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Scarlet Night raises $275K in 10th anniversary gala for South Asian Heart Center

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — Regardless of lifestyle, many South Asians face a genetic predisposition to heart disease and diabetes — something, the South Asian Heart Center is spearheading the fight against. During its 10th anniversary celebration gala, the center played host to a myriad of guests, and raised more than a quarter-million dollars to continue its work.

Since its inception in 2006, the South Asian Heart Center has screened nearly 6,000 participants, educated more than 1,500 physicians on the epidemiology of coronary artery disease and diabetes in the population, and published its findings in peer-reviewed journals. Patients like Nickhil Jakatdar, who visited the clinic on the counsel of his wife, often find their results are the polar opposite of what they expect to hear.

“I exercise a lot, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I thought I did all the right things,” Jakatdar told the assembled crowd at the gala, which was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. “They did the test and they said they’d get back to me in about three days,” he said. “That same night, I got a call, and learned that my results were really bad.”

He soon learned that he faced the same predisposition to heart disease and diabetes that a staggering number of South Asians endure.

The Center’s proven program has resulted in healthier lifestyle behaviors in the community, and reduced heart disease and diabetes risk in its program participants. Ashish Mathur, the center’s co-founder and executive director, was on hand and told Diya TV that the 6,300 participants the center has helped are living much healthier lifestyles now. He founded the initiative after overcoming his own health issues.

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“We are now at 6,300 participants who have gone through the program and benefited by getting counseling and education around lifestyle, implementing that in their lives, and making a change to their risk, and to heart events in their future,” he said.

Recent studies have shown that heart disease plagues South Indians with such staggering figures, that it is by far the leading cause of death among them.

Physician and author Dr. Ronesh Sinha delivered the evening’s keynote address, and spoke candidly about how the community of South Indians can combat and fight against these deadly genetics.

“We do need to inherit some traditions from our family, but we can’t selectively choose the ones that don’t match our metabolic needs,” he said, adding how much of an impact just a simple change of a diet can impact heart health. “If you mix carbohydrates with healthy fats and proteins, you have a different effect on blood sugar. The problem is when you just eat a pure carb that doesn’t have anything else around it, like a bowl of white rice, if you have a salad before that, or mix vegetables into your rice, it has a totally different effect on your blood sugar.”

For Jakatdar, its been only four months, but he’s already seen immediate results, and is on the fast track to improving his heart and long-term health, tenfold. The lesson he wants to share is a cautionary one, that he says applies to anyone of South Asian descent.

“Appearances are deceptive, just go get yourself tested. It takes 15 minutes, and you might find something that allows you to be around for the long-term versus being a statistic.”

The Center’s goal is to reach 8,500 participants by June 2017 and to double its volume to 2,000 per year. In addition to the flagship office at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, the South Asian Heart Center has already established a presence at the India Community Center in Milpitas and has opened a branch near El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. Fremont will be the location of the fourth site, scheduled to open in spring 2016.

Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar and Jeff Knapp contributed to this story.

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US calls out China for protecting Masood Azhar

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’

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Shameful hipocracy on Muslims

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’ referencing China’s treatment of Muslims within its borders, while blocking India’s proposal at the UN to sanction Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar over the Pulwama attack.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is making the rounds in Washington meeting political leaders that include Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla and President Trump. The President tweeted Pichai told him Google is totally committed to the US military, days after he accused the tech giant of helping China and its army. Trump added the meeting went well, and the two discussed everything from political fairness to things Google can do for the U.S.

In San Jose, Dr. Venkat Aachi pleaded guilty to health care fraud and for distributing opioids outside of his medical practice. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines in excess of $1,000,000.

A new $20 million charter high school named after cardiologist and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel will open this August in a Tampa Bay suburb. It will start with 300 students in 9th and 10 and offer a project-based curriculum. Enrollment is being done by lottery.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Breaking news: Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison on bank and tax fraud charges

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —   Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, received a 47 month sentence on bank and tax fraud charges. Manafort was the first campaign associate of President Trump found guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian interference investigation.

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, are under scrutiny after a conservative group, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed a Federal Election Commission complaint alleging “an extensive off-the-books operation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures in support of multiple candidates for federal office.”

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An attorney for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign stressed the expenditures were within the law. And Chakrabarti on Twitter said “we were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start.”

One teenager is dead and at least 30 people were injured after a grenade exploded at a bus station in Jammu. Police arrested a 9th grader, after surveillance cameras showed him throwing the grenade. They say he was indoctrinated by the Hizbul Mujahideen. This is the third grenade explosion in the area in 10 months and only three weeks after the deadly terror attack in Pulwama district.

With US FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s resignation, Indian pharmaceutical companies are left to wonder what the next commissioner will do on generic drug pricing, approvals and inspections. India supplies 40% of generic drugs in the U.S.

Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Pastor challenges yoga, Hinduism for having ‘demonic’ roots

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Diya TV) — A Missouri pastor criticized yoga for its ‘demonic intent’ because of Hinduism influences. John Lindell of the James River Church in Ozark, Mo., which serves over 10,000 people in its congregation, warned Christians to not partake in the activity.

“They were designed, they were created with demonic intent, to open you up to demonic power because Hinduism is demonic,” Lindell said during a sermon on Oct. 28 according to the Springfield News-Leader.

While yoga is a longstanding practice originating from India, there is no indication that it is based off religious values. According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, it is stated yoga doesn’t adhere to any particular religion or belief system.

Yoga translates to “union” in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Given its broad meaning, the practice has varied locally and abroad. In addition, there are variations in certain disciplines — which can have a Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism influence — but it is dependent on the type of schools, practices and goals one is pursuing.

In the U.S., it’s become popular for various outcomes. Whether it be for physical, mental or spiritual pleasure, yoga has served as a peaceful outlet for many without it impacting their religious beliefs. While Lindell claimed it’s “spiritually dangerous,” many in the area have responded.

Heather Worthy, a Christian and yoga instructor in Springfield, only had four people attend her class following the sermon.

“It’s so frustrating,” Worthy told the Springfield News-Leader. “The whole thing is quite ludicrous to me.”

Worthy felt attacked, and she wasn’t alone.

With about a dozen yoga classes in the Springfield area, Amanda Davis has spent her last 12 years as an instructor.

“Yoga doesn’t prescribe to any religion, and I don’t think people understand that so they get false ideas about it,” Davis said, one week after a Florida gunman killed two people and injured five at a yoga studio.

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