m not a fusion. Everything that I am, stems from the fact that I am Indian, and embracing that fact in this country — that I adore — is exactly what makes me American. I’m an Indian American.

At least, in my eyes I am.

For a while, I didn’t think Trump supporters existed. This was pre-election, of course. I mean, I knew that they were there…somewhere, but my naiveté, if you will, kept me in my liberal bubble. But then, I began to see MAGA bumper stickers, and merchandise in my home town, and my bubble burst.

The story I’m about to tell you may seem stupid. But, please, don’t question the validity of my fears.

This past summer, my family was entertaining an old friend of my dad’s. I was all dressed up — in a kurta, with gold jhumkas, and a bindi on my forehead — when my mom asked me to pick up drinks from Shoprite. Excited to be able to drive, I hopped in the car and drove to the shopping center. I remember feeling my heart drop the second I parked. Here I was, in the parking lot of Shoprite, a store I frequented, a store I’ve shopped at wearing Indian clothes on multiple occasions prior, realizing how blatantly Indian I looked. I shook away any feeling of discomfort I had, and reassured myself that embracing my heritage is exactly what made me an American. I used to appreciate the attention my Indian clothes got me. When I noticed people’s eyes, I saw admiration, curiosity, and an appreciation for my culture. But, I remember walking towards the entrance of the store that day feeling eyes pierce through me. These eyes didn’t seem to hold any sort of admiration, curiosity, or appreciation. Rather, I felt anger, irritation, and annoyance. I remember walking through the aisles of the store fearing that someone from somewhere would pop out and yell at me to go back to my country. I began to wonder if the admiration, curiosity, and appreciation I used to see were just figments of my imagination.

Was I that naïve?

The clothes on my back and the accent through which I speak won’t change the color of my skin. While what I wear and the way I speak say American, the color of my skin seems to scream my story a little differently.

To some, I’m a hyphen. To others, I’m an outsider.

My family never feared death or racism, at least not overtly, not like they do now. This was a great privilege, because I know that this is not something many people of color can say. My mother, the symbol of tradition in my family, someone I define as fearless and confident, taught me to be the same. She taught me to unapologetically be myself. She gave me the strength to have courage in my convictions. She ensured that my sister and I would embrace our heritage, and know what it meant to be Indian. The ability to speak my language, Telugu, connects me to the country my parents and I left behind. My mother enforced strict rules when I was younger: I was to only speak to her in Telugu. If I spoke in English, she wouldn’t respond. And because of her, I can speak the language fluently.

But the same woman, who would encourage me to speak in my mother tongue, called me the other day to tell me to not speak in Indian languages in public. The same woman who raised me telling me to go out and be outspoken and confident, is now telling me to remain inside and to stay quiet. Because at the end of the day, my safety is what’s important.

When I read about the shooting, and saw that I shared a birthplace with two of the victims, I thought about my family in America.

In Kuchibhotla, I saw my father, and in his wife, Sunayana, I saw my mother. And I cried.

This past week, I spent a lot of time wondering why the South Asian community isn’t responding to the shooting in Kansas the way I’ve seen members of other marginalized groups respond to hate crimes within their own communities.

Is it that we don’t care? It can’t be. Right? We care. Right?

I’ve seen the GoFundMe page that’s raised over a million dollars. So, we obviously care.

But, is money enough? By silently solving our problems internally, are we dismissing the greater issue?

Why is it that we don’t demand answers?

Is it because we care too much about reputation?

Is it because we fear that speaking up and finally having our voices heard and demanding our deserved respect could threaten all that we’ve achieved?

What is it that we as a community have achieved? The money in our pockets? The degrees on our walls?

Why don’t we define our achievements by our ability to speak up for what we believe in?

Why are we so concerned with outward perception that we constantly agree to put our heads down?

Why is it that we don’t see that we can no longer dismiss injustices and tuck things under the rug?

I understand that there is a greater pain that comes with being deprived of something we believe we deserve than of something we tell ourselves we don’t.

But, this isn’t okay, and it no longer makes things easier.

The excuse that this is not our country is outdated.

Silence is acceptance.

