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Large German delegation to visit Letterkenny this weekend – Pic Special

first_imgMore than 50 delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt will visit Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns.Mayor of Letterkenny Cllr. John O’Donnell welcomed the 51 large-delegation at a special reception on Friday night in the Raddison Hotel.He said: “Great progress has been made over the last 12 months in building strong connections with our partners in Rudostadt and I am looking forward to welcoming them back to Letterkenny and indeed Donegal on Friday evening. “From the outset we were keen to see young people from both towns involved in the initiative and I am delighted with the progress that has been made on this front.“We have a number of young people visiting as part of this delegation and there will be an event for students and young people on Monday morning in the Co-Lab where they will get an opportunity to build friendships and learn about each other’s community and I hope that this will lay the pathway for a more extensive youth exchange programme in the near future.”The delegation will have an opportunity to participate in some of the planned Donegal Connect initiatives this weekend including the Donegal Bay Drive Tour where delegates will have an opportunity to visit Hanna Hats and Magees of Donegal Town before experiencing the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Sliabh Liag along with a visit to Glencolmcille Folk Village.On Sunday, the group will travel north visiting Creeslough and Dunfanaghy before travelling to Ramelton to enjoy a jazz music session. A delegation from Letterkenny visited Rudolstadt in March this year and Chief Executive of Donegal County Council Seamus Neely hopes that this return visit will be an enjoyable experience for the delegates and that they will get a sense of the scale and diversity of County Donegal while continuing to build strong meaningful linkages with Letterkenny.The visit will conclude on Tuesday morning with a formal meeting between the delegates and members of Donegal County Council and businesses represented by the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce.Cllr. Ian McGarvey, Liam Ward, Donegal County Council, Katja Trog, Jorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor, Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh and John O’Donnell, Letterkenny Mayor at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonLetterkenny Mayor , John O’Donnell receiving a presentation from Jorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor,at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonJorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor, Beatrix Abt and Letterkenny Mayor John O’Donnell at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonStudents form Rudolstadt at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonSelena Mowate and Karol Kerrane at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonMr. Liam Ward, Director of Community Development & Planning Services, Jorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor and Cllr. Ian McGarvey at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonCynthia Fuery, Ivan Fuery, Padraig Mac Ginty and Boyd Robinson at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonDelegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonKevin Bowdren and Una Carthy with delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonPatricia McIntyre, Mary Daly and Toni Forrester at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonFrank Kerrane, Jimmy Kavanagh and Mary Kerrane at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonPadraig MacGinty, Rotary President, Jorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor, John O’Donnell, Letterkenny Mayor and Roisin McLoughlin, Lions Club President at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. Photo Clive WassonPadraig MacGinty, Rotary President, Jorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor, John O’Donnell, Letterkenny Mayor and Roisin McLoughlin, Lions Club President at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. Photo Clive WassonJorg Reichl, Rudolstadt Mayor at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonJohn O’Donnell, Letterkenny Mayor at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonCllr Donal Coyle with one of the delegates at the reception for delegates from the German town of Rudolstadt who visited Letterkenny this weekend marking one year since the official signing of the Twinning Agreement between both towns. . Photo Clive WassonLarge German delegation to visit Letterkenny this weekend – Pic Special was last modified: September 27th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SA to lend helping hand to South Sudan

first_img8 July 2011 South Africa will offer whatever help it can to establish and build Africa’s newest nation, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said ahead of the inaugural independence celebrations of South Sudan. President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-level delegation to Saturday’s celebrations, as oil-producing South Sudan declares independence from Sudan – a split approved in a referendum resulting from a 2005 north-south peace deal that ended two decades of conflict. The agreement was brokered by an African Union panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. However, with just days to go to independence, there is still fighting in the Kordofan region, which has displaced an estimated 73 000 people. South Africa has called on the parties to resolve the underlying issues to the conflict through political dialogue, and to build on the framework agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan, signed last week between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-North). Briefing the media in Pretoria on Wednesday, Nkoana-Mashabane said it was South Africa’s desire to see peace, security and stability prevail beyond the declaration of independence of the South. “South Africa views the restoration of peace, security and stability in the Sudan positively in the Horn of Africa region, and on the continent as a whole,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. “Any instability in the Sudan impacts negatively on the nine countries that it shares a border with.” Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa had already trained more than 1 500 South Sudan civil servants and diplomats through various programmes, and hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding on agriculture with the fledgling country. A number of South African companies, including MTN, which has acquired a majority shareholding in local mobile operator Areeba, and SABMiller, which has established a brewery in South Sudan, are also showing interest in the new country. Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would maintain a consistent balance at the onset of the separation of South Sudan from the North, indicating its commitment to good relations with both Sudan and South Sudan. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Cyclists tour and train in South Africa’s green oasis

