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San Jose Councilman joins race against Khanna, Honda

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Portrait of San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio is one of five major contenders for mayor in the June primary at apartment building at 34 Willow Street, where he spent the first five years of his life in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, March 31, 2014. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

Portrait of San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio is one of five major contenders for mayor in the June primary at apartment building at 34 Willow Street, where he spent the first five years of his life in San Jose, Calif. on Monday, March 31, 2014. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (DIYA TV) — The race for the Bay Area’s 17th Congressional District just heated up — already pitted against each other are incumbent Mike Honda and Indian American businessman Ro Khanna, now, Pierluigi Oliverio, a San Jose City Councilman has thrown his hat in the ring as well.

Olivero, 46, said he drew inspiration to declare his candicacy as an independent after watching the “mudslinging” in the race between Honda and Khanna. He votes his conscience and follows his heart, and has no obligations to any special interest or need to play dirty trick politics, he said. “Rather than having a mudslinging race, maybe there can actually be a discussion of issues that are facing the country,” Olivero told the San Jose Mercury News in an interview this week. “I think the current campaign is like Donald Trump and Marco Rubio yelling at each other. But with me in the race, we can have a civil discussion like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.”

Olivero will have his work cut out for him — like Honda, he does not live in the district for which he is seeking election, and several political analysts have already labeled his chances as a sever longshot. Some experts claim his candidacy will hardly change the dynamics of the election, which also features two republican candidates, Ron Cohen and Peter Kuo. For Kuo, it’s a shot of redemption after his 2014 District 10 state senate defeat at the hands of Bob Wieckowski.

“Oliverio is not well-known outside his council district and much of the congressional district is actually beyond San Jose,” said Terry Christensen, a political-science professor emeritus at San Jose State. “I can’t imagine him being able to raise enough money — hundreds of thousands of dollars — to compete with Honda and Khanna.”

Christensen added the race might be a tactic Olivero is using to keep his name in the headlines, something several politicians do to stay relevant and spice up their future candidacies. After being eliminated in last year’s San Jose mayoral primary, Olivero could possibly have his sights set on the county supervisor seat which is currently held by Ken Yeager.

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Khanna’s contingency admitted to knowing little of Olivero’s history, but is well aware of his familiarity with Honda.

“Like Congressman Honda, he doesn’t live in the district and like Congressman Honda he doesn’t represent the district,” Khanna spokesman Hari Sevugan said. “But what’s clear from his candidacy, and that of so many others, is that there’s a deep desire for change among voters.”

For Honda, Olivero’s announcement was used as a chance to take another jab at his main rival.

“We are glad that a second Democrat has finally joined us in this election,” said campaign manager Michael Beckendorf. “Unlike Ro, Councilmember Oliverio has spent many years in the community interacting with residents and serving his constituents in local government. We welcome him to the race and look forward to a spirited campaign.”

Since joining the City Council in 2007, Olivero, who works a day-job in the tech industry, has spearheaded two successful ballot measures to tax the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries and pension changes for new hires to cut costs to the city. Both measures were met with overwhelming support by the voters. Additionally, Olivero introduced a competitive bidding process for San Jose’s park maintenance services, which resulted in tripling the city’s savings. Widely considered one of the most unorthodox of Bay Area politicians, Olivero employs hardly any staff in his council administration, and carries with him at all times an iPad which allows for live and direct communication with each of his constituents.

However, since 2010, he has been engaged in a battle with the Democrats’ labor wing. During that same year, he was accused of removing campaign signs as a political advantage, Olivero combatted the accusations by saying the signs had been placed illegally on traffic medians throughout the city. Last year, he was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former staffer in his administration, who later dropped his name from the suit.

Information from the San Jose Mercury News and Ramona Giwargis contributed to this report.

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All four ex-Minneapolis cops charged in Floyd’s death

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Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (Diya TV) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the three other Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, will face aiding and abetting murder charges. Former officer Derek Chauvin, the man who put his knee on Floyd’s neck, will now face a second-degree murder charge, elevated from third-degree. Meanwhile, protests are not only continuing around the U.S. for the ninth day, but they are spreading overseas in places like the U.K. and Australia as well.

Protesters desecrated Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. The United States Park Police have launched an investigation.

Instagram & Facebook admitted the keyword ‘Sikh‘ was blocked for nearly two months starting March 7th following an inaccurate report by their team. Scores of users discovered the block this week when writing posts in connection with the anniversary of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after the assasination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

A criminal investigation is underway in South India after a pregnant elephant died in India apparently after eating some fruit containing a firecracker that exploded in her mouth.

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Nationwide protests continue on ‘Blackout Tuesday’

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Protests

MINNEAPOLIS (Diya TV)  — America is now in its eighth day of protests over the death of George Floyd. To date, only one officer of the four involved is facing criminal charges. So thousands in cities around the nation continue protests to seek justice for Floyd. President Trump vowed to use the military if violence and looting isn’t stopped, with tear gas being deployed on peaceful protesters outside the White House. Meanwhile, celebrities and brands are taking to social media to show support for the Black community by blacking out images on their profiles.

President Trump invited India, Russia, South Korea and Australia to attend the G-7 summit, an offer accepted by Prime Minister Modi. The summit will take place in September in the U.S. and will entertain a host of issues, including whether China will be isolated for their role in the coronavirus pandemic, a tactic right now has lukewarm support.

Indian officials rejected President Trump’s claim that he spoke to Prime Minister Modi over the growing India-China border dispute. The officials say the conversation never took place and both China and India have made it clear they will arbitrate their own disputes.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Two autopsies classify Floyd’s death as homicide

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Two autopsies classify Floyd’s death as homicide | Diya TV News

MINNEAPOLIS (Diya TV)  — An independent medical examiner hired by George Floyd’s family, as well as Hennepin County’s Medical Examiner classified his death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to suppress Floyd for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe. The independent examiner also added “asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause” of the death.

With the nation reeling from Floyd’s death, hundreds of thousands of people in 41 states held rallies asking for change. But as night fell, peaceful protests morphed into chaos, as looters came onto the scene, destroying property and stealing goods, while confronting police. Some historians say it was the largest riots seen in the U.S. since Martin Luther King’s assasination in 1968.

Many businesses were destroyed around the nation from these riots, including a Bangladeshi restaurant in Minneapolis called Gandhi Mahal. But owner Ruhel Islam is receiving widespread support after his daughter quoted him on Facebook saying “let my building burn. Justice needs to be served.” Now an online fundraiser has raised more than $65,000 to help them rebuild.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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