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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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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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