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Sen. Kamala Harris Joins Democrats 24-hour Floor Session against DeVos

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — During a 24-hour session on the floor of the Senate, Democrats on Monday night thru Tuesday morning protested the nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed shortly after.

To California Sen. Kamala Harris, the billionaire Republican from Michigan lacks the basic knowledge of American schools. Harris opposed the nomination, and voted against DeVos during Tuesday’s historic confirmation hearing, where Vice President Mike Pence was forced to use his tiebreaking vote, the first such occurrence for a Cabinet nomination.

“Our country needs a secretary of Education who has demonstrated basic competency when it comes to issues facing children,” Harris, who previously served as California’s attorney general, said Monday night. “She cannot or will not uphold the law if she does not understand the law.”

After watching DeVos’ confirmation hearing, Harris said, “It was clear Ms. DeVos didn’t know the difference between two basic theories of testing.”

Harris also criticized DeVos’ unwillingness to enforce Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex, and “a complete lack of knowledge” about a major federal special education law. Her remarks were delivered during a 24-hour marathon stand-in by Democrats at the Capitol to debate DeVos’ nomination on the Senate floor — a failed last-ditch effort to secure the one additional Republican vote needed to derail her confirmation.

DeVos, a Republican fundraiser from Michigan, former state party chair and school choice activist, has faced the most scrutiny of any of the Trump Cabinet picks since her January confirmation hearing. She’s spent nearly her entire career advancing school vouchers, which would allow students to attend secular and religious private schools at the expense of the taxpayer. During her confirmation hearing, DeVos appeared to be unfamiliar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, a major federal law that promises students with special needs will get an appropriate public education.

Harris called DeVos’ lack of knowledge about IDEA “unacceptable.”

DeVos further raised eyebrows after she said it’s up to states and districts to decide whether guns belong in schools, and said that a school in Montana might need a gun to protect against grizzly bears. Harris said DeVos “poses a far greater threat to public education” than grizzlies.

Harris cited DeVos’ strong support of the growth of largely unregulated charter schools in Michigan. “We cannot have someone who wants to lead our highest Department of Education who does not support the importance of oversight,” she said.

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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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