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Indian American Sikh Presented with Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award January 19, 2019 08:59

An Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gurinder Singh Khalsa, has been bestowed with the prestigious Rosa Park Trailblazer award for his campaign that forced authorities of the United States to change their policy towards headgear of the Sikh community.Khalsa, 45, from Indianapolis, has presented the award for his continued demonstration of courage and compassion.The organizers of the event said Khalsa in 2007 was refused access to board an airplane because of his turban. Thereafter Khalsa mobilized more than 67,000 people across the nation for petitions and took the issue to all the way to the U.S. Congress, which forced Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to change its headgear policy towards the Sikh community.As a consequence, Sikhs can now wear their turban through airport security in the U.S."I was prevented from boarding the flight because I refused to remove my turban. I took this stand for all those who believe in religious liberty and freedom of faith," Khalsa, who also heads the Indiana-based Sikhs Political Affairs Committee, said.Khalsa dedicated the award to the Sikh community."This award is not about me. Change does not exist without the support of a community. I dedicate this award to more than 67,000 individuals from all walks of life across America, and to one of the largest Sikh advocacy group, Sikh Coalition. Without their countless efforts change in the TSA Turban policy would not exist," he said.The award ceremony was attended by top State officials and eminent community leaders."Sometimes those who bravely protest for civil rights are stereotyped as somehow threatening figures - perhaps simply because of the raw courage required to fight for justice. But in the personalities of both Gurinder and Rosa, we see the great power of quiet resolve," Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said."I know that Gurinder in his lifetime has experienced and witnessed certain perceptions and situations that have been unjust. But in his cheerful and dignified manner, he has stood for justice and free speech and freedom of religion and for so many truly American principles that make our nation great," he said.Indiana State Assembly Speaker Brian C Bosma congratulated Khalsa on receiving the 2019 Rosa Parks Trailblazer award for his principled commitment to faith and his "pursuit of positive change" that embodies the American principles of free speech and religious freedom.-Sowmya Sangam

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Six Types of Shirt Every Man Should Own January 19, 2019 08:42

There are different items of clothing that suit the best to different occasions and with all of its distinct variants, the shirt is without uncertainty the most versatile article of dress. But which types of the shirt should you stock your closet with to guarantee you have all bases stylishly covered? Dress Shirt A classic evening or dress shirt will typically be cut from pique fabric, which was originally chosen for its ability to hold starch and keep the fabric crisp and stiff.                        Image source: Target Cuban Collar Short Sleeve Shirt This breezy summer staple has always looked good and is a must-have for most guys, but there are a few considerations to be made.                        Image source: Fashionbeans“Approach with caution,” warns personal stylist Daniel Johnson. “This style is not for the thicker necked bloke. Make sure to get it right on the body too, or it’ll look like a pajama top.“The golden rule, as ever with short sleeves is make them fit to the arm - baggy sleeves make arms look skinnier and skinny arms make a chest look smaller - not great.” Oxford Button-Down Shirt This timeless piece serves as the most versatile pieces in any wardrobe, which gives a casual edge                        Image source: Target Overshirt The overshirt’s beauty lies in its versatility and they are best suited when the weather is warmer.                        Image source: The Idle Man Office Shirt As the name suggests, you can probably clock into your workplace with an office shirt.                        Image source: Anuna Mart “There is nothing like the smooth, formal appearance of good quality two-fold poplin cotton for an everyday work shirt,” says Willis. “Textures such as twills, oxfords, and herringbones are perfect for a more casual shirt giving interest without a tie, but for that immaculate, clean, no-nonsense business look a plain white or palest blue gleaming with quality poplin shirt and tie cannot be beaten.” Classic Short Sleeve Shirt A short-sleeve shirt works with most summer legwear from shorts and chinos to lighter denim and linen trousers.                        Image source: The Hut Wear casually, usually without tucking it in. Make certain the sleeve ends no higher than mid-bicep and never wear it with a suit.-Sowmya Sangam

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Kamala Harris Picks Baltimore as 2020 Headquarters: Reports January 19, 2019 06:13

