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The final clash for Silicon Valley between Rep. Mike Honda and Ro Khanna

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — Incumbent Congressman Mike Honda and Ro Khanna are in the stretch run of their second campaign battle in as many election cycles for California’s 17th Congressional district seat. Both candidates sat down with Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur on his program “The Public Interest” to discuss their visions for Silicon Valley and the legal battles each of them are embroiled in.

With an ongoing Congressional ethics investigation in play against him, Honda was asked how Khanna has been able to use those charges against him, while building his brand, image and appeal to wealthy Silicon Valley luminaries. Honda responded by saying his opponent has benefited from a multitude of news articles that misrepresent the alleged investigation.

“It wasn’t ethics,” Honda said. “It was about assuming we had broken some House rules. And we did not break any laws that we have out there.”

Honda said the House Congressional Ethics Committee is currently completing its investigation of the matter, but added the research will not be completed and results won’t be made available until after the election. Because of that, he’s hoping his reputation in the community and amongst his constituents will serve him on Election Day.

“I have to depend upon my constituents to understand who I am, where I came from, how much I’ve done and my reputation and hope that they remember and trust my character and history.”

Honda went on to say that while he doesn’t necessarily agree the investigation is a smear of his image, he does believe the print and news media have used it as such a vehicle. He said the frequent appearance of specific keywords in articles relating to his investigation have almost been used subliminally.

“I think the way they used it and the way the print media has been going about it… its been exactly that.”

Ro Khanna in his second run at Honda’s seat, is doing so as a changed man. Since his first attempt in 2014, Khanna has gotten married to Ritu, daughter of Usha Ahuja and Monte Ahuja of Hunting Valley, Ohio.

Khanna’s father-in-law is a prominent figure in Ohio, serving as the chairman of Mura Holdings, an investment firm, and the chief executive of Transmaxx, an automotive transmission parts supplier. Cleveland State University also named their business school after Mr. Ahuja after he served as their Board of Trustees chair and donated $10 million.

Heading into Election Day, Khanna is the Democratic party’s nominee against his incumbent, after edging out Honda during the state’s primary election with 39% of the vote.

Aside from these changes, Khanna said it’s the time he’s spent since his defeat in the community that make him more qualified than ever to serve and lead.

“I think I’ve just been much more locally engaged,” he said. “I think what’s working for us is our positive vision,” Khanna said. “The President Jimmy Carter just endorsed me. A focus on bringing back more money for our schools, helping bring jobs and supporting small business, I think that’s really why we’re winning.”

Khanna was asked about how this contest has been full of much more invective than the previous campaign, with both sides throwing their fair share of blows in commercials on television and social media. While Honda has had his ethics investigation used against him, the Khanna campaign has had to deal with a federal lawsuit filed by Honda that claims Khanna and his former campaign manager stole supporter and donor information via a political consultant’s Dropbox account.

Khanna pointed to the San Jose Mercury News dismissing the lawsuit as a “publicity stunt,” and the San Francisco Chronicle dubbing it as a suit “stretching the facts” as enough for the voters in Silicon Valley to know how to respond.

However, when Honda filed the lawsuit, Khanna’s campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi resigned his post.

The charges against him are entirely false, Khanna said, adding, “Larry Lessig, the Harvard constitutional law professor, who’s a supporter of Mike Honda, just blogged that it was a really stupid, bad call to even sue under the statute he is. That there’s no grounds for it [he wrote].”

“I know for a fact the campaign hasn’t used any of that information because we had an internal audit that we presented to the judge. Of all our email lists, there were only 418 overlaps out of 135,000.”

As far as Parvizshahi, Khanna confirmed he resigned, but said it was because of the complications the Honda campaign has created in his life.

“He resigned because he has thousands of dollars in legal debt, Mike Honda is suing a 27-year-old kid in federal court, but I’m confident that the suit will be thrown out.”

One thing is for certain — the winner of this race will have battle scars that will be visible from the Bay Area to Washington.

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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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