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Donald Trump to USINPAC: US-India relationship is ‘most important’

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump approaches the podium to speak at a rally on October 18, 2016 in Grand Junction Colorado. Trump is on his way to Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump approaches the podium to speak at a rally on October 18, 2016 in Grand Junction Colorado. Trump is on his way to Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Further strengthening the relationship between the United States and India will be a cornerstone of the President-elect’s administration, a member of his transition team said during a briefing organized by the United States India Political Action Committee.

“The President-elect understands that the U.S.-India relationship is the most important relationship. India is our second-largest trading partner. The relationship will grow stronger,” said Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, a member of Trump’s transition team.

Barletta added that India are one of the largest purchasers of U.S.-made defense equipment. He also said that the U.S. and India must join hands in the global battle against terrorism, which continues to grow, he said. USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri said Trump “must work on kick starting the economy, tackling ISIS and terrorism in Asia. The Indian-American community congratulates President Trump on such a decisive win and pledges to work with the new administration.”

Matt Keelen, a lobbyist who also served as an advisor to the Trump campaign, also spoke at the gathering. He spoke about both country’s efforts to tackle terrorism in their own backyards, adding that former President George W. Bush did a “good job of promoting India during a very trying time in the world.” Keelen cited the signing of the landmark U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Deal in the Bush administration.

He also confirmed that former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is being considered for the Cabinet position of Health and Human Services Secretary.

Trump’s main focus will be to rebuild the American economy, mainly by investment in more sophisticated infrastructure, Keelen said, adding that the President-elect’s approach has received bi-partisan support in the past. As he said so many times on the campaign trail, Trump will also seek to rally a slew of jobs, primarily in manufacturing, back to the U.S. Ford and General Motors recently cancelled scheduled moves to Mexico, and Apple Computer, a company that faced much scrutiny from Trump the candidate, recently began exploring the possibility of relocating iPhone manufacturing to the U.S.

“We are coming to a moment in history where America will truly boom,” Keelen said.

“Entrepreneurship and small businesses will grow our economy again,” said Barletta, predicting an annual growth rate of 4 percent under the new administration. “This economy will take off under Trump,” he added.

Arts & Culture

U.S. and India conduct joint military drill on Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean

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Indian Ocean drill

DIEGO GARCIA, Indian Ocean (Diya TV) — The U.S. and Indian Navies went submarine hunting in the Indian Ocean, their first bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise since a signing pact to work more closely together last fall.

India’s exports to China are up in 2019, while imports declined, leading to a $10 billion reduction in India’s trade deficit with China. Analysts say the current Washington-Beijing trade war has also opened things up for India.

The Jallianwala Massacre 100 years ago that left hundreds dead and 1200 injured at the hands of British troops is considered a key turning point towards a free India. British prime minister Theresa May marked the occasion by expressing “deep regret”, but there are still no apologies.

An effort by an American and British companies to help Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal save the airline from collapse dissolved after Etihad Airways and TPG Capital threatened to walk away themselves if Goyal was part of the deal.

And comedian Hasan Minhaj, who won a 2017 Peabody Award, received another Peabody nomination in the entertainment category for his Netflix show, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.”

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Women filmmakers shine at the 2019 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

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IFFLA staff with the 2019 festival winners

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — The 17th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded Sunday night with the zany slice-of-life film, The Odds, directed by Megha Ramaswamy. Complete with a glamorous closing night red carpet, and an awards ceremony, the festival ended with an after party at the Spice Affair in Beverly Hills.

(From Left to Right) Praveen Morchale, Christina Marouda, Shazia Iqbal, Anand Patwardhan, Nitin Sonawane , Divya Kohli Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

IFFLA was only four days this year (compared to five days in previous years), but there was still so much to see during that time. In addition to the curated set of films, there was an incredible panel discussion, Breaking in Brown: Making it to Series in TV’s Golden Age, that featured panelists working in various fields in the television industry and their struggles to rise up through the ranks in the Hollywood while being brown.

Panel Discussion Breaking in Brown. Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

This year’s film lineup boasted five world premieres, two North American premieres, two U.S. premieres and eleven Los Angeles Premieres, with films presented in nine different languages. The overall atmosphere was very relaxed, even with films that tackled difficult subject matters. Roughly fifty percent of the films were directed by women. Filmmakers and staff alike hoped for a future where it will be normal to have women and men equally making films.

Kicking off the awards ceremony, Director of Programming, Mike Dougherty, announced the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature, Widow of Silence.

“We present the Grand Jury prize to a film that illuminates a condition that most of the world doesn’t get to see and shines a light on the characters that live through it everyday…This filmmaker’s civic disobedience illustrates their love and compassion for their country and their people, and the craft of their film-making was beautifully wise and refined.”

Director Praveen Morchhale was visibly surprised as he walked up to receive his award. The film he said was about those, “that nobody talks about and nobody treats them as a human.” Even though it was Morchhale’s first time at IFFLA, he felt as if he had been coming here for many years. He credited his win to the women in Kashmir the film portrayed.

The Audience Award for Best Feature went to Reason. Director Anand Patwardhan received a standing ovation when he went to collect his award. Patwardhan said, “most of the time our film is getting thrown out of festivals, I wasn’t expecting this.” He added that it meant a lot for the film to be well received at IFFLA and how that will hopefully impact its reception in India.

Shazia Iqbal’s Bebaak was a crowd favorite winning the Audience Award For Best Short Film. The jury mentioned how she almost gave up on filming because she was getting thrown out of mosques. Iqbal spoke about how when people think of Muslims, they only think of Muslim men and not women, many of whom experience tremendous misogyny. She hopes people will be able to “see beyond what misogyny and religion does to people.” Iqbal added, “a director is nothing without their team.”

“a layered portrait of a woman determined to pursue her needs and impulses,” the Grand Jury awarded their prize for Best Short to The Field from director Sandhya Suri. “the film takes images that normally evoke a sense of fear and flips the narrative on its head redefining a new more empowered world for the female protagonist and exploring an often unseen story of a woman’s drive and agency over her own body and life,” the jury added.

After the awards, Dougherty introduced the closing night film, The Odds by saying the film was the “perfect way to close IFFLA on a celebratory note.”


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Arts & Culture

One-on-One with Prime Minister Modi

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One-on-One with Modi

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — In a rare sit-down interview in the middle of an election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discusses his first term and what he plans to accomplish if he is elected to a second term. Watch the full interview tonight on a special Diya TV Dialogue at 7 pm.

Two U.S. Senators are urging more negotiations with India over a Trump administration plan to end preferential imports because it could raise costs for American consumers.

Meanwhile, India purchased a missile system from Russia. Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is hopeful the deal will avoid sanctions and scrutiny from the U.S.

Thiru Vignarajah a former federal prosecutor, who also once served as deputy Attorney General in the state of Maryland, announced he is running for mayor of Baltimore as a Democrat.

And our entertainment reporter, Kari Lane will take you behind the scenes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, an event proudly sponsored by Diya TV, full of some of the brightest stars you will soon see on the silver screen.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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