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After Orlando shooting, Supreme Court to consider Assault Rifles ban case

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A gun store owner holds an assault-style AR-15 rifle

A gun store owner holds an assault-style AR-15 rifle

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Less than a week after Omar Mateen used an AR-15 assault-style rifle to carry out the deadliest mass-shooting in U.S. history, the constitutionality of a ban on such weapons is scheduled to come before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. left at least 50 dead and injured several others.

At a regularly scheduled conference Thursday, the Court will decide whether to grant a full review of the case, Shew v. Malloy, which challenges Connecticut laws that were enacted after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The shooter in that attack, which resulted in the killing of 20 children and six educators, mainly used an AR-15. Additionally, an AR-15 was used in the Dec. 2015 terror-motivated shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. which killed 14 people. The rifle was also one of three different weapons used in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting in July 2012, which killed 12 people.

Las October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the Connecticut laws, which additionally ban the usage of large capacity magazines. During the Sandy Hook shooting, the attacker used multiple 30-round magazines, he fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes.

The laws are being challenged by three gun-rights organizations, the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsman, and MD (as in Maryland) Shooting Sports. These groups have argued that the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” either flatly prohibit the ban or that the appeals court used too relaxed of a standard in approving the bans. The groups additionally claim that the bans in question focus on too broad a spectrum of weapons and accessories, and that those products can be, and for the most part are, used lawfully.

Connecticut is currently just one of seven states in the U.S. that has an active ban on assault-style weapons.

There is currently much speculation around the decision, and experts have opined that they believe the Court will not take the case.

The Court in the past has swayed away from several cases which sought to clarify Second Amendment issues since 2008, when it established the amendment does, indeed, protect individuals’ rights to own guns (as opposed to their right to possess them as part of a community’s “militia”) and, in 2010, that the right binds not merely the federal government, but state governments as well.

Both of those cases, District of Columbia v. Heller andMcDonald v. City of Chicago, were decided by bare 5-4 margins. In each case, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion, and the rest of the Court voted along familiar ideological lines.

Scalia’s death in February, and the Senate’s stated determination to not replace him until after November’s presidential election, leaves the Court dramatically and evenly split on most Second Amendment issues, which only feeds the speculation the case will not be heard.

The AR-15 was originally designed by Armalite as a military weapon. The military version, however, has a fully-automatic setting — meaning you can fire the weapon as a machine gun. Civilian versions of the AR-15 have only semi-automatic capabilities, and are are now made by many manufacturers, including Colt and Bushmaster.

According to various gun-rights groups’ briefs, the AR-15 is “the best-selling rifle type in the United States.”

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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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