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Asians lead immigration to US, Indians 3rd in group

News4u-News Desk-WASHINGTON: Indian-Americans are the third-largest group among Asian-Americans, who according to a latest report have now overtaken Latinos as the biggest group of new arrivals in the United States every year.

In 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asians compared to 31% for Hispanics, the Pew Research Centre said in a report released on Tuesday according to which Indian-Americans (4 million) are the third-largest group among Asian-Americans after the Chinese (3.4 million) and the Filipino (3.1 million).

The report ‘The Rise of Asian Americans’ says that 24% of adult Indian-Americans live in the West, compared with 47% of Asian-Americans adults overall. Further 65% of Indian-Americans are either Democrats or of Democrat leaning.

Indian-Americans also have a very high income. According to the report, Indian-American’s median annual household income is $88,000 per annum as against %66,000 of Asian-Americans and $49,800 of an average American household.

The report reveals that 55% of Indian-Americans feel that they have better freedom to express views in the United States than in India, as compared to 69% among Asian-Americans.PTI

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Obama calls Singh, discusses bilateral ties, Eurozone crisis

News4u-News Desk-United States President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over phone and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the raging Eurozone crisis.

The two leaders agreed to work to strengthen the global economy to cope with shocks from the Eurozone, the White House said in a statement on 14 June.

“The leaders agreed on the importance of steps to strengthen the resilience of the global economy in response to persistent risks in the Eurozone and elsewhere and on focusing on measures to boost global growth,” the statement said.

The President and the Prime Minster also agreed to work closely together towards a successful two-day G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, from June 18.

The summit is likely to be dominated by the crisis in Europe, which - combined with slowing growth in China and India - poses a threat to the world economy.

The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis has made it difficult or impossible for some countries like Greece and Spain in the euro area to re-finance their government debt without the assistance of third parties.

The call between the two leaders came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the third US-India Strategic Dialogue with visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

On 11 June, the US exempted Indian and six other countries from tough new sanctions after they cut back on oil imports from Iran.

US President Barack Obama calls PM Manmohan Singh

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9/11 kingpin seeks army attire for Gitmo trial

News4u-News Desk-SAN JUAN ( PUERTO RICO): The man who has called himself the mastermind of the September 11 attacks is seeking to wear military-style clothing at his upcoming war crimes trial in Guantanamo, one of his attorneys said on Wednesday.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has asked to wear a camouflage field jacket and camouflage turban with traditional Pakistani clothing as he goes on trial with four other men at the US base inCuba on charges that include murder and terrorism.

Mohammed wanted to wear the items at his May 5 arraignment but prison officials refused to allow it. They also rejected some clothing requested by other defendants as inappropriate for the military tribunal.

But his defence team is asking the judge to overrule that decision, arguing that Mohammed is seeking to wear items customarily worn by members of a militia and that it violates his right to a fair trial and historical precedent by forbidding him to do so.

The defence also argues that denying him the right to wear the clothing of his choice is attempt to break him down psychologically.AP

Khalid Sheik Mohammed

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Cap on US H1B visa reached

News4u-News Desk- For the first time in several years, the Congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B work visas, the most sought after by Indian professionals in the US, has reached its cap.

“USCIS announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

June 11 was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013,” an official statement said.

In the past few years, it either crossed over to next year or the cap was reached later in the year. It is noteworthy that the cap has been reached mid-year in particular during the recent economic crisis.

In the statement, US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) said it will consider properly filed cases as received on the date that it physically received the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.

USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers if they arrive after June 11, 2012 and seek an employment start date in FY 2013, it said.

As of June 7, USCIS had already received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the “advanced degree” exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, it said.

In addition, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted toward the FY 2013 H-1B cap.

As such, USCIS will continue to accept and process these petitions to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the US; change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.


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US Doping officials start action against Lance Armstrong

News4u-News Desk- WASHINGTON: The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong that formal procedures against him had commenced over allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during his record-breaking career.

Although Armstrong has not been charged with any offences and has repeatedly denied ever cheating, USADA told the American they had forwarded their allegations to the Anti-Doping Review Board, which would decide whether to proceed with the case.

“This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations,” USADA said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent of the allegations unless and until proven otherwise through the established legal process.

“If a hearing is ultimately held then it is an independent panel of arbitrators, not USADA that determines whether or not these individuals have committed anti-doping rule violations as alleged.”

Five of Armstrong’s associates, three doctors and two team officials, were also told that procedures had begun against them in what could be one of the biggest doping cases in sports.

Armstrong, who has never failed a doping test, denied the charges.

“I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one,” he said in a statement.

