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Narendra Modi kicks off 4-nation African visit

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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, gestures to Mozambique’s President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi after a press briefing in Maputo, Mozambique, Thursday, July 7, 2016. India’s prime minister has kicked off a... (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, gestures to Mozambique’s President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi after a press briefing in Maputo, Mozambique, Thursday, July 7, 2016. India’s prime minister has kicked off a… (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

MAPUTO, Mozambique (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday kicked off a four-nation African visit on a continent where China’s presence has been strong, including to countries which haven’t been visited by an Indian leader for more than three decades.

Modi’s visit to the nations is meant to raise India’s profile in energy, trade and investment. He began his tour in Mozambique, tweeting his arrival in Portuguese, the official language: “Starting my tour of Africa with a visit to Mozambique.”

Modi’s next stops on the tour include South Africa, which lists India as its sixth-largest trade partner, Tanzania and Kenya.

The country’s foreign ministry pinned the four countries on the Indian Ocean as key economic gateways to other landlocked African states. Mozambique alone receives almost a quarter of India’s investment in Africa, according to the government. A multitude of agreements are expected to be signed with each country, the foreign ministry said, with energy and food being key issues of the agreements. Mozambique is situated to become the third largest exporter of natural gas after Qatar and Australia, the foreign ministry added.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Modi said that India and Mozambique had “agreed to strengthen our defense and security relationship” as well as food security ties, but he gave few details.

He broached on India’s intention to purchase pulses from Mozambique, an area India has been trying to control the prices of due to the fact its a staple diet for millions of the country’s poor. The poverty-stricken population in India has doubled in the past 18 months because of two successive drought years.

India also hopes to sign civil aviation agreements to introduce direct flights into the countries, no Indian airline currently has a direct connection anywhere in Africa.

Modi is expected to meet with the Indian community in South Africa, which has a population of more than one million of Indian origin. He’ll do the same in Kenya, with 80,000 people of Indian origin.

While in Durban, South Africa, Modi is expected to take a the same journey by train that Mohandas K. Gandhi once took to commemorate the Indian independence leader. Gandhi’s exposure to racism while living in South Africa as a young man is believed to have shaped his resistance to segregation with nonviolent protest.

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Ex-Minneapolis cop charged with George Floyd’s murder

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Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (Diya TV) — One of the Minneapolis police officers fired for their role in the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd died after he was pinned to the ground by those officers, with Chauvin keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The other officers are under investigation, but no charges were announced. The arrest comes after a night of tumult in Minneapolis, where a police station and new housing project were burned down and stores were looted.

Protests that were largely limited to Minneapolis this week have now spread around the nation. From New York to Atlanta, Washington to San Jose, thousands of people outraged over Floyd’s death have taken to the streets. While gatherings started as peace expressions of grief, many of them have turned violent.

President Trump announced there will be a federal investigation over Floyd’s death. But he’s also caused controversy with a tweet quoting George Wallace that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in reaction to the fires set in Minneapolis.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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In Oval Office, Trump offers personal mediation to India-China

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Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) —  President Trump, when asked in the Oval Office to comment on the growing India-China border dispute, said he would be happy to mediate any issues between the two nations. Trump added he spoke to Prime Minister Modi and claims Modi “is not in a good mood about what’s going on with China.”

The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum normally holds events at high-end hotels. But this time out, their West Coast Summit brought dignitaries together virtually, featuring speakers like Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and FedEx President Raj Subramaniam to discuss the growing U.S.-India relationship.

The Indian government is allowing Indian Americans with Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards to return. They had restricted such travel as part of India’s strict lockdown two months ago.

And bad weather delayed a landmark U.S. trip into space by NASA and SpaceX. It was to be the first space mission with astronauts aboard powered by a private company. Instead, they will aim to lift off once again on Saturday.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Somber milestone: 100,000 Americans lost to COVID-19

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COVID-19

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Three months into the pandemic, America hit a grim milestone — 100,000 dead in the U.S. at the hands of COVID-19. Cases continue to rise in 14 states, including California. 1.7 million Americans are now afflicted with COVID-19.

In a tweet, President Trump chimed into the growing India-China border dispute, offering to have American officials meditate to keep the peace. China already has ongoing rifts with Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet — regions with underlying calls for independence. And there are many asking for American intervention in those matters. We’ll analyze all of these movements.

Peaceful protests have turned into riots in Minneapolis after the senseless killing of George Floyd by police. The four officers involved have been fired. And now Minneapolis’ mayor wants criminal charges for 44 year old Derek Chauvin, the now fired officer who suffocated Floyd to death while onlookers screamed for him to stop.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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