Tag Archives: Government Agency

Students From China, Iran, Brazil, and South Africa Allowed Into the US This Fall | Instant News


Foreign students from China, Brazil, Iran, and South Africa will be exempt from travel restrictions imposed during coronavirus pandemic, opening up the possibility of a significant increase in international student enrollments in US schools this fall.

The US State Department said in an online update, dated Monday, that students and academics, as well as journalists and several other categories of individuals from these countries, would be allowed into the US on appropriate visas.

Last summer, the Trump administration made a similar exception for students and others from the UK, Ireland and Europe.

The engraving is carried out under what the State Department calls “national interest exemption,” meaning the government has decided to allow these people in in the best interests of the US.

US embassies and consulates are slowly restarting visa services in most parts of the world after ceasing operations in March 2020. They say they prioritize family members of US citizens, diplomats and those helping with the pandemic, followed by students, temporary workers and several others. . group.

International enrollments at American colleges and universities plummeted last fall, as hundreds of thousands of students were stranded abroad, unable to obtain new visas or unable to travel if they already had the right documentation. Visa records show the number of students here on F-1 or M-1 visas, which include those in colleges, vocational programs and K-12 schools, fell 18% to 1.25 million, while the visa record for newly enrolled students fell by 72 %.

Chinese students make up about a third of all international students enrolled in US schools. Students from India, the second leading country of origin, are subject to standard Covid-19 testing protocols, but have not been barred from traveling to the US during the pandemic. Brazil is the ninth largest, and Iran No. 13, according to the Institute for International Education, which supports global studies and tracks international enrollments.

Uncertainty over visa issuance and travel allowances weigh heavily on schools this spring, as they are trying to plan for the upcoming school year but are unable to predict how many foreign students might be able to move into dormitories and sit in actual classrooms, rather than taking online classes, from home.

International students and academics on exchange visas will be able to come to class only if their program starts on or after August 1, so summer school is still not an option for them.

Under current rules, any traveler arriving to the US from abroad must submit a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arriving. However, the Biden administration said it would not develop evidence of a federally mandated vaccination many colleges and universities need vaccines for students to attend next fall.

A growing number of universities across the country will ask their students to get the Covid-19 vaccination before returning to campus. But the policy has sparked debate over whether businesses and institutions like schools can make vaccines a requirement of attendance. Photo: Northeastern University

On Tuesday, the Biden administration also said it was reinstating a policy canceled by the Trump administration that would make processing visas and other immigration applications faster. The policy, known as the previous award memo, directs immigration officers to approve a visa or other renewal if the original application has been approved and other circumstances have not changed.

Under the former President

Donald Trump, updates are evaluated as new applications, leading to significantly slower immigration processing and higher rejection rates. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service, the body that operates the official immigration system, is funded almost entirely through fees it collects for citizenship applications, green cards, and visas. Agent run out of money and have been considering time off two thirds of the staff last summer.

Write to Melissa Korn on [email protected]

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The German federal election may be an autumn Georgia Senate race | Instant News


When the US Senate surprisingly fell into Democrats after Georgia’s election race, the impact on financial markets was immense.

The move is most evident in the bond market – the yield on the 10-year US government bond
BX: TMUBMUSD10Y

jumped to as high as 1.75% from 0.92%. That’s because a slim majority in the Senate allows Democrats to push for a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package without Republican support, and allows, though uncertain, that a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package can pass. Congress.

In Europe, a similar betting selection is underway in the race to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor. The winner can unlock spending in the notoriously tight European economy.

After electing Armin Laschet to lead the party, polls showed Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, would still control the eurozone’s largest economy. According to a Politico poll tracker, the CDU’s alliance with the Christian Social Union has 28% support. The real change, however, is the Green Party’s success so far, with 21% support, according to a Politico poll tracker. That would put the party led by Annalena Baerbock with a high likelihood of joining the coalition and displacing the center-left Social Democratic Party.

The Prime Minister of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and chairman of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party, Armin Laschet, delivers a press conference on April 20, 2021

tobias black / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

The PredictIt betting market gives Laschet a 58% chance of becoming chancellor on December 31, followed by Baerbock with 28%, and somewhat unlikely, Merkel with 9%.

Christian Schulz, an analyst at Citi, said the so-called black-green coalition was the only viable outcome of the September 26 election.

The Greens are likely to push for more government spending to support environmental initiatives. They could potentially exclude public investment from Germany’s zero-deficit rule, according to Dario Perkins, global macro managing director at TS Lombard, a London-based research service.

