Wednesday, July 8 2020

Dive In

I mean, when you drive a car, you've got to obey speed limits, you've got to use your turn signals [indicators], you've got to avoid hitting pedestrians. If you can't do those three things, you shouldn't be driving a car…. If you can't wear a mask and wash your hands and social distance, I've got no respect for you, man. I don't buy your argument.

That’s Tom Hanks expressing his frustration at many Americans who refuse to wear a face mask. Hanks and his wife Rita tested positive for Covid in March. They have also donated their blood for research into plasma therapy. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

The latest Trump casualty: International students

The TLDR: International students at institutions across the United States have been given a choice: either attend in-person classes or leave the country. But this latest bit of Trumpian insanity has little to do with his toxic anti-immigration politics. The President is actually waging war on universities who are refusing to open their campuses in September.


What happened here?

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a startling notice that said:

  • International students on F-1 and M-1 visas must leave the country if their college or university has moved all of its classes online. If they fail to do so, they will be forcibly deported.
  • Point to note: F-1 is issued for an academic degree while M-1 visas are issued for vocational programs.
  • This also applies to students who came back to India when their campuses shut down due to the pandemic.
  • Also: US Immigration will no longer issue student visas for those planning to attend such institutions in September.
  • Students, however, can transfer to a university that has opened its campus, and offers courses in the classroom.


The exemptions: There is no exemption for those on M-1 visas. They cannot do any of their coursework online. But those on F-1s can stay if they do a mix of online and in-person courses. 


What kind of mix?



In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has Covid
  • Test cricket is baaack!
  • Russia’s ice cream problem
  • Worries about Galwan


Reading Habit

  • Words With Deepanjana Pal


Smart And Curious

  • Why we travel
  • How ‘white’ became a metaphor for all things good
  • The 1920s ‘kissing screen used to achieve the ‘pure and germless kiss’


Life Advisory

  • Up the laughter (yoga) quotient in your life
  • Have more atma nirbhar chocolate

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