The first Indian origin senator of the United States, Kamala Harris, has picked Baltimore as headquarters of her potential 2020 presidential campaign, according to a media report.Though Harris, 54, did not officially announce her 2020 presidential bid, the reports in mainstream United States media suggest that it might be announced shortly.If, as expected, she runs for president in 2020, Harris has chosen Baltimore for her campaign headquarters, according to sources familiar.“Harris picked Baltimore because of its diversity, its proximity to Washington and because it is in the Eastern time zone, said the sources, who requested anonymity because Harris has not yet announced her plans,” Local Baltimore Sun reported.“It’s the right choice," said Krish Vignarajah, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, told Baltimore Sun.“The race ought to focus on the future of cities like Baltimore. And Senator Harris is incredibly inspiring - hard not to love a strong, vertically challenged woman of color!” she said.Earlier this week, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the U.S. Congress has announced that she is running for 2020 presidential election. Related content: Tulsi Gabbard Announces 2020 Presidential BidAmong other potential candidates are former vice president Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Senators. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.The 2020 presidential primary cycle is scheduled to commence from the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, 2020, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 11, Nevada caucus on February 15 and South Carolina on February 22.-Sowmya Sangam

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Spend Your Time off with These Worthy Books by Indian American Authors January 19, 2019 05:54

If you are novels freak and like to spend your weekend with some promising ones, then go grab a blanket, a hot coffee and one of these works by Indian American authors. The Forest of Enchantments Author: Chitra Banerjee DivakaruniGenre: Fiction                        Image source: Sri Lanka Guardian Anyone with keenness on Indian literature can grab this book, as in this splendid retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the center of the novel - this is Sita’s version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, oftentimes misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. About AuthorChitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, activist, poet, and teacher of writing. Her work has been published widely, in anthologies, magazines, and her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages. Several of her works have been made into films and plays. The Truths We Hold Author: Kamala HarrisGenre: Biography & Autobiography - Political The book is about the journey of one the most promising political leaders in the nation.The Truths We Hold is a biographical ode to the values Kamala Harris holds most dear - those of community, equality, and justice - all of which helped shape her choices on her path to the Senate. About AuthorBorn to immigrants, Kamala D. Harris is a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader and is currently serving as a U.S. Senator from California. Immigrant, Montana Author: Amitava KumarGenre: Fiction                        Image source: WAMC About AuthorAmitava Kumar, an Indian writer, and journalist have till now authored several books of non-fiction and a novel. His non-fiction and poetry have been published in the New York Times, Granta, the New Yorker, and the Guardian, among other places. He currently lives in upstate New York, where he is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. Love, Hate and Other Filters Author: Samira AhmedGenre: Fiction In this debut novel, an Indian-American Muslim teen copes with Islamophobia, cultural divides among parents and peers, and a reality she can neither explain nor escape.About AuthorBorn in Bombay, India, Samira Ahmed grew up in Batavia, Illinois. She currently resides in the Midwest. She has lived in Vermont, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango. Girls Burn Brighter Author: Shobha RaoGenre: Literary fiction The debut novel set in India and America is regarding a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart yet never end making an effort to find one another again.About AuthorShobha Rao moved to the United States at the age of seven. She is the winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, and her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015. She is the writer of the short story collection, An Unrestored Woman. Currently, she lives in San Francisco. Not Quite Not White Author: Sharmila SenGenre: Biography, AutobiographyThe book is a memoir-manifesto about race, immigration, and assimilation. In what way an Indian American woman navigated through her journey into the heart of "not whiteness"About AuthorSharmila Sen grew up in Calcutta, India, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. Presently, she is executive editor-at-large at Harvard University Press.Sharmila has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. She has addressed on culture and postcolonial literature around the world and as well published essays on immigration and racism.-Sowmya Sangam

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Nagarjuna's Next Film Finalized January 18, 2019 13:20

King Nagarjuna is left in shock with back to back debacles. His career went down hill from the past couple of years and the actor is on a break. Nag is busy with the shoot of his next film titled Brahmastra directed by Ayan Mukherjee. Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Alia Bhatt are the lead actors in this action thriller that will release this year. Nagarjuna will be seen in a cameo in this film. As per the latest news, the actor signed his next film titled Bangarraju. Kalyan Krishna Kurasala who directed Soggade Chinni Nayana will direct this film which is a sequel for Soggade Chinni Nayana. Young actor Naga Chaitanya will be seen in a special role in this village based family drama. The regular shoot commences from April this year and Annapurna Studios will produce Bangarraju. The makers are keen on releasing this film during Sankranthi 2019.