(The writer, Tanvi Kodali, is a student at Wellesley College, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, USA)

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సంచలనాలకు చిరునామా

ఆయనకు సంచలనాలంటే ఇష్టం.. ప్రపంచ కుబేరుల జాబితాలో 324వ స్థానం.. అమెరికా రాజకీయ చరిత్రలో అత్యంత సంపన్నుడనే ముద్ర.. నిత్యం వివాదాలతో సహవాసం.. ఎవరు ఏమనుకున్నా తాను అనుకున్నదే చేయాలన్న పట్టుదల… ఇన్ని విలక్షణాలు కలిగిన డొనాల్డ్ ట్రంప్‌ అమెరికా కొత్త అధ్యక్షుడిగా ఎన్నికయ్యారు.

బాల్యం నుంచి దూకుడే..

చిన్నప్పటి ట్రంప్

చిన్నప్పటి ట్రంప్

జున్‌ 14, 1946న ఫ్రెడ్‌ ట్రంప్‌- మేరీ అన్నా మెక్‌లాయిడ్‌ దంపతులకు రెండో సంతానంగా డోనాల్డ్‌ ట్రంప్‌ న్యూయార్క్ లో జన్మించారు. ట్రంప్‌ తండ్రి మూలాలు జర్మనీలో.. తల్లి మూలాలు స్కాట్లాండ్‌లో ఉన్నాయి. ఈ దంపతులకు మొత్తం నలుగురు సంతానం. ట్రంప్‌ బాల్యం, విద్యాభ్యాసం న్యూయార్క్ లోనే జరిగాయి. ట్రంప్‌ కుటుంబం జమైకా ఎస్టేట్స్ లో ఉన్నప్పుడు క్యూ ఫారెస్ట్‌ స్కూల్లో చదువుకునేవారు. అయితే కొన్ని సమస్యల కారణంగా 13వ ఏటే ఆ స్కూల్‌ నుంచి బయటకు వచ్చేసి న్యూయార్క్‌ మిలటరీ అకాడమీలో చేరారు. అక్కడే హైస్కూల్‌ విద్యను పూర్తి చేశారు. తర్వాత బ్రోనెక్స్ లోని ఫార్డమ్‌ విశ్వవిద్యాలయంలో రెండేళ్లు చదివారు. అనంతరం అమెరికాలోనే స్థిరాస్తి వ్యాపారానికి సంబంధించిన కోర్సులు ఆఫర్‌ చేసే పెన్సిల్వేనియా విశ్వవిద్యాలయానికి చెందిన వాటర్‌లూన్‌ స్కూల్‌ నుంచి ఆయన అర్థశాస్త్రంలో డిగ్రీ పుచ్చుకున్నారు. ఆయన తమ కుటుంబ సంస్థ అయిన ఎలిజబెత్‌ ట్రంప్‌ అండ్‌ సన్స్ లో పని చేసేందుకే ఇక్కడ చదివారు. ట్రంప్‌ సోదరుడు 1981లో మద్యానికి బానిసై మృతి చెందారు. ఇదే తనను మద్యం, ధూమపానం నుంచి దూరంగా ఉంచిందని ట్రంప్‌ తరచూ చెబుతుంటారు.

వ్యాపార విజయాలు.. వివాదాలు..

ట్రంప్‌ ప్రపంచ కుబేరుల్లో స్థానం సంపాదించినా ఆయన విజయవంతమైన వ్యాపారవేత్తా, కాదా అనే చర్చ కూడా ఉంది. 1985 నుంచి 2016 వరకు అమెరికా స్టాక్‌ మార్కెట్‌ను, న్యూయార్క్ లో ఆస్తి విలువలను పోల్చుకుంటే ట్రంప్‌ ఎదుగుదల సగటు స్థాయిలోనే ఉందని 2016లో ది ఎకనమిస్ట్‌ అనే పత్రిక పేర్కొంది. వ్యాపార విజయాల వంటి మెరుపులతో పాటు బ్యాంకులకు అప్పుల ఎగవేతలు వంటి మరకలు కూడా ఆయనపై ఉన్నాయని ఆ పత్రిక పేర్కొంది. వ్యాపార, నైతిక అపజయాలకు రియల్‌ ఎస్టేట్‌ విజయాలు కలిస్తే ట్రంప్‌ అని ఆయన ప్రత్యర్థులు అంటుంటారు.

