PolWorld, Author at POLSKA УКРАЇНА

ICE Won’t Compel Foreign Students to Be on Campus

Students and educators expressed relief and joy after the U.S. government withdrew a rule requiring international students to be on campus this autumn or risk losing their visa status.  Since last week, students and educators have been immersed in confusion and anxiety, they said, over the uncertainty of whether they would be allowed to attend their classes online instead of in person. Since March, many colleges and universities closed their campuses and moved classes online to thwart the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “This is a significant victory. The directive had disrupted all of American higher education,” wrote Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow in an email to the Harvard community. “I have heard from countless international students who said that the July 6 directive had put them at serious risk. These students – our students — can now rest easier and focus on their education, which is all they ever wanted to do.” Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology had filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies, which released the directive that international students had to attend autumn classes in person – and not only online – or they would lose their visa status and risk deportation.Over 200 US Universities Challenge ICE Guidelines on Foreign Students Hundreds of higher education institutions have filed briefs in support of lawsuits challenging guidelines that will not allow into the US international students whose coursework would be all online”I’m pretty relieved right now because, like, you know, I have some sort of clarity on the foreseeable future,” Jaskirat Panjrath, a freshman at Parsons School of Design in New York, who had expressed great anxiety to VOA before ICE rescinded its ruling.US Visa Changes Create Panic Among Indian StudentsRequirement by immigration authorities to be on campus during fall studies causes confusion, anxiety“Today’s decision is a victory for campuses and communities across the nation. The July 6 guidance dangerously linked international students’ legal status to their institution’s decision-making on how best to navigate keeping their campus community safe during a highly unpredictable pandemic,” Esther D. Brimmer, executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, wrote in a statement. “It put university administrators in the position of weighing the deportation of valued members of their campus community against the public health risks of holding in-person classes. We are heartened to see the guidance put to rest,” she stated.  “A victory for international students across the nation,” tweeted Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and one of 200 schools that filed court papers in support of a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology against the federal government. “Thank you to every institution and individual who joined us in speaking out against this policy and taking action to reverse it.” “I think it’s fantastic that there were so many colleges and universities that stood behind their international students and did everything they could to ensure that we could keep our place,” Emma MacGillivray, a rising senior at Drexel University, from Canada told VOA. “This news has given many of us piece of mind and the security in knowing that we will not be forced to leave, and we can continue our education uninterrupted,” MacGillivray, a student athlete in women’s squash. “International students are an extraordinary benefit not just to American higher education but to our entire nation, resulting in a wealth of new ideas, cultural connections, cutting-edge technology, and life-saving medical advances, including in the fight against COVID-19,” stated Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education.  Mitchell pointed to “the economic benefit” that more than one million international students bring to the United States: about $41 billion and more than 450,000 U.S. jobs. “Honestly, I’m feeling very relieved, of course. That was the first part like, I’m glad we don’t have to go through this,” Bansari Kamdar, master’s in applied economics at University of Massachusetts-Boston, told VOA.  “But on the other side, it just has made us so aware of the precariousness of the situation of international students here, right? Like we don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Kamdar said. While there are more international students in the United States than ever, analytics show a softening in enrollment in new students over the past few years, according to the Institute for International Education, which compiles an annual snapshot of international students in the U.S.Fewer Foreign Students Enrolling in US College and UniversitiesAnnual Open Doors report of international students in US shows increase in total international enrollment from previous year, but a decrease in new international student enrollment“While this is a positive outcome, we cannot ignore the damage inflicted by the perception of the July 6 guidance – the administration was willing, until this guidance was rescinded, to force international students to choose between maintaining legal immigration status and what is best for their health and safety,” NAFSA’s Brimmer wrote.US Universities Brace for Big Decline in International StudentsLatest policy from immigration agency says students must be on campus or lose visa status“The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States remains unpredictable and institutions must be trusted and be given the authority to make decisions that are right for their campuses based on their local circumstances and the safety and well-being of all involved,” Brimmer said.  

