Latest News New York

June 19 now a federal holiday

Washington, DC: The House passed legislation Wednesday that would establish June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, sending the bill to President Biden who is expected to sign it after returning from his Europe tour.

The bill passed the House 415-14 after the Senate unanimously passed the legislation Tuesday. The no votes were all Republicans.  

The legislation was previously blocked by conservative Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in 2020 but he dropped his objection this week despite his concerns, allowing the bill to advance out of the chamber.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer thanked the bill’s bipartisan sponsors, which included Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D), Sen. John Cornyn (R) and Sen. Ed Markey (D).

On June 19, 1865, Maj Gen Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. In 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday. In the decades since, every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth, but only a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday.

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Latest News USA

Indian American Shiva Ayyadurai sues to block MA Senate race certification

Washington, DCAs per media reports unsuccessful Senate race candidate Indian American Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai has sued to block the certification of the Sept. 1 Republican primary and the Nov. 3 general election in Massachusetts.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Nov. 20, Ayyadurai claims Secretary of State William Galvin ordered electronic voting machines to delete ballot images after votes were counted, Patch Boston reported.

Ayyadurai, who is representing himself, was seeking an injunction to block the certification of the Republican Senate primary and the Senate race won by incumbent Ed Markey, a Democrat.

“Chain of custody has been broken, no transparent audit of the ballot images used for tabulating the vote count is possible and the declared numbers are unreliable,” Ayyadurai wrote in his complaint, according to Patch.

“Only a hand-count of paper ballots submitted in both the primary and the Senate races can restore the credibility of the vote count.”

The election results were certified and approved by the Governor’s Council Wednesday afternoon, Patch said.

In a preliminary ruling Tuesday, a US District Court judge noted Ayyadurai “allegedly received” the information about the deleted ballot scans from the primary in September but waited until weeks after the general election in November to file his complaint.

In a separate lawsuit against Galvin earlier this year, Ayyadurai claimed Galvin “coerced Twitter to delete the plaintiff’s tweets claiming the defendant unlawfully destroyed Republican primary ballots.”

Ayyadurai did not file an affidavit in support of his motion requesting a preliminary injunction. He also failed to serve Galvin’s office or make a good faith effort to resolve the issue with attorneys for Galvin’s office, the court was cited as saying.

The court, according to Patch, said it would reconsider the motion if he tried to resolve the issue with Galvin’s office and filed an affidavit supporting his claims.

In 2018, Ayyadurai received 3.39 percent of the vote when he ran for Senate as an independent candidate. This year, he ran as a Republican but lost to Kevin O’Connor in the Sept. 1 primary. He also ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign in the Nov. 3 general election for Senate.

Ayyadurai, who was born in India, holds four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), including a Ph.D. in biological engineering. He claims to have invented email as a high school student in New Jersey in the late 1970s, but that claim has been widely disputed.

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