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Rep. Rice joins India Caucus

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(DIYA TV) — Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-New York, announced her intent to join the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She made the announcement on Feb. 5, while attending a meeting of the Indian American Voters Forum.

She told the crowd her decision to join the Caucus after hearing the story of Sureshbhai Patel. While visiting from India, Patel was out for a walk in an Alabama neighborhood when a police officer approached him and slammed him to the ground before placing him under arrest. That police officer has since been fired, and has faced two separate criminal trials for the use of excessive force—both trials ended with hung jury mistrials, and the case was ultimately dismissed in January.

For Rice, fostering the continued development of the relationship between the U.S. and India was paramount in her decision to join the Caucus.

“I have joined the Indian American Caucus to ensure that we can do everything we can do to keep the relation between India and America as strong as we can,” she said.

Indian Consul General in New York Dyaneshwar Mulay led the meeting, used to promote the growth of the House India Caucus, the largest Caucus of the House with more than 180 members. The meeting was held in the home of Varinder Bhalla, chairman of the voters forum.

“Right now, this is the relationship (India and U.S.) that seems to be the most flourishing of all the countries,” Mulay said at the meeting—President Obama has visited India three times since taking office back in 2008.

Focusing on politics domestic to India, Mulay described why he feels Prime Minister Modi is a “proactive” leader for the country.

“For example, on the defense side, we have decided not just to become the largest buyer of defense equipment and technology, but to co-produce in India and it has created an enormous opportunity for connecting with each other,” he said.

Mulay added: “The partnership between two countries connects almost every considerable facility. And the Caucus being there helps.”

Also in attendance at the meeting were Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, already a member of the Caucus, and New York state Senator Jack Martins, who is currently running for a Congressional seat, and has pledged to join the Caucus if elected to the House. The Caucus is chaired by Re. Ami Bera, D-Calif.—the lone Indian American in the House of Representatives—and Rep. George Holding, R-North Carolina. Both men were appointed to form the Caucus in Dec. 2014.

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India-China strike détente over border issues

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India

Ladakh, INDIA (Diya TV)  — Just days after Indian Prime Minister Modi visited the frontlines in Ladakh to encourage his troops and honor those lost in a recent battle with China, India and China jointly announced both countries will disengage, pulling back in a limited manner at separate key points. A two-hour frank conversation between both nation’s foreign ministers led to the breakthrough. While both sides claim their sovereignty had been violated, India made some major economic moves against China in recent days, banning investment, stopping Chinese participation in freeway developments and blocking 59 apps including TikTok. TikTok announced they would lose up to $6 billion because of India’s ban.

In a statement on his agenda for Muslim Americans, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said he was disappointed with the Indian government’s implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act and recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir. Biden has a long list of agendas he plans to implement if he is elected President, but there is no listing as of yet for Hindu and Sikh Americans.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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COVID-19 explodes: 50,000 cases in one day, 10,000 in Florida

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AUSTIN, Texas (Diya TV)  — Fears of a COVID19 spike have been realized, as the caseload around the nation continues to set records daily. On Wednesday, 50,000 new cases were reported around America, 10,000 in Florida alone. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now mandating masks in his hard-hit state and states that were starting to open up are now reworking their plans in order to combat COVID19.

As Indian and Chinese military commanders held a third round of talks on disengagement, the Indian government made another move against business and investment from China, announcing Chinese companies will not be allowed to take part in India’s highway and transportation projects, among other sectors. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi deleted his account on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

President Trump though White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany made his strongest remarks to date on the India-China conflict, saying “China’s aggressive stance along the India-China border fits with a larger a pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of the world and these action only confirm the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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California lawsuit alleges caste-based discrimination at Cisco

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Cisco

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV)  — California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Silicon Valley titan Cisco Systems and two of their former employees alleging discrimination against an Indian-American Dalit employee. The man claims harassment by two men who are Indian Americans of a higher caste, former Cisco engineering managers Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella. Cisco denies the charges.

On the heels of India banning 59 Chinese apps from being distributed, the FCC designated Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE as threats to national security, saying money allocated by the government for broadband and other 5G related products cannot be used on equipment by those vendors. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded India for their ban of Chinese apps.

And in a new letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, 20 Senators are urging the Trump Administration to grant emergency refugee protections to Hindu and Sikh communities that have been long persecuted in Afghanistan.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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