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Indian Techie Becomes World’s Youngest to Climb 7 Volcanic Peaks January 18, 2019 12:39

Bengaluru based techie Satyarup Siddhanta, 35, set foot on the 4,285-metre high volcanic peak, Mt. Sidley in Antarctica, at 6:28 a.m. (Indian Standard Time) on Wednesday, becoming the youngest person in the world, taking 274 days to scale the tallest volcanoes and volcanoes in all seven continents.According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Daniel Bull, an Australian, was the youngest to climb these peaks. He achieved it at the age of 36 years and 157 days, completing the summits between 2006 and 2017.“At 10:10 Fluttered the india flag at sidley what a proud moment,” (sic) he tweeted. At 10:10 Fluttered the india flag at sidley what a proud moment | Find me with inReach➜https://t.co/uNb1Kmko0r — Satyarup Siddhanta (@SatyarupS) January 16, 2019 Earlier this year, he scaled Pico de Orizaba which is the highest volcanic peak in North America.Based in Bengaluru, Siddhanta hails from Haridevpur in South Kolkata and is a software engineer by profession.He holds the record of conquering several summits such as Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt Elbrus in Europe, Mt Denali in Alaska and Mt Monch Blanc in France.-Sowmya Sangam

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‘Sridevi Just a Name’: Priya Varrier on ‘Sridevi Bungalow’ Row January 18, 2019 12:15

Priya Prakash Varrier, who became a viral internet sensation overnight with a wink scene in Malayalam film Oru Adar Love, has landed in trouble after the release of the trailer of her debut Bollywood film Sridevi Bungalow. The trailer of the film is being heavily criticized for allegedly sharing similarities with the life of late actress Sridevi. Twitterati had slammed the makers over generating buzz around the tragedy. Addressing the controversy in a recent interview with Times of India, Priya said, “Sridevi is just the name of my character in the movie. Who would want to create such controversies? I think the curiosity surrounding the trailer is good and we have to leave it to the audience to judge if the film is based on the veteran actress Sridevi ma’am.” The director of the film Prashant Mambully claiming the movie as crime-thriller as well came out in the film's defense. He is apparently annoyed over the fact that people are generating negative publicity for the film. “We would like to leave it to the audience to decide. The film is a crime thriller and it is important to maintain the suspense of the story. I cannot walk around and reveal the plot to all. I am a hardcore fan of actress Sridevi and I respect and admire her a lot,” he said. According to reports, Boney Kapoor, husband of the late actress, has sent a legal notice to the makers of the film over the film’s title and the depiction of the main character’s death. Priya plays the lead role as the successful but lonely actor in the film. According to the report, friends of the Kapoors say that the filmmaker will not rest easy until the project is aborted. “For Boney, a sleazy representation of his wife’s life is unacceptable. He will not rest easy until this project is aborted,” a close friend told the daily. -Sowmya      

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India Beats Australia to Win ODI Series January 18, 2019 11:48

The team India has clinched the one-day international series with a seven-wicket victory with four balls to spare in the third and deciding game against Australia in Melbourne on Friday.Veteran wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a highly skillful manner lead India to the win with an unbeaten 87 with substantial support from Kedar Jadhav on 61 not out.India completed the thoroughly-successful tour of Australia winning the One Day International (ODI) series for the first time in the country. Twitter exploded with congratulatory messages for the Men in Blue. Wonderful calm, composed innings from Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav playing a very important hand. So India do the double, win the test and the one-day series as well. This has been a very fruitful Australia tour for Team India . — VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 18, 2019 Doesn’t hit those massive sixes but rotates the strike well,knows his boundary areas that’s the reason his strike rate is always close to 100. Top inning that by @JadhavKedar #AUSvSL — Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) January 18, 2019 's dream run in this tour to ends with a bang!Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) time this chase to perfection.Not to forget @yuzi_chahal's 6-fer that set the tone for initially.Their first ever bilateral ODI series win in . win by 7 wickets#AUSvIND #PlayBold — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) January 18, 2019 Now that is the performance of a champion. MS Dhoni is man of the series. Brilliant. — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 18, 2019 Super Game of well done boys @BCCI more than the series result I think big big plus for India it’s good to see @msdhoni s form going forward which is going to be very crucial.. sabash @JadhavKedar mza aa gya 2-1 great way to finish the tour — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 18, 2019 Super successful test series and India addressing all the concerns in the ODI side in style. Chahal and Kedar granbing their chances in style, Bhuvi back at his best, Shami impressive and most importantly Dhoni answering with the bat in style — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 18, 2019 Om Finishaya Namah !Test Series ODI Series — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 18, 2019 India win the match and the series! Dhoni has done it again to guide them home unbeaten on 87* with four balls to spare: https://t.co/6xmi9N8VsW #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/44dGhxldTL — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019 Keep Calm, and MSD A series-winning knock, in which Australia will rue the two dropshttps://t.co/0pLTVqQi1s #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/FHq1HjJqol — ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 18, 2019 -Sowmya Sangam

