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Rep.Bera supports petition for Modi to address joint meeting of Congress

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — California Congressman Ami Bera, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, joined forces this week with House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce and other members in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan requesting India Prime Minister Narendra Modi be granted an opportunity to address a joint-meeting of congress.

Ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY) and George Holding (R-NC) also attached their names to the letter. The Prime Minister has scheduled a visit to the nation’s capital in June, and the aforementioned members of congress believe this to be the most opportune time to hear from Modi on relations between the U.S. and India. In the letter, the members write that it is their understanding Modi would accept the offer.

The members write in the letter: “Given the depth of our relationship with India across a range of areas — defense, humanitarian and disaster relief, space cooperation, conservation and innovation — we believe this is an ideal opportunity for the Congress to hear directly from the Prime Minister. The U.S.-India relationship consistently garners strong bipartisan support. Inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting will allow Congress to express support for this special global partnership”

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The U.S. and India signed a defense framework agreement to increase military cooperation and the civilian nuclear agreement in 2008. The latter agreement will directly result in the construction of nuclear power plants in India. Additionally, the letter noted the forging of stronger relationships between the two countries in addressing humanitarian crises, such as the aftermath of the recent Nepal earthquake, the renewable energies sector and in space exploration.

Since assuming office in 2008, president Obama has visited India twice. Modi has reciprocated with two trips stateside of his own.

In 2005, serving as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, Modi was denied entrance during a visit to the U.S. He was scheduled to deliver an address to Indian-Americans at a rally in Madison Square Garden, but was denied entrance into the country for failure to stop a series of deadly riots three years earlier by Hindus against minority Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, where he was chief minister.

The State Department invoked a little-known U.S. law passed in 1998 that makes foreign officials responsible for “severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for visas. Mr. Modi is the only person ever denied a visa to the U.S. under this provision, U.S. officials confirm.

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Harris named as Biden’s VP pick, first Indian American

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WILMINGTON, Delaware (Diya TV) — It’s not a complete surprise, but it’s historic nonetheless – former Vice President Joe Biden named California Senator Kamala Harris to his Presidential ticket. Next week, they will take the virtual stage at the Democratic National Convention as the challengers to President Trump and Vice President Pence in November. Harris, who is Black and Indian American, will be the first Asian American to be on a presidential ticket. We will have a full rundown of her career and why she overcame challengers like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Val Demings for the post. And we’ll go in depth on the effect her candidacy will have on the Indian American voter, a group that has long voted Democratic, but is actively being courted by Republicans, led by President Trump.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues globally, the numerical milestones continue to stun. There are now 20 million cases reported around the world. The total afflicted in the United States is now over 5 million, with more than 164,000 deaths.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Joe Biden picks Indian American Senator Kamala Harris for VP

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Sen. Harris at the 2016 Democratic Convention
WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden announced today his running make will be Indian American Senator from California, Sen. Kamala Harris. This etches a moment within the halls of the United States’ history, as Harris now becomes the first Indian American & first woman of color to be a Vice Presidential candidate for a major party. 
Sen. Harris talks to Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur about AAPI engagement in the upcoming elections

A daughter of Jamaican & Indian immigrants, Sen. Harris has been a stalwart within the democratic party. It wasn’t too long ago she annouced her very own presidential bid in her hometown of Oakland, California. However she dropped out of the race early on, and many speculated then she would be the VP candidate for a Biden Harris ticket. 

With major news organizations identifying her as ‘Black’, ‘African American’, many wonder if Sen. Harris identifies as Indian American. Each time she spoke with Diya TV she referred to her Indian roots proudly and fondly reminisced her childhoold growing up with a Jamaican father & a South Indian mother. 

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Mehulkumar Patel & Chitali Dave arrested for thieving $400,000 in phone scam

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Mehulkumar Patel

ATLANTA (Diya TV) — Federal authorities arrested an Indian-American couple on money laundering charges for allegedly orchestrating phone scams that cost 24 victims in excess of $400,000. Mehulkumar Patel and Chitali Dave are both are 36 years old. The Department of Justice says they used callers from India to trick victims they were at risk for arrest, their Social Security number was compromised and their assets would be repossessed if cash wasn’t mailed to them and other members of their fraud network.

President Trump was interrupted by the Secret Service in the middle of a White House press briefing after shots were fired outside the building. Trump returned a few minutes later to confirm the shooting. The Secret Service said the incident began when a 51-year-old man approached an officer near the White House.

Prominent law firm Susman Godfrey elected Kalpana Srinivasan its new managing partner. Srinivasan, replacing firm founder and managing partner Stephen Susman who passed away in July. Srinivasan is a member of the South Asian Bar Association.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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