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Force India expect Perez to stay put

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Force India driver Sergio Perez has been linked to several rumors suggesting he might replace Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for the 2017 season.

Force India driver Sergio Perez has been linked to several rumors suggesting he might replace Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for the 2017 season.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Force India F1 team are confident driver Sergio Perez will remain with them next season, despite the heavy rumors linking the 26-year-old to a possible vacant seat at Scuderia Ferrari.

Perez showcased a masterful driving performance at last weekend’s Grand Prix of Europe, where he finished in third place. It was his second podium of the season after finishing at Monaco in the same position. He was additionally named driver of the day at the race in Azerbaijan last weekend after navigating his car from a seventh-place starting position to the podium finish.

It was his second top-three finish in the last three races. The Mexican driver has now collected four of the five podium finishes in Force India team history.

Nico Hulkenberg, his teammate, is yet to finish higher than fourth place in 102 career starts.

“I think he’ll be with us next year,” Force India’s deputy principal Bob Fernley said. “In this business you can never be 100 percent sure about anything but I would be comfortable to say that he will be with us.”

Perez is a former member of Ferrari’s drivers academy — recruited by current Scuderia principal Maurizio Arrivabene — and began his F1 career in a Ferrari-powered Sauber in 2011. He made his move to McLaren the following year, just as the former world champions began to enter a downward spiral. Perez left McLaren to join Force India in 2014.

Kimi Raikkonen, a former world champion himself, has been the subject of several rumors saying he’ll lose his seat with the Ferrari team at season’s end, when his contract is set to expire. The Ferrari team are yet to announce who will partner with its No. 1 driver, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, for the 2017 season.

“To be honest, I am not really into those rumors,” Perez told reporters in Baku when the subject was raised. “I am focused on my job to give the best to my team.

“I have said it before that I am happy at Force India, but for the future who knows what will happen… We are still in the early part of the year to make any decisions for later in the year.”

Perez had qualified second in Azerbaijan, however, he faced a five-place grid penalty after his car required a gearbox change thanks to the aftereffects of a crash during Friday’s practice session.

“Perhaps if we could have started in second, where we qualified, it might have been a slightly different story with Vettel. Whatever we did, we did on merit because nobody gave us anything,” said Fernley.

“In fact we made life as difficult as we could for ourselves.”

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Jolly Joseph held for serial killings of her family in South India

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Jolly Joseph

Koodathai, India (Diya TV)  — A 47 year old mother of two in Kerala is being held on suspicion of using cyanide to murder at least six of her own family members, including her husband and in-laws. Jolly Joseph is behind bars as police continue their investigation into the serial killings. Police and neighbors allege after the deaths of her immediate family, years later, Jolly killed the wife and child of a man she went on to marry.

India’s Commerce minister Piyush Goyal will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer once again this week as the U.S. and India continue bilateral trade negotiations. These talks come days after India exited a China-backed trade agreement that covered much of Asia, citing domestic concerns.

Just a couple of months after the ‘Howdy Modi’ event that brought India and the U.S. together in a manner we’ve never seen before, President Trump told reporters he does plan to visit India soon, after Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to him in Houston.

Kshama Sawant was reelected to Seattle’s City Council, despite Amazon spending $500,000 to back her opponent. Sawant, a self-proclaimed socialist, ran on an agenda to deal with Seattle’s growing gentrification, homelessness and a lack of affordable housing

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Calm prevails after Indian Supreme Court rules on Ayodhya

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a politically and culturally sensitive dispute going back decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded nearly three acres of sacred land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while mandating an alternative five-acre plot for a mosque. The court also deemed the demolition of the Babri Masjid on that site in 1991 a crime. The unanimous decision by five justices paves the way for the construction of a new Hindu temple on the parcel of land believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace, ending the oldest land title dispute in India.Calls for peace were listened to over the weekend. Now, next steps involve determining how and where precisely the temple and mosque will be built.

In a major step forward between India and Pakistan, the Kartarpur corridor on the border of the two nations opened up for Sikhs to make pilgrimage on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding India’s sentiment on this issue. 500 pilgrims made the initial voyage, including former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Supreme Court ends Ayodhya dispute: Hindus receive land, Muslims get alternative site

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a decision over a subject that has been politically and culturally sensitive for several decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while deeming the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 a crime.

The unanimous decision by five justices, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, paves the way for the construction a new Hindu temple at the site, believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. The decision ends the oldest land title dispute in India.

A board of trustees will be established in the next three months to determine construction plans for the temple. While the court ruled in favor of the Hindu petition, they ordered five acres of land to be set aside at an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque to be built.

Ahead of the verdict political leaders appealed for peace and calm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

The court was also clear the desecration of the Babri Masjid was still a criminal matter and a court case on that issue is still pending.

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