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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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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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