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US President Biden Nominates 2 Indian-American Women to Key Administration Positions

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US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate a top attorney and an executive, both Indian-American women, to key administration positions. The nominations are being seen as a promotion for Meera Joshi and Radhika Fox who joined the administration on the very first day of the Biden presidency on January 20.

Joshi has been nominated for Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation while Fox was nominated for Assistant Administrator for Water, Environmental Protection Agency, the White House said in a statement. Joshi was appointed as the Deputy Administrator and senior official of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on January 20, 2021. The same day, Biden appointed Fox to the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Biden also announced his intent to nominate Faisal Amin for Chief Financial Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Amin currently serves as Deputy Director of Office of Administration in the Executive Office of the President. The three nominations were part of Biden’s announcement of his intent to nominate 12 members of his administration to lead on climate and transportation matters across key agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Transportation.

Joshi, an attorney with over 16 years of experience leading government oversight agencies, was Chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, the nation’s largest for-hire transportation regulator where she spearheaded novel Vision Zero campaigns using data tools to keep high risk drivers and unsafe vehicles off the road. She also led landmark policy, including establishing robust open transportation data standards for app-based providers; enacting the nation’s first for-hire driver pay protection programme and providing broad access to for-hire transportation for passengers who use wheelchairs.

Prior to transportation regulation, Joshi was the Inspector General for New York City’s Department of Corrections, responsible for investigation of corruption and criminality at all levels of New York City’s jail operations and the First Deputy Executive Director of New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, leading investigations of police misconduct. In addition to her government positions, Joshi served as General Manager for the New York Office of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants, and was a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy.

Joshi, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, holds a BA and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania. Fox currently serves as the Acting Assistant Administer for Water. The EPA’s Office of Water works to ensure that drinking water is safe, wastewater is safely returned to the environment, and surface waters are properly managed and protected.

Prior to joining EPA, Fox served as Chief Executive Officer for the US Water Alliance, where she established herself as a widely recognized national thought leader on complex water issues, from equitable water management to investing in our nation’s water infrastructure. Her work has helped address the most salient water issues facing the nation, including climate change, affordability, equity, governance, innovative finance, and the evolution of the One Water movement.

Fox previously directed the policy and government affairs agenda for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is responsible for providing 24/7 water, wastewater, and municipal power services to 2.6 million Bay Area residents. She also served as the Federal Policy Director at PolicyLink, where she coordinated the organization’s policy agenda on a wide range of issues, including infrastructure investment, transportation, sustainable communities, economic inclusion, and workforce development.

Fox holds a BA from Columbia University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

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All India Parisangh shares image from 2008 to target Modi govt

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On Saturday (May 15), Dalit organisation All India Parisangh (AIP) sparked controversy by taking potshots at the Modi government using a 13-year-old image. The organisation was founded by Dalit activist and Congress leader Udit Raj.

In a tweet, AIP wrote, “Unke ‘Mann ki baat’ kyu sunna, jab Ganga pe terti lasho par bhi khamosh raha.” It loosely translates as “Why should we listen to PM Modi’s monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ when he is silent on dead bodies floating in the river Ganga?”. The Dalit organisation shared a picture of a dog mauling a human skeleton, along the banks of a water body. At the time of writing, the image was retweeted 167 times and had 463 likes.

Screengrab of the post by the All India Parisangh

By posting the image, the organisation tried to insinuate that it is a recent image showing the mortal remains of a Covid-19 victim whose last rites were not performed. Reports of bodies of Covid victims floating on Ganga river have emerged in the last few days, and All India Parisangh tried to say the image also shows such an incident.

What is the Truth?

It may be noted that the image posted by All India Parisangh has the watermark of Alarmy on it, an stock image platform. Popular Twitter user ‘Befitting Facts’ pointed out that the stock image from Alarmy dates back to February 20, 2008. The disturbing picture was taken by one Dinodia Photos RM and captioned, “Dog eating dead man on Varanasi ghat, Uttar Pradesh in India.” Given the picture dates back to 2008, it must be remembered that the BJP did not have its government at the Centre nor at the State level. And as such, the unfortunate incident is not the result of PM Modi’s negligence.

Screengrab of the image via Alarmy

Earlier, close to 100 unidentified and decomposed bodies were found floating in the Ganga, sparking fear among the locals in several districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While 71 bodies were recovered from Bihar’s Buxar district, other 25 bodies were fished from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district with locals suspecting them to be the bodies of Covid victims.

After Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in a horrifying video, at least half a dozen corpses were seen floating in the Runj river in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Buxar police suspected the bodies might have floated from the neighbouring Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh. Authorities of both the districts were yet to confirm if the bodies were of Covid victims. As such, All India Parisangh seized the opportunity and shared a 13-year-old picture to blame the Modi government.

All India Parisangh compared Brahmins to pigs last year

Besides fake news, the Dalit organisation has been at the forefront of peddling Anti-Hindu hatred. It has time and again resorted to such vile derogatory casteist hurls targeting Brahmins, and resorted to the anti-Brahmin propaganda by posting an image of a pig wearing ‘Janeu’ – the sacred thread in July last year.

By openly propagating anti-Brahmin sentiments and comparing Brahmins to ‘pigs’, the Parisangh claimed that the Indian judiciary is only comprised of Brahmins. Expressing its contempt for the country’s judiciary, the Dalit organisation claimed that ‘Brahmin’ judges in the Indian courts only recommended fellow people from the community, who were then selected as judges by the third set of Brahmins. The derogatory comments were not only directed at the Brahmins of the country but also an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

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Govt, Admin, Public – All Dropped Guard After First Covid-19 Wave: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

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File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Bhagwat said the country should stay united and work as a team in these testing times, instead of pointing fingers at each other.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated:May 15, 2021, 19:21 IST
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After the first wave of COVID-19, the government, administration and public dropped their guard which led to the current situation, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Saturday and urged people to stay positive and proactive to fight the pandemic. Addressing a lecture series Positivity Unlimited’, Bhagwat said the country should stay united and work as a team in these testing times, instead of pointing fingers at each other.

“We are facing this situation because, whether it was the government, administration or public, everyone dropped their guard after the first wave despite indications from doctors, he said. Bhagwat said there is talk of a third wave. But, we will not be scared. We shall stand like a rock.

We have to stay positive and take precautions to keep ourselves COVID negative in the present situation, he said. The RSS chief said that this is not an appropriate time to point fingers and all should avoid making irrational remarks.

Citing England’s situation in World War II when everything seemed going against it, Bhagwat said a quote was written on the then prime minister Winston Churchill’s desk which read, “There is no pessimism in this office. We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They don’t exist”. Similarly, he said, in this situation we can’t give up on courage. We need to also have steely resolve.

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12-Year-Old Among 4 Killed as Slabs Collapse in Ulhasnagar Building, 1 Missing

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Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm.

  • News18.com Thane
  • Last Updated:May 15, 2021, 19:16 IST
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At least 4 people were killed after slabs of a residential building collapsed in Ulhasnagar town of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Saturday, Thane Municipal Corporation said. A 12-year-old child is among the four people who lost their lives. According to latest update, one person is still missing.

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm, said Santosh Kadam, chief of the regional disaster management cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation.

A slab on the fourth floor came crashing down on other slabs, trapping people in the process, he said. Local firemen rushed to the scene and rescued 11 residents, who were taken to a local hospital for first aid, the official said.

A team from the Thane Disaster Response Force is at the scene to help firemen remove the debris and rescue five others who are trapped, he added.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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