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Vice President Joe Biden speaks candidly on immigration at Diwali celebration

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Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a shawl after lighting the candle at the Diwali reception in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a shawl after lighting the candle at the Diwali reception in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Referring to the Indian-American community’s contribution to the country as breathtaking, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden cautioned that any effort to stop the flow of immigrants coming to the U.S. would disrupt the incredible harmony of the American experience.

“The amazing contribution of the Indian-American community is breathtaking because many of you and your friends came here not out of some sense of the Diaspora that ended up in Delaware were the most educated people when they arrived in America. As a matter of fact they made it hard for other people,” Biden said during a Diwali reception held at his residence.

“The day we shut things down, the day we cut these out, the day we decide to go back that is happening now, that’s getting to the end of this great incredible experiment,” he added.

Organized alongside the efforts of the Indiaspora, the reception was attended by some top Indian-American leaders and several current and past members of his Administration from this community.

“You are an incredible group of Americans,” Biden said to kick off the festivities.

During his remarks, Biden also found time to congratulate the three new Indian-Americans elected to the House of Representatives. Pramila Jayapal (Washington), Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois) and Ro Khanna (California) were all elected in last Tuesday’s general election.

Arun Kumar, Congresswoman elect Pramila Jayapal, Congressman Elect Raja Krishnamoorthi (Image: Arun Kumar)

Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala Khan were the event’s special invitees. While speaking about the couple, Biden asked them to the podium. The Vice President praised Khan for taking a strong stand against religious hatred during the general elections, he appealed to the attendees not to be disappointed by the results of the election.

“This is America, This is kind of who we are,” Biden said referring to Khan. “You reminded millions of Americans why there is hope and faith. I will say you that the fact that the other team won does not mean that that was rejected,” he added. “We lost because of awful lot of hardworking Americans who live in areas where we did not pay much attention to. Barack Obama won these people. They are not racist. They did not vote for the Democrats this time.”

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Force Feeding of El Paso 9 ends

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Force Feeding of prisoners in El Paso ended today

Coming up on Diya TV News, tonight at 8:

A joint letter from Indo-American Kashmir Forum and Hindu American Foundation is urging the US to censure terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), as well as those nations believed to be supporting them, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and China.

A U.S. district court ruling stopped the force-feeding of Indian men on a hunger strike at the El Paso ICE detention center. Now nearly 50 Democratic lawmakers have called for a ICE watchdog investigation.

Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai and one of the Catholic Church’s most senior cardinals, admitted at a major Vatican conference on child abuse he could have better handled sexual abuse allegations that were brought to him.

Two India Air Force planes collided in mid-air while rehearsing an aerobatic performance, killing one pilot and injuring two others. The crash on Tuesday took place as the pilots practiced a display ahead of the Aero India air show in Bengaluru.

And Indian PM Modi is in South Korea for two-day visit to bolster strategic ties.

Those stories, all news — Tonight at 8. Join Us.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Rep. Ro Khanna named Sanders Campaign Co-chair

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Ro Khanna joins Sanders campaign as co-chair

UMembers of the UN Security Council condemned the suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 40 Indian soldiers last week. The members also underlined the need to hold sponsors of terrorism accountable.

Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna was named a national co-chair for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders alongside Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Sanders named Faiz Shakir his campaign manager earlier this week.

The White House is reviewing proposed changes to end the work authorization for spouses of the holders of H-1B visa. The move would impact more than 90,000 spouses on H4 visas, a significant majority of whom are Indian-Americans and women.

Thanks to an online initiative by 26 year old Viveik Patel, 25,000 people have contributed $1 million to the families affected in the Pulwama terror attack.

And India and South Korea signed six agreements to enhance cooperation in infrastructure, media, startups and combating crime.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Pastor challenges yoga, Hinduism for having ‘demonic’ roots

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Diya TV) — A Missouri pastor criticized yoga for its ‘demonic intent’ because of Hinduism influences. John Lindell of the James River Church in Ozark, Mo., which serves over 10,000 people in its congregation, warned Christians to not partake in the activity.

“They were designed, they were created with demonic intent, to open you up to demonic power because Hinduism is demonic,” Lindell said during a sermon on Oct. 28 according to the Springfield News-Leader.

While yoga is a longstanding practice originating from India, there is no indication that it is based off religious values. According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, it is stated yoga doesn’t adhere to any particular religion or belief system.

Yoga translates to “union” in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Given its broad meaning, the practice has varied locally and abroad. In addition, there are variations in certain disciplines — which can have a Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism influence — but it is dependent on the type of schools, practices and goals one is pursuing.

In the U.S., it’s become popular for various outcomes. Whether it be for physical, mental or spiritual pleasure, yoga has served as a peaceful outlet for many without it impacting their religious beliefs. While Lindell claimed it’s “spiritually dangerous,” many in the area have responded.

Heather Worthy, a Christian and yoga instructor in Springfield, only had four people attend her class following the sermon.

“It’s so frustrating,” Worthy told the Springfield News-Leader. “The whole thing is quite ludicrous to me.”

Worthy felt attacked, and she wasn’t alone.

With about a dozen yoga classes in the Springfield area, Amanda Davis has spent her last 12 years as an instructor.

“Yoga doesn’t prescribe to any religion, and I don’t think people understand that so they get false ideas about it,” Davis said, one week after a Florida gunman killed two people and injured five at a yoga studio.

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