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New York Times to Move Digital News Operation from Hong Kong to Seoul

The New York Times says it is relocating its Asian digital news operation from Hong Kong to Seoul, citing concerns over the new national security law imposed on the city by China. In a staff memo on Tuesday, the executives and editors responsible for the newspaper’s international operations said the new law “has created a lot of uncertainty about what the new rules will mean to our operation and journalism.” The newspaper said it will move its digital news operation, which makes up roughly one-third of its Hong Kong staff, to the South Korean capital over the course of the next year, while their correspondents will remain in Hong Kong to cover the city and region. The company’s print production team for The International New York Times, its European and Asian edition, will remain in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s status as China’s only autonomously run city, including its openness to a free press, has made it an attractive hub for the Times and other English-language news organizations for their Asian regional operations.  But the newspaper says some of its employees have faced challenges securing work permits, hurdles that are commonplace in mainland China.   The Times says it chose South Korea as a location for its digital news team because of  its “friendliness to foreign business, independent press, and its central role in several major Asian news stories.” Under the new security law, anyone in Hong Kong believed to be carrying out terrorism, separatism, subversion of state power or collusion with foreign forces could be tried and would face with life in prison if convicted. The new law was a response to the massive and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations that engulfed the financial hub in the latter half of 2019.  Western governments and human rights advocates say the measure effectively ends the self-autonomy guaranteed under the pact that switched control of Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997. 

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Trump Toughens Talk and Action on China 

Amid rising concerns that Beijing and Washington are drifting toward a Cold War, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday declared that China’s rise is not a positive development for the United States.  Trump made the remarks in the White House Rose Garden, announcing he had signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and issued an executive order ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong.  “Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” Trump said of the order. The act imposes sanctions on people, entities and financial institutions connected to China deemed responsible for actions to remove autonomy from Hong Kong.Responding to a reporter’s question, Trump said he has no plans to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping anytime soon.  The remarks came on the heels of fresh sanctions on China over its repression of minorities in Xinjiang and moves by Washington to cut off Chinese companies from American technology.  FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping reaches to vote on a piece of national security legislation concerning Hong Kong during the closing session of China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing, May 28, 2020.The president spent much of his hour in the Rose Garden on Tuesday attacking his opponent in this year’s presidential election, blaming former Vice President Joe Biden for a calamity of errors regarding China and other matters during the Barack Obama administration.  “Donald Trump is busy trying to rewrite his miserable history as President of caving to President Xi and the Chinese government at every turn,” the Biden campaign responded in a statement. “But try as he may, Trump can’t hide from a record of weakness and bad deals that consistently put China first and America last.”  With the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic damage certain to be major topics of the election season, Trump continues to focus blame on China, where the infection was first reported.  “We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world,” the president said.  American Enterprise Institute research fellow Zack Cooper expects Trump to pull the United States out of its trade deal with China as the November election approaches to show that he is tough on Beijing.  “But I’m not sure that that’s really going to get the job done, and it’s going to hurt the market a bit, too,” Cooper told VOA. “So, I think there’s some real downsides here for the president in making China such a big campaign issue.” FILE – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, July 8, 2020.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement Monday declaring a strengthening of U.S. policy and making clear that China’s “claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea — waters through which $4 trillion in trade pass annually — are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”  Pompeo added that “the world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.”  The U.S. statement “makes explicit things that had been implied by previous administrations,” said Gregory Poling, senior fellow for Southeast Asia and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And in that, it sets the stage for more effective diplomatic messaging and stronger responses to China’s harassment of its neighbors.” In response to Pompeo’s announcement, China’s embassy in Washington accused the United States of “throwing its weight around in every sea of the world.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a briefing that Beijing has never strived to build an empire in the South China Sea. “It has become so difficult for the U.S. to marshal an international alliance to counter China because the charges it directs at China are groundless and one-sided, stoked by its strategic anxiety,” the Communist Party-controlled China Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday. “Only those willing to bet their future on the current U.S. administration are likely to be duped by its scaremongering.” Prior to the president’s remarks, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said the Trump administration could apply additional sanctions on Chinese officials.“Nothing’s off the table,” David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said during an online event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies China announced Tuesday it would sanction U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin over recent weapons sales to Taiwan, which Beijing claims is a rogue province of China.  The Trump administration has pressured allies to cut ties for their development of 5G wireless technology with Chinese company Huawei, a move Britain took on Tuesday.Some influential voices inside and outside the Trump administration are pushing for U.S. technology companies to decouple themselves from China’s supply chain, perceiving the links as a long-term threat to national security.  VOA’s Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report.

