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Reps. Jayapal & Krishnamoorthi denounce firing of FBI Director James Comey

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Krishnamoorthi Jayapal
Krishnamoorthi Jayapal

Indian American lawmakers Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal had choice opinions over President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Denouncing President Trump’s firing of FBI Dir. James Comey Tuesday, Indian American lawmakers Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal joined dozens of their congressional colleagues to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate the president’s Russia ties.

The White House announced Tuesday Comey was being removed from his post in a surprise move. “President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the White House said in its statement.

Comey had been appointed to the post by former President Barack Obama in 2013, and was in the process of spearheading an effort by the agency into investigating potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during November’s general election.

“The need for an independent commission or fully independent prosecutor to investigate and bring to light the truth of these matters for the American people is now more clear than ever,” Krishnamoorthi said in a press release. “It is extremely disturbing that the Chief Executive is interfering with an ongoing investigation into his Administration by firing the person charged with conducting it. One cannot help but be reminded of President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. This action only raises further questions regarding the Administration’s ties to Russia,” he added.

Krishnamoorthi said as “a member of the House Oversight Committee,” he would welcome Comey’s “public, sworn testimony on the status of the FBI’s investigation.”

Jayapal, who is currently out of the country visiting India as part of a congressional delegation, shared her colleagues sentiment. “As I have said before, we urgently need a fully bipartisan and independent investigation into Russia’s influence on the White House and the 2016 election,” she said.

In her official statement, Jayapal termed the “manner and suddenness of” the FBI chief’s firing “deeply disturbing.” She added, “Comey’s dismissal, as he was investigating the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, is yet another alarming sign of how little regard the administration has for ethical lines and the Constitution.”

Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted: “I’ve said it before and will again – we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI’s Russia investigation. This cannot wait.”

“My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia,” Republican Rep. Justin Amash tweeted. “The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre.”

 

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police | Diya TV News

Hyderabad, India (Diya TV)  — Four suspects in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed by police, who claim the four men were shot in self-defense. The action is drawing praise from the family of the victim but criticism from some lawmakers and civil rights groups.

Protests erupted in India this week seeking justice for this latest victim of sexual assault. Earlier in the week, a 23-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. She remains in critical condition.

In a terse letter denouncing impeachment proceedings, The White House signaled it does not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment hearings. The decision by the administration likely accelerates the pace of impeachment. Hearings continue Monday.

Texas Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher introduced legislation to honor Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal’s memory by renaming a post office in Houston in his honor.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian rape survivor set on fire before trial testimony

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Rape

UNNAO, India (Diya TV)  — A 23-year-old woman in India heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. Doctors at the Lucknow hospital she was brought to say she is in very serious condition, with burn injuries to 90% of her body. Local police say all five suspects are in custody. India’s National Commission for Women are seeking a detailed report regarding the number of reported heinous crimes committed against women and bail granted in such cases.

Nithyananda, a popular guru that faces charges of abduction and rape in India, announced he was establishing the Republic of Kailaasa on an island off the coast of Ecuador, which he claims will be the “world’s greatest and purest Hindu nation,” with promises of free education, free healthcare, free food and the revival of the temple based lifestyle, In addition to facing charges in Gujarat over multiple allegations, French authorities are investigating Nithyananda after one of his French devotees complained the guru had cheated him out of $400,000.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Demolition of Alhambra Sikh temple stopped

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Sikh Gurdwara

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (Diya TV)  — A condo project that would have razed a long-standing Sikh Gurdwara in Alhambra, California was halted by that city’s planning commission after hours of public testimony. A building permit for the 28 unit condo project was initially approved, but a 5 to 4 vote stayed the development. Now Gurdwara leaders aim to purchase the land from the current owner.

Professor & political analyst Peter Mathews announced his candidacy for California’s 47th District Congressional seat. Mathews is running as a Progressive Democrat and aims to serve western Orange County cities like Garden Grove and Westminster.

A new NASSCOM report says India added 1,300 startups in 2019 alone, a factor in driving the country’s economic growth. US-India Partnership Forum Chairman & former Cisco CEO John Chambers believes this report demonstrates Digital India initiatives are working.

And US-based private equity fund Advent International acquired a majority stake in Bharat Serums and Vaccines, a leading biopharmaceutical company in India, valuing the company at $500 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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