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Nikki Haley confirmed as next U.S. Ambassador to United Nations

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the crowd after being sworn in for her second term as governor, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, at the state Capitol in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was confirmed Tuesday to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, placing the rising Republican star squarely in the middle of advancing President Trump’s agenda in an institution whose effectiveness has been called into question.

Haley will step down from her gubernatorial role in South Carolina to assume one of the country’s highest profile diplomatic jobs and one that will certainly help her resume further down the road when she seeks elected office again.

Though she has no formal foreign policy experience, her appointment received well by Democrats, who provided her with overwhelming support throughout the confirmation process. The final vote of 96-4 reflected the view that Haley would be a sensible diplomat and speak her mind in a new administration.

The four senators who voted no were Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had approved her nomination by voice vote earlier Tuesday.

Democrats praised Haley last week after she freely disagreed with President Trump on some policy matters, including Russia. She said the new president would welcome a range of views. Haley had been critical of Trump the candidate, and voiced during her confirmation hearing heavy skepticism about Russia and optimism about NATO, both deviations of Trump statements. She unequivocally rejected the idea of a Muslim registry or ban, which President Trump has never fully disavowed.

She said she is comfortable with Trump’s “American first” approach, and declared her support for the president’s efforts in moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a shift that Arab leaders have previously said could ignite violence in the Middle East.

During her Jan. 18 hearing, Haley also questioned the priorities and effectiveness of the United Nations, which Trump has called a toothless debating society, but said she intends to “fix” what doesn’t work.

“I have no problem calling people out,” Haley said.

The United Nations is “often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers,” Haley said, adding that she would use the “leverage” of potential cuts in U.S. funding to demand reform.

“We contribute 22 percent of the U.N.’s budget, far more than any other country. We are a generous nation,” Haley said. “But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution. Are we getting what we pay for?”

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Images show China building a development on Indian border

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Images show China developing border area by Bhutan, India | Diya TV News

CHINA-BHUTAN border (Diya TV) — New satellite images appear to show China built a development in the Himalayas along the border with India and Bhutan that was the site of a standoff in 2017.

Satellite images last month from US-based Maxar Technologies show there’s been construction all year long, including new military storage bunkers.

Chinese officials say the buildup was within the scope of their sovereignty. China and Bhutan, who do not have diplomatic relations, both lay claim to that Doklam region.

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden officially introduced his nominee for Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a veteran of the Obama Administration. Blinken during an Indian Independence Day event held by the Biden-Harris campaign said strengthening ties with India is a high-priority of the new administration. We’ll profile his career and what US-India ties will look like with him at the helm.

Watch what Blinken had to say during that campaign event here: https://youtu.be/8VjMkEZLiP0?t=960

A stone statue of Hindu goddess Maa Annapoorna stolen more than a century ago and found in Canada will be returned to India. The statue is believed to be originally from Varanasi.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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