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Canada’s Jagmeet Singh emerges as potential rival to Justin Trudeau

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Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh

Could Jagmeet Singh become the first nonwhite politician to climb Canada’s political hierarchy?

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Despite the fact it rests as one of the Western world’s most diverse nations, Canada has not seen nonwhite politicians climb the ranks of its government very high.

In fact, no nonwhite politician has ever been elected to lead a Canadian provincial government — India-born Ujjal Dosanjh briefly inherited British Columbia’s premiership in 2000-2001, but was unseated in a landslide. Until Naheed Nenshi was elected in Calgary in 2010, no major Canadian city had seen a nonwhite mayor.

Jagmeet Singh is out to break that trend.

Last Monday, the two-term member of the Ontario parliament announced publicly his bid to become head of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada. If successful, he would instantly become the first nonwhite leader of a major Canadian political party and the first Canadian of color to offer himself as a candidate for prime minister.

Singh’s jump to the national scene will introduce an unprecedented variable of race in Canadian politics. His status as a symbol of social progress has strong potential to undercut the narrative of the man who has, until now, been content to embody all that’s admirable about liberal Canada — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Even without his surname, he would have presented as a complicated rival for Trudeau. At 38 years old, Singh is younger than the youthful PM, and has a public brand equally defined by style, sex appeal and social-media savvy.

It’s impossible to grasp Singh’s disruptive power without appreciating his identity-politics cred in an identity-politics-obsessed age. Singh’s campaign launch speech put his status as a champion of the marginalized front and center, describing it as a natural outgrowth of his  difficult upbringing as a first-generation Canadian bullied for his “funny-sounding name, brown skin and long hair.”

Since Canadian politics operates under such a firm, three-party system, the dynamics of Canadian elections often feel like studies in game theory, with visibly zero-sum gains and losses. Because of this, a Singh-led NDP introduces a clear risk: In the 2019 election, he could undoubtedly hurt Trudeau’s Liberals but, lacking any obvious appeal to center-right voters, could also potentially polarize the entire center-left electorate.

 

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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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