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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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Senate holds up OPM nominee Ahuja’s appointment

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Senate holds up OPM nominee Ahuja's appointment | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Senate Republicans are holding up Kiran Ahuja’s nomination to lead the Office of Personnel Management over concerns about her stance on critical race theory. GOP Senator. Josh Hawley and others in his party are concerned the Indian American would bring race-based training sessions to the entire federal government. Critical race theory recognizes that systemic racism is part of American society and challenges the beliefs that allow it to flourish.

Nishant Joshi is now Alameda California’s new police chief. He’s the first U.S.-born Indian American top cop in that state. Joshi says his parents wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer, but policing fascinated him. The Chief is married to a black woman and is a father to bi-racial children, which is why he says he wants to work on reforms to combat over-policing in communities of color.

El Salvador approved a bill that will eventually allow Bitcoin to be used as legal tender for many aspects of daily life, from property purchases to tax contributions. But the International monetary fund is warning about potential risks, especially volatility to the fragile economy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal introduce the NOVID act

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Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal Introduce The NOVID Act | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Indian American Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal, and other lawmakers introduced the NOVID Act to dramatically expand the nation’s international coronavirus prevention and vaccination efforts. They hope this will reduce the risk of COVID-19 strains from spreading and will prevent additional domestic outbreaks.

A judge in India ordered state and federal officials to draw up plans for sweeping reforms to respect LGBTQ rights, in a ruling that went far beyond the narrow terms of a case brought by a lesbian couple who said they had been harassed by police. He ordered state and federal government departments to report back with steps they intend to take to comply.

A politician in India’s ruling party was shot dead in Kashmir. Assailants connected to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terror group, claimed responsibility for the assassination of Rakesh Pandita, who was a municipal councilor and member of the BJP. Pandita’s killing is the third attack on political leaders in Indian Prime Minister Modi’s party in Kashmir this year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Bangladesh’s GDP per capita surpasses India, Pakistan

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Bangladesh’s GDP per capita surpasses India, Pakistan | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — Bangladesh is richer than Pakistan and India? That’s what the country’s Cabinet Secretary says… at least when it comes to Gross Domestic Product. in simple terms GDP is the total number of value and services produced by a country. Officials say the success is largely due to Bangladesh’s relentless focus on products, such as apparel. and the share of women in the labor force has consistently grown, unlike in India and Pakistan.

Yale University is restricting access to a controversial audio lecture recently given by Dr. Aruna Khilanani. It sparked outrage by some in the community after she’s heard saying it’s pointless to talk to white people about race and described in graphic detail her fantasy to shoot white people to death. The Indian origin psychiatrist responded by saying her words were taken out of context and explained her lecture was intentionally provocative for real engagement.

And Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos along with his brother are blasting off into space. It will be the first human flight launched by his space company, Blue Origin. In an Instagram post, Bezos said space flight was something he had wanted to do “all my life”. Blue Origin is also auctioning off a seat in the capsule, for someone who will join the inaugural flight.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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