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NRI millionaire's arrest sends tremors through Britain’s establishment
Report dated 16/02/2014 @ 2:15 PM
Multi-millionaire Sudhir Choudhrie and his son Bhanu, well-known major political donors to deputy PM Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats party, were arrested by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on allegations of bribery at aerospace and defence major Rolls-Royce. They were questioned for several hours before being bailed without conditions.
Britain's coalition partners the Lib Dems are now under the spotlight over their close links with Choudhrie (aka Bunny), who has since 2004 given the party over 1.5 million pounds.
The Choudhries have regularly attended various events alongside Clegg and other senior Lib Dems, including Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem Justice Minister, who received a 60,000 pound donation from Choudhrie last year.
Entrepreneur Choudhrie who moved to the UK in 2002, is now based at a 5-million pound apartment in Chelsea and has been on a list of nominations from Clegg's office to be a Lib Dem peer in the House of Lords, but his name did not go forward in 2013, for reasons unknown. His son Bhanu manages the family business, C&C Alpha Group, as its chief executive. The group runs hospitals and care homes across the UK, as well as a number of other ventures, including real estate.
Some reports say Indian authorities recently dropped a separate investigation into Choudhrie as part of a probe into deals done by Italian consortium Finmeccanica. No charges were brought against him and he denied all wrongdoing.
NRI student dies in Australian immigration detention centre
Report dated 16/02/2014 @ 2:03 PM
A 27-year-old NRI student who had overstayed his visa and was detained in January, has died at an immigration detention centre in Melbourne.
Authorities say the man hung himself in his cell and was found unconscious by staff at the centre. Immigration minister Scott Morrison confirmed his death and police said the death is not being considered suspicious.
The provincial government expressed its sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased man and will provide support to the police and other authorities to assist with their investigations.
End of boycott : US Ambassador meets Narendra Modi
Report dated 16/02/2014 @ 1:26 PM
US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell met with Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist leader and possibly India's next prime minister, in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, where he is chief minister. It was the highest-profile encounter between US officials and Modi since the State Department revoked his visa in 2005 over the Gujarat riots three years earlier.
Footage showed Powell shaking Modi's hand and smiling, as he gave her a bunch of red and yellow flowers. They then sat in a meeting room at his residence, accompanied by officials.
Powell's talks with Modi and others in Gujarat focused on the importance of the US-India relationship, regional security, human rights, and US trade and investment in India.
A statement released by the Embassy later said the United States and India are moving forward with a strategic partnership that is broad and deep.
US automaker Ford is due to open a plant his year in Gujarat, where Modi has been praised by business leaders for cutting red tape. General Motors already has a production facility there.
NRI urges compatriots to quit Malaysian government
Report dated 13/02/2014 @ 6:37 PM
Co-chairman of Hindraf, the (Hindu Rights Action Force) W Sambulingam, has urged the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) deputy president S Subramaniam, and vice-president M Saravanan to follow in the footstep of Hindraf chairman Waythamoorthy who resigned as deputy minister from the ruling coalition, for not delivering on its promises to the Indian community.
The MIC is one of the three major parties of Malaysia's ruling Barisan National coalition. It was formed in 1946 and is one of the oldest political parties in Malaysia.
Waythamoorthy resigned as deputy minister in the prime minister's department after voicing frustration over the incumbent government's failure to adhere to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed on before the 2013 general elections, to provide better opportunities in higher education to the Indian community.
In response M Saravanan pointed out that Waythamoorthy had signed the MoU of his own accord and without the MIC's involvement or opinion. He said Hindraf asking him to resign as well seems like 'they must be out of their mind'.
Ethnic Indians make up a little over 7 percent of Malaysia's population of nearly 30 million.
US finally reaches out to BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi
Report dated 12/02/2014 @ 5:17 PM
Clearly signalling an attempt to establish a relationship with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the US Embassy in Delhi confirmed that they have requested a meeting with Modi upon whom the US government imposed a visa ban to rebuke him for his role in religious riots in his home state of Gujarat.
A spokesman described the invitation to meet with Ambassador Nancy Powell as part of a concentrated effort to outreach to senior political and economic leaders, which began in November, to highlight the US-India relationship.
With anti-incumbent sentiment strong in India, the Hindu nationalist BJP looks poised to make major gains in the parliamentary elections in May, and Mr Modi, a charismatic speaker who is drawing crowds to his rallies stands a good chance of becoming prime minister, which poses a challenge for the US and other Western countries that disapproved of Modi's handling of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
Last October Britain ended a 10-year diplomatic boycott of Narendra Modi when its high commissioner met with him for 50 minutes. Modi also met with a group of ambassadors from the European Union.
Modi has been tight-lipped about the US visa ban, but he is aware he also has robust support from Indians in the US who do not wish to see the relationship fray. Also, Modi is a political animal and most tried and true politicians know that holding grudges is not a means to an end.
In recent years, Narendra Modi has met with US consular officials, but not with an official of Ms Powell's rank.