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Thousands gather to celebrated third International Yoga Day in Washington D.C.

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The third annual International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 17, 2017 at Sylvan Theater on the National Mall in Washington DC. Nearly 2000 people from all walks of life attended the event and participated in these celebrations with great enthusiasm.

The programme started with screening of the video messages from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble External Affairs of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Hon’ble Minister of State for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Naik. Emphasising the increasing relevance of Yoga in this day and age, the Prime Minister explained Yoga’s role as a means of experiencing and achieving holistic life in a balanced way, while the External Affairs Minister underlined the role of Yoga in relieving stress.

Then the following dignitaries shared the stage with Ambassador Navtej Sarna. Ambassador of Srilanka, Ambassador of Myanmar, Representatives from Embassy of Belgium, Embassy of Singapore and Jay Jalisi, Maryland State Delegate

Ambassador Navtej Sarna addressed the gathering. Welcoming the participants, Ambassador Sarna noted that the practice of Yoga is totally devoid of any political or communal motives and is dedicated to well-being of the humanity at large, as it leads to a state of mental and physical equilibrium.

The participants also included officials and representatives from the State Department, DC Govt, Smithsonian Institutions, World Bank, academic institutions, Think Tanks, representatives of various Embassies, local representatives of Indian news media and other key local organizations.

Many leaders from the United States issued proclamations and felicitation messages to support and commemorate the Third International Day of Yoga and spread awareness about Yoga. These included Governor of Maryland, Governor of Virginia, Senator Mark Warner, Senator Chris Van Hollen and Mayor of Washington DC.

Indian Embassy presented this event in collaboration with ‘Friends of Yoga’, a group of organizations which support and promote Yoga and community organizations to celebrate the Third International Day of Yoga. The event featured a musical montage of photos of the two previous Yoga Day events followed by guided Yoga session based on ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ video created by Government of India. The Yoga session concluded with Sanskrit Shaloks and Shantipath, the text for which was displayed on the Jumbo LED screen.

Following Government of India’s initiatives and plans for celebration of International Day of Yoga, Embassy has been organizing various yoga related curtain-raiser events to welcome and promote the International Day of Yoga. The Embassy is collaborating with Yoga organizations in the region to present events at the Capitol Hill, World Bank, Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Heartfulness Institute, John Hopkins University in Washington DC and other places.

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US calls out China for protecting Masood Azhar

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’

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Shameful hipocracy on Muslims

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’ referencing China’s treatment of Muslims within its borders, while blocking India’s proposal at the UN to sanction Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar over the Pulwama attack.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is making the rounds in Washington meeting political leaders that include Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla and President Trump. The President tweeted Pichai told him Google is totally committed to the US military, days after he accused the tech giant of helping China and its army. Trump added the meeting went well, and the two discussed everything from political fairness to things Google can do for the U.S.

In San Jose, Dr. Venkat Aachi pleaded guilty to health care fraud and for distributing opioids outside of his medical practice. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines in excess of $1,000,000.

A new $20 million charter high school named after cardiologist and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel will open this August in a Tampa Bay suburb. It will start with 300 students in 9th and 10 and offer a project-based curriculum. Enrollment is being done by lottery.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Breaking news: Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison on bank and tax fraud charges

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —   Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, received a 47 month sentence on bank and tax fraud charges. Manafort was the first campaign associate of President Trump found guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian interference investigation.

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, are under scrutiny after a conservative group, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed a Federal Election Commission complaint alleging “an extensive off-the-books operation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures in support of multiple candidates for federal office.”

https://youtu.be/Yk7ATPmanwQ

An attorney for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign stressed the expenditures were within the law. And Chakrabarti on Twitter said “we were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start.”

One teenager is dead and at least 30 people were injured after a grenade exploded at a bus station in Jammu. Police arrested a 9th grader, after surveillance cameras showed him throwing the grenade. They say he was indoctrinated by the Hizbul Mujahideen. This is the third grenade explosion in the area in 10 months and only three weeks after the deadly terror attack in Pulwama district.

With US FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s resignation, Indian pharmaceutical companies are left to wonder what the next commissioner will do on generic drug pricing, approvals and inspections. India supplies 40% of generic drugs in the U.S.

Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Pastor challenges yoga, Hinduism for having ‘demonic’ roots

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Diya TV) — A Missouri pastor criticized yoga for its ‘demonic intent’ because of Hinduism influences. John Lindell of the James River Church in Ozark, Mo., which serves over 10,000 people in its congregation, warned Christians to not partake in the activity.

“They were designed, they were created with demonic intent, to open you up to demonic power because Hinduism is demonic,” Lindell said during a sermon on Oct. 28 according to the Springfield News-Leader.

While yoga is a longstanding practice originating from India, there is no indication that it is based off religious values. According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, it is stated yoga doesn’t adhere to any particular religion or belief system.

Yoga translates to “union” in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Given its broad meaning, the practice has varied locally and abroad. In addition, there are variations in certain disciplines — which can have a Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism influence — but it is dependent on the type of schools, practices and goals one is pursuing.

In the U.S., it’s become popular for various outcomes. Whether it be for physical, mental or spiritual pleasure, yoga has served as a peaceful outlet for many without it impacting their religious beliefs. While Lindell claimed it’s “spiritually dangerous,” many in the area have responded.

Heather Worthy, a Christian and yoga instructor in Springfield, only had four people attend her class following the sermon.

“It’s so frustrating,” Worthy told the Springfield News-Leader. “The whole thing is quite ludicrous to me.”

Worthy felt attacked, and she wasn’t alone.

With about a dozen yoga classes in the Springfield area, Amanda Davis has spent her last 12 years as an instructor.

“Yoga doesn’t prescribe to any religion, and I don’t think people understand that so they get false ideas about it,” Davis said, one week after a Florida gunman killed two people and injured five at a yoga studio.

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