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Justice Ginsburg Treated in Hospital for Possible Infection

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being treated for a possible infection and was expected to stay in the hospital for a few days following a medical procedure, the Supreme Court said in a statement Tuesday.The court said that the 87-year-old Ginsburg went to a hospital in Washington on Monday evening after experiencing fever and chills. She then underwent a procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August when she was treated for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.The statement said the justice “is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.”Ginsburg spent a night in the hospital in May with an infection caused by a gallstone. While in the hospital, she participated in arguments the court heard by telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic.Ginsburg has been treated four times for cancer. In addition to the tumor on her pancreas last year, she was previously treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. She had lung surgery to remove cancerous growths in December 2018.
 

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Fire Continuing to Burn Aboard Navy Ship Docked in California 

Firefighting teams continue to battle a massive fire more than two days after its eruption onboard a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship docked at Naval Base San Diego in the U.S. state of California.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.“No major damage” has occurred to the four main engineering spaces of the ship, which costs billions of dollars, but “it’s too early to tell” the full extent of destruction with the fire still raging, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck said Tuesday during a press conference.There were 160 sailors aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard when the fire broke out, according to the Navy, and all have been evacuated.In total, 61 U.S. sailors and Navy civilian personnel were treated for injuries as a result of the fire, including smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. None is currently hospitalized. A helicopter carrying water passes the USS Bonhomme Richard, July 14, 2020, in San Diego. The battle to save the ship from a fire entered a third day.Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock ships like the USS Bonhomme Richard resemble small aircraft carriers and are currently the largest amphibious ships in the world. They are designed to allow the U.S. Marine Corps to easily shift their operations between the sea and land.The ship was undergoing routine maintenance in San Diego. No ammunition or major weapons were onboard, and the ship’s fuel was not near the source of the fire, Sobeck said Sunday.  

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Justice Ginsburg Getting Treatment for Possible Infection

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been admitted to the hospital for treatment of a possible infection and will stay in the hospital for a few days following a medical procedure. The court said in a statement that the 87-year-old Ginsburg went to a hospital in Washington on Monday evening after experiencing fever and chills. She underwent a procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, on Tuesday afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August. The statement said the justice “is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.” This is a breaking story; please check back for updates. 
 

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US Commanders Hail Late General as War Hero

Former commanders of the U.S. forces in Korea mourned a legendary Korean War hero, General Paik Sun-yup, who died last Friday at 99. They hailed South Korea’s first four-star general as a hero and mentor.  “He was a hero, diplomat, patriot, and friend. He was a mentor to me when I served as the Commander in Chief of the Combined Forces Command and remained a friend and leader thereafter,” General (Ret.) John Tilelli told VOA Korean service on Friday. Tilelli, who commanded the U.S. Forces in Korea from 1996 to 1999, remembered Paik as a leader who “loved his soldiers,” who remembered their names and battle positions decades after the war.The Commander of USFK also serves as the Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command and the U.S.-Republic of Korea Combined Forces Command. Paik was always invited as an honored guest at the inauguration ceremonies of top U.S. military commanders.  General (Ret.) Burwell Bell, shared his memory of Paik with VOA Saturday. “When I served as the Combined Forces Commander between 2006 and 2008, General Paik met with me frequently to pass on lessons of the Korean War and twice took me on battlefield staff rides to teach and mentor me. He was brilliant,” said Bell.Bell hailed Paik as one of the world’s great military leaders compared to George Washington.  “General Paik Sun-yup was, in my view, the military father of his present-day country, the Republic of Korea. Not unlike America’s George Washington who led our Revolutionary War forces to battlefield victory and was the military father of the United States, General Paik led South Korean forces to many battlefield victories during often chaotic and extremely uncertain combat operations against the North Korean invaders and their Chinese partners,” Bell said.  A mourner takes photos of the late South Korean Army Gen Paik Sun-yup at a memorial altar for him at the Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul, South Korea, July 12, 2020.A loss to US-South Korea allianceAs Paik was one of the top Korean commanders who fought alongside U.S. forces during the Korean War, he has long symbolized the U.S.-South Korea military alliance. Paik was among those first recruited when the U.S. helped build a military for South Korea that started from the Constabulary.  In 2013, he was named an honorary commander of the Eighth Army, a U.S. field army, which is the commanding formation of all U.S. Army forces in Korea.  “I have admired him for many decades. So this is a deep loss for the [U.S.-South Korea] alliance and a true part of history that has just passed away,” General (Ret.) Vincent Brooks told VOA in an interview Friday. Brooks led USFK from 2016 to 2018.General (Ret.) James Thurman told VOA, Paik played a pivotal role in the alliance. “He was a true hero and patriot that helped keep the R.O.K-U.S. alliance strong and unbreakable for the last 70 years. … [He is] a very dedicated and trusted leader who was committed to enduring peace and security of the Korean peninsula,” noted Thurman, the commander of USFK from 2011 to 2013.    When North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th, 1950, Paik commanded the South Korean military’s 1st Infantry Division. Attacked by North Korea, the U.S.-led United Nations force and the South Korean Army retreated to a small area behind a defensive line known as the Pusan Perimeter. Paik is famous for defending that perimeter in August 1950 at the battle of Tabu-dong, known as one of the fiercest fights in the Korean War. Paik and his division continued to push north and were the first to enter Pyongyang in October. Paik participated in all ten of the major campaigns of the Korean War.Controversy over early careerPaik will be interred in the National Cemetery in Daejeon, in central South Korea on Wednesday, not the National Cemetery in capital Seoul. There’s heated debate in South Korea over his funeral arrangements.  The United Future Party, a conservative opposition party charges, “it is a dishonor” that Paik is not interned at the Seoul National Cemetery. Simultaneously, some members of the ruling Democratic Party have opposed burying Paik in a national cemetery.The controversy stemmed from Paik’s earlier career when Japan colonized Korea. In the early 1940s, Paik had served in the Imperial Japanese Army in Manchukuo, Tokyo’s puppet state in Manchuria. Paik said that he never engaged in battles with Korean guerrillas in Manchuria while serving in the unit.In 2009, a South Korean presidential committee put him on a list of ‘pro-Japanese and anti-nation’ figures, who collaborated with Japanese colonizers.  Scott Snyder, U.S.-Korea policy director at the Council on Foreign Relations, told VOA Monday, the ongoing debate over Paik “may be the most consequential contemporary manifestation of his legacy and contributions.”He added, “But without General Paik’s sacrifices and leadership at a critical historical moment during the Korean War, the freedom to debate Paik’s role itself would possibly not exist.”The White House National Security Council on Sunday tweeted, “South Korea is a prosperous, democratic Republic today thanks to Paik Sun-yup and other heroes who put everything on the line to defeat Communist invaders in the 1950s. We mourn General Paik’s death at age 99 and salute his legacy.”