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H-1B Visa Holders are ‘Underpaid, Vulnerable to Abuse’: U.S. Think-Tank January 18, 2019 10:46

The United States think-tank on Thursday claimed that the workers under the H-1B visa programme are “vulnerable to abuse” and “frequently” placed in poor working conditions.In the report, seeking reforms such as a substantial increase in wages, the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council also sought safeguards for those working under the visa programme such as providing greater employment rights and fair working conditions. “H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.,” Trump had tweet Friday.Authored by Ron Hira from Howard University and head of South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, Bharat Gopalaswamy, the report says the current system not only harms Americans, but it also enables H-1B workers to be exploited. “H-1B workers themselves are underpaid, vulnerable to abuse, and frequently placed in poor working conditions. Adopting safeguards to ensure H-1B workers are paid appropriate wages, provided fair working conditions, and given greater employment rights would not only improve their lives but would also better protect U.S. workers,” it said.The report said adopting adequate safeguards would also ensure the H-1B programme contributes to the United States economy by filling genuine shortages in the labor market with foreign workers who possess rare skills and can be rightly characterized as the “best and brightest”.Reforms SuggestedThree key reforms were suggested by think-tank saying these should apply to all employers and not simply a subset of them.“The first, and most important, reform is to substantially raise the wages of H-1B workers. If the United States is going to invite in the “best and brightest” workers, they ought to be paid in the top quartile,” the report said.Second, employers should demonstrate they have actively recruited US workers, and offered positions to qualified people, prior to turning to the H-1B programme, it said. The report observed that the rationale of the H-1B programme is to fill labor gaps and not merely to swell the pool of candidates for employers, the report observed.“Third, the programme needs an effective and efficient enforcement mechanism,” the think-tank said, claiming that the current programme compliance is complaint-driven, resting almost entirely on whistleblowers to reduce fraud. This is a poor design, it said.The Atlantic Council said there should be adjustments to the allocation process. “It makes no sense to allocate H-1B on a first-come, first served basis or, even worse, by random lottery - as occurs when the program is immediately oversubscribed,” it said.-Sowmya Sangam

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Smelling High-Calorie Food for 2 Minutes Can Help You Eat Less: Study January 18, 2019 10:42

Every so often when you enter a restaurant, the aroma of pizzas, burger or sandwiches may entice you but you refrain yourself from eating them due to high calorie it contains. Are you on a diet and still can’t control yourself from eating high-calorie food? Okay, here’s a piece of good news for you. A study suggests that smelling the food items for longer than 2 minutes will make you feel satiated. The researchers, including one Indian origin, said that ambient food scent can directly satisfy the belly because the brain does not necessarily differentiate the source of sensory pleasure. "Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods. In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children's and adults' food choices than restrictive policies," said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida. A direct connection has been discovered between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. A series of tests were also conducted by the researchers using a nebulizer that individually gave off the smell of healthy and unhealthy food items (strawberries versus cookies, pizza versus apples). The findings, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, showed that participants exposed to the scent of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more probable to want a cookie. However, those exposed for longer than two minutes did not find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries as an alternative. The results were similar in case of the scent of pizza and apples.The study further noted that since non-indulgent foods do not give off much of an ambient scent, they are typically not connected with reward, thus they have little influence on what we order. Since high caloric foods are high in sugars and fats, the extraordinary consumption of these type of foods increase the risk factors for heart disease, obesity type-2 diabetes as well as cancers.-Sowmya Sangam

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