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UC Berkeley Law School Dean Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

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(UC Berkeley Law School)

(UC Berkeley Law School)

BERKELEY, Calif. (Diya TV) — Sujit Choudhry, dean of the University of California at Berkeley’s prestigious law school, is taking an “indefinite leave of absence” from his position after a lawsuit filed against him from his former executive assistant alleged claims of sexual harassment.

The complaint was filed Tuesday against Choudhry and the University of California Board of Regents. Amongst the allegations are claims that Choudhry made inappropriate advances towards the woman, and retaliation and failure to stop the sexual harassment.

Tyann Sorrell, the former executive assistant and 41-year-old mother of five, claims in her complaint that from a period between September 2014 to March 2015, Choudhry sexually harassed her — rubbing her shoulders and arms, kissing her cheeks and giving her bear hugs that pressed her body against him, according to court documents. “Choudhry’s kissing and hugging Plaintiff was a near daily occurrence, Choudhry’s conduct made Plaintiff feel disgusted, humiliated, exposed and dirty,” the lawsuit states.

Sujit Choudhry University of California Berkeley via AP

Sujit Choudhry University of California Berkeley via AP

Soon thereafter, the lawsuit claims the harassment became more frequent — on a daily basis — and much more explicit. “The hugs became tighter and more lingering and the kissing more intimate in that over time Choudhry’s kisses began to land closer and closer” to her mouth, according to the court documents.

“She wondered what she had done to make him think it was OK for him to touch her,” according to the documents. “She was worried about her reputation and what her work colleagues thought of her. At the same time, she worried about upsetting him and possibly losing her job, on which her family depended.”

Additionally, Sorrell claims in her suit that she is a past victim of domestic and sexual abuse. When the situation in her workplace began, it ushered in a pattern of anxiousness and depression — causing her to lose sleep and dread her going to work. She said she suffered “insomnia, hair loss, depression and anxiety” as a result.

Choudhry, 46, could not be reached for comment. However, a UC Berkeley spokesman told Diya TV that Choudhry formally announced he would resign a day after the university imposed his indefinite leave of absence.

Sorrell began working at the university in 2012, and the lawsuit states she made multiple complaints to her superiors regarding Choudhry’s alleged conduct. It took the university months to investigate her claims, the lawsuit states. Berkeley’s internal investigation concluded in July, and determined by a preponderance of evidence that the dean had violated the university’s sexual harassment policy.

“A thorough investigation of this case found that Dean Choudhry’s behavior in this situation violated policy,” university Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele said. “He demonstrated a failure to understand the power dynamic and the effect of his actions on the plaintiff personally and in her employment.

“Based on the findings of the investigation I believed that a combination of disciplinary actions, monitoring of his behavior and formal training would be an appropriate and effective response, and would produce the necessary changes in his behavior.”

Berkeley’s law program — widely regarded as one of the nation’s best and brightest — is no stranger to scandal. Specifically, allegations of sexual misconduct against its leaders.

In 2002, then-dean John Dwyer was forced to resign after he was accused of sexually harassing a former student. The story, reported on by the school’s student newspaper, wrote that Dwyer had “admitted to having a single consensual encounter with a student two years ago but denied charges of sexual harassment.”

“I acknowledge that this reflected a serious error in judgment on my part and was inappropriate,” he had written in an internal memo, according to the newspaper. “I believe I can no longer effectively lead the school.”

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Rev. Jesse Jackson pushes for India COVID relief

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Rev. Jesse Jackson pushes for India COVID relief | Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Reverend Jesse Jackson is standing in solidarity with Indian Americans in California who are rallying the community to send more Covid-19 relief to India.  Reverend Jackson is also voicing solidarity for other communities of color as African Americans celebrate Juneteenth, the new Federal holiday marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

And Satya Nadella is now even more powerful at Microsoft. The tech giant’s CEO was named chairman of the board elevating his current role atop one of the world’s most valuable companies. The Indian American has served as chief executive since 2014, has helped transform the PC maker into a leader in cloud computing in recent years, resulting in  a market cap of close to $2 trillion.

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given away another massive chunk of her fortune. This time nearly 3  billion dollars to a variety of charities. Several Indian organizations like Goonj, Antara Foundation, and GiveIndia have also benefited from this generosity.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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US – India trade hits record $9 billion

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U.S.-India trade hits record $9 billion | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — For the second month in a row, the U.S.-India bilateral goods trade crossed $9 billion dollars.  It had never happened once before that. This is a comprehensive document covering trade in goods and services, and shows India and the U.S. remain strong strategic partners.

the U.S. Senate confirmed Radhika Fox as the first Indian American and woman of color to lead the office of water at the Environmental Protection Agency. Her supporters say she will focus on making sure everyone’s point of view is heard and taken into account.

And British Pakistani rapper Frenzo Harami is being criticized for his anti Hindu post on Instagram. Harami uses vulgar language to describe Hindu minorities living in Kashmir. He apparently went on this tirade after claiming youtube banned one of his videos.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India’s COVID rate drops dramatically

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India’s COVID rate drops dramatically | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India’ s Covid-19 infection rates are starting to consistently drop each day.  The ministry of health reported a little more than 60,000 cases in the past 24 hours. That’s a dramatic decrease from the peak of more than 400,000 cases in one day just a few months ago. 

India has also decided to partially open the Taj Mahal to visitors. And as restrictions ease, several shops, malls, and restaurants have started to reopen in multiple cities this week. but Authorities continue to advise mask wearing and social distancing.

Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a dinner party for a bipartisan group of female senators at her official Washington, DC residence. 16 Democrats and eight Republicans. Vice President Harris is doing this against the backdrop of intense negotiations over President Biden’s agenda in Congress and a border crisis raging on her watch.

And one of the fiercest critics of Big Tech companies like Apple and Amazon is now leading the Federal Trade Commission.  Lina Khan will be tasked with voting on enforcement matters in areas of both competition and consumer protection. the 32 year old South Asian will be the youngest person to ever lead the agency.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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