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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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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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