యవ్వనంలో ట్రంప్

యవ్వనంలో ట్రంప్

ట్రంప్‌ తొలుత కుటుంబ సంస్థ అయిన ఎలిజబెత్‌ అండ్‌ సన్స్ లో రియల్‌ ఎస్టేట్‌ వ్యాపారాన్ని ప్రారంభించారు. ఆయన తొలి ప్రాజెక్టును తండ్రితో కలిసి పూర్తి చేశారు. 1971లో ఆయన వ్యాపార పగ్గాలను స్వీకరించగానే సంస్థ పేరును ది ట్రంప్‌ ఆర్గనైజేషన్‌గా మార్చేశారు. కార్యాలయాన్ని కూడా మాన్‌హట్టన్‌కు మార్చేశారు. ఆయన 1978లో అక్కడ గ్రాండ్‌ హయత్‌ హోటల్‌ను నిర్మించారు. అమెరికాలోని పలు ప్రముఖ భవనాలు ట్రంప్‌ నిర్మించారు. వీటిల్లో ట్రంప్‌ ఓషన్‌ క్లబ్‌, ట్రంప్‌ టవర్‌, సెంట్రల్‌ పార్క్ లోని వూల్మాన్‌ రింక్‌ హోటల్‌ ఉన్నాయి. తర్వాత ప్లాజా హోటల్‌, అట్లాంటిక్‌ సిటీలోని తాజ్‌మహల్‌ కేసినోలను కొనుగోలు చేశారు.

ఆరుసార్లు దివాళా..!

ట్రంప్‌ వ్యక్తిగతంగా ఎప్పుడూ దివాళా ప్రకటించలేదు. కానీ ఆయన హోటల్‌, కేసినో వ్యాపారాలు దాదాపు ఆరుసార్లు దివాళా తీశాయి. వాస్తవానికి ఇవి దివాళాలు కావు. అక్కడ దివాళా చట్టంలోని చాప్టర్‌ 11లోని లొసుగులు వాడుకుంటూ వ్యాపారాలు చేయడం లాంటివి. ఈ విషయాన్ని 2011లో న్యూస్‌వీక్‌ పత్రికతో మాట్లాడుతూ ట్రంప్‌ వెల్లడించారు. ‘నేను దివాళా చట్టాలతో ఆడుకుంటాను.. అవి నాకు ఎప్పుడూ మంచే చేశాయి’ అని నాడు ట్రంప్‌ అన్నారు. మరో సందర్భంలో ట్రంప్‌ మాట్లాడుతూ, ‘నేను దేశంలోని చట్టాలను వాడుకుంటాను.. చట్టాన్ని ఉపయోగించుకొని బ్యాంకులతో బేరాలాడి అద్భుతమైన డీల్స్‌ కుదుర్చుకుంటాను. ఇది వ్యక్తిగతమైంది కాదు.. కేవలం వ్యాపారంలో భాగమే’ అన్నారు. ఈ మాటలు ట్రంప్‌లో కఠినమైన వ్యాపారవేత్తను చూపిస్తాయి. తర్వాతి కాలంలో ట్రంప్‌ తన పేరు, చిత్రానికి కూడా లైసెన్స్ లు పొందారు. టర్కీకి చెందిన ఓ వ్యాపారి ఆయన పేరు వాడుకున్నందుకు డబ్బు చెల్లించాడు.

రియల్‌ ఎస్టేట్‌తోపాటు ట్రంప్‌ ఆర్గనైజేషన్‌ అమెరికా వ్యాప్తంగా సుమారు 18 గోల్ఫ్ కోర్సులను నిర్వహిస్తోంది. ఓ గోల్ఫ్‌ కోర్స్‌ నిర్మాణ సమయంలో స్థానికులకు, ట్రంప్‌కు మధ్య వివాదం రేగడంతో సుమారు 6000 ఉద్యోగాలు ఇస్తానని ఆయన హామీ ఇచ్చారు. కానీ ఆ గోల్ఫ్ కోర్స్‌ కేవలం 200 ఉద్యోగాలను మాత్రమే సృష్టించింది.

తర్వాత ట్రంప్‌ ఫుట్‌బాల్‌ లీగ్‌లు, సైక్లింగ్‌ వంటి వాటికి స్పాన్సర్‌గా వ్యవహరించారు.

