Jindal explores White House run, Indian-Americans soften hostility
If Bobby Jindal, who has set up a committee to explore a presidential run, does jump in, Indian-Americans appear ready to support him, overcoming past reservations.
The community, which has about 1.5 million votes and considerably more financial clout, has felt aggrieved by, as seen by it, a studied attempt by Jindal to distance himself from it. Many of them supported him in his previous races - for governor and congress - irrespective of their party affiliations, and felt "dumped", as he cut himself loose, apparently.
Jindal announced an exploratory committee for the 2016 race - an optional first-step towards a full-fledged run - on Monday, saying, "For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the Presidency." Jindal, a two-term Louisiana governor, has been preparing for a run for a while, but has trailed badly in most opinion polls.
But if decides to press ahead, and run, he will find Indian Americans ready to welcome him back into the fold, and support his candidacy, if he asked and worked towards it. "He is good man, a bright guy," said KV Kumar, who has worked with two Republican presidents. "People misunderstand him for the way he speaks. He needs to change that.'
Jindal said some weeks ago that he was tired of hyphenated Americans. "I don't know about you, I'm tired of the hyphenated Americans. No more African-Americans. No more Indian-Americans. No more Asian-Americans." He added his parents came to the US not to raise Indian-Americans.
But there is a growing understanding in the community of why, if at all, Jindal did indeed move away from it. He had to, they acknowledged, to broaden his appeal. "He probably did that to appear mainstream," said Puneet Ahluwalia, a Republican strategist, adding, "and that's a good enough reason."
Chinese vice-premier Liu He had a “constructive” dialogue with US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to strengthen “macro-policy communication” and coordination, according to a statement from China. Liu expressed concern over the additional tariffs that the US had imposed on Chinese goods during the video conversation, the official Chinese statement, released by state news agency Xinhua said. The exchange was “pragmatic and frank”, the Chinese statement said.
The European Parliament on Tuesday ratified landmark laws that will more closely regulate Big Tech and curb illegal content online, as the EU seeks to bring order to the internet "Wild West". "With the legislative package, the European Parliament has ushered in a new era of tech regulation," said a key backer of the laws, German MEP Andreas Schwab.
Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, reversing earlier gains, as concerns of a possible global recession curtailing fuel demand outweighed supply disruption fears, highlighted by an expected production cut in Norway. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 15 cents, or 0.1%, to $108.28 a barrel, from Friday's close. There was no settlement for WTI on Monday because of the Independence Day public holiday in the United States. Supply concerns still loomed.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday spoke out in support of Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekali - who is the subject of social media outrage (and FIRs by police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh) after a poster for her new film 'Kaali' showed the goddess smoking. "You have the freedom to imagine your goddess," Moitra said at a media event. The Trinamool leader was responding to a question about her take on this controversy.
NATO's 30 allies signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden on Tuesday to allow them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once allied parliaments ratify the decision, the most significant expansion of the alliance since the mid-1990s. "This is truly an historic moment," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said alongside the foreign ministers of the two countries. "With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger."