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Cupertino Chamber celebrates 13th annual Diwali Mela

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CUPERTINO, Calif. — Thousands of Indian Americans ascended upon Cupertino’s Memorial Park for the 13th Diwali Mela celebration, held annually by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

A handful of the South Bay’s politicians also partook in the “Festival of Lights” gathering, including Cupertino Mayor Rod Sinks and Vice Mayor Barry Chang. California state Senator Jim Beall, Assembly members Evan Low, Nora Campos and Kansen Chu were present along with San Jose City Council members Chappie Jones and Ash Kalra. Consul General of India-San Francisco Ashok Venkatesan was present as well.

Councilman Karla spoke at the event with DiyaTv, and opined his appreciation for the festivals’ draw to the masses—especially those who are not of Indian descent.

“I love the fact that those who aren’t South Asian, those that aren’t celebrators of Diwali come here to learn more about the celebration,” Karla said. “But they also learn more about our culture, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

The yearly event is put on by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce and its Asian American Business Council—Cupertino City Councilman Savita Vaidyanathan and Chamber CEO Anjali Kausar, along with the aforementioned guests, began the festival by lighting the ceremonial lamps. For the diverse crowd, the accommodations featured games and rides for children, and shopping for the adults, showcased with traditional items of clothing and jewelry available for purchase. To satisfy revelers appetites, specialties from caterers such as Bombay to Goa, Ananda Bhawan, and Whole Foods were serving their respective delicacies.

The celebration of Diwali stretched from one coast, to another, for the third consecutive year—the National Library of Congress hosted an event of its own, with a keynote address delivered by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. More than 1,200 were present for the celebration, including over 50 members of Congress.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. delivers opening remarks during the National Library of Congress' third annual Diwali Mela celebration

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. delivers opening remarks during the National Library of Congress’ third annual Diwali Mela celebration

“It is my pleasure to be with all of you, as we celebrate the Festival of Lights,” Pelosi said.

The event is a surefire sign of Indian Americans growth in the nation’s capital, said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.

“You have a community that is working hard, becoming successful, taking care of their families, and then giving back to their community,” Sullivan said at the event. “That’s what America has stood for from generation to generation.”

 

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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