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Lawsuit filed against US Department of Labor challenging its recent H-1B visa rule


‘The regulation has caused immediate and unnecessary harm in every corner of the economy, including academic institutions, non-profits, hospitals, start-ups and small businesses.’

Seventeen individuals and organisations, including universities and businesses, have filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Labor challenging its recent Interim Final Rule on wages related to H-1B visas.

The lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday alleged that the poorly-drafted and improperly-issued rule did not comply with the procedural rules for rule-making and is substantively arbitrary, incorrect and irrational.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.

“The increase to the prevailing wages will manifestly not benefit US economic growth or any workers; study after study has shown that H-1B visa holders create American jobs,” Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), claimed.

The regulation, he said, has caused immediate and unnecessary harm in every corner of the economy, including academic institutions, non-profits, hospitals, start-ups and small businesses.

“Frankly, the last thing we need during a (COVID-19) pandemic and economic turmoil is a rule based on a false and incorrect understanding of the market and American workforce. This will impede our economic recovery, not enhance it,” Bless said.

Early this month, the Department of Labor published a rule to appropriately identify wage levels for H-1B holders and other foreign labour programmes, which according to the White House will improve the quality of H-1B workers and better reflect wages paid to similarly employed workers in the US.

The rule will limit an employer’s ability to replace workers with cheap foreign labour and help ensure wages are not suppressed by the presence of low-cost foreign workers, the White House argued.

Among those who have filed the lawsuit are Purdue University, University of Michigan, University of Denver, Chapman University, Bard College, International Institute of New England, Information Technology Industry Council, Arizona State University, Scripps College, Northern Arizona University, Indiana University, Study Mississippi, Dentists for America, Physicians for American Healthcare and Hodges Bonded Warehouse.

Jeff Joseph, Senior Partner of Joseph and Hall, in a statement alleged that dealing with the Department of Labor often feels like “The Hunger Games”.

“Everyone is required to play the game, but no one knows the rules and the rules are constantly changing. This is not a game. The fact that the rule was made effective without thinking about the destructive impact it would have on industries and the economy illustrates how out of touch this administration is regarding the symbiotic relationship between legal immigration and the economy,” he said.

The days when the federal government blatantly ignores the law in its rule-making are over, said Charles Kuck, managing partner of Kuck Baxter Immigration.

US universities, employers, and healthcare systems can no longer stand by and watch while the US immigration system is dismantled by a nativist administration and in contravention of federal law, he said.

Aside from the blatantly unlawful way, the Department of Labor dropped this rule on the economy, its basic premise is also wholly incorrect, alleged Greg Siskind, founding partner of Siskind Susser.

“The workers impacted are in occupations with extraordinarily low unemployment. And as we show in the complaint, these outstanding immigrants are doing critical work benefiting everyday Americans, whether it is providing critical research to cure disease, making our country globally competitive, providing medical and dental care to rural Americans, or caring for our country’s senior citizens,” he said.




Donald Trump went after scientist Anthony Fauci, key member of Covid task force; says tired of these ‘idiots’


“People are saying, ‘Whatever — just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” the president said, according to several US media outlets.

US President Donald Trump went after top government scientist Anthony Fauci in a call with campaign staffers on Monday, suggesting the hugely respected and popular doctor was an “idiot.”

Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, has increasingly become a focus for the president’s frustration as he bids to shape the messaging on the much-criticized federal response to the pandemic.

“People are tired of Covid,” Trump told his campaign team in a call on which several members of the press were present.

“People are saying, ‘Whatever — just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” the president said, according to several US media outlets.

The pandemic has killed almost 220,000 people in the United States.

“He’s been here for, like, 500 years,” Trump complained of the 79-year-old Fauci, who is recognized worldwide for his work directing the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases in suburban Washington.

“Fauci, if we listened to him, we’d have 700,000 (or) 800,000 deaths,” Trump claimed on the call, before saying that it would be counterproductive to fire him before the presidential election November 3.

The president’s latest attack seemed to garner a defense of the doctor from Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.

“Dr. Fauci is one of our country’s most distinguished public servants. He has served 6 presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan,” Alexander tweeted.

“If more Americans paid attention to his advice, we’d have fewer cases of COVID-19, & it would be safer to go back to school & back to work & out to eat.”

Trump’s remarks came a week after Fauci expressed displeasure at the use of a clip of him in a Trump campaign video about the coronavirus.

“In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” the immunologist hit back, saying his statements in the video were taken out of context.

At various points during the pandemic response, Fauci has clarified or corrected Trump’s public comments on the development of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

The tone between them has sometimes turned tense, as in April when Trump retweeted a post that contained the hashtag #FireFauci — before reassuring the American people that “Tony” was doing a great job.




Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi holds Haj 2021 review meeting, says health, well-being of pilgrims of utmost priority


Naqvi said that the Haj Committee of India and other Indian agencies will formally announce the Haj 2021 application process and other related preparations after a decision is taken by the Saudi Arabia Government on Haj 2021.