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Search Begins for Remains of Tulsa Race Massacre Victims

U.S. researchers have begun searching for the unmarked mass graves of an estimated 300 African Americans who were killed in the Tulsa Race Massacre nearly a century ago.Test excavations began Monday in Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, located in the south-central region of the U.S., after a radar search earlier this year revealed the possibility of mass graves.The search was postponed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and involves the use of a backhoe to remove the first layer of soil before more delicate tools are used if remains are discovered, said Oklahoma State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck.The Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Riot, during which white mobs murdered Black residents and destroyed businesses in an affluent area known as Black Wall Street, is arguably the worst outbreak of racial violence in U.S. history.Eighteen hours of violence that erupted on May 31, 1921, left the city’s prosperous Black community of Greenwood burned to the ground.  A stone memorial to the 1921Black Wall Street Massacre sits across from Vernon A.M.E Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 18, 2020.Nearly 10,000 people were left homeless after the mobs, which included members deputized by Tulsa police, torched over 1,400 homes, scores of businesses, a dozen churches, a hospital, a school and a public library over 35 square blocks in the Greenwood community.The May 31 riot was sparked by a confrontation between a white lynch mob and Black men who were protecting Dick Rowland, an African American teenager who was accused the day before of trying to rape a white elevator operator. For nearly two days, white mobs torched the community, leaving it in ruins. Rowland was eventually exonerated.An all-white grand jury blamed the mayhem on Black city residents. No whites were ever imprisoned for the murders and acts of arson, even with overwhelming evidence.Most of Tulsa’s Black population were pushed into homelessness by the violence. Many began rebuilding Greenwood within days, despite the efforts of white power brokers who tried to force them to relocate.The massacre erupted during a period of especially heightened racial tensions in the United States. In the summer of 1919, race riots broke out and continued into the fall, spreading to at least 26 cities in some of the most intense racial violence in recorded U.S. history.Tulsa government and business leaders participated in a “concerted cover-up” of the Tulsa Race Massacre for years after it occurred, said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.“You had generations of people who grew up in this community … and never heard about it,” he said. “I feel a tremendous responsibility as mayor to try and find these folks. That’s a basic thing that a city government should do for people, and Tulsa hasn’t.”Tulsa officials said they expect the excavation to take up to six days.

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