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Happy Independence Day

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Independence Day

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Communities around the nation are gathering to take in firework spectacles to commemorate America’s independence this fourth of July. The biggest celebration of them all will take in Washington DC, where with much controversy, U.S. Army tanks and other military hardware will be incorporated at the behest of President Trump.

Protests were held in various parts of India following the lynching of a Muslim man suspected of stealing a motorcycle by a Hindu mob in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. The beating went on for more than 12 hours, with the crowd forcing him to chant praises to Hindu gods.

Every year, a mysterious disease lingers around the eastern Indian city of Muzaffarpur, killing poor children under the age of 10 seemingly at random. Researchers continue to be baffled by it.

Cable channel Bravo has greenlighted ‘Indian-ish’, which they say will be a comedic docuseries, following families from India who have relocated to America.

And there’s a new wax statue of actress Priyanka Chopra getting attention, styled to match her appearance at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Howdy, Modi! How come Texas?

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak in Houston

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — For world leaders, shaking hands with President Donald Trump has become a practice akin to the elaborate military drill on Wagah border. Not so much for Prime Minster Narendra Modi. The Trump-Modi camaraderie of banters, hugs, and viral hand-slapping is one more reason that the 50,000 strong crowd is excited to witness the historic ‘Howdy Modi’ community summit on September 22.

A community summit is just that: leaders of the community, politicians, corporates and all supporters of a common cause coming together to collaborate and celebrate. With the tagline ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures,’ the event will promote relations that go beyond the ‘America First’ and ‘Make in India’ policies that have often strained diplomatic encounters between the two countries. There couldn’t have been a better venue than Houston, Texas, for all purposes of this event

Slick for Oil

As the second largest state in the U.S., by population and GDP, Texas has significant trade relations with India. India is Houston’s 4th largest trading partner—just behind Brazil, China, and Mexico. The biggest exports from Texas are chemicals, petroleum, and coal. With constantly rising all prices, energy security is a major concern for the Prime Minister. Tellurian, natural gas company headquartered in Houston, is one of the major sponsors of the event.

Indian Diaspora’s ‘Shared Dreams’

The greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas have a thriving Indian American community with influential presence across various sectors of the economy. It is a significant voting bank for the Republican governed state to influence for the 2020 elections.

“At a time in the world where there is so much disunity, I think promoting unity between people and cultures in the world is a great thing,” says Robert Adams, a cross cultural training consultant and YouTuber (Chai & Coaching)  Over 150,000 Indian Americans live in the Houston metro area alone. Socio-cultural ties are a dominant way in which the community preserves its heritage while away from India. The cultural events preceding Modi’s address will showcase performances executed entirely by the Indian American community.

Indian Students, the ‘Bright Future’

Several Indian student associations in the US have partnered with the organizers, Texas India Forum, for the event. “The atmosphere in UT Dallas is pretty electric at this point. 6 to 8 buses will be leaving Sunday morning.” says Anirudh Ashok, a student at UT Dallas.

Regardless of political outcomes, this community summit is historic in the ways it will determine a new narrative that emerges about the world’s largest democracy on a platform offered by the world’s oldest democracy.

“Today’s youth is very aware of all the politics. My friends who were not involved in politics have started reading more and realize that Mr. Modi is doing great things for the country,” says Ashok.

Many individuals and groups have chosen to ignore or protest the event. But for those who will be a part of this momentous event, and for Trump and Modi, the show must go on, literally.

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Reps. Jayapal, Omar concerned over Kashmir

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Jayapal Omar Kashmir

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) —  Democratic Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Ilhan Omar are both expressing concern over reports from Kashmir saying the Indian government has arrested 2,000 people. 

Jayapal in a tweet said “using fear & hyper-patriotism to suppress dissent is as detrimental in India as it is America.”

Omar called “for an immediate restoration of communication; and de-escalation in Kashmir.”

So far, there is no clarity from the Indian government what charges arrests have been made under or for how long those arrested face detention.

A request by Pakistan’s minister for human rights asking that Priyanka Chopra be stripped of her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace was rejected. The United Nations defended Chopra, saying she retains the ability to speak in their own personal capacity, but that those views do not necessarily reflect the UN.

And two Indian athletes are competing in the first round of the U.S. Open. 

And Sumit Nagal, who became the youngest Indian man to qualify for a major since Leander Paes, took one set from the legendary Roger Federer before losing in his first round match 3 sets to one. Prajnesh Gunneswaran also fell short against fifth seed Daniil Medvedev.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump Speaks to Modi, Aims to Reduce Kashmir Tensions

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Modi Kashmir Tensions Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Modi by phone to get India’s perspective on Kashmir. Modi told Trump the anti-India rhetoric from Pakistani leaders was not conducive to peace. Later, President Trump in a tweet called Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “good friends,” of his and that he’s working “towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.”

Kabul, Afghanistan was the site of a horrific suicide bombing that took place at a wedding, killing 63 people. The bride and groom survived. Afghan officials blame the attack on the United States and their prolonged presence in the region.

A 35-year-old man from India on a hunger strike at a Texas ICE facility was force fed, according to his attorney, becoming the latest detainee seeking asylum in the U.S. fed in such a manner. The man stopped eating tko protest his confinement. ICE says they will do what it takes to “preserving the lives of those in its custody.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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