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Former Supreme Court hopeful Amul Thapar being vetted for another Seat

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Judge Amul Thapar, one of the judges who was shortlisted by President Donald Trump for the current Supreme Court vacancy, is being vetted by the White House for a seat on a federal appeals court.

According to a report from Buzzfeed News, two lawyers familiar with the situation said that Thapar — currently a federal district court judge — is the frontrunner to be the nominee for one of two vacancies on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The report said the FBI interviewed people close to Thapar last month as part of an official background check, which is typically the final step in the pre-nomination process. The lawyers, speaking under the terms of anonymity, said they were not aware of other candidates who were currently being vetted for the vacancy.

The White House isn’t expected to act on any lower court nominees until Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, is confirmed. Regardless, the fact the FBI is conducting background checks on at least one potential nominee is a sign that the White House is preparing to move on other court vacancies quickly once the Supreme Court seat is filled.

There are 120 open seats on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court vacancy, making up about 13 percent of all authorized federal judgeships. The Sixth Circuit already has a majority of Republican-appointed judges.

Thapar made history when he joined the bench in 2008, becoming the first South Asian–American confirmed to a federal district or appeals court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a longtime backer. McConnell introduced Thapar at hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006, when Thapar was nominated to be the US attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and in 2007, when he was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

He was among the 21 names Trump said he would consider to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. Thapar was one of four judges whom Trump personally met with before choosing Gorsuch as the nominee. Thapar has a strong law enforcement background, having served not only as the US attorney in Kentucky but also as a federal prosecutor in Ohio and in the District of Columbia.

Thapar presided over the high-profile criminal case against an elderly Catholic nun convicted of breaking into a military facility used to store uranium as part of a protest. In 2014, he sentenced the then-84-year-old nun — who had asked the judge not to give her leniency because of her age — to 35 months in prison, which was less than what prosecutors recommended.

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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