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Seattle’s Pramila Jayapal could become the first woman of Indian origin to be elected to U.S. Congress

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SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Sen. Pramila Jayapal, who has represented Washington’s 37th legislative district in the state senate since 2015, could be on the fast track to becoming the first woman of Indian origin to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after receiving her latest endorsement from Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

“Pramila… is not afraid to take on powerful special interests. She’s fought for immigrant rights, opposed the war in Iraq, and worked to protect Social Security. She’s also running her campaign with our political revolution,” Sanders said in an e-mail to donors last month.

This endorsement is just one in a long line which includes the likes of nearly a dozen of her state senate counterparts, a pair of retired state supreme court justices and an endorsement from EMILY’s List, an influential national group that raises and bundles donations to Democratic women candidates.

Jayapal met with Sanders in September of last year, a meeting in which the two discussed a variety of topics including gender, race, mass incarceration and guns. The two reportedly connected on every level, and the spark was created.

“He has engaged a whole swathe of people. He has fundamentally changed the political process by getting these new groups into politics. He is pulling the Democratic Party platform to the left, something that many people in this country have been yearning for,” Jayapal said.

After spending part of her career as a banker on Wall Street, Jayapal made her way to the non-profit sector in 1991. The turmoil of living in a post-9/11 world drew her to the political arena, as the event occurred just months after she became a U.S. citizen, she said. Jayapal proceeded to found Hate Free Zone, which later became OneAmerica, a group which sought to organize and advocating for diversity in American communities. The organization sued the Bush administration for the deportation of Somalis and fought against the administration’s infamous Patriot Act legislation.

“In 2006, we felt that the elected officials were not listening to us sufficiently.

“Then we started a new voter registration campaign enrolling 23,000 new voters. In 2014, when the State Senate seat opened up, I felt that there should be more representation of diversity in the legislature, and so I decided to run and the rest is history,” said Jayapal.

Since her election to the state senate, Jayapal, in a Republican majority, has been the champion of several progressive laws for Washington. Of her personal favorites is a program which ensures low-income, uninsured women access to contraception.

“I have been good at taking up controversial and complex issues and building common ground even with people who think very differently from me,” she said. “The English major has made me a good communicator,” she said jokingly.

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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