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South Asian legal minds gather to celebrate 15th annual SABA conference in New York City

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) — The conference and perhaps the largest gathering of South Asian legal minds in America aka the 15th annual SABA (South Asian Bar Association) of North America kicked off in the heart of the New York city. The immediate past president, Rishi Bagga noted the importance of hosting this conference in the Big Apple. “We now live in a time when legal protections for immigrants are under attack; when nativist sentiments and rhetoric have sought to divide those who were born here from those who were not; at a time when our community’s lawyers must ‘Carry the Torch’ for the South Asian immigrant community and other immigrant communities,” he said. “And a time when SABA must continue to work to ensure greater diversity and inclusion with the legal profession at large.”

 Outgoing President of SABA Rishi Bagga, Rep. Grace Meng and the incoming President of Sundeep Sandhu at the opening night reception

Outgoing President of SABA Rishi Bagga, Rep. Grace Meng and the incoming President of Sundeep Sandhu at the opening night reception

With all the recent events of immigrant families being separated, this year’s conference didn’t skip a beat jumping right into all the issues that matter to this organization. This year’s panels featured personal insights from some of the brightest minds in the South Asian American legal community including judges, law firm leaders, in-house counsel, and lawyers making waves inside and outside the profession. This year we were fortunate to welcome a large number of South Asian judges including the Hon. Cathy Bissoon, Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Raj Chatterjee, Hon. Raja Rajeswari and Hon. Sri Srinivasan.

The programming focused on ways South Asian attorneys could break the current boundaries within the legal profession. For example, VP and US General Counsel for McDonald’s Corporation, Mahrukh Hussain joined a panel of women general counsels to discuss the paths they chose and challenges they faced in their careers. In addition, a plenary panel focused on the pros, cons and consequences of choosing a life in the public eye featured Ravi Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken; Sudha Setty, Dean, Western New England School of Law; Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General, State of Florida; Sayu Bhojwani, President, New American Leaders Project; and Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York

The Conference closed with a gala featuring keynote speaker Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) who reminded SABA members that one continually has the choice “to accept things as they are or take responsibility for changing them.” Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and longtime SABA member was also a featured speaker and echoed the comments of Sen. Booker, encouraging SABA members to continue “joining together in solidarity … by taking the effort to speak, march, vote or do other things necessary to fight for what they believe in.”

The SABA Foundation, the charitable arm of SABA, also held its Annual Benefit during the Conference. The SABA Foundation identifies and supports organizations that provide critical services to the most vulnerable members of the South Asian Community and awarded grants to Manavi, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI), Kiran, Inc., Narika and the Innovation Law Lab. SABA Foundation also honored comedian and activist, Hari Kondabolu, with its first ‘Hero Award’ for his work raising awareness and improving the lives of South Asians in North America.

As always this conference also marked the change in leadership, with a swearing in ceremony for a new President and Executive Committee. SABA’s new President, Sundeep Sandhu, emphasized the role the organization will continue to play in improving the general welfare of the South Asian community in North America. “Issues with respect to diversity and inclusion, civil rights and access to justice have never been more prevalent than they are today and SABA members have been unwavering in their dedication to addressing these issues,” Sandhu stated. “We see this not only with the leadership of our 26 chapters but through the individual actions of our 8,000 strong membership, like our members who attended the nationwide protests held against the current administration’s policy on separating migrant families – a policy that SABA has firmly stood against.”

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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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