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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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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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