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Missing environmental activist T Mugilan found in Andhra Pradesh.

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Chennai: Tamil Nadu-based environmental activist T Mugilan, missing for nearly six months, was found at a railway station in neighboring Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. He was brought back to Tamil Nadu after the police handed over the activist to Tamil Nadu police at Katpadi around midnight.

Mugilan was spotted by passenger at the Tirupati railway station on Platform No 1 at around 7 pm. The passenger, reportedly an acquaintance of Mugilan’s family, alerted the local police and then informed the activist’s wife. Mugilan’s family and friends from Tamil Nadu have informed the Tamil Nadu police.

T Mugilan has been missing since February 15 – the day he held a news conference in state capital Chennai alleging police complicity in the Tuticorin police firing last year in which 13 demonstrators protesting against Vedanta’s copper smelter were killed. The activist disappeared under mysterious circumstances after boarding a train to Madurai at Egmore station.

Mugilan’s disappearance prompted a months-long social media campaign asking with the hash tag #WhereIsMugilan with demonstrations in the USA and Australia. Politicians from the state had demonstrated against his disappearance, even as human rights NGO Amnesty International urged the authorities to investigate his disappearance.

A video in which he can be seen raising slogans against the plans to dump nuclear waste in Kudankulam and demanding the release of Tamils locked in jails due to lack of legal help has been widely shared on social media.

Tamil Nadu police have been on the lookout for him in a rape and cheating case.

 

Business

Proposal of US on business visas for H-1B speciality jobs could affect Hundreds of Indians.

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“The proposed changes and the resulting transparency would reduce the impact of foreign labour on the US workforce of aliens performing activities in a speciality occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification.”

— US State Department

State Department has proposed not to issue temporary business visas for H-1B speciality occupations which allowed companies to send their technology professionals for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US, a move which could affect hundreds of Indians.The proposal, if finalised, will eliminate any misconception that the “B-1 in lieu of H policy” provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US for skilled labour that allows, and potentially even encourages them and their employers, to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the “H” non-immigrant classification established by the Congress to protect US workers, the State Department said.

The move, made public on Wednesday, less than two weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election, is likely to affect several Indian companies which send their technology professionals on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US.In December 2019, the Attorney General of California announced a $800,000 settlement against Infosys Ltd to resolve allegations that approximately 500 Infosys employees worked in the state on company-sponsored B-1 visas rather than H-1B visas, the State Department said.

The proposed changes and the resulting transparency would reduce the impact of foreign labour on the US workforce of aliens performing activities.

In a speciality occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification,” it said.

In its notification issued on Wednesday, the State Department said US architecture firms seeking protection.

From rising labour costs in the country might believe they could lay off US architects.

And contracts for the same services to be provided by a foreign architecture firm.

the architects who intended to perform skilled labour were ‘of distinguished merit and ability… seeking to perform (temporary architectural services) of an exceptional nature requiring such merit and ability.

One might argue the current regulatory language suggests.

This type of labour is a permissible basis for B-1 non-immigrant visa issuance,” the State Department said.

This potential outcome is harmful to US workers and contrary to the policies of the Trump administration, it said. The State Department said the application process for a B-1 visa.

Does not include similar procedural requirements to protect the US workers like that of H-1B visas. Also, the fees for the B-1 visas are far less than that of H-1B visas.

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