Citi’s Schulz agrees. He said he would expect the black-green coalition to have an “ambitious” climate protection policy backed by large public investment, but paid for by borrowing rather than tax increases. A two-thirds majority will be needed to get past the constitutional debt brake, which Schulz says is possible given the SPD and the Left Party, as the opposition, can agree.

This is a development that financial markets are starting to take into account, although it is difficult to distinguish from the escalating European COVID-19 vaccination efforts after a slow start.

The yield on the German 10 year bonds
BX: TMBMKDE-10Y

rose after the Baerbock elections, and the euro
EURUSD,
-0.07%

has recovered from late March lows around $ 1.17.

It is inconceivable that the more charismatic Baerbock could become a chancellor and not just a partner in a coalition government. “The left-wing surprise in September is ultimately an upside risk for German and Eurozone assets,” said analysts at BCA Research. “A proactive fiscal shift will be positive for growth prospects and support the German and European cyclical sectors such as industry and materials, and currencies. A lower European parting risk premium also supports the euro and would lead to narrowing of peripheral bond yield spreads. “

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Bank Berenberg, said both Baerbock and SPD leader Olaf Scholz were pragmatic – but nothing would have happened if they were organized together, rather than with the CDU / CSU alliance.

Berlin’s lease limits – which were overturned by Germany’s constitutional court – would be the kind of policy the government would pursue, he said. “The ‘green-red-red’ coalition between the Greens, the SPD and the Left Party without the corrective elements of the CDU / CSU or FDP could mark a major shift in German policy, particularly towards tighter labor, housing and products. market regulations that will reduce the German trend growth, “he said.

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Amazon voting deals surge to expand union membership | Instant News


Workers refused to form a union in Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, as a setback of organized labor’s efforts to reverse decades of declining private sector membership across the country.

This Alabama results According to data from Georgia State University, unions face the challenge of increasing membership in the US private sector. In the US private sector, the proportion of union representatives is only 6.3%, down from 24.2% in 1973.

Last year, although millions of jobs were laid off in the country during the pandemic, including 300,000 union positions, there has been an increase in hiring at Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, and other e-commerce warehouses. For unions, the time seems ripe for organizing workers in an environment where the expanding sector and unions have traditionally been operating: a large blue-collar construction site where many employees are engaged in similar jobs.

Despite the effort, the effort failed President Biden’s endorsement,He says The goal of establishing more union work And update Many congressional Democrats support labor.

According to the Ministry of Labor, last year there were more union members working for the government than for private sector employers, indicating that the public sector is now a stronghold for organized labor. Teacher strikes and protests in 2018 and 2019 won salary increases and other concessions in Arizona, West Virginia, Los Angeles, and other states and cities. Recently, the educators union has affected the renewal of the pandemic in Chicago and other places. The plan to open the school.

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Beijing Olympics Makes Biden Administration an Olympics-Size Headache | Instant News


WASHINGTON – Within hours of Tuesday, the US State Department raised the likelihood of a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing – and then denied any current or previous discussions about the boycott.

The quickly scrapped idea that the US might not send athletes to the Olympics is just the latest sign of the confusion the Biden administration has faced over hosting major events in China.

The White House is under pressure from the Republican Congress to demand that the Olympics be moved – an unlikely suggestion for a two-week competition to take place in February – or at least not to send delegations of high-ranking officials and other figures. , in the form of a diplomatic boycott.

The US hasn’t sent top-level officials to China in more than a year, and recent senior meetings have taken place in Hawaii, under President Trump, and in Alaska, under President Biden. Sending a delegation to the Beijing Olympics opened the door to many attacks ahead of the midterm elections of Republican candidates demanding a tougher stance on China.

At the same time, the Biden administration is trying to overcome its own barriers in China, which it styles as an overall competitive approach with a cooperative aspect and includes calling on China about human rights abuses and increasing regional assertiveness while engaging on several global issues.

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The US Deploys Coast Guard Away From Home to Fight China | Instant News


Early last December, the crew of the US Coast Guard mower, Myrtle Hazard, sailed through the night, docked in the Pacific island nation of Palau and boarded a group of Chinese boats to help seize tens of thousands of dollars worth of sea cucumbers that were thought to have been confiscated. harvested illegally.

Rapid response cutters, which operate about 6,600 miles from the continental US and about 750 miles from their home port on US territory on Guam, are part of the Coast Guard’s newest growth area: helping to counter China’s growing naval force in the Pacific.

China has used coordinated action by its fishing fleet, coast guard and navy establishing a presence in the South China Sea. Its presence is also increasing in the South and Central Pacific. Chinese fishing fleets have emerged with strength in island nations such as the Republic of Kiribati and Tuvalu, which have some of the richest tuna fisheries in the world, and the Chinese navy has established itself in the area as well, including with a stopover by warships in Sydney in 2019. and a visit by a naval hospital ship to Fiji in 2018.

