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Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with President-elect Donald Trump

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Former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas leaving Trump Tower, where President-elect Donald J. Trump is interviewing candidates for top administration posts, on Monday.

Former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas leaving Trump Tower, where President-elect Donald J. Trump is interviewing candidates for top administration posts, on Monday.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — On the surface, Monday’s meeting between Republican President-elect Donald Trump and Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard raised several questions and thoughts of confusion.

On Election Day, Hawaii was Donald Trump’s single worst state — he only got 29 percent of the vote — and it’s categorized as one of the U.S.’s most diverse areas, white people only make up about one-quarter of the population.

But if you knew Gabbard on a more personal level, the meeting would make much more sense.

“She is probably the most Trumpian Democrat in Congress,” a Democrat who worked for Gabbard granted anonymity in order to speak candidly told NBC News. “If Trump is going to do outreach to a Democrat, she is the least shocking person he could do.”

A Gabbard spokeswoman denied rumors last week that the congresswoman is being considered for a job in Trump’s administration.

The 35-year-old congresswoman is also a veteran of the Iraq War is widely considered as a rising start in her party, though she had a rather public divorce with the party earlier this year. She abruptly resigned her post as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, at the same time she accused party leadership of rigging the primary process for its eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Sanders embraced Gabbard’s support and employed her as an agent for his campaign.

However, Gabbard’s ideology doesn’t always side with the traditional pillars of her party. She holds more conservative views on issues like gun control and the admittance of Syrian refugees.

She’s been even more animated on her stance on foreign policy, where she might find some common ground with Trump. She’s a hard-line anti-interventionist who rails against neoconservatives while also appearing on Fox News to lambaste the Obama administration for refusing to use the term “Islamic extremism.”

In a statement released after her meeting with the Republican in Trump Tower, Gabbard said that she felt it was important to meet with president-elect “before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government.”

“While the rules of political expediency would say I should have refused to meet with President-elect Trump, I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives,” Gabbard continued. “Where I disagree with President-elect Trump on issues, I will not hesitate to express that disagreement.”

Last week, Gabbard’s signature was left off a letter signed by 169 House Democrats condemning Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s White House appointment, and has been far less vocal than her party counterparts on some of Trump’s other cabinet selections. Democrats have objected to Bannon in part due to his hard-right website, Breitbart, which Bannon has described as a “platform for the alt-right,” a white nationalist movement.

Some Democrats were stunned by Gabbard’s meeting with Trump, especially during a time which they think so many progressives are calling for the total obstruction of the president-elect. Jonathan Tasini, a former Sanders surrogate, said on Twitter that Gabbard’s meeting “normalizes a racist.”

Some say it’s an example of Gabbard taking advantage of an opportunity.

“Honestly, since her endorsement of Bernie Sanders, lots of folks who liked her more or less decided to hold back. Seemed like she was interested in advancing for advancing sake as opposed to working on strengthening the party. As a result, I think she fell out of touch with a lot of institutional people in the party,” said a Democratic donor who co-hosted a fundraiser for Gabbard’s initial election bid. “If those avenues are closed off in terms of advancement in House/DNC, no surprise she’d seek an escape valve to increase her own profile.”

But Tim Vandeveer, a Sanders supporter elected this year as chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, defended Gabbard’s decision.

“Given the reality that we’re facing now with President-elect Trump, and an administration that we’ve already seen is going to lean heavily on neoconservatives who are going to rattle the sabers of war, I think it’s a good idea for Democrats to engage and stand up for our values,” said Vandeveer. “In general, normalizing Donald Trump is a huge concern to Democrats. However, it doesn’t change the reality that this is the man and this is the administration that we are going to have to stand in opposition against and at times possibly work with to advance our own agenda.”

Information from NBC News contributed to this report. 

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Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

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Tez

Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.
Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Diya TV) — Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.

Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India. The app allow users to link their smartphones with their bank accounts and pay for goods and services online and at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Users can also make person-to-person instant money transfers, similar to PayPal.