నిత్యం వివాదాలను ఇష్టపడే ట్రంప్‌ మైక్‌ టైసన్‌ ఓ యువతిని గర్భవతిని చేసిన కేసుపై వివాదాస్పద వ్యాఖ్యలు చేశారు. ఈ కేసు బూటకమని ఆయన వ్యాఖ్యానించారు. ‘అలా అయితే చాలా మంది మహిళలు టైసన్‌ను బలాత్కరించారని’ ఆయన అన్నారు. టైసన్‌ను విడుదల చేసి పోటీల్లో పాల్గొనేలా అనుమతి ఇవ్వాలని డిమాండ్‌ చేశారు. కానీ అప్పట్లో టైసన్‌కు ఆరేళ్లు జైలు శిక్ష పడింది. పెరోల్‌పై వచ్చిన టైసన్‌ తన కెరీర్‌ను.. ట్రంప్‌తో స్నేహాన్ని కొనసాగించాడు. ట్రంప్‌ మాత్రం జైలు జీవితం అనంతరం టైసన్‌ పాల్గొన్న బౌట్లను ప్రమోట్‌ చేయలేదు.

అందంతో చెట్టాపట్టాలు..

ట్రంప్‌ కేవలం క్రీడలనే కాదు అందాల పోటీలను కూడా అద్భుతంగా ప్రమోట్‌ చేశారు. 1996 నుంచి 2015 వరకు మిస్‌ యూనివర్స్‌, మిస్‌ యూఎస్‌ఏ, మిస్‌టీన్‌ యూఎస్‌ఏ పోటీలను ఆయన ప్రమోట్‌ చేశారు. ఎక్కువ సార్లు మిస్‌వరల్డ్‌, మిస్‌ యూనివర్స్‌ పోటీలను ప్రమోట్‌ చేసిన వ్యక్తిగా ఆయన ఘనత సాధించారు. 2006 మిస్‌ అమెరికా కిరీట విజేత తారా కొకైన్‌ వాడిందని తెలిసినా ఆమెను విజేతగా కొనసాగించాలనే ట్రంప్‌ నిర్ణయం విమర్శలపాలైంది. ఈ పోటీ పక్షపాతంతో కొనసాగిందని పోటీలో పాల్గొన్న ఒక యువతి ఆరోపించింది. ఆమెపై కేసువేసి ట్రంప్‌ ఐదు మిలియన్‌ డాలర్లను రాబట్టారు.

2015లో ఎన్‌బీసీలో వాటాలు కొనుగోలు చేసి తానే మిస్‌ యూనివర్స్‌ ఆర్గనైజేషన్‌కు యజమానిని అని ప్రకటించారు. అదికాస్తా వివాదాస్పదమై కూర్చుంది. దీంతో కొన్నాళ్లకే దానిలోని వాటాలను విక్రయించేశారు.

సామాజిక కార్యక్రమాల్లో..

* అమెరికాలో స్థిరాస్తి వ్యాపారంలో శిక్షణ కోసం 2005లో ట్రంప్‌ యూనివర్శిటీని ఏర్పాటు చేశారు. కానీ దీనిపై పలు వ్యాజ్యాలు దాఖలవడంతో 2010లోనే దీనిని మూసివేశారు.

* 1988లో డొనాల్డ్‌ జె ట్రంప్‌ ఫౌండేషన్‌ను నెలకొల్పారు. దీనికి ట్రంప్‌ కంటే బయటవారే ఎక్కువ నిధులు ఇచ్చారు. రెజ్లమేనియా అనే కార్యక్రమంలో పాల్గొన్నందుకు వరల్డ్‌ రెజ్లింగ్‌ ఎంటర్‌టైన్‌మెంట్‌ యజమాని విన్స్‌, లిండా మెక్‌మెన్‌ జంట 5మిలియన్‌ డాలర్లను విరాళం ఇచ్చింది. ఈ ఫౌండేషన్‌ సమర్పించే రిటర్న్ లో ఆరోగ్యం, క్రీడలకు సంబంధించి దాతృత్వ కార్యక్రమాలను చేస్తున్నట్లు చెబుతున్నారు. కానీ దీనిలో పలు లొసుగులు ఉన్నాయని ది వాషింగ్టన్‌ పోస్టు పత్రిక ఆరోపించింది.

పన్ను వివాదాలు..

