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Trump considering Balaji Srinivasan for top FDA Post

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Balaji Srinivasan.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Balaji Srinivasan, the Indian-American chief executive of the bitcoin startup 21.co, has reportedly met with President-elect Donald Trump regarding the top post at the Food and Drug Administration.

Srinivasan has direct ties to PayPal co-founder and Trump transition team member Peter Thiel, a libertarian who has advocated for disrupting society with technology in order to improve it.

He co-founded Counsyl Inc. and helped to develop a pregnancy test that quickly detects Down syndrome and other severe, chromosome-related birth defects. This has been viewed as something that could potentially put Srinivasan at odds with Republicans, since such tests are used early in pregnancy to help couples make decisions about abortion.

The startup was created in his Stanford dorm room and now tests four percent of all births in the United States.

Srinivasan’s personal views of the federal government — the Food and Drug Administration in particular — could also cause a multitude of challenges regarding his confirmation, if nominated. When speaking of the FDA, Srinivasan said the agency “sets the incentives” for allowing “big bad pharma” to exist.

He’s previously called for giving Silicon Valley entrepreneurs the privilege to secede from the U.S. They should instead be allowed to “build an opt-in society, ultimately outside the U.S., run by technology.”

He was seen at Trump Tower Thursday meeting with the President-elect’s team about leading the agency, according to multiple reports. Srinivasan has pulled ahead of another Thiel associate, Jim O’Neill, for consideration to lead the FDA, members of the transition team, who asked not to be named since the talks were private, told Diya TV. Scott Gottlieb, a former senior official at the FDA who’s now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, is also being considered for the role.

Srinivasan holds a B.S., M.S. and doctorate in electrical engineering and an M.S. in chemical engineering from Stanford University, where he also serves as a professor.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Unprecedented Diwali greetings offered to diaspora

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Unprecedented Diwali greetings offered to diaspora | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — From President Trump and President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris to the Georgia Senate candidates vying for votes in the January runoff election, Diwali greetings were expressed by leaders around the U.S. en masse, an acknowledgement that the Indian American community is an emerging political force.

Hirsh Singh, who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey, but lost to fellow Indian American Rik Mehta in the Republican primary, announced his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey. He’ll be facing at least two other Republican challengers, not to mention the Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy, who is seeking a second term. Singh also has litigation pending before the Supreme Court in an effort to change the results in that Republican primary.

Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee has died from complications of COVID-19. He was 85. Chatterjee performed in more than 200 movies and worked closely with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray

14 year old Indian American teen Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, one of the premier middle school science competitions in the U.S. for discovering a molecule that could lead to a therapy for COVID-19, taking home a $25,000 prize in the process.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi congratulates Biden & Harris on election victory

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Modi congratulates Biden & Harris on election victory | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi spoke to President-Elect Biden over the phone to discuss priorities and concerns for both nations, with a focus on the pandemic, access to affordable vaccines, rebuilding the economy, climate change and working together in the Indo-Pacific. Modi also extended his congratulations to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, who will be the first Indian American ever to serve at that level.

In the first volume of his memoir titled “A Promised Land,” former President Obama wrote about a visit to India during his first term, including meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. His book also talks about the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on his life. Obama had high praise for Manmohan Singh, but levied criticism of Rahul Gandhi and the BJP.

As the COVID-19 pandemic surges around the United States, forcing new lockdowns in cities and states around the nation, India is also being hammered by the virus, with New Delhi being the epicenter of the worst outbreak in the world at the moment according to new data.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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