The US Coast Guard is building in the region in response. In recent months, they based two of the most advanced new cutters on US soil in Guam, nearly 4,000 miles closer to Shanghai than to San Francisco. Another one will arrive in the coming months. For the first time, the Coast Guard has an attaché at the US Embassy in Canberra, Australia, and another attaché will move to Singapore next year.

The Coast Guard continues to increase its activity in the Western Pacific and near China’s shores. They deployed cutters to the Western Pacific for more than 10 months in 2019 to work with the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet. One, USCGC Bertholf, transits across the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate insubordination to China, the first US Coast Guard ship to undertake the highly politicized voyage.

“All of this changes with the National Defense Strategy,” Lyle Morris, senior policy analyst at Rand Corp., referring to a 2018 Pentagon document. “The biggest transition is the Coast Guard, which is making more open signals about its role in the great power competition with China.”

Chinese naval warships docked in Sydney in 2019.


Photo:

peter Rae / Shutterstock

While the US Coast Guard sits under the Department of Homeland Security, its work with the Pentagon continues to expand. US government data shows Coast Guard vessels spent 326 days supporting the Department of Defense in 2019, compared to an average of just 50 to 100 days over the previous five years. All 2019 deployments are in the Indo-Pacific. Coast Guard missions have traditionally focused on protecting US maritime borders, but have sometimes played a supporting role in the Navy.

The Department of Defense has also signaled the need to focus more on the region. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s first overseas trip, starting this week, took him to the Indo-Pacific.

The US and its allies with a strong naval presence in the Pacific, such as Australia and France, are concerned that China, which has built a strong grip on the South China Sea, is moving further to find less depleted fishing grounds and expand its strategy. position. The Coast Guard deployment is intended to allow the US to confront the investigation with less risk of a military incident than if a US Navy ship was involved.

“Sending Coast Guard to the region to train our partners makes a lot of sense,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.), Member of the DPR Armed Services Committee. “They can do all of this without the risk of complications that the Navy might have while doing the same job.”

Much of his job is law enforcement activity at the front end of the Chinese investigation – his fishing fleet. In the Republic of Palau, a Chinese fishing vessel and six small boats were detained on charges of sea cucumbers. The Coast Guard arrives to assist local authorities with boarding and document checks.

The waters off the coast of the small island nation of Tuvalu have attracted Chinese fishing fleets.


Photo:

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Palau, like the countries of the Pacific, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, is located in a free association compact with the US, which allows them to remain independent while reaping some of the benefits that extend to US territories.

While many small islands in the Pacific have a growing ability to protect their own waters, the new Coast Guard ships are enhancing the US’s ability to provide security and stability, said Captain Christopher Chase, commander of the Coast Guard in the Guam region.

The Coast Guard invested more than $ 19 billion in at least eight national security cutters, 25 offshore patrol cutters, and 58 quick response cutters. If all goes according to plans this year, at least eight of those ships will be deployed in a position to fight China. The Coast Guard is also investigating ship placement in American Samoa.

The new national security cutters, which are at the core of the fleet, could travel farther and faster in worse conditions. They are armed with naval weapons systems and heavy machine guns, and have a deck on which helicopters can land.

The force will also work with countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia on more mundane but relationship-building tasks such as repairing ships, training crews and replacing navigation buoys.

China has used its own coast guard, the largest in the world, to accompany its fishing fleets and harass the vessels involved oil exploration and other commercial activities in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

In the summer of 2019, USCGC Bertholf landed in Manila, Philippines, for training with a local partner.

Cmdr. Gary Gimotea is the captain of a 184-foot Philippine Coast Guard ship who participates in a search and rescue training with Americans about 70 nautical miles from the contested Scarborough Shoal. A Chinese ship shadowed them all day.

“They got more aggressive and challenged you the closer you got to the Scarborough Shoal,” Cmdr. Gimotea spoke of the Chinese ships they often encountered while on patrol. “It’s pretty reassuring to have the US when we do this exercise.”

Vice Admiral Linda Fagan, commander of the US Coast Guard in the Pacific, said the Indo-Pacific command and countries in the region wanted to see a more regular Coast Guard presence in the South China Sea region, and that troops would see an opportunity to return.

“Being a little smaller than the US Navy and definitely a little more agile and flexible are all viewed positively by our partners,” Vice Admiral Fagan said in an interview.

Write to Lucy Craymer on [email protected] and Ben Kesling on [email protected]

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