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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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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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