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John Glenn, Aviation Icon and former U.S. Senator, dies at 95

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In 1998, still healthy and vigorous, Glenn embarked on his second venture in space.

In 1998, still healthy and vigorous, Glenn embarked on his second venture in space.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — John Glenn’s legend is otherworldly — he became the first American to orbit Earth, then became a national political figure for 24 years in the U.S. Senate. He died Thursday in Ohio. Glenn was 95.

Ohio State University announced his death. Glenn had recently been hospitalized at the university at the James Cancer Center, though Ohio State officials said at the time that admission there did not necessarily mean he had cancer. He had heart-valve replacement surgery in 2014 and a stroke around that time.

He had kept an office at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, which he helped found, and also had a home in Columbus.

Then just 40 years old and serving as a test pilot for the Marines, Glenn in 1962 become just one of the seven original American astronauts. He climbed into Friendship 7, the tiny Mercury capsule atop an Atlas rocket rising from the ground in Cape Canaveral. The Cold War had long stoked fears of nuclear destruction, and the Russians were well ahead in the space race — Yuri A. Gagarin and Gherman S. Titov, Russian astronauts, had already orbited Earth the year before.

It was a short flight, just three orbits. But when Glenn was safely back, flashing the world a triumphant grin, new faith that the United States could indeed hold its own against the Soviet Union in the Cold War and might someday prevail emerged.

No flier since Lindbergh had received such a cheering welcome.

Commuters filled the concourse of Grand Central Terminal to watch as Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

Commuters filled the concourse of Grand Central Terminal to watch as Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

Glenn was invited to the White House by President John F. Kennedy and paraded up Broadway and across the land. A joint meeting of Congress stood and applauded vigorously as Glenn spoke at the Capitol.

Glenn was reluctant to talk about himself as a hero. “I figure I’m the same person who grew up in New Concord, Ohio, and went off through the years to participate in a lot of events of importance,” he said in an interview years later. “What got a lot of attention, I think, was the tenuous times we thought we were living in back in the Cold War. I don’t think it was about me. All this would have happened to anyone who happened to be selected for that flight.”

After resigning from the astronaut corps in 1964 because he couldn’t find a vacant space seat, Glenn entered the private sector as an executive. He ultimately landed in politics, serving four full terms as a Democratic senator from his home state of Ohio, as well as unsuccessfully running for presidential nomination in 1984.

However, 36 years after his Mercury flight and in the last months of his final senate term, Glenn made his return to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. No matter how many pundits declared his return to space was a political move or waste of money, the yesteryear hero still brought out the crowds as he was launched back into orbit in 1998.

At age 77, he became the oldest person to go to space.

“John always had the right stuff,” President Obama said in a statement on Thursday, “inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond — not just to visit, but to stay.”

Glenn and President John F. Kennedy inspected the capsule that Glenn rode into orbit.

Glenn and President John F. Kennedy inspected the capsule that Glenn rode into orbit.

In his 1999 memoir, written with Nick Taylor, he admitted he was sorely disappointed when he was not the first astronaut originally tapped for a flight. Glenn was the most senior and articulate pilot on the staff, and had already attracted a large portion of the public’s attention. He said that he had “worked and studied hard dedicating myself to the program” and that he thought he had a “good shot” at being first. In a letter to a NASA official, Glenn wrote, “I thought I might have been penalized for speaking out for what I thought was the good of the program.”

As a senator, Glenn developed an expertise n weapons systems, nuclear proliferation issues and most legislation related to technology and bureaucratic reform. He generally took moderate positions on most issues, though in his last two terms his voting record became more liberal. He was an enthusiastic supporter of President Bill Clinton.

In recent years, honors continued to come his way: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland was renamed the John H. Glenn Research Center.

In 2012, about a week before the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 flight, a reporter found the 90-year-old Mr. Glenn in full voice and clear mind, but regretting that he had sold his airplane the month before.

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India becomes 5th largest economy, overtakes UK, France

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Economy

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — India is now the world’s fifth largest economy, overtaking the UK and France in 2019, according to a report by American non-partisan think tank World Population Review. The report says India’s economic liberalization starting in the early 1990s was key to this growth. Though the report also indicates India’s real GDP growth is expected to weaken for the third straight year from 7.5 percent to 5 percent.

Billionaire entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on stage at the ninth Democratic Debate in Las Vegas, qualifying for the first time after polls indicate his star is rising amongst potential Democratic primary voters after spending more than $300 million in political advertising. Diya TV will be in Las Vegas with full coverage from what will certainly be an eventful night.

Lakshmi Sridaran, who has been the interim executive director for non-profit civil rights group, SAALT, South Asian Americans Leading Together, will take on that role moving forward. SAALT also announced Simran Noor will serve as their new Board Chair.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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150,000 people expected for ‘Namaste Trump’ in Gujarat

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Namaste Trump

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — President Trump & the first lady will get a massive welcome on his visit to Gujarat next week, where 150,000 people are expected to attend ‘Namaste Trump.’ It’s expected to be an even grander event than ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston, where 50,000 people greeted Prime Minister Modi. A delegation of business leaders from the U.S. are also headed to India for a series of events in New Delhi.

The 17th annual India Conference at Harvard brought more than 1000 people to the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard’s Business School including a long list of luminaries in business, politics and entertainment. And only on Diya TV, we have exclusive conversations with Indian unicorn CEOs Ankiti Bose of Zilingo and Ritesh Agarwal of OYO.

Roseville Police in California say a taxi driver, Rajbir Singh, saved an elderly passenger in his cab from giving a scammer $25,000. The 92 year old told Singh she was about to withdraw the money to settle a debt with the IRS. It sounded like a scam to Singh, who asked the woman to reconsider, even detouring to a police station to help convince her not to withdraw her money. Eventually, she decided not to proceed. Roseville Police say Singh should be honored with a “great citizen award.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Amb. Sandhu greets USIBC in Washington

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Amb. Sandhu greets USIBC in Washington | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — New Indian ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu held court with business leaders involved with the U.S.-India Business Council and gave a preview of what to expect when President Trump meets with Prime Minister Modi later this month in India.

The annual Harvard India Conference takes place this weekend and Diya TV is a proud media partner for this event that will host a slew of well known Indian tycoons, political figures and folks working on social change.

With this large student-run India-focused conference taking place this weekend, the host city of Cambridge, Massachusetts became the second town in America to pass a resolution asking India to repeal the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and stop the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

And with the college baseball season about to start, we will take you back to what some say is the greatest performance in college baseball history. Indian American student athlete Kumar Rocker at just 19 years old, pitched a 19 strikeout no hitter to save Vanderbilt’s season on their way to winning the 2019 College World Series. Rocker is now a sophomore and is considered one of baseball’s top pitching prospects.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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