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India born judge in race to be US Supreme Court Judge

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Having helped 1.7 million people around the world gain mobility with the famous Jaipur Foot, the organisation is now embarking on a mission to develop an affordable artificial hand, its founder D.R. Mehta has said.
Jaipur Foot has already helped many to get mobility. Wikimedia commons

Washington: Chandigarh-born Indian-American judge has risen the ranks in the race of succession to be the new US Supreme Court justice. The sudden death of a US Supreme Court judge has put him at the top of the contention in the year of political battles.

Srikanth Srinivasan, 48, who became a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees – in May 2013 after a 97-0 Senate vote was on the short-list of many in the media.

Speculation over whom President Barack Obama would nominate to replace Antonin Scalia started hours after the conservative judge’s death Saturday morning in Texas even as top Republicans said the choice should be left to the next president.

Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor “in due time,” and the Senate will get “plenty of time to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote” even as Senate Republican leaders and presidential candidates were dead set against the move.

Any list of potential replacements begins with Srinivasan, said CNN noting that Obama would likely try to find someone that at least some Republicans in Congress might find acceptable given that the opposition party controls both chambers.

Obama first nominated him to the post in 2012, and the Senate confirmed him,

97-0, in May 2013, including votes in support from Republican presidential contenders Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Srinivasan’s father hailed from Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, a village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. His family, including two younger sisters, migrated in the late 1960s to Lawrence, Kansas.

His father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and later worked at the University of Kansas computer science department.

Srinivasan was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.

He was Obama’s principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defence of Marriage Act.

Srinivasan also has experience on the other side of the aisle, serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration and as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was once a partner in the law firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said “failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential Constitutional responsibilities.”

The succession battle comes at a time when the Court is expected to hear several cases with huge political implications, including on abortion and affirmative action.(IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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Microsoft Told its Employees in US to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Microsoft tells US employees to work from home

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Microsoft
Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. Pixabay Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. Pixabay

Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US. This is the latest news.

The tech giant has also recommended that those who are feeling sick, have a compromised immune system, or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should work from home. The company employs nearly 54,000 people in the Seattle region.

“Consistent with King County guidance, we are recommending all employees who are in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25th. Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite,” said Microsoft Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene in a statement on Wednesday.

There are currently more than 94,000 cases of COVID-19 globally, with 128 confirmed in the US. King County in Washington State has reported 21 cases and eight deaths.

Microsoft
Microsoft has already cancelled all non-essential business travel in regions with active COVID-19. Pixabay

Amazon has also confirmed that an employee at its Seattle headquarters has been tested positive for COVID-19. “If in your role it is essential to be in the office or other work environments (data centre, retail, etc.), plan to continue to go to your location. We will continue to implement the CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitising the locations,” said DelBene.

The exceptions to this new guidance are the following groups who are being advised by health authorities to avoid interaction in large groups or public settings: If you are over 60, If you have an underlying health condition (heart disease, diabetes, etc.), if your immune system is compromised or if you are pregnant.

“In these cases, you should work with your manager to determine leave options or other accommodations available to you. If you are a caregiver of someone that is immune system compromised, please contact your health provider for input,” said Microsoft.

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“Limit prolonged interactions and try to stay more than six feet (1.8 meters) away from others. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible. Most importantly do not come to work if you are sick. This will be clearly posted on all building entrances,” said the company.

The company has already cancelled all non-essential business travel in regions with active COVID-19. Twitter has also told its 5,000-strong workforce to work from home. (IANS)