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that Haj 2021 will depend on national-international Protocol Guidelines due to Pandemic Position.

While chairing Haj 2021 review meeting in New Delhi, Naqvi said that Haj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, but the final decision regarding Haj 2021 will be taken in due course keeping in view necessary guidelines to be issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona Pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people.

Naqvi said that the Haj Committee of India and other Indian agencies will formally announce the Haj 2021 application process and other related preparations after a decision is taken by the Saudi Arabia Government on Haj 2021.

Naqvi said that the entire Haj process might witness a significant change in view of necessary guidelines. These include accommodation, transport, health and other facilities both in India and Saudi Arabia.

Naqvi said that the health and well-being of the pilgrims are of the utmost priority for the Government due to Corona pandemic. The Indian agencies will ensure necessary arrangements in this regard. The Government of India and the Haj Committee have started necessary preparations to ensure the health and well-being of the pilgrims.

Secretary, Minority Affairs Ministry PK Das and other senior officials of the Ministry; Joint Secretary, External Affairs Vipul; Joint Secretary Civil Aviation Ministry SK Mishra attended the review meeting.

Besides, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Y Sabir, Acting Consul General in Jeddah; MA Khan, CEO Haj Committee of India and other officials from Health Ministry, Air India etc. attended the meeting through video conferencing.




Hyderabad flooded by overnight rain; Balanagar Lake breaches its boundaries


In the videos, vehicles were seen being swept away as streets got submerged in water. The massive downpour caused huge damage in the state capital and nearby areas.

The city of Hyderabad has been flooded with overnight rain that comes days after the deadly downpour which had left at least 50 people dead and caused damage worth thousands of crores in Telangana.

Last night, the Balanagar Lake in Hyderabad had breached its boundaries, causing huge flash floods in nearby areas.

In the videos, vehicles were seen being swept away as streets got submerged in water. The massive downpour caused huge damage in the state capital and nearby areas.

“Due to the rains old Kurnool road towards airport from pvnr expressway is having waterflow over road. All public going towards airport/Bangalore or coming from airport/Bangalore to city are advised to use outer ring road,” Prakash Reddy, DCP Shamshabad, informed in a tweet.

“The Disaster Response Force (DRF) personnel of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were continuously working on the field clearing water stagnations and inundations and all possible measures were being initiated in view of the rainfall,” Vishwajit Kampati, Director, Vigilance and Disaster Management of GHMC, said in a tweet.

As reported by NDTC, the weather office in Hyderabad said light to moderate rain or thundershowers are very likely to occur in some parts of the city on Sunday; while one or two places may see intense spells.

Last week, the usually tame Musi river was in spate and flowed over the bridges and the Hussainsagar Lake overflowed the embankments and turned the streets into streams with cars, lorries, container vehicles and even people swept away in the gushing water.

Andhra Pradesh too experienced heavy rain which claimed ten lives in the state and caused extensive damage to crops, roads and uprooted electricity poles.

Areas like Begumpet and Somajiguda which are in the very heart of the city were completely flooded. Video footage showed water gushing out at Yashoda Hospital, Somajiguda, which is a key private hospital for treating Covid -19 patients.




Coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, longer than pathogen that causes flu: Study



The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes Covid-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic,” it said.

The research team tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.

“The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk,” the study said.

The study backs World Health Organization guidance for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people around the world since it first emerged in China late last year.

 




Temple priest in UP hired professional shooter, orchestrated attack on himself to frame political rival


The police said that seven people, including the chief monk of the temple and a village head, have been arrested over the attack on the priest who too will be arrested once he is released from the hospital.

The police on Saturday said that a temple priest and others in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district has been busted. The priest allegedly hired a professional shooter and orchestrated an attack on himself to frame a political rival.

The police said that seven people, including the chief monk of the temple and a village head, have been arrested over the attack on the priest who too will be arrested once he is released from the hospital.

The priest Atul Tripathi alias Samrat Das, who was injured in the attack last week is currently at the King George’s Medical College Hospital in Lucknow, the police told.

The incident had sparked a huge row and saints from Ayodhya camped in the district and demanded prompt action against those responsible.

District Magistrate Nitin Bansal and Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey, in a joint press conference, said that Das was injured when he was shot at on the night of October 10 in Shri Ram Janki Temple in the village.

A case of murder attempt was filed by Mahant Sitaramdas of the temple against a former village head Amar Singh and his associates, two of whom were arrested the next day.

The police had constituted five teams were constituted for solving the case and based on electronic evidence, statements of witnesses and other inputs, seven accused were arrested on Friday and efforts were on to catch one other person who is still on the run, the district police chief said.




2.2 million ads on Facebook, Instagram rejected for attempting to ‘obstruct voting’ in US elections


Facebook has been increasing its efforts to avoid a repeat of events leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, won by Donald Trump, when its network was used for attempts at voter manipulation, carried out from Russia.