first_imgAustralia’s Orica GreenEDGE cycling team showed they could play as hard as they worked while they were on a training camp in Mpumalanga. South African Daryl Impey served as tour guide, and took his teammates to the Kruger and other awe-inspiring places along the way. Cycling through Mpumalanga’s mountainous terrain helped the Orica GreenEDGE get an added dimension to their training. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)• R600m plan to help SA grow its tourism sector • When on an African safari, lock your doors • Riders support firefighters in Cape Town Cycle Tour solidarity ride • Rare elephant twins born at Pongola Game Reserve • Global travellers rate South Africa tops in Condé Nast awards Priya PitamberIt is not every day you get to see cyclists show off their dance moves, but that is what Orica GreenEDGE cycling team treated spectators to while having some down time during their training camp in South Africa.The clip was shot at Crystal Springs Mountain Resort, outside Pilgrims Rest, and in Graskop in Mpumalanga, near South Africa’s border with Mozambique.They got everyone involved – from schoolchildren to resort staff and anyone else who was around at the time. Orica GreenEDGE is an Australian professional road race cycling team. Launched in January 2011, it competes on the UCI World Tour. The riders were in Mpumalanga in February.Doing their version of the pop hit Uptown Funk, the teamed donned their colourfully patterned blazers and shirts and showed the lighter side of their personalities off their bicycles. They uploaded the video to YouTube as a “tribute to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars with our South African twist”.Cycle trainingSouth African team member Daryl Impey said training in the republic would be an annual event. “The guys are locked in already, they said they love it,” he explained. “And we’re here for a good camp so lots of training and lots of hard work to be done.”Not a bad view to wake up to this am. SA camp starts! pic.twitter.com/etwR8kl8ag — Daryl Impey (@darylimpey) February 11, 2015Teammate Canadian Christian Meier joked: “First day, and Impey already asserted his dominance.” Most of the Orica GreenEDGE team decided that Impey definitely had the home advantage, but they agreed it was a good camp.“It was amazing. It’s really different from a training camp in Europe or Australia or wherever else,” observed Columbian cyclist Esteban Chaves.The Big 5But it wasn’t all hard work. The team also got to explore Kruger National Park, where they spotted the majestic lion. Chavez thought they were really lucky to also see elephant and buffalo – in all, they crossed off three of the Big 5 from their must-see list.While Impey admitted being a tour guide was not his forte, he reckoned the team relished being in the country. “The guys have really been enjoying South Africa, they enjoy the food and culture,” he said. “A lot of them thought we lived in huts so it was good to show them we have houses.”Speaking of God’s Window, a lookout point in the province, Impey said: “You get a view of the world from on top there. Probably the best view you’ll see here in South Africa.”Watch:last_img read more

