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Georgia parents offended by ‘Yoga,’ get ‘Namaste’ banned from schools

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yoga-for-kidsATLANTA (Diya TV) — A group of parents at a Cobb County elementary school are upset over the school’s use of yoga and other mindfulness practices for students, claiming it endorses and promotes a non-Christian belief system.

In response, school leaders at Bullard Elementary recently held a meeting with parents to address the “many misconceptions” over the belief that yoga had “created a distraction in our school and community,” according to an email to parents from Bullard principal Patrice Moore.

“While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some,” the email states.

However large the misconceptions, the school is making direct changes.

When students participate and use yoga moves in the classroom, they will not say the word “namaste” nor put their hands by their hearts, according to the email. The term and gesture are often used as a greeting in Hindu custom. Additionally, when students are coloring during teaching breaks, they will not be allowed to color mandalas, spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism.

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The principal also wrote that teachers have “never used nor taught about crystals having healing powers during these breaks, we understand it has become a belief. Therefore we will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future.”

Moore could not be reached for comment, but in her email asked parents to be part of a new committee to gauge input on a variety of topics, including mindfulness and curriculum practices. For the past decade a growing number of schools across the U.S. have begun employing yoga and other mindful practices in their curriculum, in an effort to help students deal with stress and increase the focus on academics.

In some high schools, yoga-based activities are offered on an elective basis. But at lower grade levels, students often participate in yoga breathing exercises in their physical education classes.

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Indo-pacific framework documents declassified

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Indo-pacific Framework Documents Declassified | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In its final days, the Trump administration is declassifying some highly sensitive documents, including the “U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” (SFIP), written by the National Security Council. India is shown as a rising power in the document, vital to the security of the Indo-Pacific region and important to U.S. interests.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is starting a new political action committee called Stand for America PAC.  But so far, there’s no mention of President Trump on her donation site or web page. Haley’s spokesperson says don’t read too much into that. But Haley is widely considered a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and could face Trump if he chooses to run again.

President-Elect Joe Biden has yet to take office, but he’s already getting down to business, unveiling a massive $1.9 trillion dollar economic relief package. If passed by Congress, it would include $1 trillion for households, with direct payments of $1400 to all Americans, and the rest going to small businesses and the fight against COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India reveals 8-point plan to fight terrorism

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India Reveals 8 Point Plan To Fight Terrorism | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar says terrorism remains the greatest threat to global peace and India’s best interests. So he’s unveiling an eight point action plan that includes using more U.N. sanctions and mobilizing what he calls the political will to fight this menace. The minister’s defensive posture is in response to the increase in security concerns related to China and Pakistan.

Two more Indian Americans are now part of a growing list of South Asians being added to President elect Joe Biden’s administration. Neha Gupta and Reema Shah are now part of the White House Counsel’s Office. Gupta will serve as associate counsel, while Shah will be deputy associate counsel. Both attorney’s already have experience and impressive resumes serving in other Democratic administrations.  

Federal authorities say an Indian American man targeted the elderly in a massive telemarketing scam. Hirenkumar Chaudhuri admitted that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and fake address to open several bank accounts to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme. This is the latest in a crackdown on scams using call centers in India, defrauding senior citizens and others. People of Indian descent as well as others are involved in the scams that continue to operate and are ruining India’s reputation and have the potential of affecting the nation’s multi-billion-dollar back office industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump becomes first U.S. President to be impeached twice

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Trump Becomes First U.S. President To Be Impeached Twice | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first President to be impeached twice, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the removal of the President, whose term ends January 20th. But the Senate will not convene until January 19th to hold a trial for the president.

A full week after the Capitol was stormed by his supporters, President Trump released a video saying he condemned the mob violence that left 5 people dead and threatened the lives of members of Congress. Trump took on a solemn tone and did not address being impeached, nor acknowledge his successor President-Elect Joe Biden.

After months of massive nationwide protests by India’s farmers, the Indian Supreme Court has put three contentious farm laws on hold until further notice. The court said the decision to suspend the laws “may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.” The farmers argue the new laws passed in September would privatize land and undermine their livelihoods by giving more power to corporations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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