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Pramila Jayapal Will Continue to fight Anti-Muslim Bias in Congress

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Before her alliance was born with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Pramila Jayapal began her best-known community work after she saw Arab Americans, Somali refugees and Muslim Americans being discriminated against and attacked.

In the days following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Jayapal established a non-profit, rightfully named Hate Free Zone. It is now known as OneAmerica, and serves to curb anti-Muslim backlash.

Now, headed to Congress under President-elect Donald Trump, who was never shy with anti-Muslim rhetoric while on the campaign trail, the Representative-elect remains undaunted.

“We have fought and won before,” she said during an interview with NBC News. “We have been through some incredibly dark times in the history of country, and we have moved forward. It hasn’t been as quickly as we want, but we are extremely powerful when we are united.”

The Democrat made history on Nov. 8 when she became the first Indian-American woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She also became the first woman elected to serve Washington’s 7th Congressional District. Prior to all of this, she had become the first person of color elected to the Washington state congressional delegation.

The 52-year-old will assume the duties of the seat vacated by fellow Democrat Rep. Jim McDermott, who once stood next to Jayapal when she announced the creation of Hate Free Zone back in 2001. McDermott announced his retirement from the seat after serving the district for nearly three decades.

As a current Washington state senator, Jayapal represents one of the most racially and economically diverse districts in the state, she said, and has advocated for an increase in Washington’s minimum wage, free two-year community college tuition, and automatic voter registration.

She won 57 percent of the vote during her Congressional election. Jayapal arrived in the U.S. at age 16 and studied at Georgetown University. She was born in Chennai, India, and was raised in Indonesia and Singapore.

“I’ve always thought of the United States as a place where so much was possible and so many opportunities were out there,” she said. “As an immigrant, I have lived, in a way, the American dream, and I want to make sure that opportunity is available for everybody.”

Outside of specific legislation, especially as a first-term member of Congress, Jayapal hopes to also lay the groundwork to push for more progressive policies.

“Policy is about real people and real stories and sometimes we forget that.” Jayapal said. “Statistics are just a compilation of people’s stories put on paper, and legislation is our attempt to address those real challenges for people.”

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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