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California Senator Kamala Harris delivers keynote at Madeleine Albright Luncheon

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Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris

California Sen. Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at this year’s Madeleine Albright Luncheon.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — California Sen. Kamala Harris, the first Indian American woman ever elected to Congress’s upper chamber, was selected to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Madeleine Albright Luncheon, held annually in the nation’s capital to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

Nearly 250 attendees packed a venue at Washington D.C.’s Ritz Carlton Hotel for the event, meant to promote the political empowerment of women worldwide. It was hosted by the National Democratic Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1983 “to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.”

Sen. Harris, during her address, credited her Indian grandmother, Rajam Gopalan, and mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, for serving as the finest role models and inspirations in her quest to lead America’s populous.

“I come from a long line of tough, trailblazing, phenomenal women,” she said. “My grandmother would go into villages in India with a bullhorn, telling poor women how to access birth control. My mother came to the U.S. at the age of nineteen to study endocrinology at the University of California, Berkeley, and eventually became a leading breast cancer researcher.  There’s no way I could have begun my political journey without strong role models like them to inspire me.”

Harris began her crusade of raising the bar higher when she became the first woman to be elected District Attorney of San Francisco. She recalled how the naysayers told her it was something that could not be achieved.

“It’s not your turn. It’s not the right time,” she said people told her, adding, “it’s going to be really hard.”

Her advice?

“Do not listen,” she said. “I did not listen.”

Harris ultimately served two terms as San Francisco’s top cop before running for the same position of the state of California. She, again, became the first woman elected to the position of the country’s most populated state.

Now, she serves proudly in the United States Senate.

“From this platform – and every step along the way – I have tried to live another lesson my mother taught me: ‘You may be the first, but make sure you aren’t the last,’” she said.

Albright, who was in attendance of the event that bears her name, served as the first female Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. She is now a distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and chairs the NDI.

A vocal critic of President Trump, Albright noted, “the cause of supporting democracy has never been more important. Here in the U.S. and around the world, the principles of NDI are being tested,” she said, referring to the rise of nationalism, and an erosion of confidence in national and global institutions.  “Almost everywhere, new technologies are making it easier for the public to express anger, but not for governments to solve problems,” 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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