World This Week: A feather in the Cap
Intro: Four Indian Americans selected for 2015 Rhodes scholarship
Four Indian American students, Anisha Gururaj, Sai Gourisankar, Maya Krishnan and Abishek Kulshreshtha, are among 32 men and women chosen as 2015 Rhodes Scholars from the US. Considered the oldest and best known award for international study, Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
They were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904. The new batch will enter Oxford in October 2015.
A native of Chesterfield, Missouri, Anisha Gururaj as a Rhodes Scholar, plans to pursue two degrees from Oxford: an MSc in engineering science research, with a focus in bioengineering, and a master's in public policy. Sai P. Gourisankar is a senior at the University of Texas, where he will graduate in May with a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Plan II Liberal Arts.
He also has a minor in German. He is a Goldwater Scholar with a 4.0 across multiple disciplines.
Maya Krishnan is a Stanford University senior majoring in Philosophy, with minors in Computer Science and Classics. Her book, “Modern Illuminations”, includes 10 essays on the relationship between the theory of knowledge and theology.
Daughter of a Hindu-Unitarian and a Jew, she also created and maintains an interactive online database correlating datasets around ancient Greece and Rome. Her senior thesis is on the relationship between mathematics, meaning and history in Kant.
Abishek Kulshreshtha is a senior at Brown University where he majors in Physics. Much of his work in theoretical physics has applications to the creation of a quantum computer that would make computations exponentially faster, and toward the goal of better understanding of biological processes.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a volleyball tournament in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 45 people in the country's deadliest terrorist attack this year, officials said. Paktika, bordering Pakistan, is one of Afghanistan's most volatile regions, a place where Taliban and affiliated insurgent groups like the Haqqani network are waging an intensifying war against the government in Kabul.
The bloodshed came just hours after Parliament approved agreements allowing US and NATO troops to remain in the country past the end of the year.
The United States is preparing to increase the number of troops it keeps in Afghanistan in 2015 to fill a gap left in the Nato mission by other contributing nations, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the situation. The move to increase the US presence left in Afghanistan comes shortly after Obama approved plans to give the US military a wider role to fight the hardline Islamist Taliban movement alongside Afghan forces after the current mission expires.
In a shocking revelation, a 31-year-old Indian-origin Islamic State suspect, who is fighting in Syria, posted a picture of him on Twitter posing with an AK-47 rifle and his new born baby.
Abu Rumaysah who was born as Siddhartha Dhar, posted the photo on Twitter this morning, proudly showcasing his pleasure that his son will grow up in the Islamic State, the Independent reported today.
He was arrested in September in the UK along with eight others on suspicion of encouraging terrorist offences. Dhar was released on bail to reappear in December but he fled.
Less than 24 hours after he was released on bail, Dhar took a bus to Paris with his pregnant wife and four young children. He travelled on to Syria before joining IS.
Just hours after publicly declaring he had arrived in Syria, the wanted terror suspect made another surprising announcement on Twitter. He said that he had become a father to a baby boy.
“He is another great addition to the Islamic State. And he's definitely not British,” Dhar said about the baby. Dhar was well-known in the UK for frequent television appearances declaring his wish to live under the so-called Islamic State that militants are fighting to establish in Iraq.