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President Trump departs Israel with peace in mind, but details are scarce

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Donald Trump

President Trump with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Just to make sure there wasn’t a shed of doubt in your mind, President Trump made it exceedingly clear: He wants a deal. “I intend to do everything I can,” he said on Tuesday.

The President officially departed after a 28-hour stay in Israel, which included a visit to the West Wall, and meetings the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

“President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith,” Trump said in Bethlehem, standing alongside Abbas. “And Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same.”

What President Trump failed to do was reveal the slightest hint of what, if anything, was behind it: He applied the most minimal amount of pressure on either of the leaders. Gone were the usual talks and comments of borders, settlements, of incitement of terrorism or of the long and gnarled history of two peoples on the same land. He did not once speak on or acknowledge his campaign promise of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, or recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Nor was there a process for what comes next.

“This is a visit that has no substance,” said Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian pollster and political analyst.

Donald Trump

Trump and his wife, Melania, laid a wreath on Tuesday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

 

That does not mean, others have been quick to point out, the trip, Trump’s first abroad as U.S. president, was not useful in the building of bridges, in perhaps re-setting or setting a different tone, in showing Israelis full support and Palestinians respect. Trump made it crystal clear the new relationship Israel seeks with its Sunni neighbors, some of whom he had met with in Saudi Arabia before touching down in Israel, can be linked to progress with Palestine.

Most experts have agreed Trump succeeded in such tasks, with few of the missteps that have dogged him at home.

Netanyahu, pressed by conservatives in his coalition, got much of what he wanted in a speech delivered Tuesday by Trump at the Israel Museum that adopted much of the prime minister’s own worldview — the image of a democratic Israel defending itself against enemies such as Iran.

“Through it all, they have endured and, in fact, they have thrived,” Trump said. “I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people, and I make this promise to you: My administration will always stand with Israel.”

These words delivered were followed immediately by a standing ovation, and a handshake from Netanyahu.

Trump went on to note that Iran has committed itself to Israel’s destruction.

“Not with Donald J. Trump, believe me,” he said, vehemently, to the crowd’s delight. “Thank you,” Trump said, adding, “I like you, too.”

While the trip was focused almost completely on Israel, Abbas, struggling to maintain sway after years in power, got at least some of what he wanted as he hosted Trump in Bethlehem as a seeming equal. His trip and hourlong meeting with Abbas had all the pomp and circumstance of an official state visit — a quickly corrected schedule posted by the White House even referred to “Palestine,” which many Israelis object to as a recognition of a Palestinian state.

Abbas, who met with Mr. Trump this month in Washington, repeated “our commitment to cooperate with you in order to make peace and forge a historic peace deal.”

In the byzantine world of Middle East peacemaking, the White House’s approach, appearing to lack the clarity of meetings past, may be a good thing at this stage. Trump’s advisers say that instead of pressuring and dictating, the way former Secretary of State John Kerry did during past failed peace efforts, ambiguity leaves them room to maneuver.

However, in their meetings, neither of Trump’s partners moved even an inch from their long-held positions and used their American guest in separate meetings to lash out at each other.

Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader and the head of Israel’s Labor Party, said that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser on the Middle East, had told him that the United States intended to follow up quickly with a process moving toward an agreement. Israeli and Palestinian officials were mum about private talks.

“Is anything behind all of this? That, only the prime minister knows,” said Mitchell Barak, an Israeli pollster and former political adviser. “This is probably the way he did business. From what I can see, he goes into a meeting, he puts on a show. He’s the Liberace of world leaders,” he added of Trump.

Decades of American-led peacemaking has resulted in little when it comes to a deal with the Palestinians. But there is precedent for strict secrecy in the early stages, if that is what is happening.

Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization officials met in secret in hotel rooms and country estates and came up with the principles that led to the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, with the Norwegians acting as a conduit. The United States were not active in these talks. The Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty signed in 1994 was also the culmination of decades of secret bilateral contacts.

“A good visit,” said Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a historian. “Now we will see how we will build on it.”

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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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Ford Mahindra

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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