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Trump takes first step towards H-1B visa reform

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Washington, April 19: US President Donald Trump, hammering his “America First” campaign theme, signed an executive order that he said would favour American companies for federal contracts and tighten the H-1B visa programme for foreign technical workers.

The move is a deterrent to Indian IT firms which send software engineers to the US on H-1B visas.

Trump signed the “Buy America, Hire America” order on Tuesday night during a visit to a tool factory in the US state of Wisconsin, reported CNN.

The order tasked four department heads of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Labour to propose reforms in order to ensure H-1B visas are given to the “most-skilled or highest paid” petitioners.

Additionally, it asked them to propose new rules and guidance for preventing fraud and abuse of work visas.

Trump made it clear that he doesn’t agree with fact that H-1Bs are currently doled out under a lottery system.

Right now, H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery, and that’s wrong. Instead, they should be given to the most skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans,” the US President asserted.

IANS

South Asia

Imran Khan gets married for a third time, marries faith healer Bushra Maneka.

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Imran Khan is no more single, and it’s official. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has confirmed that their chairman has tied the knot for a third time.

Photographs of Imran Khan’s Nikah with Bushra Wattoo have been unveiled. The photographs show Imran and a veiled Bushra along with several others, including PTI leaders Awn Chaudhry and Zulfi Bukhari.

On January 3, media was abuzz with reports of the PTI chief having contracted a third Nikah with the lady he used to visit for spiritual guidance.

But the party said that the Nikah ceremony was solemnised in Lahore on Sunday by Mufti Saeed.

Party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry has wished the couple a happy married life.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

After much drama, Imran had broken his silence about his third marriage last month, clarifying that he had only sent a wedding proposal to Bushra and was awaiting her response.

According to a statement issued by the spokesperson for the PTI chief, Imran had sent a marriage proposal and the lady had sought time to consult her family, especially her children, before making any decision.

The statement insisted that the PTI chief would announce it publicly if Bushra accepted the marriage proposal.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Last month, a local newspaper had claimed that Imran had already married for a third time and the woman in question was someone he used to visit for spiritual guidance.

The report also claimed that the wedding was held in Lahore on January 1 and was attended by Imran’s close aides.

In response, the PTI said an extremely private and sensitive matter was made the subject of an erroneous story leading to all manner of public conjecture.

“This has put an unacceptable burden, especially on the children of Bushra and Khan, who have had to learn of such a private and intimate issue from the media,” the statement said.

Stressing the need for restraint, Imran had urged the media to “give the two families, especially the children, their privacy”.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Imran Khan was previously married twice, but neither of his marriages lasted. He married Jemima Goldsmith, a British socialite, in 1995. The relationship ended in divorce in 2004. He then married journalist Reham Khan in 2015, but the marriage ended after just 10 months.

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Red alert issued in Australian state for cyclone Kelvin

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Canberra, Feb 18: Authorities on Sunday issued a red alert in the state of Western Australia (WA) after tropical cyclone Kelvin made landfall earlier in the day, bringing with it winds of up to 250 kph.

In a warning, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services told residents of northern WA that they were “in danger and need to act immediately”, reports Xinhua news agency

“There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a cyclone is approaching the area,” it said.

Residents of the Pilbara and Kimberley regions were told to remain in the safest parts of their house, away from windows or stay in evacuation centres.

Further south, a yellow alert was put in place warning of winds up to 150 kph.

Heavy rainfall was also expected. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned of possibilities of heavy flooding.

IANS

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66 people killed in Iran plane crash

The plane crashed in a mountainous area near the town of Semirom.

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 A passenger plane crashed in central Iran on Sunday killing all 66 people on board, authorities said.

The ATR 72, a twin-engine turboprop operated by Aseman Airlines, crashed due to bad weather into the Dena Mountain near the town of Semirom, an official at the Iranian carrier confirmed to the media.

The plane was flying from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj, reports Press TV.

Officials in Semirom said the crash site was hard to reach and rescue helicopters had been unable to land because of heavy fog and rain.

Spokesman for Iran’s emergency services Mojtaba Khaledi said rescue teams has reached the crash site by land and were trying to find the debris.

Air controllers lost contact with the airplane at around 8 a.m. The people on board were 60 passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants, the pilot and co-pilot.

IANS

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