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SCOTUS rules domestic abusers with misdemeanors can lose their right to own guns

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – The Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers who have been convicted of misdemeanors can have their gun ownership rights revoked.

In the majority opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, the court concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient grounds to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession. The domestic abusers would have to get a criminal lawyer to help them keep their guns.

Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong, plaintiffs in the case, had both pleaded guilty in their home state of Maine to misdemeanor assault charges after slapping or shoving their romantic partners. Years after, each man was found to have firearms and ammunition in their possession in violation of a federal law affecting convicted domestic abusers.

Both Voisine and Armstrong argued that the weapons ban should not apply to them because their misdemeanor cases were for “reckless conduct” rather than intentional abuse.

Their previous appeal had been rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the plaintiffs relentlessly carried the case on to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear it. Five other justices shared the same opinion as Kagan, while Justice Clarence Thomas dissented and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented in part.

Similar laws regarding domestic violence and firearms ownership are on the books in 34 other states, had the Supreme Court ruled in the plaintiffs favor, the ban would have no longer applied in such cases in any state. Since guns laws differ between states meaning nevada gun laws, for example, are different to those in Florida, federal legislation will be needed to make sure this ruling is carried out throughout the country.

The case, Voisine v. United States, had attracted attention recently because of the gun battle being waged in Congress.

When argued in court on Feb. 29, the case drew initial attention because Justice Thomas asked questions during oral arguments for the first time in a decade. Thomas drew gasps from the crowd after he began asking several questions from the bench.

Thomas had asked the attorney defending the convictions of Voisine and Armstrong whether any other misdemeanor conviction could cause a defendant the loss of “a constitutional right.” The Justice has garnered a severe reputation of being a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights “to keep and bear arms.”

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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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