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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 43,631

About Me

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

Journal Archives

IN BRIEF: DOL delays Trump-era H-1B wage rule for 18 months


The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday delayed until November 2022 the effective date of a Trump administration rule significantly raising the minimum wages employers must pay to highly skilled H-1B visa holders.

DOL in the rule said that putting off the new wage rates for 18 months "will provide a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly consider the legal and policy issues raised in the rule, and offer the public ... an opportunity to provide information on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels."

In April, two weeks after proposing the delay, the department called for public input on how it should calculate prevailing wages levels for H-1B workers.

DOL said it was considering whether it should continue to set the wage levels at the same point for all occupations and geographic areas, or choose different levels, and whether it should continue to set prevailing wages as a percentile of what comparable American workers earn. Comments are due by June 1.

Maryland And Virginia Will Lift Indoor Mask Mandate Starting Saturday


Virginia and Maryland have lifted their indoor mask mandates in line with CDC guidance issued earlier this week. Starting Saturday, residents in both states will no longer have to wear masks inside — with some exceptions, including while riding public transit and indoors at health care facilities and schools.

Businesses in both states can still require patrons to wear a mask, and employees in certain industries including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment must wear masks until they are fully vaccinated. The announcement applies to everyone, but both Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged individuals who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.

“If you’re fully vaccinated, which means two weeks have passed since you received your second shot or your one dose of Johnson & Johnson, you should feel free to safely resume any activities,” Hogan said during a press conference Friday.

Virginia will relax additional COVID-19 restrictions — including expanded capacity for sports and entertainment venues, and increased social gathering limits, and allowing bars to sell alcohol after midnight — starting at midnight Friday. Maryland issued similar guidance earlier this month; all capacity restrictions on outdoor entertainment and sports venues, indoor entertainment venues, and indoor dining will drop on May 15.

Good luck with that. I'll still wear a mask indoors around people, especially gym, shopping, etc. The weather is nice, so I've been dining outdoors when I go to restaurants.

Dr. Gupta's reaction to the CDC's big announcement

D.C.'s Recent Drop In COVID-19 Case Counts Was Due To A Reporting Error, Say Health Officials


Just one day after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser cited the city’s plummeting case counts in her decision to end to most capacity limits in the coming weeks, DC Health said those case counts were actually incorrect.

On Tuesday, the city’s daily coronavirus update came with the news that DC Health identified “a backlog of cases from the past 3-4 days.” According to the health agency, some of the missed cases are reported in today’s daily tally of 87 new positive cases, and more will be reported tomorrow. The error was due to an IT issue, which has since been resolved.

On Saturday, May 8 the city reported only 28 new cases, and on Sunday, that number dropped to 16. On Monday, the day Bowser announced that the city would lift nearly all of its coronavirus-related restrictions later this month, only 15 cases were reported.

The low — and now incorrect – numbers brought the city’s average daily case rate, a key metric that guides reopening decisions, down to 5.9 per 100,000 residents as of May 9. (The average daily case rate lags a few days behind each daily case count.) The goal is to get that number below 5.0, which would indicate minimal community spread.

Just after announcing reopening plans.

Nothing quite like some excitement followed by disappointment.

Indian Americans Don't Know What to Feel Right Now


On April 15, Gargi Shindé, a 43-year-old nonprofit executive, logged onto Zoom at 5 a.m. From her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, she watched her relatives huddle around a bright-yellow body bag at a crematorium in Pune, India. They were performing the final rites for Shindé’s aunt, Vijaya, who had just died from COVID-19. All she could do was watch. The bag was almost fully zipped, revealing only Vijaya’s face, which appeared tiny and blurry through Shindé’s phone. “The only contribution I had was writing an obituary,” she told me, “and I’m scared I’ll have to do another one soon.”

On top of the grief and anger she’s feeling, Shindé has been struggling to comprehend the “surreal, stark contrast” between her own safety in Charlotte—where restrictions are loosening—and the catastrophe upending life back home. Then, on Thursday, Shindé emailed to tell me that another one of her aunts had just died from COVID-19.

Over the past two weeks, tragedies like what Shindé experienced are becoming a horrific new reality for Indian Americans. Many are glued to WhatsApp through the night, checking in on relatives as India confronts one of the world’s worst coronavirus surges. Every day, India is breaking grim global pandemic records, and even these numbers may be dramatically lower than the actual toll. The situation has become so dire that it verges on apocalyptic: Hospitals are running out of beds and oxygen, and people are dying while waiting for treatment. Crematoria are so overcrowded that workers are building makeshift funeral pyres in car parks, where grieving families wait for up to 20 hours for access.

Meanwhile, although the pandemic is very much still not over in the United States, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about where things are headed: Almost a third of all Americans are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, allowing people to return to some semblance of normal life. If vaccination rates hold, President Joe Biden has promised that by July 4, the U.S. will “begin to celebrate our independence from the virus.” But for Indian Americans, a majority of whom are immigrants, the widely divergent realities unfolding in India versus the U.S. are disorienting and even guilt-inducing. Seeing your loved ones suffer is hard enough, but when your own situation is so full of hope, it can be tough to know how to feel.

It's rough for those who are checking on loved ones overseas in hard hit countries like India.
Posted by IronLionZion | Sun May 2, 2021, 04:01 PM (0 replies)

Ban On Menthol Cigarettes Could 'Solve A Fundamental Problem' In The U.S., Says Surgeon General

Harris Speaks On U.S. Restricting Travel To India MSNBC

Posted by IronLionZion | Sat May 1, 2021, 12:27 PM (0 replies)
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