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Democrats Stage Largest Inauguration Protest by Members in History

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton arrive for the Presidential Inauguration of Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — While Donald Trump took the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, more than 60 House Democrats were absent from the festivities, the largest inaugural protest by the party’s members in history.

“I’m not boycotting. It’s an act of conscience,” Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told Politico. “I mean no disrespect. This is about his behavior and his words that have caused so much harm.”

Connolly said he had no real plans for the day, just “a quiet day in Virginia,” where he watched the inauguration on television from his district office. Several other Democrats opted to instead spend the day volunteering, hosted open discussions on immigration and even spent time outdoors with Mother Nature.

The objective of the protest, Democrats said, was to counterpoint Trump’s divisive rhetoric towards women, immigrants, minorities and civil rights leaders — by showing respect toward those communities. More than one-third of the caucus skipped the ceremony, and for several, the decision not to attend became much easier when President Trump attacked Rep. John Lewis, a celebrated civil rights icon, on Twitter over the weekend.

During the tirade on his favorite social media platform, Trump called Lewis “all talk” and “no action” in response to Lewis questioning his legitimacy as president.

Other members cited Russia’s alleged meddling in November’s general election, which intelligence officials said was intended to ensure Trump’s victory, as their reason for staying behind.

Of all the Democrats who chose to attend Friday’s ceremony, the most-watched was Trump’s former rival whom he defeated in the November election, Hillary Clinton. The two crossed paths for the first time since the end of one of the most contentious White House races in the country’s history.

Trump took a moment to thank both of the Clintons for attending during his afternoon luncheon.

“I was very honored — very, very honored when I heard President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today, and I think it’s appropriate to say,” Trump said during a luncheon at the National Statuary Hall on Friday afternoon. “I’d like you to stand up. And honestly, there’s nothing more I can say because I have a lot of respect for those two people.

“We all want the same thing. We’re all good people.”

The Clintons were met at the luncheon with a standing ovation — a far cry from the boos, chants of “lock her up,” and the “Crooked Hillary” tag the candidate was branded with by her opponent while on the campaign trail. After a brief handshake, Trump could be seen thanking Hillary for her attendance.

“Thank you for being here,” he could be seen whispering to the Democrat.

“I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values,” Clinton tweeted ahead of the inauguration. “I will never stop believing in our country & its future.”

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at 87. She was the oldest sitting member of the court. Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman named to the Supreme Court. A cultural and feminist icon, Ginsburg was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton, and her passing will set off a showdown in the coming weeks before the November election. In a message left this week as her health waned, Ginsburg said “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced said the Senate will conduct a vote to replace her and President Trump is expected to put forth a nominee to fill the seat in the coming days.

An Indian American doctor filed a federal lawsuit against the Aurora, Colorado police department after one of their police officers pointed a gun at him on his own property while he was trying to park his car. The incident was captured on video. The officer, Justin Henderson, has been suspended for 40 hours without pay and will be required to attend de-escalation training. 45 year old Dr. Paramjit Parmar, who is known in Aurora for his aid to refugees, believes race affected how he was treated and said Henderson’s punishment is “terribly inadequate.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward | Diya TV News

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — The recall effort against Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward after a ruling by a King County judge. Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers said four of the six accusations against Sawant are legitimate. They include misuse of city resources, misuse of her position by letting protesters into City Hall, relinquishing her duties of office to an outside political organization and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house despite her address being protected due to threats from her time as a U.S. Attorney. 

Now, the group of residents leading the recall must get about 11,000 valid signatures before the recall gets on the ballot. Sawant in response said this battle is just the latest attempt by corporate interests and Mayor Durkan to derail her efforts to reform the city and announced she will lead a grassroots campaign to fight the charges.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is facing heat as well from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who suggested prosecutors consider filing charges against her over the mass protests this summer that led some protesters to establish a police-free zone in downtown Seattle. In a tweet, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara offered his help to Durkan pro-bono.

Indian Prime Minister Modi turned 70 years old and received birthday wishes from around the globe, including from President Trump, who called Modi “a great leader and loyal friend.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters| Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — At a virtual event featuring the former CEO of the Democratic National Committee, Seema Nanda, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republican Ohio State Representative Niraj Antani, non-profit Indiaspora teamed up with AAPI Data to reveal the growing political power of the Indian American diaspora. The joint report says 66% of Indian Americans currently favor Vice President Biden, and 28% favor President Trump. The study shows an enormous rise in political engagement from the community. There are 1.8 million Indian Americans in the U.S. who are eligible voters and both sides of the aisle recognize the need to further engage Indian Americans, who AAPI Data notes is now the largest part of the Asian American community, surpassing Chinese Americans.

Eric Trump, President Trump’s son, took part in an Indian Voices for Trump event in suburban Atlanta. It was an indoor rally with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Trump was on hand to win support from the community in a vital state that will be tightly contested this fall. Georgia, like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas are considered in play and have growing Indian American populations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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