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Nikki Haley Breaks from President-elect’s Stance on Russia

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – Nikki Haley on Wednesday became the latest Trump Cabinet nominee to break with the President-elect’s ideas on how to deal with Russia.

The South Carolina governor told senators reviewing her nomination for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations that the United States must use force against Russia’s attempts to flex its muscles in the Ukraine and Syria, as well as Moscow’s alleged interference in the U.S. election.

Russia was just one area of several that Haley put distance between herself and the President-elect with, at one point she even chided Trump for speaking dismissively of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Russia specifically, Haley said, “I don’t think that we can trust them.”

“We have to try and see what we can get from them before we give to them,” Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We have to continue to be very strong.”

She insisted the U.S. must not send the message that it is comfortable with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or for the country’s support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. When pressed by Sen. Ben Cardin, Haley also said she views Crimea as part of Ukraine. She agreed that the Syrian regime’s actions, which were backed by Russia, constituted “genocide.” She also said “Yes, I do,” when asked if Russia had committed war crimes in Aleppo.

Haley added that the U.S. should not reduce sanctions on Russia until they show they’re taking positive steps.

Many Democrats, as well as some top Republicans, are extremely concerned with Trump’s unwillingness to take a hard line with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his resistance to U.S. intelligence assessments that the Kremlin tried to influence the general election in Trump’s favor. Many are worried the president-elect, who takes office Friday, will not stand up to Moscow and would not pass sanctions to the effect that would stop further Russian intervention in US governance and policy making decisions.

Although Haley has extremely limited foreign policy experience, her nomination is one of the least controversial of Trump’s Cabinet selections, and she’s expected to sail through the confirmation process. She candidly admitted that she has a lot to learn about the U.N. system, but also said that due to her gubernatorial experience, she has the coalition-building and deal-making skills needed to successfully represent the United States on the world stage.

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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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