A total of 2.2 million ads on Facebook and Instagram have been rejected and 120,000 posts withdrawn for attempting to “obstruct voting” in the upcoming US presidential election, Facebook’s vice president Nick Clegg said in an interview published Sunday.

In addition, warnings were posted on 150 million examples of false information posted online, the former British deputy prime minister told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche.

Facebook has been increasing its efforts to avoid a repeat of events leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, won by Donald Trump, when its network was used for attempts at voter manipulation, carried out from Russia.

There were similar problems ahead of Britain’s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union.

“Thirty-five thousand employees take care of the security of our platforms and contribute for elections,” said Clegg, who is vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook.

“We have established partnerships with 70 specialised media, including five in France, on the verification of information”, he added.

AFP is one of those partners.

Clegg added that the company also uses artificial intelligence which has “made it possible to delete billions of posts and fake accounts, even before they are reported by users”.

Facebook also stores all advertisements and information on their funding and provenance for seven years “to insure transparency,” he said.

In 2016, while he was still deputy prime minister, Clegg complained to the Journal du Dimanche that Facebook had not identified or suppressed a single foreign network interfering in the US election.

On Wednesday President Trump rebuked Facebook and Twitter for blocking links to a New York Post article purporting to expose corrupt dealings by election rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.

A day earlier Facebook announced a ban on ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, in light of the coronavirus pandemic which the social media giant said has “highlighted the importance of preventive health behaviors.”




‘Fully alert towards securing each inch of country’s land, no one can take it away’: Amit Shah amid Ladakh crisis


Minister also said the government is taking all possible military and diplomatic steps to resolve the standoff in Ladakh with China.

Amidst the continuing standoff with China in Ladakh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Modi government is fully alert towards securing each inch of the country’s land and no one can take it away.

Mr Shah also said the government is taking all possible military and diplomatic steps to resolve the standoff in Ladakh with China.

“We are vigilant for every inch of our land, no one can take it away…Our defence forces and leadership are capable of defending the country’s sovereignty and border,” he told CNN News 18 when asked whether China has entered into Indian territory.

The home minister also said that the government is committed to protecting the sovereignty and security of the country.

Referring to the coming Bihar elections, Mr Shah expressed confidence that the NDA will get a two-third majority.

He said Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister of the state after the polls.

The home minister said there will be a change of government in West Bengal after next year’s assembly elections and a BJP government will assume power there.

“We feel we will have a determined fight in West Bengal and we will form the government,” he said.
He also said that the law and order situation in West Bengal is serious and political parties like the BJP have every right to seek imposition of President’s rule there.

“However, the central government will take an appropriate decision taking into account the Constitution and on the basis of the governor”s report,” he said.

When asked whether the BJP will stake claim for the chief ministership in Bihar if the saffron party gets more seats than the ally JD(U) headed by Nitish Kumar, he said, “There is no if or but. Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister of Bihar. We have made a public announcement and we are committed to it.”

Talking about the Lok Janshakti Party breaking away from the ruling alliance in Bihar, Mr Shah said the party was offered adequate seats but still walked away from the alliance.




NEET 2020 results: ‘Utilised lockdown time’, says Soyeb Aftab


Jaipur: Soyeb Aftab has set another target while topping the coveted exam for admission to undergraduate medical courses, with 720 out of 720 marks. “There is no doctor in my family, so I didn’t expect this. I had hoped to make it to the top 100 or top 50 but I never expected to score 720/720. The exam was being postponed, so there was a lot of pressure. But the goal was to stay calm and utilize time, I utilized the time of COVID-19 lockdown” Soyeb Aftab.

 




Hyderabad: Sailors of Yacht Club of Hyderabad rescue flood-hit people


Hyderabad: Sailors of Yacht Club of Hyderabad rescued many persons who were trapped in building or houses due to flash flood after incessant rainfall. They used their boats during the rescue operation.

Army and NGOs joins rescue ops flood-hit Hyderabad

National Sailing Champion Gowtham Kankatla and fellow sailors rescued people.

President of Yacht Club of Hyderabad
The President of Yacht Club of Hyderabad, Suheim Sheikh said that immediate response was given after NGO SDIF informed the club that 500 people are stranded due to the flood.

Hyderabad floods | Telangana seeks immediate aid of ₹1,350 crore - The Hindu

He applauded the selfless volunteerism of sailors.

Sharing his experience, Sheikh said that he had never seen the way wind and water lashed Hussain Sagar Lake.

Volunteers rescued people
Narrating the scenes in low-lying areas, he said as soon as volunteers reached the spot, people requested them to rescue people mainly, elders, women, and children who were trapped due to the flood. People were seen in the ankle and waist-deep water.

The sailor played the role of small boat ferry operators in flood water in Tolichowki and Saroornagar. They shifted persons to a safe place with the help of volunteers and Life Guards.

One of the residents, Shravanti Tiwari who is a liver patient thanked everyone who helped her in reaching the hospital.

SIYASAT DOT COM 





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