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Sacramento Bee endorses Ami Bera’s re-election bid

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Incumbent Congressman Ami Bera has been endorsed by the Sacramento Bee in his re-election campaign.

Incumbent Congressman Ami Bera has been endorsed by the Sacramento Bee in his re-election campaign.

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Ami Bera, currently the only Indian American serving in the U.S. Congress, is in the midst of another reelection campaign for his seat. Currently seeking his third term, Bera is campaigning against Republican Scott Jones.

The two brawled onstage during their Oct. 18 debate, accusing each other of ethical shortcomings. Immediately following the debate, polling website Election Projection predicted that Bera would retain his seat with a five percentage point lead over Jones.

A public service background of his own, Jones has served as Sacramento County’s sheriff since 2010.

Capitol Public Radio reporter Bob Moffitt reminded those in attendance and watching the debate that Bera’s father, Babulal Bera, would serve a year-long term in federal prison, beginning Nov. 18, for violating campaign finance laws. Babulal Bera, 83, reportedly used straw donors to funnel about $300,000 to his son’s first two Congressional campaigns in 2009 and 2011. According to court documents, Babulal Bera asked an estimated 90 family members to contribute the maximum allowable contribution of $2,400 each election cycle, promising to pay them back the full amount.

Before his Aug. 18 sentencing, the elder Bera wrote a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Troy Nunley, saying he was unaware he was violating election rules, and was simply caught up in the excitement of his son running for office.

“I am sad about what my father did,” Ami said during the debate. “He made a mistake. He is not a criminal, but he broke the law.”

“Had my dad reached out to me or to the campaign, we would have said, ‘dad, you can’t do this,’” said Bera, noting that the U.S. Attorney’s office has absolved him of any knowledge of his father’s activities. “We have fully cooperated with the investigation,” he said, adding: “We’re trying to get my mom and dad through this extremely tough year.”

Jones fielded the first question of the evening — he was previously found guilty of sexually harassing four female deputies. Jones has been ordered to pay $3.7 million to the victims, and almost $6 million in legal fees; the Sacramento sheriff said he denied all allegations under oath.

During the debate, Bera said Sacramento taxpayers would be footing the expensive bill for Jones’ sexual indiscretions. “A jury ruled against you. This is pretty disturbing.”

“No woman should ever have to face this type of harassment,” he said.

Jones attacked Bera’s support of a deal with Iran, in which $1.7 billion was pledged to Tehran, allegedly to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

Bera, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, defended his stance on the deal. “It was a difficult negotiation,” he said, noting that 13 meetings took place before the deal was offered. “The goal was to reduce the nuclear threat in the Middle East. We don’t want to get into another war,” said the congressman, noting that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had praised the deal.

The U.S. paid $400 million in August, at the same time as four hostages were released. “Why are we treating Iran like a friend?” Jones questioned. “They are never going to comply.”

“Paying $1.7 billion to secure four hostages puts every American at a risk of threat,” he stated.

The Sacramento Bee endorsed the incumbent on Oct. 22, writing: “Rep. Ami Bera is a hardworking and thoughtful member of Congress who has shown he is willing to find common ground with Republicans, to the extent possible in these partisan times. We recommend voters return the Elk Grove Democrat to Washington for a third term.”

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Images show China building a development on Indian border

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Images show China developing border area by Bhutan, India | Diya TV News

CHINA-BHUTAN border (Diya TV) — New satellite images appear to show China built a development in the Himalayas along the border with India and Bhutan that was the site of a standoff in 2017.

Satellite images last month from US-based Maxar Technologies show there’s been construction all year long, including new military storage bunkers.

Chinese officials say the buildup was within the scope of their sovereignty. China and Bhutan, who do not have diplomatic relations, both lay claim to that Doklam region.

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden officially introduced his nominee for Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a veteran of the Obama Administration. Blinken during an Indian Independence Day event held by the Biden-Harris campaign said strengthening ties with India is a high-priority of the new administration. We’ll profile his career and what US-India ties will look like with him at the helm.

Watch what Blinken had to say during that campaign event here: https://youtu.be/8VjMkEZLiP0?t=960

A stone statue of Hindu goddess Maa Annapoorna stolen more than a century ago and found in Canada will be returned to India. The statue is believed to be originally from Varanasi.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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