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U.S. lawmakers visit Dalai Lama, highlight situation in Tibet

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Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi meets Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in Dharamsala, India.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — A U.S. Congressional delegation visited the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in India on Tuesday, with the objecting of drawing attention to human rights in Tibet at the same time President Donald Trump aims to improve U.S.-China relations.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led the bipartisan congressional delegation to the Himalayan hill town where the 81-year-old Buddhist leader is based. The meeting is likely to upset China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist.

“As we visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama, our bipartisan delegation comes in his spirit of faith and peace. We come on this visit to be inspired by His Holiness and demonstrate our commitment to the Tibetan people, to their faith, their culture and their language,” Pelosi said.

“This is my home,” the Dalai Lama said holding Pelosi’s hand. He then corrected himself: “This is my second home. My real home – other side.”

He then reflected on his fate as a refugee, since fleeing from his homeland in 1959.

“Here the last 58 years I am the longest guest of Indian government,” the Dalai Lama said. “But, emotionally, some concern about deep inside Tibet, and also in China proper there are 400 million Buddhists.”

The visit comes at an awkward time for the U.S. president. During his presidential campaign, Trump had cast China as a trade adversary and currency manipulator, but he now wants President Xi Jinping’s support to restrain nuclear-armed North Korea. The Dalai Lama said he would be willing to visit China but this was not possible while Beijing still considered him a “dangerous splittist.”

After Trump’s stunning November defeat of Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama said he was keen to meet the incoming U.S. leader. It now looks unlikely the Nobel peace laureate will get a White House invite — an honor accorded by recent American presidents — anytime soon.

China took control of Tibet in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation” and has piled pressure on foreign governments to shun the Dalai Lama. Most recently, Beijing denounced New Delhi for hosting the Dalai Lama when he traveled to India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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