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Indian Americans political aspirants & elected officials gather at first-ever Impact Summit

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Kamala Harris

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — More than 200 Indian Americans, who aspire to have their voices heard in American political discourse, gathered in the nation’s capitol for the first-ever Indian American Impact Summit. Featuring Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), among other elected officials and philanthropists, the summit was arranged to encourage more Indian-Americans to run for office.

“This historic summit is proof that the Indian American community has truly arrived on the political scene. Together, we can shape a future in which talented and patriotic Indian Americans are fully represented at every level of government, from City Hall to the White House,” said Impact co-founder Raj Goyle.

House Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th district), Ami Bera (D-CA 7th district), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 7th district) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL 8th district) all attended and gave speeches to inspire the next generation of Indian American candidates. Diya TV was a proud media partner for the event.

Gautam Raghavan, Executive Director of the Indian American Impact Project, said, “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy (because) for the first time a lot of Indian American prospective candidates are thinking to themselves, ‘This is something I can do.'”

Cody Booker

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks out to the Indian American community at the Indian American Impact Summit 2018.

Booker, although not Indian American, gave an opening speech emphasizing why Indian Americans should go into politics. “In every area, Indian-Americans have been punching above their weight, except for one and that has been in elected officials. And it’s time that Indian-Americans came forward and provide the leadership,” Booker told the crowd. “From tech to the arts to business, Indian-American dominance is helping America, but the one area that we have to lead in is civic space for policy where ideas are being shaped.”

He added, “we so urgently need Indian American leadership — not just because of the dynamism it has brought to other sectors of American society — but also because this is a time when the very idea of America is under assault. We have a time now where Indian American pride, where Indian American strength, where Indian American ideas are critically needed.”

Harris, the first Indian-American to serve in the U.S. Senate, said Indian Americans will have a great effect on the U.S. because of the inspiration they can derive from their ancestry. “I was trying to remember what some of the slogans were when my grandfather was fighting for India’s independence… I remembered ‘truth alone triumphs,” she said. “It is imperative that to be a leader right now means that we speak (the) truth.”

Harris went on to say, “I believe we are a great country. And part of what makes us who we are is that this country was founded on certain ideas, ideals that were present when we wrote the Constitution of the US: which is that we are all equals and should be treated that way. This is a moment in time that is requiring us to fight for those ideals.”

Fostering this network for Indian Americans to build their platform from is why Impact co-founder Deepak Raj got involved. “The energy, enthusiasm, and talent of our elected officials and candidates is truly inspiring. Impact is proud to stand with them (elected officials and candidates) — and we look forward to expanding their ranks at every level of elected office.”

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Deaths of Indian American family in Iowa ruled murder-suicide

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Iowa murder suicide

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Diya TV) — Iowa police say the shooting deaths of an Indian American family in West Des Moines, Iowa was a murder-suicide. Police said autopsies determined 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara’s death was a suicide. And the deaths of his wife, 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara, and their two boys, aged 15 and 10, were homicides.

Top diplomats from the U.S. and India are meeting later this month to continue trade negotiations.

India said this week they will increase tariffs on US exports effective immediately, impacting items like apples, almonds, lentils and several chemical products.

The tax has raised the ire of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who blamed the situation on President Trump. California almond exports to India are worth more than $650 million a year.

21-year-old Bishwajeet Kumar Jha, who authorities say was the head of a group of Indian college students who cheated more than 20 people out of nearly $1 million in a tech support telemarketing fraud scheme, received a five year sentence to prison in Rhode Island.

And we’ll introduce you to the pioneering broadcasters who called the NBA Finals in Punjabi for the very first time.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Indian American family of four killed at home in Iowa

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Iowa Family killed

DES MOINES (Diya TV) — Investigators in Des Moines, Iowa say the Sunkara family, an Indian American family of four, were found dead in their home over the weekend. All four had gunshot wounds. There is no suspect in custody.

The 5th International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated around the world this weekend. Thousands flocked to the Washington Monument in Washington DC, where yoga enthusiasts of all ages took part in the event, including representatives from the White House, US Department of State and the Ambassadors of Nepal, Mauritius and Myanmar.

The alums of the Indian Institutes of Technology gathered in Silicon Valley for their annual conference, featuring talks by Microsoft Chairman John Thompson and Bhavish Aggarwal, the CEO of Ola Cabs.

India is now 7-0 against Pakistan in Cricket World Cup games, after winning by 89 runs in a match interrupted by rain.

And we spoke to Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia after his team won their first NBA title. Nav told our Ravi Kapur exclusively he will part of the championship parade and even received a ring from the owner.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Raptors win first ever NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors

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Toronto Raptors win 2019 NBA Finals

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) —  The first Canadian team ever to win the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors fought earnestly and took down the NBA’s newest dynasty: the Warriors. The Raptors faced many hurdles in the playoffs, trailing 1-0 against the Magic and 2-0 against the Bucks. They put all of that behind and surged towards a 3-1 start in the Finals, which became increasingly difficult for the Warriors to overcome as they were tackled with injuries.

Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP, joined an elite group of players which have won a Finals MVP on two different teams. Among these players are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, and now Leonard with a Finals MVP with San Antonio and Toronto.

Toronto was filled with star-power, with Fred VanVleet stepping up in the fourth quarter with three-pointers, and Pascal Siakam taking crucial layups in the paint. Kyle Lowry contributed throughout the series, whether rebounds, points, or simply aggression was needed. This lineup, together, took down NBA’s lastest dynasty.

The Warriors, however, put up a worthy fight, staying inches away from winning even with their best player Kevin Durant out and then the sudden loss of Klay Thompson in Game 6. Both teams fought with fervor and passion, with the Raptors inching closer to the Larry O’Brian Trophy as every second on the clock.

Looking Ahead

With the offseason looming, many questions are yet to be answered. Will this Raptors team maintain its core and stay together? If so, will they be able to storm into next season with skillful play? Most likely, yes. After what they have put together, the intention would be to establish themselves as the new NBA dynasty and completely overthrow the Warriors. Nick Nurse won his first championship in his first season coaching the Raptors. With the coach not likely to move, it seems as if the core will stay in place.

The Warriors’ offseason is uncertain, as this aging team has its contracts expiring. Kevin Durant is invariably out for next season after suffering a devastating achilles injury. Will he stay with the Warriors, or will he sign with another team? His injury may influence which team picks him up, as he will be out of commission for the upcoming season. Klay Thompson will become a free agent, but will he stick with the Warriors and his fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry, or lead another team? In addition, players like Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston are aging and may not be able to play as much. The Warriors will need to cultivate the young players, like Alfonzo McKinnie, to be successful.

This was the Warriors’ last game in Oracle Arena, as next season, they will be moving to Chase Center in San Francisco. Will they be able to make a championship run there, or will the Raptors emerge victorious again? It all remains unanswered, but for now, the Raptor roars.

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