అమెరికా అధ్యక్ష ఎన్నికల ప్రచారం ప్రధానాంశాల్లో ట్రంప్‌ పన్ను ఎగవేత వ్యవహారం కూడా ఒకటి. ఆయన ఇప్పటి వరకు కొంత సమాచారాన్ని మాత్రమే ప్రజలకు అందజేశారు. పూర్తి సమాచారాన్ని మాత్రం ఇవ్వలేదు. ప్రస్తుతం అవి ఐఆర్‌ఎస్‌ పరిశీలనలో ఉన్నాయని వివరణ మాత్రం ఇచ్చారు. 2015లో ఆయన స్థూల ఆదాయాన్ని 611 మిలియన్‌ డాలర్లుగా పేర్కొన్నారు. ఇది కూడా వివాదాస్పదమైంది. ఫెడరల్‌ ఎలక్షన్‌ కమిషన్‌కు సమర్పించిన లెక్కల ప్రకారం ఆయన ఆదాయం 362 మిలియన్‌ డాలర్లని ఫార్చ్యూన్‌ పత్రిక పేర్కొంది. కానీ వీటిల్లో నుంచి ఖర్చులు తీసివేస్తే ఆయన ఆదాయం మూడో వంతు మాత్రమేనని తెలిపింది.

కేరికేచర్‌ వెర్షన్‌కు ఎమ్మీ అవార్డులు

ట్రంప్‌ కేరికేచర్‌ వెర్షన్‌కు రెండుసార్లు ఎమ్మీ అవార్డులు వచ్చాయి. లిటిల్‌ రాస్కెల్స్‌ సినిమాలో ఆయన ఆయిల్‌ టైకూన్‌ పాత్రను పోషించారు. ఆయన స్క్రీన్‌ యాక్టర్స్‌ గిల్డ్ లో సభ్యుడు. ఆయనకు ఇప్పటికీ ఏటా 1,10,000 డాలర్ల పింఛను వస్తుంది. వీటితోపాటు ఆయన ట్రంప్డ్‌ పేరుతో రేడియో కార్యక్రమాలను నిర్వహిస్తున్నారు. దీంతోపాటు వరల్డ్‌ రెజ్లింగ్‌ ఎంటర్‌టైన్‌మెంట్‌లో కూడా ఆయన కనిపించారు.

రాజకీయ ప్రస్థానం

ట్రంప్‌ రాజకీయ ప్రస్థానం పార్టీలు మారుతూ వచ్చింది. తొలుత ఆయన రిపబ్లికన్‌ పార్టీకి మద్దతు ఇచ్చారు. తర్వాత ఆయన రిఫార్మ్‌ పార్టీకి మారారు. మూడేళ్ల తర్వాత ఆయన డెమొక్రటిక్‌ పార్టీలో చేరారు. 2001 నుంచి 2008 వరకు ఆయన డెమొక్రాట్‌గా కొనసాగారు. తర్వాత ఆయన జాన్‌ మెకెయిన్‌ను అధ్యక్ష అభ్యర్థిగా బలపరుస్తూ రిపబ్లికన్‌ పార్టీలోకి వచ్చారు. ఆయన రిపబ్లికన్‌ పార్టీలోకి వచ్చే ముందు ఐదు నెలలపాటు తటస్థంగా ఉన్నారు. మొత్తం ఆరుగురు డెమొక్రటిక్‌, నలుగురు రిపబ్లికన్‌ పార్టీ అభ్యర్థులకు ఆయన సాయం చేశారు. వీరిలో రిపబ్లికన్‌ పార్టీ అభ్యర్థులకు అనుకూలంగా ఫలితాలు వచ్చాయి. దీంతో ఆయన రిపబ్లికన్లకు దగ్గరయ్యారు.

అధ్యక్ష అభ్యర్థిత్వం కోసం ప్రయత్నాలు

అధ్యక్ష అభ్యర్థిత్వం కోసం ట్రంప్‌ పలుమార్లు ప్రయత్నాలు చేశారు. 1988, 2004, 2012, అధ్యక్ష అభ్యర్థిత్వం కోసం ప్రయత్నించగా.. న్యూయార్క్‌ గవర్నర్‌ పదవిపై 2006, 2014లో దృష్టి పెట్టారు. కానీ ఆయన ప్రత్యక్షంగా రేసులోకి రాలేదు.