USADA sent Armstrong and his associates a 15-page letter outlining the accusations against them between 1998 and 2011 that was later circulated among media organisations.

The allegations included prolonged use of a range of performance-enhancing drugs including erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone and masking agents.

The Texan was also accused of trafficking and administering drugs to other cyclists as well as conspiring with team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya, doctor Luis del Moral, doctor Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose Pepe Marti


Armstrong is one of the most successful and controversial cyclists of all time. A cancer survivor, he returned to the sport after beating the illness and won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times in succession from 1999 to 2005.

Although he never failed a doping test, he was dogged by accusations of cheating and foul play.

The US Justice Department spent two years investigating the claims against him but closed their case in February without laying any charges against him.

Armstrong said USADA’s accusations were the same as the Justice Department’s.

“These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity,” he said.

“Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge.

“USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.”

USADA said they “numerous riders, team personnel and others” had provided statements that Armstrong used drugs and would be prepared to testify against him. They did not identify any other witnesses.

USADA also said they had evidence that Armstrong tested positive for EPO during the 2001 our of Switzerland but the results were covered up.

Cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, had previously denied any knowledge of a cover up when those same allegations were first made.

USADA also said blood samples taken from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 indicated the use of EPO and/or blood transfusions.

If found guilty, Armstrong could face a life ban from competing, USADA said, although Armstrong himself said he could also be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

The 40-year-old Texan retired from cycling earlier this year but has taken up triathlon and had planned to compete in a race in France in two weeks.

The UCI said it had been informed of USADA’s decision to commence proceedings but was not involved in the case.

“This is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject,” cycling’s governing body said a statement.

“The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved in the proceedings opened by USADA.” Reuters

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Obama campaign attacks Romney for hypocrisy

News4u-News Desk- US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has sharply attacked his Republican rival Mitt Romney, accusing him of employing double standards and “breathtaking hypocrisy” in comparing the economic records of the two candidates.

Obama’s senior campaign strategist David Axelrod doubted whether Romney’s record as Massachusetts Governor could be touted as that of a ‘job creator’.

“By almost every measure, Governor Romney’s jobs record in Massachusetts was undistinguished, and yet he positions himself as a job creator. On 4th June his team was all over television, and with a kind of breathtaking hypocrisy.”

Axelrod told reporters during a conference call. “.. the question really is are they kidding, and do they expect people to take this seriously?”

Axelrod added that, Romney has pitched his entire campaign on a “savage” and “often distorted” attack on Obama’s economic record and the other on a “inflated” claim of being a job creator.”

“Over his four years in Massachusetts, it was the 47th in job creation, fourth from the bottom,” he said.

Describing his record of job creation in Massachusetts as rather “unimpressive”, Axelrod said during the period manufacturing jobs fled at twice the national rate.

“And I would note to you that at the time he left, his numbers in Massachusetts were so poor, his personal political numbers, polling numbers, that the speculation was that he would have had a hard time winning re-election.”

He pointed out that the former Massachusetts governor was trailing Obama by as much as 25 points in his home state.

“And I think that part of the reason for not contesting election from his home state  is that those who know him best have rendered a judgment on his representation, his self-representation as some sort of economic guru and job creator,” he concluded.

US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama

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US lawmakers demand release of Tiananmen era prisoners

News4u-News Desk- The situation in China with regards to human rights and democracy has not changed even after 23 years of theTiananmen Squaremassacre, top American lawmakers have said, demanding release of prisoners still held by the regime.

“When it comes to human rights and democracy, not a lot has changed in 23 years in China. The totalitarian regime has made every effort to censor information about the Tiananmen massacre, end the tributes honouring those slain, and erase the memory of the bloody crackdown,” Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement on the occasion of 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Monday.

The people of China, even after 23 years of the massacre, continue to suffer the same injustices and oppression at the hand of the regime, Ros-Lehtinen said, adding that the Beijingwants the world to forget about the horrific events of June 1989, and its continued oppression.

“But our memories will not fade, and our thoughts and commitments remain with those brave individuals who stood up to the Chinese regime at Tiananmen, and who continue to stand up for basic rights,” she said.

The Congresswoman demanded an end to the persecution, freedom for all Chinese people and a transparent accounting of the events behind the Tiananmen massacre.

“The Chinese government should immediately and unconditionally release those imprisoned for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and religion including Liu Xiaobo (the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who co-authored Charter 08, an online petition calling for democratic reform), demanded the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.

“On this day we remember the Chinese students, workers, and citizens who peacefully assembled to call for the end of corruption, the acceleration of democratic reform, and a dialogue with China’s leaders,” Pelosi said.