With Tez, users pay directly from their bank account, using a Unified Payments Interface. Currently, the app works with all major banks, including Google partners Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI and State Bank of India.

Tez is not a mobile wallet like PayTM and MobiKwik. Rather, instead of users storing money, it works more like Apple Wallet, linking the bank account, allowing payments to be deducted from the account.

According to Tez, it’s Tez Shield built-in security “helps to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify your identity.” Each transaction is secured with the user’s UPI PIN. Additionally, the app is secured with a Google PIN or a screen lock method such as fingerprint.

Tez says the app has partnered with a myriad of apps and vendors, including RedBus, PVR, Domino’s, Dish TV and Jet Airways. The app supports multiple languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Business owners can use the Tez with their current account to start accepting digital payments. Payments will go directly to their bank accounts “without any additional cost incurred for the transaction.”

During a launch event in Delhi, Caesar Sengupta, the head of Google’s Next Billion program said the app “works with the vast majority of Android smartphones in the country.”

The app launch took place on Sept. 18 with India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying, “Tez by Google is perhaps the simplest form of monetary transactions.”

Since launching on Google Play and iTunes store, the app has received positive reviews by users. On the Android platform, of nearly 15,000 reviews and over 100,000 users, the app has a 3.8 star rating, with over half of the reviews being 5-star. On the Apple platform, Tez has a 4.5-star rating with 15 reviews.

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Mahindra and Ford Announce Strategic Cooperation

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Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

DEARBORN, Mich. (Diya TV) — Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford and Mahindra’s strengths, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

A Sept. 18 announcement by Ford says the “agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry.”

Areas of cooperation include:mobility programs; connected vehicle projects; electrification; product development; sourcing and commercial efficiencies; distribution within India; improving Ford’s reach within India; and improving Mahindra’s reach beyond India.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” stated Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets.

Ford and Mahindra will work together for a period of up to three years. Following that the period may be extended.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities …,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra.

Mahindra is one of the leading utility vehicle manufacturers in India for over 70 years.

Mahindra owns a majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea and is developing products like the GenZe – the world’s first electric connected scooter.

Ford is one of the largest exporters of cars from the U.S., manufacturing and exporting vehicles and engines from its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 people working across the Ford India and Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai, and Coimbatore.

The Mahindra Group is a $19 billion federation of companies focused on “innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities.”

It is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and motorcycles. Mahindra employs over 200,000 people across 100 countries.

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide.

The two companies had a brief 1995 partnership for manufacturing the Ford Escort. However, after three years, the partnership ceased.

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Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

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Duke University India

North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

DURHAM, N.C. (Diya TV) — North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

Duke University India “aims to expand the existing Duke-India partnerships, which include academic exchange programs and research collaborations,” Duke Today reported.

https://youtu.be/SLGE2vf-hTo

According to the report, the University’s current partners in India include NITI-Aayog, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, Narayana Health City, IIM – Udaipur, IIM – Ahmedabad, and IIT- Gandhinagar.

Duke hosted a launch event on Sept. 18, celebrating the commencement of operations, featuring a conversation between Dr. Michael Merson, vice president and vice provost for global affairs at Duke and Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health.

“I think we cannot think of education if we don’t think of global education,” Namrata Jha, executive director of Duke University India said in a video posted by Duke Global. “Duke University has opened a new office in India, based in Bangalore to create more partnerships – research collaborations, university partnerships, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, learning from the community, giving back to the community. And my team at Duke University’s office in India will be working with faculty at Duke to make that happen.”

“India is unique. While it has lots of challenges, it is also a hub of intellect, of forward-looking thinking, young minds. It’s a fertile ground for doing something groundbreaking in this world. If the technological innovation and great minds of Duke University could tap into the young minds of India, I think we can create wonders,” she added.

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina.  More than 430 Indian students are currently enrolled there and nearly 700 Duke Alumni live in India.

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