పలు ప్రయత్నాల అనంతరం 2015 జూన్‌ 16న అమెరికా అధ్యక్ష పదవి కోసం ఆయన అభ్యర్థిత్వాన్ని ప్రకటించుకున్నారు. మళ్లీ అమెరికాను ఉన్నత స్థానానికి చేరుస్తాను అనే నినాదంతో ఆయన ప్రచారం ప్రారంభించారు. ఈ క్రమంలో ఆయన విభిన్నమైన ప్రచారానికి తెరతీశారు. హిల్లరీ పై వ్యక్తిగత విమర్శలు చేయడం, మహిళల గురించి వివాదాస్పద వ్యాఖ్యలు, పన్ను ఉల్లంఘన వివాదాలు, లైంగిక వేధింపుల వివాదాలు ఆయన్ను చుట్టుముట్టాయి. మూడు సార్లు నిర్వహించిన జనరల్‌ ఎలక్షన్‌ డిబేట్స్‌లోను హిల్లరీ ఆధిపత్యం స్పష్టంగా కనిపించినా ఆయన ఏ మాత్రం వెరవకుండా ప్రచారం చేశారు. రిపబ్లికన్లు తనను వీడి వెళుతున్నా లెక్కచేయకపోవడం ట్రంప్‌ శైలికి నిదర్శనం. అంతిమంగా ఆయన అనుకున్నది సాధించారు. అమెరికా అధ్యక్షుడిగా అవతరించారు.

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Hillary, Trump Make Final Pitch

Venkata Kondubhatla

Washington D.C.: Hillary Clinton concluded her campaign by urging voters to vote for inclusiveness and big-heartedness. Her campaign’s slogan was “stronger together”. Donald Trump, on the other hand, finished his rally by promising voters of replacing corrupt political class and making America great and safe again.

Both the presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, made final pitch to the American voters, the night before the election.Hillary event was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,while Trump made his final campaign speech at Manchester, New Hampshire. Both of these are key battleground states.

Huge crowds attended both the speeches. Hillary stage was filled with dignitaries. American President Barrack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hillary’s husband and former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton accompanied Hillary.

Hillary asked for votes by repeating that she wanted to be president to all. She said everyone should have a chance live up to full potential. She criticized Trump for lashing out at Khizr Khan, whose son died in Iraq war, and asked if Captain Khan has a place in Trump’s America.

She applauded diversity in the country and promised to build bridges instead of walls, as her opponent has been saying.

Donald Trump began his speech after introducing his family. He said two great people in the football world – Tom Brady, a football player, and Bill Belichick, American football coach, support him. Both of them are very famous among football lovers.

Trump said corrupt special interest has stolen voter’s jobs. He said real change would come by repealing Obama care. Hillary is protected by a totally rigged system, he said referring to email scandal. Trump also criticized media as he did earlier by calling them (most of them) dishonest people. Mike Pence, his running mate, also spoke earlier to Trump.

Michelle and Barrack Obama supported Hillary. Obama said that he was optimistic as he was in 2008. He urged voters to vote for “hope” and not for “fear”.Obama ridiculed Trump and said, “his campaign won’t trust him with his tweets, and how can we believe him with nuclear weapon”.

Michelle said that Clinton sees diversity not as a threat, as her opponent does, but rather as an opportunity.

The rallies of both the campaigns have ended as the voting begins November 8. The results will pour in from the East Coast states,as they are the first to finish the voting. By Wednesday morning, the world will know who will be the next president of America.

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Trump’s Gain Makes The Presidential Race Tighter

Venkata Kondubhatla

Washington DC: With general elections fast approaching, a new set of polls are released with bevy of new data at hand that suggests that Clinton is ahead of Trump by about 3 percentage points, but Trump has gained some traction.

According to Fivethirtyeight.com, a news agency based in New york, the national polls average –- about 628 national polls surveyed by various polling firms — as of September 9 indicates that Clinton has about 42.5 percent of chances of winning the election, and Trump has about 38.4 percent of chances of winning, while Garry Johnson, who is a libertarian presidential candidate, is at some 8.7 percent.

Different polling firms have different methodologies they follow, and there is always an adjustment factor to be taken into account.

Venkata Kondubhatla

Venkata Kondubhatla

However, one thing appears clear. The polls after the Democratic National Convention that ended on July 28 had suggested a peak toward Clinton in terms of percentage points, and a decline for Trump. But the latest polls suggest that their trends are flipping.

