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NYC Mayor appoints Gurdev Singh Kang and Faiza Patel to Human Rights commission

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Gurdev Singh Kang
Gurdev Singh Kang

Gurdev Singh Kang has been appointed to New York’s Commission on Human Rights by mayor Bill de Blasio.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Building on his campaign promise to empower the City Commission on Human Rights as a venue for all New Yorkers who have been the victim of discrimination to find justice, Mayor Bill de Blasio this week announced his appointment of Carrie Davis, Gurdev Singh Kang, and Faiza Patel as Human Rights Commissioners.

The City Commission on Human Rights enforces and educates on the City Human Rights Law, one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the nation. Human Rights Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and advise and assist the Chair and Commissioner in identifying issues of bias, discrimination, and harassment impacting their communities.

“Spanning LGBTQ rights, national security issues, and leadership in Sikh communities, today’s appointees represent the very best of New York City. This progressive and extraordinarily qualified group share strong dedication to safeguarding the rights, safety, and dignity of all people in New York City,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Reiterating what I said when I appointed Carmelyn P. Malalis at the helm of CCHR, I am confident this agency will continue to be a robust enforcer of our fundamental civil rights and improve community relations among New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs.”

“It is a great honor to serve as a Commissioner. It is very important that the voices of minorities be heard during this crucial time,” Kang said in reaction to his appointment. “Therefore, I hope to help prevent discrimination against New Yorkers based on their race and religious beliefs. Every New Yorker has the right to practice his/her own religion without having to face any fear or threat of a violent attack.”

Kang is the former president of the largest Sikh temple in New York City, The Sikh Cultural Society Inc., where he served in that capacity from 2012 through 2016. He has been affiliated with the Sikh Cultural Society for more than two decades and as president of the temple he started the Nagar Kirtan program and sports initiatives for youth.

He emigrated from Punjab, India, in 1981 and started a deli/grocery business. By 1986, Kang encountered great success in his business endeavors ranging from real estate to retail. Kang has been a member of Community Board 2 in Staten Island since 2006.

Faiza Patel serves as Co-Director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, which seeks to ensure that our counterterrorism laws and policies respect human rights norms and fundamental freedoms. Patel focuses on issues relating to surveillance, including police monitoring of Muslim communities, interception of electronic communications by security agencies, and Islamophobia.

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Exclusive: Judges Srinivasan, Rao kickoff SABA virtual conference

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Diya TV is home to the South Asian Bar Association virtual conference this weekend, which got kicked off by perhaps the two most powerful Indian American lawyers in the nation: Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan & Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, both of whom serve in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the nation to only the Supreme Court. We’ll update you on their conversation and preview this weekend’s virtual gala featuring Stacy Abrams, Preet Bharara, Vanita Gupta, Ajit Pai and many others.

Meanwhile, Judges Srinivasan and Rao may get another Indian American colleague, as President Trump nominated Vijay Shanker to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic Party announced they will be conducting their convention virtually from Milwaukee.

Indian American Jeremy Cooney is leading in the race for New York State’s 56th Senate District, with absentee ballots still to be factored in.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Satellite images show larger Chinese presence at Indian border

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LADAKH, India (Diya TV)  — While the ongoing fracas between India and China has not led to all-out war yet, satellite images indicate China is sending a larger group of troops and building infrastructure in Galwan Valley, site of that vicious clash that killed 20 Indian troops, and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers. It was the first loss of life in battle for the Chinese in more than 40 years. U.S. intelligence decreed China instigated the battle and India says China has been staffing up in the area since May. Following the release of the satellite images, China says India is to blame.

The U.S. is regressing in its battle against COVID-19, setting a new single day record for coronavirus cases at more than 37,000. The virus has infected nearly 10 million people globally, a quarter of that total in the U.S. The death toll now stands at 125,000 in the United States, with Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seeing major increases.

Pakistani-American Qasim Rashid advanced in the Democratic primary in Virginia’s First Congressional District. ​He’ll take on longtime incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Wittman in the fall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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As critics fume, Modi says India was not breached by China

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — During an all-party political leaders meeting, Indian Prime Minister Modi told the group China did not breach Indian territory in Ladakh, nor was any Indian Army border post captured. Modi emphasized India will protect Galwan Valley, the region where the clash killing 20 Indian soldiers and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers took place. But Modi’s critics say the situation was an intelligence failure and many want Modi to strike back with force. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Chinese Government pinned the conflict on India and is laying claim to the entire valley region.

India was elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term starting next year, receiving 184 out of 192 valid votes.

And in a wild Friday night surprise, the Justice Department said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be stepping down, to be replaced by Jay Clayton, the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But in a statement, Berman said he’s not leaving until Congress confirms someone & his investigations, including into folks allied with President Trump, will continue.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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