E. Coli Outbreak in Lettuce

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON (DTN) — Be careful about that salad you might eat in the coming days and take some time to know what kind of lettuce is in it and where it was grown.A romaine lettuce outbreak has now spread to 19 states with 67 reported cases and 39 hospitalizations as the Centers for Disease Control continues warning consumers not to eat romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley in California.The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control updated details initially late last week, telling consumers to avoid romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley due to illnesses from E. coli O157. A map released Tuesday by the CDC shows Wisconsin, with 21 cases, and Ohio, with 12 cases, have been hit especially hard by the outbreak. No other state had no more than four reported cases. https://www.cdc.gov/…The CDC stated in a tweet, “Do not eat, sell, or serve romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing region. If you don’t know or can’t tell where the lettuce is from, don’t eat it.” https://www.cdc.gov/…All industry sectors are asked to withdraw romaine lettuce products off the shelves and coolers from the Salinas Valley area.The head of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., both said they were devastated by the news and would work with the FDA and the CDC to try to figure out the root cause of the outbreak.“No one is more frustrated than the producers of leafy greens that outbreaks continue to be associated with our products,” said Scott Horsfall, CEO of the LGMA, a food safety program created in 2007 to prevent foodborne illnesses caused by lettuce and leafy greens.“We are devastated as a leafy greens community when this happens,” said Dan Sutton, a farmer from Oceano, California. “Our thoughts go to those affected by this outbreak. But that’s why we want to continue to work with governmental agencies to learn why this is happening so that we can improve.”Right now, romaine is being harvested in Arizona and southern California growing areas that are not part of this outbreak, and harvest is nearly complete in the Salinas Valley, Horsfall said. The public health risk is only focused on product form the Salinas area.“Public health agencies have stated that only product from the Salinas area is included in the consumer advisory. Romaine producers will be working closely with their customers to make sure all product from Salinas is removed from marketing channels, but romaine from any other growing area is safe for consumption.”LGMA added, “This means that romaine from the following regions is safe: Yuma, Phoenix, southern Arizona, northern Arizona, northern California, Santa Maria, southern California, Imperial Valley, Coachella and Central Valley. Product from Mexico and other states is also cleared. Hydroponically and greenhouse grown romaine is also not implicated in the outbreak.”“For the past year, producers have been voluntarily labeling romaine lettuce with information on harvest date and growing region,” explained Horsfall. “Today, this information provides consumers, retailers and foodservice operators with assurances the products they are purchasing have been identified as safe for consumption. We are hopeful these actions by industry will minimize withdrawal of safe product from stores and restaurants and reduce food waste.”The Produce Marketing Association highlighted that the investigation has shown the outbreak is not limited to any one form of romaine lettuce and could be chopped, processed or romaine hearts. Further, all of the cases are linked to a strain of E. coli O157:H7 identified in both November 2017 and November 2018 romaine outbreaks, the PMA stated.Panetta, who represents what he calls the “salad bowl” of the country, said, “As the representative of the Salinas Valley, food safety is of the utmost importance to me and my constituents. I urged Deputy Commissioner [Frank] Yiannas to work collaboratively and communicatively with industry partners to minimize any health risks to consumers and reduce the loss of safe and healthy crops that are not connected to this outbreak. He promised to provide my office with daily updates throughout the investigation.“I will continue to work with the FDA, CDC, and our producers to ensure that the investigation is completed in a timely manner so that our consumers are safe and our industry is secure in its production of romaine.”The current outbreak is occurring at a time when the production of leafy greens in central California is transitioning to growing regions in southern California and Arizona. It appears that romaine lettuce involved in this outbreak was likely harvested in the Salinas Valley growing area in September and October.“As farmers, we never want outbreaks to happen,” stressed Sutton, who serves as the chairman of the LGMA. “We will continue to do everything we possibly can to improve our required practices, to improve the way we farm leafy greens and to make sure we can improve the safety of these products we are putting out to our consumers.”“The situation is heartbreaking,” continued Sutton. “I have a very young family and the products we grow go to my family’s dinner table. My children consume the very same products we are sending out to consumers across the nation. That’s something I think about every day.”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce: https://www.cdc.gov/…Produce Marketing Association: https://www.pma.com/…DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @hagstromreport(CC/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

10 months agoLiverpool attacker Salah: I can repeat last season heroics

first_imgLiverpool attacker Salah: I can repeat last season heroicsby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool star Mohamed Salah is hoping he can emulate his heroics from the 2017-18 season. The Egyptian attacker bagged an incredible 44 goals last season.”Of course, that makes me feel great, and makes me want to work harder and to continue performing,” he told GQ Middle East.”Because after that if your standards drop, people will not accept it. It’s a great feeling, but I don’t see it as more pressure.”For me it was, of course, a fantastic, historic season [in 2017-18] which I’m very proud of, but I’m looking for another one like it.”I’m not going to live off it. On the contrary, it made me more excited and determined for this season.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Jason Whitlock Says Ciara’s Cleavage Shows She’s “Thirsty” From Not Having Sex With Russell Wilson

first_imgJason Whitlock discusses Jim Harbaugh on Speak For Yourself.twitterYep, the article title here says it all. Jason Whitlock, who now works for FOX Sports after leaving ESPN earlier this year, joined Colin Cowherd on his radio show earlier Wednesday to talk about his issue with Ciara’s decision to wear a somewhat revealing dress during her singing of the National Anthem ahead of Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship. Kristine Leahy attempted to defend the pop star, but it was to no avail.Whitlock insinuated that Ciara showed cleavage because she’s “thirsty” – Urban Dictionary definition here – from not having sex with her boyfriend, Russell Wilson. Cowherd played [email protected] thought Ciara looked “thirsty.” @KristineLeahy defended her & @ColinCowherd wanted Mountain Dew. https://t.co/6HGJj10ih8— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 14, 2016Whitlock also claimed to like “thirsty women” and referenced a strip club chain in the segment.Somehow, we doubt Whitlock’s opinion will be a popular one.last_img read more

