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Rep. Swalwell announces 2020 White House run

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Eric Swalwell for President

NEW YORK (Diya TV) —   Bay Area Congressman Eric Swalwell made it official: he is running for President in 2020, adding to a list of Democrats seeking the Oval Office that now surpasses the amount of Republicans that ran in 2016.

The White House announced U.S. Secret Service director Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles will be leaving his post. James Murray will replace him. Alles’ departure comes a day after Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was also asked to resign.

WhatsApp created a service for Indians to check for fake news ahead of national elections.

WhatsApp has 200 million users in India.

San Francisco’s new Public Defender is Manohar Raju. He’s the first Indian American to serve in such a capacity in a major city and tells us why this line of work is his calling.

And Airbnb made a $150 to $200 million investment in OYO, a similar service in India, that values the startup at $5 billion.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar pushes resolution to declare India a country of particular concern

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WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who visited Pakistan on a non-state department sanctioned visit recently, has pushed along a resolution that would declare India as a country of particular concern in violation of religious freedom. This resolution has been in the works for 3 straight years, but ultimately nothing has materialized. This push forward by Omar represents another call to the Biden administration for India to be designated as a violator of religious freedom. Whether the resolution will go even further along is to be determined.

https://twitter.com/scroll_in/status/1540006265434374144

Recently, Omar visited Pakistan and spoke with high-ranking Pakistani officials, Prime Minister Imran Khan being chief among them. She also has a history of siding with Pakistan in the past, so this resolution does not come as a total surprise. 

The details of the resolution go over how India has allegedly targeted Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other religious minorities and thus, direct human rights violations. This has been said to be an issue for the past few years as mentioned before, the resolution has been trying to be sent through to the president for 3 consecutive years. 

Omar gave insight into why she believes this resolution must be passed along and brought to President Biden’s attention:

“The Indian government must be held responsible for human rights violations against religious and cultural minorities…In recent years, the Indian government has been escalating repressive policies against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Dalits. It is past time for the State Department to acknowledge the reality of the situation in India and formally designate India as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act.”

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Basketball

Celtics win Game 3 in Boston , lead series 2-1

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BOSTON (Diya TV) — Even with a furious comeback from the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics handled business in front of their home crowd to win 116-100 and take a 2-1 series lead.

The first half saw the Celtics race to a strong start behind Jaylen Brown’s scoring (22 points in the first half on 57.4% from the field). Most of those points came via the opening quarter with all but 5 points coming in the first. The Warriors saw a resurgence from Klay Thompson in the first half with 15 first half points to his name after he struggled shooting in the previous two games. Not far behind him was his longtime teammate Stephen Curry with 14 points and 31 for the game. Andrew Wiggins was aggressive in attacking the basket, scoring 13 points while not letting up on defense.

Although there were bright spots from the aforementioned Warriors players, Boston took advantage of the Warriors defense (or lack thereof) in the first half. Any time a Boston player drove towards the cup, it felt as if it was all but guaranteed to go in due to the Warriors being lackadaisical and not closing in to force stops. However, the third quarter marked a turning point in the game.

Behind Curry’s 15 third quarter points (and a miraculous 4 point play which turned into a 7 point possession), the Warriors clawed their way back from an 18 point deficit. The “third quarter Warriors” were known for showing up and having big runs out of the half. The Dubs exposed some lapses on defense from Boston to get back in the game, especially on pick-and-rolls.

Boston ultimately settled down and won the 4th quarter to erase the Warriors’ hopes for good. The Warriors will look to regroup and even the series while the Celtics will try to ride the momentum of this Game 3 win and take a commanding 3-1 lead before going back to San Francisco.

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Arts & Culture

IFFLA celebrates 20 years with a focus to mentor the next generation

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IFFLA celebrates 20 years with a trip down memory lane

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — IFFLA celebrated their 20th anniversary with familiar faces, overwhelming excitement and new additions to Southern California’s largest Indian and South Asian focused film festival.

Pan Nalin opened the festival with his film Last Film Show, a love letter to cinema and loosely based on his childhood.

“I think IFFLA over the years, it has been like a home in Hollywood. So I was always able to come here and invite people from the industry to see these movies,” said Nalin. “There are producers who usually don’t go to see Indian cinema. So I feel that it’s really important.”

Director Anurag Kashyap returned to host a MasterClass — a way to give back to the festival and fellow filmmakers.

“It is always good to be back here because for me this is where it all started from. And it’s amazing to see that this festival has grown so much and has been sustaining for so long,” said Kashyap.

New filmmakers were honored to be part of the lineup this year, especially after no in-person IFFLA for the last two years.

Hena Asraf, Director of The Return, shares “it feels a little unreal. It feels great! I think especially to be at a festival in person, after over two years.” 

“The community is amazing. The welcome is very warm. It feels just so honoring to be a part of this festival and amongst these filmmakers. I can’t wait to see all the other films,” said The Return Editor Esther Shubinski.

It’s that family feeling that makes IFFLA special and keeps filmmakers, attendees, and staff keep coming back.

Actor and director Ravi Kapoor is “just so grateful for this festival. It has been such a supporter of me. And they’ve helped bring the South Asian diasporic community here in LA together as well. Thank god they’ve lasted 20 years.”

Actor & musician Monica Dogra points out “what’s wonderful about IFFLA [is] it’s super niche, South Asians in LA of all places. [And] it’s small enough so you actually see people anyway.”

Actor Pooja Batra added, “I think they’ve always been eclectic with their mix of selection that they bring around here — smaller budget, smaller sort of productions also need a shout out.”

One of the new additions this year is the Spotlight on South Asia.

Festival founder Christina Marouda added this vertical to present films from different countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. “We’re putting a spotlight on projects we want to support,” said Marouda.

The other major new change this year was a live table read of IFFLA alum Kahlil Maskati’s feature script, Alim Uncle, rather than a closing night film. Fawzia Mirza directed the piece.

These changes reflect IFFLA’s commitment to supporting filmmakers while giving audiences more than a viewing experience. In fact, they are able to be part of the filmmaking process.

Marouda says after 20 years, this is IFFLA’s direction moving forward — a full effort to mentor budding filmmakers, while showcasing new films.

Ravi Kapur and Deepti Dawar contributed to this report.

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