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Raja Krishnamoorthi is ready to work ‘across the aisle’ in Congress

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CHICAGO (Diya TV) — For 43-year-old Raja Krishnamoorthi, everything is about to change — as Illinois’ first Indian-American elected official, he is preparing to ship out as a new congressman of the state’s 8th District.

But the way he sees it, Krishnamoorthi will be taking off at the same time Donald Trump is becoming President without a mandate after losing the popular vote by approximately 2.5 million ballots. He believes that serves as an opening for himself, and fellow House Democrats, to win some concessions.

“Donald Trump will become president even after losing the popular vote in our November elections by a wide margin,” Krishnamoorthi said in an interview with NBC News. “To govern effectively, he must appeal to a broader base than what he campaigned on and avoid the divisive rhetoric that alienated so many Americans.”

Not only will he be Illinois’ first-ever Indian-American elected official, but Krishnamoorthi will be just one of 18 total Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of Congress, according to Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

He defeated Republican opponent Peter DiCianni by approximately 17 points in the race to replace longtime Democrat Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who herself has graduated to the Senate. During the election, Krishnamoorthi won endorsements from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times as well as from President Barack Obama.

“My hope is that we will find ways to work together rather than falling into the partisan dysfunction that’s plagued Washington for years,” he said.

Born and raised in Illinois as the son of Indian immigrants, the father of three has experience in both the public and private sectors. He previously served as the state’s deputy treasurer, special assistant attorney general, and chairperson of the audit committee of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Krishnamoorthi co-founded InSPIRE, a non-profit organization that trains inner-city students and veterans in solar technology.

Once he gets to Congress, Krishnamoorthi intents for his main focus to be on infrastructure, immigration reform and job creation — three pillars he noted were also heavy elements of President-elect Trump’s campaign.

“If Donald Trump is sincere in looking to advance those issues in a meaningful way, I will work with him to pass legislation that makes progress in those areas,” Krishnamoorthi said.

While he agrees the country could use immigration reform, Krishnamoorthi said building a wall and deporting undocumented immigrants who have lived most of their lives in the U.S. is no way to go about fixing a broken and corrupt system.

“I hope that President-elect Trump will drop his unrealistic campaign pledge to deport millions of immigrants who’ve made their lives in this country and contribute to our country,” he said. “In addition, I would like to work with the new administration and my Republican colleagues in Congress to allow the tens of thousands of foreign students who attend U.S. universities and graduate schools to stay in this country to start businesses and create jobs.”

Information from NBC News contributed to this report. 

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India launches ambitious vaccine inoculation drive

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India Launches Ambitious Vaccine Inoculation Drive | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India is out to prove it’s a COVID-19 vaccination superpower, as they look to not only protect 1.3 billion of its own people, but people from more than 150 countries around the world. Indian Prime Minister Modi said there is reason for his citizens to be confident in the world’s most ambitious inoculation drive with a strong delivery network, a mobile app and an enormous vaccine supply.

The state of California is suing tech giant Cisco Systems alleging discrimination against an Indian American man in the workplace. The engineer claims he was treated unfairly by two former colleagues because of his caste. But the Hindu American Foundation says the state’s argument that caste is a strict part of the Hindu religion is false and is a harmful portrayal of the faith. They argue it is not the government’s role to define any religions beliefs.

Air India is expanding its reach in the U.S. as it prepares to launch even more non-stop flights in the New Year. The airline will start non-stop services between Bengaluru and San Francisco, as well as between Hyderabad and Chicago.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indo-pacific framework documents declassified

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Indo-pacific Framework Documents Declassified | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In its final days, the Trump administration is declassifying some highly sensitive documents, including the “U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” (SFIP), written by the National Security Council. India is shown as a rising power in the document, vital to the security of the Indo-Pacific region and important to U.S. interests.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is starting a new political action committee called Stand for America PAC.  But so far, there’s no mention of President Trump on her donation site or web page. Haley’s spokesperson says don’t read too much into that. But Haley is widely considered a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and could face Trump if he chooses to run again.

President-Elect Joe Biden has yet to take office, but he’s already getting down to business, unveiling a massive $1.9 trillion dollar economic relief package. If passed by Congress, it would include $1 trillion for households, with direct payments of $1400 to all Americans, and the rest going to small businesses and the fight against COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India reveals 8-point plan to fight terrorism

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India Reveals 8 Point Plan To Fight Terrorism | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar says terrorism remains the greatest threat to global peace and India’s best interests. So he’s unveiling an eight point action plan that includes using more U.N. sanctions and mobilizing what he calls the political will to fight this menace. The minister’s defensive posture is in response to the increase in security concerns related to China and Pakistan.

Two more Indian Americans are now part of a growing list of South Asians being added to President elect Joe Biden’s administration. Neha Gupta and Reema Shah are now part of the White House Counsel’s Office. Gupta will serve as associate counsel, while Shah will be deputy associate counsel. Both attorney’s already have experience and impressive resumes serving in other Democratic administrations.  

Federal authorities say an Indian American man targeted the elderly in a massive telemarketing scam. Hirenkumar Chaudhuri admitted that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and fake address to open several bank accounts to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme. This is the latest in a crackdown on scams using call centers in India, defrauding senior citizens and others. People of Indian descent as well as others are involved in the scams that continue to operate and are ruining India’s reputation and have the potential of affecting the nation’s multi-billion-dollar back office industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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