US To Set In Motion The Process Of Introducing A New Rule For Companies Wishing To Hire Foreigners On H-1B Visas

New Delhi: The United States will set into motion next week the process of introducing a new rule requiring companies that wish to hire foreigners on H-1B visas to register their petitions in advance and to usher in “a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries” that will favour foreign students at US institutions of higher studies.

The proposed change in the selection process would result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected those with a master’s degree or higher from a US institution of higher education, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which runs the H-1B programme. There is an annual cap of 65,000 visas under the programme for highly skilled workers recruited abroad and 20,000 from foreign students enrolled in higher studies in the US.


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Appears Heading For A Landslide Win In A General Election

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appeared headed for a landslide win in a general election marred by opposition claims of rigged voting as 14 people were killed in clashes between rival supporters.

Early results showed Hasina racing into a clear lead, winning each of the first 29 seats declared -- some by tens of thousands of votes -- according to Channel 24, which is compiling results from around the country.

The deadly violence and bitter rivalry that marred the election campaign spilled over into voting day, even as authorities imposed tight security with 600,000 troops, police and other security forces deployed across the country.


Saudi Arabia Rejects That Kingdom Has Been In Crisis And His Predecessor Has Been Demoted

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia’s new foreign minister voiced defiance in the face of international outrage over critic Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, rejecting the kingdom was in crisis and his predecessor was demoted.

“The issue of Jamal Khashoggi... really saddened us, all of us,” Ibrahim al-Assaf told AFP, a day after he was appointed foreign minister in a government reshuffle.

“But all in all, we are not going through a crisis, we are going through a transformation,” he added, referring to social and economic reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Indian-Origin Police Officer In US Killed By Unidentified Gunman While Conducting A Traffic Stop

New Delhi: A 33-year-old Indian-origin police officer in the US state of California has been killed after being shot by an “armed” unidentified gunman while he was conducting a traffic stop.

Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed during a traffic stop when he was “working overtime on Christmas night to provide the best for his family.”

“A few moments later he called out ‘shots fired’ over the radio,” the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement, which is leading the investigation. “Multiple agencies responded to assist, and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds.” He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, the department said.


Britain’s Pakistan-Origin Home Secretary Sajid Javid Criticises Sections Of Pakistani Community

New Delhi: Britain’s Pakistan-origin home secretary Sajid Javid has reiterated his criticism of sections of the Pakistani community, many of whose male members have figured in cases of sexual offences in recent years, insisting that their ethnic origin should not be ignored.

“When it comes to gang-based child exploitation, it is self-evident to anyone who cares to look that if you look at all the recent high-profile cases there is a high proportion of men that have Pakistani heritage,” Javid said.

The town of Rochdale in Greater Manchester, where Javid was born to immigrants from Pakistan, was in the news for cases of grooming in which several Pakistan-origin men were jailed.