To be precise, just before the Democratic convention, both the candidates came very close: Clinton at 40.6 percent and Trump at 39.7 percent. But soon after the convention, their graphs had diverged. At some point, the candidates differed by about 8 points in the national polls – Clinton at 44.4 percent, and Trump at 36.4 percent.

But the latest polls tell that the graphs are converging back again with Trump gaining and Clinton losing and overall tightening the race.

Why is Trump Gaining?

Dana Bash, CNN political reporter, said in the channel debate that Trump has become more disciplined, which is not usually ascertained to any regular politician, and Clinton cannot afford to be laid back and let Trump become the news any more and that she needs to actively begin to attack him.

Harry Enton, a senior political writer, has a different theory. He says both the candidates were flawed and the American people were not in love with either one. When people are reminded of a candidate’s flaws, they seem to oscillate back to the undecided or towards the other candidate, Enton said.

If we go by his theory, Trump’s bounce back makes sense. Clinton has been engulfed by the email scam and the allegations of fraud investments in Clinton Foundation. Her trust problem has only grown lately with FBI interviewing her regarding her emails while she was state secretary. The Foundation allegations were also at peak. There is a chance that a section of people may have embraced Donald Trump repulsed by the allegations.

But Trump is also not without controversies. His flip-flops on immigration and on whether he had supported Iraq war have become discussion topics in the newsrooms. On top of that, his recent praises of Vladimir Putin and his statement that Putin is much better than Obama have made him news.

Whatever the reason may have been, the upcoming presidential debates are critical to gain trust and to make a final appeal. Whoever handles the public scrutiny better will have an edge over the other in the elections.

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Hillary May Not be a Blessing but Trump Could be Disastrous for H1B Indian Workers

Venkata Kondubhatla

Washington DC: When it comes to H1B visas, Hillary may not be a blessing for Indian workers, but Trump could prove to be disastrous. Though both the candidates haven’t made their stances clear yet, Trump puts more emphasis on hiring American workers first before welcoming H1B workers.

Trump hasn’t repeated anything near to or as strong as ending the H1B visa, recently, but in March, he said, “it’s unfair for our workers and we should end it.”

The republican nominee has lately brought to the fore the immigration issue with the radical shift in his policy. Though he didn’t say anything specific about the H1B visa, his immigration policy overall seems to be a bad news for the foreign workers.

Trump’s recent strong words though were more to do with the illegal immigrants in America. He said as a president he would deport all the illegal immigrants and bring back “the good ones.” When asked what he would do if the immigrants had no place to return, he reiterated, “They have to go.”  

However, when it comes to H1B visa, one debate is whether the incoming president would increase the visa cap. At present, there are about 85,000 visas– with 20,000 reserved for candidates with advanced degrees in America — available annually for the skilled workers. With growing demand, there was a bill introduced in 2015 to increase the cap to 195,000.

Clinton supports the bill and says that the increase would push the technology development forward in the country. At the same time, she expresses the need for being able to employ Americans. She is pressured by the technology companies to increase the cap.There is a chance that she would approve the bill with some limitations on the cap. The prior increases in the cap were during the Bill Clinton’s presidency.

In the case of Trump, it is unclear whether he supports the bill, but he had certainly expressed his concerns about the collapsing wages, especially in the technology sector,because of the H1B visas.

Trump says,“We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H1B program.” He wants to increase the H1B wages by putting an income requirement on the visa, so that the companies see no profit in hiring H1B candidates and rather go for Americans first. 

Trump argues that with 92 million Americans outside the workforce and incomes collapsing, we need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. 

4 Responses

  1. joe says:

    We should end the H-1B abuse of these tech companies from India. This all comes at the expense of American Workers. It is all about the huge dollar difference in labor costs between the two countries. Who would of ever guessed the US would allow 800,000 H-1B workers in America and putting American workers on the unemployment line. What a joke!

    • I lo says:

      Agree, but I think the number of h1b are approx 2.5 million. 470,000 x 6 yrs. also Obama granted full work visas to spouses of h1b

  1. September 5, 2016

    […] trade tariffs in general, and when it comes to TPP his policy remains the same. Still, Trump’s flip flop on H1B visa is likely to hurt the outsourcing companies in India, such as Infosys and Wipro, that depend on H1B […]

  2. September 11, 2016

    […] Trump is also not without controversies. His flip-flops on immigration and on whether he had supported Iraq war have become discussion topics in the newsrooms. On top of […]

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