Tesla others help Puerto Ricans go solar amid power turmoil

first_imgADJUNTAS, Puerto Rico – Ten months after Hurricane Maria, Adjuntas still loses power any time a heavy rain or wind pounds the rickety power lines feeding this town high in the central mountains of Puerto Rico.That leaves its 20,000 people once again in the dark, without light, fresh water or air conditioning — except for a handful of homes and businesses glowing in the night thanks to solar energy.The people of Adjuntas call those places “cucubanos,” an indigenous Puerto Rican firefly. They’re part of a small but growing movement to provide the U.S. territory with sustainable, renewable energy independent of the decrepit power grid.A scattering of hardware stores, barbershops and corner stores across the island are embracing solar energy, trying to wean themselves off a state-owned power company that remains heavily dependent on imported petroleum. The numbers remain small — a few dozen or hundreds out of millions of power users — but power industry officials and environmentalists are closely watching this as a test of whether Puerto Rico can make a large-scale switch to renewable, off-grid energy.Currently, renewables represent 4 per cent of generation at Puerto Rico’s power company, against a U.S. national average of 15 per cent, so it likely will be years before solar could account for a significant share of Puerto Rico power.Even so, “Puerto Rico can be an experimental workshop for solar and wind,” Rep. Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat, said at a congressional hearing Wednesday.While Adjuntas is dotted with solar-powered islands, a community of 12 homes in the mountain town of Las Piedras still lacks central power and is operating exclusively on solar energy provided by Tesla, the high-tech maker of electric cars and other power products. It installed 160 solar panels on a plot of land owned by resident Jose Santana.Santana, an electronics technician, said he loves the smartphone app that lets him monitor the solar-charged Tesla batteries. He said the government should consider going solar and dumping the current “archaic” power grid.“This can pull us out of the mess we’re in,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with having a vision of the future. It’s time to start making changes.”As in Las Piedras, some solar users are relying on corporations and non-profit groups to donate the expensive equipment. Others have become so exasperated with continuing outages that they are taking it upon themselves to install their own systems.“I’m a musician. I have a salsa orchestra. I know nothing about electricity,” said Felix Torres, who recently installed nine solar panels on the roof of his home, perched on a mountain in the eastern city of Caguas. “I was afraid of getting electrocuted and damaging equipment worth thousands of dollars. … But we should not depend so much on the government. They already have their hands full.”Torres recently joined nearly two dozen other people at a three-day workshop to learn about the costs and lifespans of solar systems, the equipment required and precautions they need to consider. The clip-clop of horses interrupted their chatter as the sun set on hills where electricity returned several months ago.Many at the workshop pulled out their power bills along with pens and notebooks as they made comparisons and shared their frustrations. Among them was Jose Barreto, who set up a makeshift solar system at his house in the mountain town of Guavate.“It hasn’t collapsed because God is merciful,” he said, grumbling that his wife insists on washing and ironing at night, sucking up precious battery life. “I tell her, look, this is a lifestyle that runs on daytime hours.”A few hundred Puerto Ricans still haven’t recovered electricity service since Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20, and millions suffer periodic outages. Crews are trying to fortify the unstable grid in the middle of this year’s hurricane season. When the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl passed through in early July, up to 47,000 customers were left without lights, although most of the power was restored the same day.In Las Piedras, Blanca Martinez, a retired school bus driver who is married to Santana, started to weep as she described the happiness of having a solar-powered home.“It’s sometimes hard to explain,” she said. “When you’re a person who is in need, who is suffering, this comes along and you have light without having to worry whether a wire fell.”Another corporation, German-based sonnen, helped donate and install at least 15 solar microgrids across the island to help power laundromats, schools, community centres and medical clinics.Adam Gentner, the company’s director of business development and Latin American expansion, said the aim is to create a resilient system that can operate regardless of weather conditions.This week, Siemens published a report in which it envisions the construction of 10 mini-grids across Puerto Rico that would depend on renewable energy. Unlike microgrids, officials said, mini-grids are bigger and can use the current distribution infrastructure.In Adjuntas, the non-profit environmental group Casa Pueblo has installed solar systems at two hardware stores, a barber shop and several small stores that activists hope will serve as power oases where people can charge their phones and store medications during a storm if needed. In upcoming months, some 30 homes also will be fitted with the system.Wilfredo Perez said he can now open his barbershop 11 hours a day, six days a week thanks to the new system.“Since it was installed, it hasn’t failed me,” he said, adding that he hasn’t had to switch over to the power company’s system. “The electricity in Puerto Rico doesn’t work.”Federal officials are growing more worried about the turmoil at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, which has seen five directors since Hurricane Maria. A U.S. House committee held a hearing Wednesday on the company’s troubles.Officials have stressed the need to depoliticize the company, create an independent regulator and resolve its $9 billion public debt as it prepares to privatize power generation and award concession for transmission and distribution.None of this worries Arturo Massol, associate director of Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas.“Let them do what they want over there,” he said. “We’re taking control of our energy destiny.”last_img read more

