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Indian-American Kesha Ram announces run for Vermont Lt. Governor

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Burlington, Vt. (Diya TV) — Vermont State Rep. Kesha Ram, an Indian-American who was named in India New England New’s list of outstanding women in 2011, is looking to move forward in the next stage of her political career which was inspired by a 2006 speech by then-Senator Barack Obama in support of Bernie Sanders’ senate campaign. Ram has announced her candidacy for Lt. Governor of Vermont, the same land Senator Bernie Sanders hails from. Kesha RamThe 29-year-old democrat has served in the Vermont legislature as a state representative for the past eight years. She hopes to harness the support of Indian Americans around the country in an effort to continue breaking barriers in her home state.

“I will be very honored to get support from and outreach to other Indian-Americans around the country,” Ram said in a statement.

[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]“Being in Vermont, I’m not only the first Indian-American to run for an office, but also run for the office of Lieutenant Governor.”[/quote]

The youngest of three children, Ram was raised in New England’s culturally diverse communities, and a diverse home to boot — her father immigrated from India, while her mother was raised stateside in Illinois. Ram’s passion for advocacy and civic engagement were developed over the years after embracing the diversity and community service she witnessed from her parents. Ram went on to attend the University of Vermont after high school, earning a degree in political science and natural resource planning. She then continued her studies, earning her law degree at American University.

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Elected in 2008 to represent Vermont’s Burlington Old North End, Hill Section, and University District, she has since served on the state house’s committees of ways and means, natural resources and energy, and housing and military affairs committees. She currently served as the public engagement specialist for the City of Burlington, working to forge a relationship between the community’s young residents and city government.

Ram has been an active member in Vermont and New England’s South Asian communities, especially in the Bhutanese and Nepali communities. Her website states she’s running for the position “to build and strengthen the economy for working families, expand access to comprehensive early and higher education, and ensure that Vermonters in every corner of our state have a strong advocate in Montpelier.”

She is currently deadlocked in a three-way race for the Democratic Party’s nomination with Brandon Riker, a Vermont businessman, political organizer and economist, and David Zuckerman, a current state senator and former state representative. The winner, who will be determined during the Aug. 9 primary this summer, will face off against Republican candidate Randy Brock, a former state senator in his own right. Additionally, Brock served at Vermont’s auditor.

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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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