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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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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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