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By 2030 US to face 121,000 doctors deficit

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New York, March 25: The practice of medicine in the US may well find itself in intensive care, with a deficit of 121,000 physicians projected for 2030, even as foreign-born doctors struggle to get licensed.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the deficit scenario could be alleviated if the procedures whereby thousands of foreign physicians get certified, is not streamlined.

The most recent AAMC report said that in particular there would be shortage in four broad categories: primary care, medical specialties, surgical specialties and other specialties.

“The US has an enormous scarcity of doctors but those who are trying to validate their degrees here, when they finally get them, don’t find it easy to work,” immigration attorney Tammy Fox-Isicoff told EFE.

“I admire the dedication with which these doctors are devoting themselves to the course of study. They are completely focused on their studies and are participating in all the activities that we’re organising for their training, including … on the weekends,” Julio Giron, the head of the Kaplan Test Prep headquarters in Miami, told EFE.

The company with offices in Chicago, Pasadena, New York and Houston, specializes in preparing people to take dozens of standardised tests and licensing exams, including the US Medical Licensing Examination, and later for their residency period in hospitals and medical centres.

A foreigner or immigrant who graduates from a medical program in their homeland — after, on average, seven years of study — who wants to make the difficult transition to pursuing the medical profession in the US first must get through the procedure to acquire a student visa and take an English exam.

Then, they have to study in the US for an average of about three years to be able to pass the four exams making up the USMLE and be able to foot the bill for all that study and test prep with online courses costing up to $30,000.

Finally, the years of residency remain and the length of time spent in this phase depends on the area of specialty.

Even if they make it through the entire process, the immigrant doctors face the dilemma of how to work in the US when their student visas have expired.

The procedure, Fox-Isicoff said, includes applying for a J visa, which is granted in situations where someone is obtaining professional training but it obligates the recipients to return to their countries of origin for two years when they have finished the residency period, thus running the risk that they will “lose their contacts and forget what they (learned) here”.

The other option would be to compete for one of the 65,000 H1B visas, which are the ones employers extend to professionals after they graduate — and they are much in demand.

The scenario has gotten more complicated because of the tightening of immigration policies by the Donald Trump administration.

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US hardens stance against China’s South China Sea resource claims

The relationship between the United States and China has grown increasingly tense over the past six months over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its tightened grip on Hong Kong and its crackdown on China’s Uighur Muslim community.

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday hardened its rejection of China’s disputed claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea, calling it “unlawful,” a move that will further sour the already-fraught ties between the world’s largest two economies.

China has offered no coherent legal basis for its ambitions in the South China Sea and for years has been using intimidation against other South Asian coastal states, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,” Pompeo, a prominent China hawk within the Trump administration, said in a statement.

The United States has long opposed China’s expansive territorial claims on the South China Sea, even sending U.S. warships regularly through the strategic waterway to demonstrate freedom of navigation there. Monday’s comments reflect a harsher tone.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law,” Pompeo said.

The relationship between the United States and China has grown increasingly tense over the past six months over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its tightened grip on Hong Kong and its crackdown on China’s Uighur Muslim community.

China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about $3 trillion of trade passes each year. Beijing has built bases atop atolls in the region but says its intentions are peaceful.

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Global coronavirus infections top 13 million

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Worldwide coronavirus infections passed 13 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease which has killed more than half a million people in seven months.

The first case was reported in China in early January and it took three months to reach one million cases. It has taken just five days to climb to 13 million cases from 12 million recorded on July 8.

The number of cases is around triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.

There have been more than 568,500 deaths linked to the coronavirus so far, within the same range as the number of yearly influenza deaths reported worldwide. The first death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China, before infections and fatalities surged in Europe and then later in the United States.

Many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Other places, such as the Australian city of Melbourne, are implementing a second round of shutdowns.

The Reuters tally, which is based on government reports, shows the disease is accelerating the fastest in Latin America. The Americas account for more than half the world’s infections and half the deaths.

The United States reported a daily global record of 69,070 new infections on July 10. In Brazil, 1.86 million people have tested positive, including President Jair Bolsonaro, and more than 72,000 people have died.

India, the country with the third-highest number of infections, has been contending with an average of 26,000 new infections each day since the beginning of July.

In countries with limited testing capacity, case numbers reflect only a proportion of total infections. Experts say official data likely under-represents both infections and deaths.

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India created fake Ayodhya, Ram was from Nepal: Nepali PM Oli

Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli, on Monday, said that ‘real Ayodhya’ is in Nepal and ‘Lord Ram is Nepali not Indian’.

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KP Oli Napali PM

Kathmandu, July 13 : Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has claimed that India has created a ‘fake’ Ayodhya, and Lord Ram was originally from Nepal — a shocking statement that has come at a time when India’s diplomatic ties with the Himalayan nation is going through certain upheavals.

“We have been oppressed a bit culturally. Facts have encroached. We still believe that we gave Sita to Indian Prince Ram. But we gave to the prince from Ayodhya, not India. Ayodhya is a village a little west to Birgunj, not the Ayodhya created now (sic),” Oli said at an event at his official residence in Baluwatar.

Oli was addressing a program to mark the birth anniversary of Bhanubhakta Acharya.

The stunning claim comes on the backdrop of an ongoing diplomatic tussle between Kathmandu and New Delhi over the newly published Nepal map which claims Indian territory as its own.

Bilateral ties between India-Nepal were stressed after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long road connecting Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8. Kathmandu reacted sharply to the development and claimed that the road was built on Nepalese land.

Nepal also updated its political map which included Indian territories. India condemned the move and handed over a diplomatic note to Nepal over the map issue.

The ties worsened further when Oli blamed India for demands by his party colleagues who sought his resignation over multiple ‘failures’. During a rally, Oli alleged that the leaders of his Nepal Communist Party (NCP) who were making attempts to ‘topple his government’, were doing so at the behest of India.

His remarks have invited severe criticism from senior leadership in that country. Former prime minister ‘Prachanda’, who was among leaders who demanded Oli’s resignation, said that Oli’s anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.”

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