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Foreigners to blame for Syria ‘war’, says Assad

News4u-News Desk-  BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar Assad denied on Sunday that his government had anything to do with last week’s gruesome Houla massacre , saying that not even “monsters” would carry out such an ugly crime. 

In a televised speech to parliament , Assad saidSyria is facing a “real war” and blamed foreign-backed terrorists and extremists for thebloodshed . He pledged to press ahead with his crackdown. The president’s first comments on the massacre expressed horror over the deaths of more than 100 people, nearly half of them children.

UN investigators say there are strong suspicions that pro-government gunmen carried out the killings, but Assad denied that.

Although his words reflected many of the same general points of his previous speeches, his comments on Houla were widely anticipated . “Not even monsters would carry out (the crimes) that we have seen, especially the Houla massacre… There are no Arabic or even human words to describe it,” he said.

The Syrian opposition brushed off his comments as lies. “It is a desperate and silly speech that does not merit a response,” said Adib Shishakly, a Saudi-based member of the country’s main opposition group.

Assad said his opponents have ignored his moves toward reform, including a referendum on a new constitution and recent parliamentary polls. He suggested this meant that the call for democracy was not the driving force of the revolt.

Assad defended his regime’s crackdown against the opposition, saying, “When a surgeon in an operating room… cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds , do we say to him, ‘Your hands are stained with blood?’ Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”A

Bashar al-Assad

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China warns US from ‘muddying waters’ in South China Sea

News4u-News Desk-BEIJING: It was no time to “make waves” in the disputed South China Sea and dance behind a “Pied Piper”, China’s official news agency warned today, after US said it would shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the Pacific Ocean by 2020. 

“It is advisable for some to refrain from muddying the waters and fishing therein and for some others to desist from dancing behind aPied Piper whose magic tone, as tempting as it is, might lead its followers astray,” said Xinhua in a commentary, referring to the sea, which is part of the Pacific and the subject of overlapping territorial claims.

China claims the South China Sea in full, and it is also claimed in whole or part by Taiwan,Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The much-hyped China threat to the freedom of navigation in South China Sea is a pure invention, Xinhua said.

“China has seen its political, economic and military strengths growing markedly,fabricating new claims is not in its blood,” said the agency.

It was Beijing’s “genuine wish” to turn the South China Sea “into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” added Xinhua, in the commentary titled ‘Not to make waves in South China Sea’.

In a major re-posturing, US today announced it will shift the bulk of its naval fleet including as many as six aircraft carriers to the Pacific by 2020 as part of new strategic focus on Asia.

The decision to deploy more warships to the Pacific Ocean, defence secretary Leon Panetta said, was part of a “steady, deliberate” effort to bolster the US role in the area, deemed vital to American interest recently by President Barack Obama.PTI

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US economy not moving fast enough: Obama

News4u-News Desk- WASHINGTON: The American economy is not moving fast enough although it has made significant progress in the past couple of years, US PresidentBarack Obama has said amid dismal job addition numbers released yesterday.

“We are moving in the right direction. But we’re not moving as fast as we could be,” Obama said at a presidential campaign event in his home town of Chicago.

“There’s a sense, even with a disappointing jobs report today (Friday) because of what’s happening in Europe — we’re now a global economy, it’s integrated, so when something happens across the Atlantic or across the Pacific it gives us a shock,” he said.

Citing turn-around in the auto sector, Obama added however that his Administration made right decisions for the growth of the economy although they weren’t always popular.

“Because of those decisions, we were out there exporting goods once again all around the world. Because of those decisions, the ship was righted and we started growing again, and started producing jobs again,” he said.

The US has seen over 4 million jobs created over the last couple years. In the last six months alone over 800,000 jobs were created, the strongest manufacturing job growth since the 1990s, Obama said.

The President acknowledged that the campaign this time would focus on economy.

“The essence of this campaign is going to be about the economy. It’s going to be about how do we create an economy that works for everybody, that is dynamic, that is competitive, that meets the challenges of the 21st century, and provides a platform where everybody who’s willing to work hard can succeed,” he said.

The steps his administration took in 2009 and 2010 have helped to stabilised this economy, Obama said.

He also added that the debate is going to have to extend beyond just how do we solve immediate global economic crisis and “it’s going to be how do we make sure that every child is getting the kind of education they need in the 21st century”.

It’s going to be how the US makes progress on energy independence and clean energy, Obama said

“How we’re going to make sure that we are reducing the costs of health care while improving the quality of health care — because we are still spending 17 or 18 per cent of our GDP on health care,” he added.PTI

US President Barack Obama : N Korea does not meet statutory criteria to be designated as state sponsor of terrorism

Barack Obama

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