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Indian American family files $50M suit against Illinois School District over Geographic Bee

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Butler Elementary District 53
Butler Elementary District 53

Butler Junior High is one of two schools in Butler Elementary District 53. Credit: The Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO (Diya TV) — A family from the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Butler Elementary District 53, alleging their children have been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment related to allegations of cheating in a geography bee.

The lawsuit was filed April 14 in U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois by Rahul Julka on behalf of his two sons, said Julka’s wife, Komal Julka.

Komal Julka said the federal lawsuit was filed in an attempt to bring attention to the situation.

“We don’t even have an attorney for this federal lawsuit; we’re doing it ourselves,” she told The Chicago Tribune. “It really isn’t about the money, but if we filed the suit for $10, nobody would pay attention. We want people to know what’s going on here.”

Julka said she and her husband believed the federal lawsuit was necessary because a previous lawsuit filed last year in DuPage County Circuit court against District 53 and the school board, seeking to eliminate the sanctions and have letters and documents related to the district investigation removed from their sons’ files, doesn’t allow them an opportunity to tell their entire story. “That case is an administrative review, which only allows for the court to look at the procedure the school district followed and not what happened because of their actions,” Julka said. “This is a small community, and a lot of people presume we did something wrong when we didn’t.”

A school district investigation concluded that Komal Julka registered as a “fraudulent” home school provider, and her emails showed she paid for geography bee questions with her credit card after creating a school name and address. The competition, known as the GeoBee, was scheduled to begin Jan. 19, 2016 at Brook Forest School. Before the tournament began, word began spreading among parents that some families may have received actual test questions early, and administrators began receiving complaints Jan. 15, 2016.

Rahul Julka withdrew his children from the competition that same evening, according to district records. The Julkas have denied any wrongdoing.

The Julka boys were banned from all academic competitions in District 53.

Their federal lawsuit states the resulting punishment caused the Julka boys to lose friends, bear the brunt of insults and lose “overall social interaction.”

Information from The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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Nikki Haley wont run, if Trump runs in 2024

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If Trump Runs In 2024, Haley Says She Will Not | Diya TV News

SOUTH CAROLINA (Diya TV) — Former US Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says she will not make a run for the White House in 2024. But that’s only if Donald Trump decides to enter the Presidential race. Haley continues to be mentioned as a potential candidate for the Oval Office, but the Indian American’s public comments are being interpreted as an early endorsement for former President if Trump chooses to run again.

And more positive news for India’s economy. The International Monetary Fund says it’s projecting a 12 and half percent growth rate for the South Asian nation in 2021. That’s even stronger than what’s expected for China and America’s economy this year.

India is going through a historic tech boom for unicorn start ups. These are the companies valued at more than a billion dollars. In a span of four days, the country saw 6 tech unicorns emerge onto the scene. Startups like Groww, Gutshup, API Holdings, Mohalla Tech, Meesho, and Cred all reached valuations of a billion dollars or more. And that’s attracting some of the world’s largest investors like Softbank and Tiger Global.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian American couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

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Indian American Couple Dead In Apparent Murder-suicide | Diya TV News

 North Arlington, NEW JERSEY (Diya TV) — Authorities in New Jersey are investigating a possible murder-suicide, saying Balaji Rudrawar stabbed his wife Aarti to death. Both were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds. Their young daughter was found unharmed inside. The motive remains unclear. The man’s father told an India-based media outlet his daughter in law was 7 months pregnant.

In Indian waters, a US war ship sailed through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone without asking for permission, a violation of that country’s law. Both countries remain partners in the region. Sources with the Indian Navy say the move was more about sending a message to China.

As Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry wraps up his India trip,  he’s taking to social media and personally thanking some of the leaders of that region including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and now Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, saying all the countries involved are committed to address global warming and climate change. Kerry is raising awareness about this issue heading into a climate conference with world leaders later this month. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Muslim advocates sue Facebook over not removing anti-Muslim hate speech

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Muslim Advocates Sue Facebook | Diya TV News

MENLO PARK, Calif. (Diya TV) — Frustrated with what it sees as a lack of progress, a group called Muslim advocates, along with law firm Gupta Wessler, is suing Facebook, claiming the social media giant does not consistently remove all hate speech, especially language that targets followers of Islam.  The group is calling out top executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, demanding the social network start taking anti-Muslim activity more seriously. A Facebook spokesperson says it regularly uses artificial intelligence to remove posts that violate its policies.

“Hugs are back.” That’s what US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is saying after seeing an increase in Covid-19 vaccinations all across the nation. Murthy says more and more Americans are becoming comfortable getting vaccinated. And by April 19th, all adults will be eligible for the vaccine. The Indian American doctor says this trend is encouraging, but also says there is still lots of work that needs to be done about battling disinformation.

And a big blow to Indian filmmakers.  The Federal government is cutting the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, which allowed filmmakers to appeal decisions made by the censors, which has the power and authority to ban certain movies for inappropriate content.  Instead, they will now have to go to lawyer up and go straight to court and fight if they disagree.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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