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Sonika Vaid advances, heads to Hollywood for next round of ‘Idol’

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Sonika Vaid, an Indian American singer from Martha’s Vineyard, has made a habit of impressing judges and past-winners of the hit TV show American Idol, has officially collected her yellow ticket, and is on her way to Hollywood.

Sonika Vaid performs on American Idol

Sonika Vaid performs on American Idol

Vaid coasted through the first group of finalists, showcased with a perfect rendition of Arianna Grande’s “Problem,” during group renditions. It wasn’t a far cry from her audition, where she belted out “a perfect performance,” according to singer Harry Connick Jr. Since then, past Idol winner and seven-time Grammy Award winner Carry Underwood has hitched her support to Vaid’s side.

Before her audition, Vaid was most concerned about standing out to the judges.

“I’d like to say I gave it a try,” Vaid said before her performance. “Looking around the room, there are a lot of girls, and they are beautiful and talented and I hope I stand out to the judges.”

After Vaid’s audition, Underwood tweeted: “@AmericanIdol Wow. I might have found a season favorite already! What a beautiful voice…” Ironically, during her audition, Vaid chose to perform a cover rendition of Underwood’s “Look at Me,” which led judge Harry Connick Jr. to opine, “that was a perfect performance. This is one of the only times, this particular season, that I saw somebody that I can think can actually win this thing.”

During an interview with FOX 25 News, Vaid said she’s been singing since the age of three, and got most of her practice in while singing at special events at a park near her childhood home.

Watch Sonika Vaid’s performance in Idol’s “Hollywood Week,” here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTcfS_WAP58

The final season of American Idol will continue on Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. on FOX. For more information, visit americanidol.com

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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