Jul 17, 2017

Trump admin. approves additional temporary work visas

AP

The Trump administration will give out an extra 15,000 temporary H-2B work visas before September 30, per AP. The visas will be used for seasonal, non-agriculture workers and be granted to businesses who argue they need foreign workers to succeed. The Trump Organization is among the businesses that uses H-2B visas, including for workers at Mar-a-Lago.

  • A few months ago, Congress voted to let Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly offer more visas than the allotted 66,000 per year. Kelly celebrated the decision as a "demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses."
  • Kelly has faced backlash from Washington lawmakers for failing to act more rapidly on the decision. Last week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) placed a hold on Lee Francis Cissna's nomination within DHS as a result of Kelly's inaction.
  • Expect more criticism from Congress and the Senate, since the administration is only giving out 15,000 of the 70,000 additional visas approved by Congress.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 27 mins ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).