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Indian-American Amita Swadhin Warns Senate Panel of Jeff Sessions Appointment

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Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Amita Swadhin, an Indian-American woman who is lesbian and was sexually abused as a child, warned a Senate panel Wednesday that confirming Sen. Jeff Sessions as the country’s next Attorney General would threaten the safety of the LGBT community and rape victims.

“As a bisexual woman with a transgender romantic partner, and as an advocate working to support sexual assault survivors in the LGBT community, the prospect of Senator Sessions as attorney general is personally and professionally alarming,” she said.

Swadhim recounted how her father sexually assaulted her regularly as a child between the ages of four and 12. She was called to testify by Senate Democrats of the Judiciary Committee on the second day of Sessions’ nomination hearings.

“I endured psychological, physical, and verbal abuse from him for years,” she told the committee. “I also grew up watching my father abuse my mother in a textbook case of domestic violence and marital rape.”

Swadhim’s testimony further sharpened the point of attacks that have been used on Sessions’ appointment, a former U.S. attorney and Alabama attorney general who Washington Democrats have labeled as racist, anti-Muslim and homophobic. During her testimony, Swadhim said Sessions should be disqualified from consideration.

“We need a justice department that can be a partner to families and communities. Our attorney general must be able to demonstrate leadership to victims of violent crime that helps us feel we can trust the state, the courts, and victim service agencies more than we fear our perpetrators,” she said. “For most survivors of violent crime, this means trusting the state more than you fear the family member, friend or community member who you trusted and who raped or abused you.”

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, both Democrats, were the only two to ask Swadhim questions after her testimony.

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Houston to host community summit for Indian Prime Minister Modi

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Houston hosts Modi

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — Non-profit group Texas India Forum announced they are organizing “Howdy, Modi!”, an Indian American community event for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Houston September 22nd. The venue has yet to be announced, but tens of thousands of people are expected at the event.

Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among the members of the House antitrust committee with sharp questions for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon in a hearing focused on competition and anti-competitive behavior online.

Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal died days after the Indian Supreme Court threw out his plea to postpone imprisonment in a murder conviction. He was 72. The ‘dosa king’ was found to have orchestrated the murder of a man, whose wife he wanted to marry.

And the managing director of the State Bank Of India, Anshula Kant, is taking the helm at the World Bank as managing director and chief financial officer.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House vill passes removing Green Card country cap

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House of Representatives passed a bill to lift the current seven percent country-cap on issuing Green Cards, a development that could benefit thousands of skilled Indian IT professionals.

The United States India Strategic Partnership Forum had a bipartisan feel to it in Washington, as the event was keynoted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senior Advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner. Watch both of their speeches to the USISPF crowd exclusively on Diya TV.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning his post amid controversy over the way he handled a sex crimes case a decade ago against wealthy businessman Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was U.S. attorney for southern Florida.

Billionaire Richard Branson’s spaceflight company Virgin Galactic will be the 1st publicly traded space tourism company in a $800 million deal backed by venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya’s investment company.

And Mindy Kaling’s open casting call for her upcoming Netflix series led to the hiring of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who was cast out of 15,000 people.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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New Zealand eliminates India in cricket World Cup

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New Zealand wins Cricket

MANCHESTER, England (Diya TV) — After a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India, when play resumed, the Kiwis held on to win by 18 runs, knocking India out of the Cricket World Cup. It’s on to the championship round for New Zealand.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Indian restaurant in Washington DC, detaining several employees.

Airbnb, the Silicon Valley couchsurfing startup turned hospitality behemoth, says they made a direct economic impact of around $150 million in India in 2018.

Indian Airbnb hosts collectively made almost $28 million and welcomed nearly 800,000 guests last year. 

Chennai-based speech recognition startup, Uniphore Software Systems, raised $38 million as part of its Series C round. They’ve received funding from California venture capital firm March Capital Partners and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. 

And Indo-Australian Priya Serrao was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019.

The 26-year-old policy advisor from the state of Victoria said she will use her new platform to promote multiculturalism. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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