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Los Angeles Judge in US issues arrest warrant for “Hot” Yoga Guru Bikram Choudhury

The 69-year-old yoga guru had claimed last year that he was nearly bankrupt as his business was no longer thriving

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Yoga Guru Bikram Choudhury, Wikimedia
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Washington May 25, 2017: A Los Angeles judge has issued an arrest warrant for Bikram Choudhury, the Indian American “hot” yoga guru, after he failed to pay more than $7 million in 2016 to his former lawyer who was the victim in a sexual harassment case against him.

Choudhury has not paid the lawyer and authorities believe that he has hidden his assets and left the country, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

The 69-year-old yoga guru had claimed last year that he was nearly bankrupt as his business was no longer thriving.

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According to the report, the warrant, issued on Wednesday, allows authorities to arrest Choudhury if he returns to the US or, possibly, in Mexico.

In January 2016, a jury determined that Choudhury had sexually harassed and then unfairly fired Minakshi “Miki” Jafa-Bodden, his onetime lawyer.

He was ordered to pay nearly $6.5 million in punitive damages in addition to $924,000 in compensatory damages.

Jafa-Bodden was general counsel to Bikram’s Yoga College of India but was fired after refusing to cover up allegations that Bikram had raped and sexually assaulted a yoga student.

“I feel vindicated,” she told ABC News in 2016. “I’m elated.”

She convinced the jury that Choudhury had repeatedly sexually harassed her and subjected her to obscene comments about women.

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Jafa-Bodden also claimed she was fired after she tried to investigate another woman’s sexual harassment and rape allegations against the yoga guru.

During the trial over Jafa-Bodden’s allegations, Bikram strongly denied sexually assaulting any women. He also denied having any sexual contact with his students or followers. His bail was set at $8 million.

Choudhury was one of the pioneers of yoga in the US, setting up shop in Beverly Hills in the 1970s. His client list included top celebrities like Madonna, Andy Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow and Goldie Hawn.

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His yoga studios are franchised worldwide.

Outside of court on Wednesday, Jafa-Bodden celebrated her latest legal victory, saying: “It’s a win for women everywhere who’ve endured sexual harassment.”

“To have that bench warrant issued for Bikram… It sends a message to a debtor like Bikram that he will be held accountable and that the wheels of justice, although they don’t turn as fast as we would want them to, they do turn,” she said. (IANS)

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Apple Moves up in The List of Top-Rated Employers

Facebook investors have increased pressure on Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down after a New York Times investigation suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that "dug up dirt on its competitors"

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Apple
Facebook no longer best place to work in US, Apple gains ground.

Hit by users’ data scandals amid falling stocks this year, Facebook has lost the tag of best place to work in the US while Apple has moved up in the list of top-rated employers.

According to the leading job website Glassdoor’s annual “100 Best Places to Work in the US” list that came out on Wednesday, Boston-based management consulting firm Bain & Co. has been ranked No 1.

Facebook is now ranked No 7 — scoring 4.5 out of a perfect 5.

Apple moved up from No 84 to 71 with a score of 4.3. Microsoft moved up from No 39 to 34 as its score dropped from 4.4 to 4.3.

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, however, is at sixth place with a score of 4.5, read the information on the Glassdoor website.

While Facebook was the best place to work in America last year, Cupertino-based tech giant Apple had tumbled to number 84 in 2017 from its 36th position in 2016.

Amazon didn’t even make it to the list, with an award score of 4.1, just outside of the top 100.

Apple, on the other hand, moved up in the ranking, from No. 84 to 71, though it maintained the same score of 4.3. Microsoft moved up in ranking from No. 39 to 34 on the list although their award score dropped from 4.4 to 4.3. Google was 8th while Salesforce came 11th.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees.

The Glassdoor list came at a time when media reports said several Facebook employees are looking for better opportunities as scrutiny of the company’s conduct rises following several cases of data leak and as its stock price take a beating.

According to a CNBC report earlier this week, Facebook employees are contacting former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last month citing an internal survey at Facebook, just over half of Facebook employees (52 per cent) said they were optimistic about the future of the social networking platform — down by 32 per cent last year.

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Only 53 per cent of Facebook employees said the company was making the world better, which is 19 per cent lower than last year.

According to the report, Facebook’s “difficult year is taking a toll on employee morale, with several key measures of internal sentiment taking a sharp turn for the worse over the past year”.

Facebook investors have increased pressure on Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down after a New York Times investigation suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors”.

Zuckerberg, however, has refused to quit. (IANS)