Donald Trump administration imposes new curbs on H-1B visas to protect US workers, narrows ‘specialty occupation’ definition



a man wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump administration imposes new curbs on H-1B visas to protect US workers, narrows ‘specialty occupation’ definition


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Donald Trump administration imposes new curbs on H-1B visas to protect US workers, narrows ‘specialty occupation’ definition

Washington: The Trump administration has announced new restrictions on H-1B nonimmigrant visa programme which it said is aimed at protecting American workers, restoring integrity and to better guarantee that H-1B petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners, a move which is likely to affect thousands of Indian IT professionals.

The interim final rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, less than four weeks ahead of the US presidential election, will narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system.

It will also require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American workers. And finally, the new rules would enhance the department’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during and after an H1-B petition is approved.

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.

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Such a decision by the Trump administration is likely to have an adverse impact on thousands of Indian IT professionals. Already a large number of Indians on the H-1B visas have lost their jobs and are headed back home during the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the US economy.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the interim final rule to be published in Federal Register will be effective in 60 days.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services

‘Smart’ Male Chastity Device Vulnerable To Locking By Hackers: Researchers

A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it — leaving users trapped, researchers have warned.

The Cellmate, produced by Chinese firm Qiui, is a cover that clamps on the base of the male genitals with a hardened steel ring, and does not have a physical key or manual override.

The locking mechanism is controlled with a smartphone app via Bluetooth — marketed as both an anti-cheating and a submission sex play device — but security researchers have found multiple flaws that leave it vulnerable to hacking.

“We discovered that remote attackers could prevent the Bluetooth lock from being opened, permanently locking the user in the device. There is no physical unlock,” British security firm Pen Test Partners said Tuesday.

“An angle grinder or other suitable heavy tool would be required to cut the wearer free.”

The firm also found other security flaws in the Cellmate — listed for $189 on Qiui’s website — that could expose sensitive user information such as names, phone numbers, birthdays and location data.

“It wouldn’t take an attacker more than a couple of days to exfiltrate the entire user database and use it for blackmail or phishing,” PTP’s Alex Lomas wrote in their report on the device.

A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it, researchers have warned A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it, researchers have warned Photo: AFP / Fred TANNEAU

“A number of countries have oppressive laws that may expose users of these types of devices to unwarranted interest from law enforcement and bigots.”

Qiui did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

PTP said it reached out to Qiui in April this year, identifying the flaws.

Qiui fixed most of the issues by updating the software, but left the older version active and its

First People In Bahamas Caused Bird Extinctions, Displacement

KEY POINTS

  • Several bird species in the Bahamian islands were lost or displaced after humans arrived
  • Researchers say the human impact is the “most likely culprit” for the losses
  • The others that survived are said to be more resilient but they still need to be protected

Did the early humans really have a more harmonious relationship with the environment? A new study found that human arrival in the Bahamian islands actually led to the loss and displacement of several bird species.

Humanity today is facing an extinction crisis, which many believe is caused by human actions quite unlike the previous mass extinctions that were caused by natural events. These actions include overfishing, deforestation, pollution and the burning of fossil fuels.

Does this necessarily mean those earlier humans without the tools for massive deforestation and harnessing fossil fuels were more harmonized with the environment? According to a new study, maybe not.

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a pair of researchers studied over 7,600 fossils from 32 sites on 15 islands in the Bahamian Archipelago, logging a total of 137 species of migrant and resident birds. They found evidence that human arrival in the Bahamas some 1,000 years ago contributed to the displacement or even extinction of several bird species.

For instance, many bird species in the islands were still present about 900 years ago and possibly coexisted with humans for some time. But some of them eventually disappeared while others, such as the Abaco parrot, were kept to just one or two islands even when there are other islands in the area with similar environments, a University of California-Riverside (UC Riverside) news release said.

Bahamas Pictured: Bahamas coast. Photo: Yolanda Rolle/Pixabay

“We wondered why those parrots aren’t found in the middle

Ahead of election, Trump imposes new curbs on H-1B visas

The Trump administration has announced new restrictions on H-1B non-immigrant visa programme which it said is aimed at protecting American workers, restoring integrity and to better guarantee that H-1B petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners, a move which is likely to affect thousands of Indian IT professionals.

The interim final rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, less than four weeks ahead of the US presidential election, will narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system.

It will also require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American workers.

 

And finally, the new rules would enhance the department’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during and after an H1-B petition is approved.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Such a decision by the Trump administration is likely to have an adverse impact on thousands of Indian IT professionals.

Already a large number of Indians on the H-1B visas have lost their jobs and are headed back home during the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the US economy.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the interim final rule to be published in Federal Register will be effective in 60 days.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is forgoing the regular notice and comment period to immediately ensure that employing H-1B workers will not worsen the economic crisis caused by

2019 was the second largest year ever for corporate solar investments

Throughout 2019, tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, retailers such as Walmart and Target, and other corporations from real estate companies to banks installed a combined 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the United States—enough to power more than 243,000 homes.

That figure comes from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest Solar Means Business report. After 2017, 2019 was the second largest year on record for corporate solar investments (corporations installed 1,368 megawatts of solar capacity in 2017). U.S. corporations have invested in a cumulative total of 8,300 megawatts of solar power.

SEIA’s annual report tracks both on-site (solar panels on the roof of your local Walmart or Target) and off-site (when a company gets its energy from a separate solar farm) commercial solar installations. Though slightly behind 2017 in terms of overall added solar capacity, 2019 was a record year for on-site solar installations, with 845 megawatts of solar power installed right on company premises.

The annual report also ranks the top corporate solar users, based on a company’s overall solar capacity. Apple leads the country in terms of most solar capacity, followed by Amazon, Walmart, Target, and then Google in the top five. Walmart installed the most new solar in 2019 with 122 megawatts, which increased the company’s overall solar use by 35%. Now, Walmart has a total of 331 megawatts of solar capacity overall. Each week, according to SEIA, more than 7.2 million people—2.2% of the country’s population—shop at a Walmart store with a solar installation.

The top 10 corporate solar users:
1. Apple
2. Amazon
3. Walmart
4. Target
5. Google
6. Kaiser Permanente
7. Switch
8. Prologis
9. Facebook
10. Solvay

This surge in solar power is a result of both corporate environmental commitments and the fact that solar can save these