US tech industry says immigration order affects their operations

Trump inauguration

The U.S. tech industry has warned that a temporary entry suspension on certain foreign nationals introduced on Friday by the administration of President Donald Trump will impact these companies’ operations that are dependent on foreign workers.

The Internet Association, which has a number of tech companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft as its members, said that Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and movement into the U.S. has troubling implications as its member companies and firms in many other industries include legal immigrant employees who are covered by the orders and will not be able to return back to their jobs and families in the U.S.

“Their work benefits our economy and creates jobs here in the United States,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman in a statement over the weekend.

Executives of a number of tech companies like Twitter, Microsoft and Netflix have expressed concern about the executive order signed by Trump, which suspended for 90 days entry into the U.S. of persons from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – as immigrants and non-immigrants. The Trump administration has described the order as a move to prevent foreign terrorist entry into the U.S.

Tech companies like Uber, Apple, Microsoft and Google are in touch with employees affected by the order, according to reports. Uber is working on a scheme to compensate some of its drivers who come from the listed countries and had taken long breaks to see their extended families and are now unable to come back to the U.S., wrote CEO Travis Kalanick, who is a member of Trump’s business advisory group.

“As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world,” wrote Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, in an online post over the weekend. “We will continue to advocate on this important topic.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a Facebook post that “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all.”

The tech industry is also concerned about further moves by the government on immigration policy that could place restrictions on visas for the entry of people who help these companies run their operations and develop products and services. The H-1B visa program have been criticized for replacing U.S. workers.

Microsoft’s Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a note to employees on Saturday that the company believes in “a strong and balanced high-skilled immigration system.”

 

[Source:- Javaworld]

 

Google creates ‘crisis fund’ following US immigration ban

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Tech giant Google has created a US$2 million crisis fund in response to US president Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

Google staff are also being invited to top up the fund, with the money going towards the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“We chose these organisations for their incredible efforts in providing legal assistance and support services for immigrants, as well as their efforts on resettlement and general assistance for refugees globally,” a Google spokesperson said.

The announcement follows requests by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai last week for staff travelling overseas to come back to the US. More than 100 staff are affected by President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Since 2015, Google has given more than US$16 million to organisations focused on humanitarian aid for refugees on the ground, WiFi in refugee camps, and education for out of school refugee children in Lebanon, the spokesperson said.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also responded to the crisis, saying that as an immigrant himself, he has experienced the positive impact that immigration has on the company, the country and the world.

Nadella said Microsoft was providing legal advice and assistance to 76 staff who have a US visa and are citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.

In an email sent to Microsoft staff, US-based director, Brad Smith said that Microsoft believes in a strong and balance skilled immigration system.

“We also believe in broader-immigration opportunities, like the protections for talented and law-abiding young people under the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion. And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings,” he said.

 

 

[Source:- Javaworld]

LeEco planning major business changes as financial woes continue (Update: LeEco says it is committed to US market)

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In a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal, a LeEco spokesperson stated that it is currently investigating why its stock price had dropped close to eight percent on Tuesday, and thus made the decision to halt trading. The spokesperson added that the company is “in the process of planning major matters, which are expected to involve integration of industry resources.” Exactly what types of changes are in the works are currently unknown.

Less than two months ago, LeEco was holding a big press conference in San Francisco, announcing its official launch of products in the US. That included its Le Pro3 and Le S3 Android smartphones. However, the press conference was an odd affair, full of unconnected buzzwords and demos of products like an Android-based bicycle that may now never come to market.

Since then, rumors about the company’s financial issues have continued, even though LeEco announced it had raised $600 million in new financing. Last week, sales of its phones began in the US at its own LeMall website, along with Amazon, Target and Best Buy. However, the company could decide to make an early exit from the US market as part of its upcoming changes.

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

US feels ‘overwhelming frustration’ with Israeli government, says Biden

Vice-president’s public remarks show continued strain between the countries in the wake of Iranian nuclear deal

US vice-president Joe Biden during his visit to Jerusalem in March
US vice-president Joe Biden during his visit to Jerusalem in March. Photograph: Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, has delivered an unusually sharp critique of the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, saying the Israeli prime minister is leading Israel in the wrong direction through his policies, including settlement building.

Biden described the Obama administration’s “overwhelming frustration” withIsrael, adding that “profound questions” existed about how the country could remain both Jewish and democratic.

Although Biden’s comments, made in a speech to the Jewish American group J-Street, also criticised Palestinians for the failure of the last round of Middle East peace talks, his remarks about the Netanyahu government were particularly pointed.

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years – the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalisation of outposts, land seizures – they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said.

His remarks appear to have scotched the notion that relations between Israel and its most significant backer – which have been unusually strained – were returning to normal after the deep frictions over the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden insisted, however, that the US remained committed to Israel’s security.

“No matter what political disagreements we have with Israel – and we do have political disagreements now – there is never any question about our commitment to Israel’s security.”

Biden’s comments will concern senior Israeli politicians. They have been fretting over what stance the US might take over a mooted resolution at the UN security council, being pushed by Palestinians, seeking to condemn Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements.

Although Biden’s remarks echoed both public and private comments in recent months made by senior American officials, their high-profile nature is significant, not least because they come in the midst of stalled negotiations between the US and Israel over a military aid package with demands from Israel for more aid than the US is willing to give.

“Israel will not get everything it asks for, but it will get every single solitary thing it needs,” Biden remarked.

The US vice-president also added his voice to the increasing number of international figures warning that Israelis and Palestinians were heading towards a “dangerous” one-state “reality” – and the effective death of a two-state solution.

In March, Biden met both Netanyahu and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. He said he came away from that trip discouraged about prospects for peace anytime soon, adding it was the US’s obligation to “push … as hard as we can” towards a two-state solution despite “our sometimes overwhelming frustration with the Israeli government”.

Biden added: “There is at the moment no political will that I observed from either Israelis or Palestinians to go forward with serious negotiations.

“Both sides have to take responsibility for counterproductive steps that undermine confidence in negotiations.”

Biden also singled out Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, for declining to condemn specific acts of terrorism carried out against Israelis, in a nod to the seven-month wave of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks. He said he didn’t know whether Monday’s bus explosion in Jerusalem was a terrorist attack, but added that the US condemns “misguided cowards” who resort to violence.

“No matter what legitimate disagreements the Palestinian people have with Israel, there is never justification for terrorism,” Biden said. “No leader should fail to condemn as terrorists those who commit such brutalities.”

[Source:- Gurdian]