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White House: Harris pick shows strength of US-India ties

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White House: Harris Pick Shows Strength Of Us-india Ties | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The Biden administration says it is looking to strengthen ties with India and believes having the first Indian American Vice President demonstrates that commitment. In addition to selecting Kamala Harris, who is half Indian and half black, President Biden has also appointed the most Indian Americans ever to serve in a presidential administration. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden has visited India many times and is looking forward to continuing this successful relationship.

Five people are dead in India after a massive fire broke out at the world’s largest maker of vaccines, including production of a COVID-19 vaccine. Authorities now say the blaze is under control at the Serum Institute of India in the western city of Pune, although the cause is still under investigation. Several other people were rescued from the building which was under construction at the time. Officials say the fire will not slow the production and distribution of the vaccine.

Indian farmers rejected an offer by the government to defer farm reform laws for more than a year. Instead organizers say thousands of farmers will drive tractors through New Delhi on January 26 on the Republic Day national holiday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join a parade of military forces. Farm leaders are fighting to repeal laws and guarantee minimum crop prices.  

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US prepares to send $500M in military aid to India

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US preps $500m of military aid to India | Diya TV News
US preps $500 million in military aid to India

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The U.S. wants India to reduce its dependence on Russian weapons. That’s why it’s preparing a military aid package worth as much as $500 million. If the deal happens, it would make India one of the largest recipients of foreign aid behind Israel and Egypt. This U.S. effort is part of a much larger initiative to court India, despite its reluctance to criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she has tested positive for COVID-19. The Seattle Democrat says she’s experiencing flu-like symptoms and will be isolating and working remotely. Jayapal is vaccinated and double boosted. She also encouraged everyone who is eligible to get a second booster.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Indian American Dilip Chauhan as the new Deputy Commissioner of Trade, Investment, and Innovation for International Affairs. Chauhan’s primary goal is to work to attract and retain businesses and foreign direct investments in the city.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shocking Video: Indian American student choked by bully in Texas middle school

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Shaan Pritmani

COPPELL, Texas (Diya TV) — In a student-captured viral video shared online on May 11, Indian American student Shaan Pritmani was physically attacked in an act of bullying at Coppell Middle School North in Coppell, Texas. 

Pritmani is seen to be sitting on a bench when another student, a white teenager, forcefully asked him to move. When Pritmani did not comply, after indicating he was there first, the other student put Pritmani in a chokehold and dragged him out of the seat. 

The Coppell Independent School District (ISD) is known to be diverse and bullying incidents like the one detailed above are not commonplace. However, there was a faculty member arrested on accounts of sexual assault and indecency with a child in early 2021.

Once the video spread, Brad Hunt, Superintendent of Coppell Independent School District, shared a statement condemning the situation, saying “bullying, both verbal and physical, as well as physical acts of aggression are never acceptable and do not align with who we are at CISD and our core values.” The statement also notes that the district is undergoing an investigation into the issue to provide closure.

Pritmani was suspended for 3 days, while the assaultor got 1 day of suspense.

The issue has gained traction on social media, with many people of Indian and South Asian descent stunned by the graphic video:

Pritmani’s mother, Sonika Kukreja, has started a petition to spread more awareness, not only towards this specific altercation, but bullying as a whole across the nation. The petition states: “Shaan’s parents reached out to school authorities, shared the evidence and requested a reassessment. The school informed the parents that they have seen the video and that there will be no change in the course of action.”

The petition has over 200K signings at the time of this publication and that number continues to grow.

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Indian American student severely bullied at Texas middle school

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Indian American student choked at Texas high school | Diya TV News

DALLAS (Diya TV) — A disturbing video out of Texas is going viral. It shows a white middle school student severely bullying an Indian American classmate, putting the young man in a chokehold and twisting his neck. It’s unclear if any serious injuries were sustained. Coppell Middle School’s superintendent says they are investigating and have bullying measures in place. Many parents, especially in the Indian diaspora are demanding accountability and consequences for the attacker.

Chaos continues in the streets of Sri Lanka. Massive brawls are breaking out as hungry Sri Lankans burn homes and cars. More than 200 people have been killed so far. Just last week a new Prime Minister was appointed to stabilize the country.

Team India took home its first-ever Thomas Cup crown, dethronining 14-time champion Indonesia in the prestigious badminton championship. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally called team members on the phone to congratulate them for this historic moment. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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