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Former law school dean Sujit Choudhry Settles sexual harassment suit with accuser

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Sujit Choudhry
Sujit Choudhry

Former UC Berkeley Law School dean Sujit Choudhry agreed to pay $50,000 to charity and $50,000 in legal fees to settle the sexual harassment case. Photo: UC Berkeley 

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Sujit Choudhry, the former dean of the UC Berkeley law school, reached a settlement in a legal case in which his former assistant was the accuser. He has agreed to pay $50,000 to charity and $50,000 in legal fees to settle the case, according to statements released by the university and by his former assistant, Tyann Sorrell.

In a statement released Friday, Sorrell said the $50,000 payment to charity represented a “significant financial contribution to a number of organizations of my choice that deal with the serious issues of sexual harassment and abuse.”

Sorrell’s attorney called the terms of the settlement a “minor slap on the wrist” for Choudhry, and that her client is “continuing to heal and struggle.” She said her client was not permitted to comment further under the terms of the agreement. The agreement was signed on March 31, Sorrell’s attorney said the delayed release of the announcement was “intended to minimize student and staff reaction” to the news of the settlement.

In a statement, the university said all litigation in the case “has now been dismissed.”

Sorrell had sued Choudhry and the university over the allegations and Choudhry, an Asian, sued the university for singling him out because of his race. He is being allowed to continue his two-year sabbatical through May 2018 and keep his research funding and travel expenses. In her lawsuit, Sorrell alleged Choudhry kissed, hugged and touched her. In her statement, Sorrell said she “look(s) forward to a day when sexual harassment and abuse is no long denied, enabled, ignored or tolerated.”

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Jolly Joseph held for serial killings of her family in South India

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Jolly Joseph

Koodathai, India (Diya TV)  — A 47 year old mother of two in Kerala is being held on suspicion of using cyanide to murder at least six of her own family members, including her husband and in-laws. Jolly Joseph is behind bars as police continue their investigation into the serial killings. Police and neighbors allege after the deaths of her immediate family, years later, Jolly killed the wife and child of a man she went on to marry.

India’s Commerce minister Piyush Goyal will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer once again this week as the U.S. and India continue bilateral trade negotiations. These talks come days after India exited a China-backed trade agreement that covered much of Asia, citing domestic concerns.

Just a couple of months after the ‘Howdy Modi’ event that brought India and the U.S. together in a manner we’ve never seen before, President Trump told reporters he does plan to visit India soon, after Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to him in Houston.

Kshama Sawant was reelected to Seattle’s City Council, despite Amazon spending $500,000 to back her opponent. Sawant, a self-proclaimed socialist, ran on an agenda to deal with Seattle’s growing gentrification, homelessness and a lack of affordable housing

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Calm prevails after Indian Supreme Court rules on Ayodhya

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a politically and culturally sensitive dispute going back decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded nearly three acres of sacred land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while mandating an alternative five-acre plot for a mosque. The court also deemed the demolition of the Babri Masjid on that site in 1991 a crime. The unanimous decision by five justices paves the way for the construction of a new Hindu temple on the parcel of land believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace, ending the oldest land title dispute in India.Calls for peace were listened to over the weekend. Now, next steps involve determining how and where precisely the temple and mosque will be built.

In a major step forward between India and Pakistan, the Kartarpur corridor on the border of the two nations opened up for Sikhs to make pilgrimage on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding India’s sentiment on this issue. 500 pilgrims made the initial voyage, including former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Supreme Court ends Ayodhya dispute: Hindus receive land, Muslims get alternative site

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a decision over a subject that has been politically and culturally sensitive for several decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while deeming the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 a crime.

The unanimous decision by five justices, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, paves the way for the construction a new Hindu temple at the site, believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. The decision ends the oldest land title dispute in India.

A board of trustees will be established in the next three months to determine construction plans for the temple. While the court ruled in favor of the Hindu petition, they ordered five acres of land to be set aside at an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque to be built.

Ahead of the verdict political leaders appealed for peace and calm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

The court was also clear the desecration of the Babri Masjid was still a criminal matter and a court case on that issue is still pending.

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