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UC Berkeley Free Speech Lawsuit Addressed in Court

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A lawsuit suing UC Berkeley for suppressing the students’ first amendment rights to free speech, was heard in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit, filed by Harmeet K. Dhillon of the Dhillon Law Group on behalf of the Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans was met with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. However, Hon. Maxine Chesney asked the plaintiffs to filed an amended complaint.

“The University never banned any speech,” the university said in court documents. “Rather, UC Berkeley instituted permissible time-place-manner restrictions to address specific and credible security threats,” says court documents filed to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Young Americas Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans welcome the opportunity provided by Judge Chesney yesterday to amend our civil rights lawsuit to address the unconstitutionality of UC Berkeley’s most recent version of its evolving campus speech policy, in addition to the many issues addressed in the original complaint,” said Dhillon in a statement.

“Since we filed our lawsuit in April, we have learned many new facts about Berkeley’s misuse of its vague, often unwritten policies to marginalize certain viewpoints and content on campus. University officials continue to muse out loud about different ways that they can place limits on student organizations bringing in outside speakers — limitations that disproportionately impact those seeking to hear conservative voices on campus,” added the statement.

The statement says that UC Berkeley defendants’ lawyers “attempted to argue at the hearing that the First Amendment rights at issue here was not well settled, and that even if there were civil rights violations – which University officials admit outside the courtroom even as their lawyers deny them in court – the University and UCPD officials sued in our clients’ complaint are immune from suit.”

An amended complaint “with additional facts and allegations to frontally challenge UC Berkeley’s continued refusal to honor well-settled First and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights,” will be filed within 30 days according to the statement from Dhillon.

“We will not rest until student voices are equally free to speak and be heard on the UC Berkeley campus, regardless of their political viewpoint, or the content of their speech,” concluded the statement.

 

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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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