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the

first_imgTORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:The House is backThe House of Commons resumes sitting on Monday. The Trudeau government is expected to face pointed questions from the opposition on a number of fronts including its purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the ongoing trade talks with the United States and Mexico.Communications reformThe Senate’s transport and communications committee hears from experts on Tuesday about how federal legislation can be modernized to account for the evolution of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors in the last decades. The CRTC recently reversed a decision that would have decreased the amount private-sector television groups are required to spend on Canadian programming.Back to school for Bay streetRestaurant Brands International Inc. presents at Scotiabank Back to School conference on Tuesday. The Toronto conference will also feature speakers from other retail and consumer-oriented companies such as Canadian Tire, Empire Co., Saputo, Loblaw and Hudson’s Bay.National real estate updateThe Canadian Real Estate Association releases its monthly numbers for August and quarterly outlook on the housing market on Monday. CREA’s report for July found that the Canadian housing market was finding its footing after a prolonged stumble in the first half of the year, shaking off the impact of stricter mortgage rules and rising interest rates.InflationStatistics Canada reports the consumer price index data for August on Friday as well as the retail sales data for July. The annual rate of inflation hit 3.0 per cent in July, the highest level since September 2011 and the top end of the Bank of Canada’s target range of one to three per cent.last_img read more

German posts Q3 GDP drop first decrease since 2015

first_imgBERLIN — Germany’s gross domestic product shrank in the third quarter of 2018, the first quarter-on-quarter decline since early 2015, which analysts said should be a wake-up call for Europe’s largest economy.The Federal Statistical Office reported Wednesday that GDP shrank by 0.2 per cent in the third quarter, in figures adjusted for price, seasonal and calendar variations, largely due to foreign trade developments.The office said exports were down and imports were up in the third quarter, while there were mixed signals from domestic demand.The drop followed increases of 0.5 per cent in the second quarter and 0.4 per cent in the first.ING economist Carsten Brzeski says signs point to a rebound, but that the data is “another wake-up call that political stability and strong growth are by no means a given.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

Indianorigin consultants charged in US visa fraud

first_imgNew York: Three Indian-origin high-tech consultants have been arrested and charged with H1-B visa fraud in a California federal court, according to US officials. Kishore Dattapuram, Kumar Aswapathi and Santosh Giri were charged with allegedly submitting fraudulent H1-B visa applications for non-existent jobs, according to federal prosecutor David Anderson. A citizen’s panel known as grand jury made the determination after initial hearings, he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details They will be tried on the charges to determine their guilt later. The three have denied the charges and were released on bail, officials said. According to court papers, they ran a consulting firm, Nanosemantics, Inc., which placed workers with other companies, and submitted the fake H1-B visa applications so that they could have a ready pool of workers for placement with other customers. Several visa applications submitted by them “stated that particular workers had specific jobs waiting for them at designated companies when, in reality, the defendants knew that these jobs did not exist”, the officials said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday In one case, they allegedly orchestrated payments by their company to someone for permission to list his company as the employer even though they planned to place the workers elsewhere, according to court papers. H1-B visas are non-immigrant visas given to professionals or highly qualified people. According to US government data, 309,986 H1-B visas, or nearly 74 per cent, were held by Indians last year. President Donald Trump’s administration has announced a crackdown on visa fraud and changes to the H1-B visas system to give greater preferences to applicants educated in the US and to tighten the regulations governing the work visas. Because the number of applicants far exceeds the 65,000 visas available every year, they are allotted through a lottery.last_img read more