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Exclusive: One on One with Rep. Ro Khanna at Impact Summit 2018

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Rep. Ro Khanna

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Earlier this year, more than 200 Indian American candidates, elected officials, among others, gathered in Washington for the inaugural Impact Summit, an effort to build a long-term political network for the diaspora. All five Indian American members of Congress spoke at this event that was sponsored in part by Diya TV. Below is a transcript of an interview conducted on site by Ravi Kapur with Democratic California Representative Ro Khanna for our public affairs program “The Public Interest,” edited for clarity.

Q: You’re a veteran now running for office. Tell me what it’s been like. This is a fairly new dichotomy for a lot of Democrats, who had eight years of Obama. What is it like to be in Congress right now during this Trump administration?.

A: It’s a tough time. Obviously, the administration is doing a lot of things that I disagree with, on immigration, tearing apart families, restricting people from becoming green card holders, not doing enough on jobs, not doing enough about visions of science and education. But I try to put forward ideas that how we can bring new innovation, new entrepreneurship, not just in my district but around the country and trying to offer new ideas, which at least has gotten a hearing.

Q: Take us through what you plan to tackle in 2018, knowing full well that we’ve got elections coming up in the fall as people are ramping up for 2020.

A: Well, I’ve been asked to lead on the Internet Bill of Rights, so I am working on some principles that will protect your data and privacy online. I think that’s really important with the Congress Act, and given the district I represent, that’s an area that I’m going to work on to put forward the framework. I’ve been working on a jobs bill: how do we subsidized employment and training for people who are out of work and particularly communities left behind? I have a plan to have 1,000 tech institutes across America to help give people the skills they’re going to need for a new economy. So those are some of my initiatives.

Q: We have a lot of elected officials and a lot of upstarts [at the Impact Summit], folks like yourself a few years ago who wanted to be in office at the state level, at the federal level. What are you telling people now that you have been in the game awhile – a lot of folks coming up to you saying, ‘hey, how do I get to where you are?’ What are you telling them?

A: Well, I say to them, ‘I lost a lot of times. Twice. Just don’t be afraid to run, and be persistent and be out there. Take risks, follow your own heart, don’t listen to conventional opinion and it’s a great country to ultimately make it if you persist.’

Q: Finally, for those of us in the Silicon Valley that watch this program, we’re very fortunate the economy is doing very well. But a couple things are of real concern — traffic and housing.

A: You can’t afford to live there. It’s a million buck home — maybe not when your parents came there, but now it’s totally different. And now, it has priced out the teachers, the nurses. I had a teacher in tears when I was just back home. She went to Stanford. Her husband’s a Stanford person. They teach. They’re moving out of the area because they can’t afford to live there. We’re losing talent. We’re losing nurses, teachers, firefighters. We got to build more affordable housing. We’ve got to build it near jobs. Housing and being stuck on 237 or 880 or 101 are the biggest things I hear about when I go back home.

Q: But is there a will to do that? Is there a will to change the way we do things in terms of development?

A: I think there is. I think you have people like Raj Salwan [Fremont Councilmember], and Mountain View’s mayor [Leonard Siegel] and others like Lily Mei [Fremont Mayor] thinking about how can we address this issue — Lisa Gillmor in Santa Clara. So the mayors get it. There’s got to be a real effort to build affordable housing near jobs.

Watch all of the interviews from the Impact Summit on The Public Interest with Ravi Kapur, Sunday at 9 am & 5 pm local time, exclusively on Diya TV.

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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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Modi, Jinping meet to deepen India & China ties

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India China ties

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthen ties in a number of fields. Modi even tweeted about the meeting in Chinese.

Seattle Rep. Pramila Jayapal took to the pages of the New York Times in an opinion piece to disclose she once had an abortion. Jayapal said she’s speaking out now because of intensified efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Border Patrol agents believe the body of a child found near the Arizona-Mexico border is a 7 year old girl from India. Agents encountered two women from India who said they had become separated from a woman and two children hours earlier

And the Toronto Raptors became the first NBA team outside of the United States to win a championship, beating the two-time defending Champion Golden State Warriors on their home floor in the final game played at the fabled Oracle Arena 114-110. The game 6 victory was marred by another significant injury to a Warriors player. Klay Thompson tore his ACL and is expected to miss much of next season.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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