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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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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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