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Why US Attorney Preet Bharara is a hero in Turkey

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U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — Preet Bharara, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, made Indian headlines in 2013 when he led the prosecution against an Indian consular employee. Divyani Khobragade’s detention and treatment by U.S. Marshals sparked diplomatic drama between the nation and India, and Bharara found himself smack in the middle of the happenings — Indian’s vowed to disown Bharara for his initiating action against an Indian diplomat, which they argued was a breach of international law.

Two years later, Bharara is in the limelight again, only this time for much different reasons — he is being hailed as a hero by hundreds of thousands of Turks for arresting an Iranian-born Turkish businessman, Reza Zarrab, on charges of helping the Iranian government evade economic sanctions and launder hundreds of millions of dollars in Turkey and around the globe. Bharara’s celebrity status was felt instantly, his Twitter account shot up from 8,010 followers to 272,000. His two tweets regarding Zarrab’s arrest were retweeted more than 62,000 times and liked by nearly 100,000 more.

Zarrab was vacationing stateside in Miami when he was apprehended — he is regarded as a key figure in the huge graft scandal that engulfed Recep Tayyip Erdogan-led Turkish government in 2013. He was arrested for bribing senior officials of the government and some very close associates of Prime Minister Erdogan to facilitate his dubious activities that has now landed him in American jail.

erdogan-body_032816010039Erdogan has insisted on Zarrab’s innocence and has gone the extra mile in an attempt to protect him. Flipping the judiciary in the country upside down, Erdogan jailed thousands of police officers and prosecutors, imploding the independence of state institutions and tossing democracy out the window by passing laws to subjugate the judicial system. As a result, the case against Zarrab was dropped. Adding insult to injury, Zarrab was awarded the top exporter prize by the Turkish Exporters Assembly, a pro-business group, in June of last year.

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — The U.S. has reached a grim milestone. More than 600,000 people have died from Covid-19 as officials race to vaccinate more people. But deaths have also been slowing for months because of an aggressive campaign to vaccinate the nation’s elderly and medically vulnerable people.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson just replaced an Indian American administrative law judge who ruled against the state health department in a significant abortion case. Last year, Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi turned aside Missouri’s effort to close the state’s last abortion provider, a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. Dandamudi also ruled against the state in a medical marijuana case.

And Pakistani Brit actor Riz Ahmed is forming a new coalition, pushing for more Muslim representation in media and Hollywood.  He’s partnering with several influential institutions like USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to give out financial grants and offer mentoring.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — A bus crammed with pilgrims coming back from a Muslim religious festival crashed in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Officials say the bus was overloaded and passengers were even traveling on the roof of the bus. The death toll is expected to increase. 

Police say man accused of killing four members of a Pakistani Canadian Muslim family targeted them for their Islamic faith. 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman is facing several murder charges for allegedly running them over in his pickup truck. Investigators say there is evidence this was premeditated and motived by hate.

Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, making history as the first sitting vice president to march in a Pride event.
The Biden-Harris administration has brought LGBTQ issues to the forefront of its agenda. One of the president’s first executive orders called for an end to discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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One in two Indian Americans have encountered racism

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Study: 1 in 2 Indian Americans report facing discrimination | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — According to a new study, Fifty percent of Indian Americans say they have encountered racism in the U.S. in the past year. Discrimination against darker-skinned people is the most common form of bias encountered and the main perpetrators are non-Indians. The study also shows Indian Americans are the second largest immigrant group in the US with more than 4 million living in the country.

Judge Zahid Quraishi has been confirmed by the US Senate, becoming the first Muslim American federal judge. Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, was serving as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

Former Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara’s dinner with an author who once despised Indian food is getting a lot of likes on the internet. On twitter, Tom Nichols is finally admitting his palate is expanding and he wants more Lamb Biryani. Bharara responded on social media by saying Nichols is still getting used to the butter chicken. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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