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EXCLUSIVE: Sanders Campaign manager Faiz Shakir addresses Kashmir controversy

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Faiz Shakir

Ravi Kapur: Senator Sanders made some Remarks at the ISNA Event that really wrinkled a lot of Indian Americans in particular, many whom may have supported him in 2016 who believe in what he brings to the table but are upset about his potential India policy. Do you have any thoughts on that? Because that’s something that I hear about frequently. 

Faiz Shakir:  Well to understand Bernie Sanders as a person, who is of deep moral conviction about how he looks at foreign policy. And sometimes he’s going to speak hard truths to people. When he sees an Indian Prime Minister or an Israeli Prime Minister or a Pakistani Prime Minister who’s acting unjustly towards minority populations in their own countries, he’s going to say something about it irregardless of the politics. Now come tell me about politics when there’s a moral cause at stake. Are people being treated unfairly and unjustly? And I think in Bernie Sanders you have somebody who speaks with moral clarity to that issue. It’s one of the reasons I believe he’d be a transformational President. Not just for domestic policies, but in building international bonds with people all across the world who will see in this person “yeah, I might disagree with him, I might not see things the same way, but I know he’s a person of authenticity who’s coming to these issues with a high degree of honesty and a person of high conviction. So that’s how I feel about that. 

RK: With that being said Mr. Bloomberg mentioned India today about climate change and how he ducked the China question, whereas China’s 27 percent of CO2 emissions vs 7 percent for India, So i’m just trying to get where Bernie Sanders stands specifically with indian Americans. Because I talk to a lot of folks, Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs, and they feel disenfranchised from the Democratic party. And if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, are you going to lose people that 80%  voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

FS: You’re looking at a campaign that is seeking the support of Indian Americans and of people of communities that are not represented by our government right now. I would argue that despite the fact that Trump had a very large event at Houston that he does not represent or fight for the interests of immigrant populations here in America, including Indian Americans. And when you look at the future of the United States and the bond that it is creating with countries all over the world, I see a president who is very divisive, who only has relationships that are based off convenience or political benefit to him. It’s not based off of actual care, compassion, and understanding for people. No, it’s “If you can do something for you”. I don’t think that’s how we run foreign affairs, so I think it would be a mistake for a lot of these communities who are maybe saying “Donald Trump has said a nice thing about me”. It is worth a grain of salt. You look at the people that he throws out onto the streets, people that worked for him. Donald Trump has no loyalty to anybody. People who work for him, his Chief of Staff, his Defense Secretary, he runs them out because he has no loyalty to anyone. So it would be a mistake for any community, particularly the Indian American community to look at Donald Trump and say “He’s going to be an ally with me”. When push comes to shove he will push you off the train, he will not care about you. So if you’re looking for someone that really has a degree of compassion, some degree of character, some willingness to fight for people who are struggling, that’s Bernie Sanders. 

RK: Trump does these grand gestures like Howdy Modi, is Sanders going to do something similar?

FS: Of Course, we are even in the way that we’ve built this campaign with Congressman Ro Khanna as a Co-Chair of this campaign, we are working hard to bring people into it. So I hope that everyone will see and appreciate and understand this is a campaign that is working hard to create a bigger tent. 

RK: That being said, Congressman Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Indian American liberal Democrats have also said things that have alarmed Hindu Americans. 

FS: Like I said, if you’re looking for a President of the United States who you may disagree with, but you believe he’s honest with integrity and character, then you’re going to like Bernie Sanders. 

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Eight South Asian candidates run for San Ramon office

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Eight South Asian candidates run for San Ramon office| Diya TV News

SAN RAMON, California (Diya TV) — We’ll introduce you to the eight candidates of South Asian descent running for San Ramon’s mayor and city council this year. Located in California’s East Bay and renowned for great public schools, San Ramon has seen an explosion in its Indian American population over the last decade. Now community members want to give back and help the city map out its future.

President Trump flew to California to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials to discuss the wildfires that have engulfed the state for weeks. Newsom and his team of scientists made it a point to tell Trump climate change is “exacerbating” the wildfires. Toxic air lingers on from California to Washington and new projections indicate the smoke will spread from the Northwest and head to the Midwest.

President Trump announced Indian American Judge Amul Thapar is on shortlist to be named to the Supreme Court if a vacancy happens during his term, joining the likes of Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton.

Silicon Valley venture capital fund Sequoia Capital has invested in the most Indian startups that have become unicorns. Sequoia’s Indian arm has invested in eight unicorns, including Byju’s and Unacademy. SoftBank and Steadview Capital are second with seven unicorns each.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India and China agree on 5-point plan to deescalate

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India, China agree on 5-point plan to deescalate| Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — During a lengthy meeting in Moscow between Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, India and China agreed on a five-point plan to disengage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), where Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a nearly five month standoff. The five-point plan is at the direction of Prime Minister Modi and President Jinping to “not allow differences to become disputes.”

As America commemorates the 19th anniversary of 9/11, there was some bipartisanship on display in New York when Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence bumped elbows and spoke briefly ahead of a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the site of the World Trade Center attacks.

As wildfires rage on, toxic air stretched from Washington State to California. Local officials encouraged millions to stay at home to avoid breathing in ash falling from the sky and the poor air quality is likely to continue through the weekend.

Bela Bajaria has been named Netflix’s Head of Global TV, a newly created position for the former network TV executive.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced Sonia Raman will join their team as an assistant coach. She spent the last 12 years as the women’s head coach at MIT and will be the first ever Indian-American to coach in the NBA.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Community rallies behind widow of slain Mississippi hotelier

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Community rallies behind widow of slain Mississippi hotelier | Diya TV News

CLEVELAND, Mississippi (Diya TV) — Last month in Cleveland, Mississippi, hotel owner Yogesh Patel was beaten to death by a guest he had evicted. Police arrested Kentarrus Williams in connection with Patel’s death. But his demise has left his widow, Sonam, in a challenging spot, trying to manage her grief and a hotel in an area she has no family. Now, community members have set up a GoFundMe page and a Facebook page dedicated to raising $60,000 for Sonam and they are halfway to their goal.

The 2020 fire season is setting records — and the numbers are hard to digest. In California, 3 million acres and counting have burned, featuring 6 of the top 20 largest wildfires in state history. At least eight people in California, Oregon and Washington have died from the latest wildfires and Oregon’s governor believes the death and destruction toll will just get worse.

The United States Senate voted unanimously to confirm Diane Gujarati as the newest district judge in the Eastern District of New York. Gujarati is now the first Article III judge of South Asian descent in the state of New York.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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