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CRS report: nearly 66,000 Indians officially became American citizens in 2022

A total of 65,960 Indians officially became US citizens, making India the second-largest source country for new citizens in America after Mexico, according to the latest Congressional report. An estimated 46 million foreign-born persons resided in the United States in 2022, approximately 14 per cent of the total US population of 333 million, according to American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau. Of these, 24.5 million, about 53 per cent, reported their status as naturalised citizens. In its latest "US Naturalisation Policy" report of April 15, the independent Congressional Research Service in the fiscal year 2022, a total of 969,380 individuals became naturalised US citizens. "Individuals born in Mexico represented the largest number of naturalisations, followed by persons from India, Philippines, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic," it said. Based on the latest available data, CRS said in 2022, as many as 128,878, Mexican nationals became American citizens. They were followed by Indians (65,960), the Philippines (53,413), Cuba (46,913), the Dominican Republic (34,525), Vietnam (33,246) and China (27,038). According to CRS as of 2023, a total of 2,831,330 foreign-born American nationals were from India, which is the second largest number after Mexico's 10,638,429. Mexico and India are followed by China with 2,225,447 foreign-born American nationals. However, as many as 42 per cent of the India-born foreign nationals living in the US are currently ineligible to become US citizens, the CRS report said. As of 2023, as many as 290,000 India-born foreign nationals who were on Green Card or Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) were potentially eligible for naturalisation. CRS said in recent years, some observers have expressed concern over USCIS processing backlogs for naturalisation applications. Although there continues to be a backlog of naturalisation applications since FY2020 the agency has reduced the number of applications pending completion by more than half. As of the end of FY2023, USCIS had approximately 408,000 pending naturalisation applications, down from 550,000 at the end of FY2022; 840,000 at the end of FY2021; and 943,000 at the end of FY2020. In FY2023, 823,702 LPRs submitted naturalisation applications. The number of individuals who have recently applied for citizenship remains well below the estimated population of 9 million LPRs who were eligible to naturalise in 2023. The percentage of foreign-born individuals who are naturalized varies by several factors, including country of origin. Immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil have the lowest percentages of naturalized foreign-born, while those from Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, Jamaica, and Pakistan have the highest. To be eligible for naturalisation, an applicant must fulfil certain eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The requirements generally include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 09:36 AM IST | Washington | PTI
US president Joe Biden. Pic/AFP

US president Joe Biden greets Jain community on occasion of Mahavir Jayanti

Joe Biden has greeted people of the Jain faith on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, becoming the first US President to do so. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. "Jill and I wish a joyous Mahavir Jayanti to people of the Jain faith," Biden said in a post on X. "Today, let us continue to recognise the values Mahavir Swami embodied and celebrate by spreading love, joy, and harmony," Biden said. Biden is the first US President to send official greetings on Mahavir Jayanti. Ajay Bhutoria, an eminent Jain community leader and President's Advisor on Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Commissioner, warmly welcomed Biden's message. Bhutoria in his statement expressed deep appreciation for Biden's recognition of the significance of Mahavir Jayanti to the Jain faith and highlighted the timeless teachings of Mahavir Swami, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, emphasising the principles of Ahimsa (non-violence), truthfulness, non-possessiveness, and self-discipline, reported PTI. Bhutoria emphasised the relevance of Mahavir's teachings in today's world and said that amidst global challenges, the values of love, joy, and harmony are more vital than ever, reported PTI. He reiterated the importance of following the path of non-violence and embracing Mahavir's teachings to foster a more compassionate and peaceful society, reported PTI. Bhutoria also thanked President Biden for his commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting understanding among different communities, reported PTI. He thanked President Biden for honouring Mahavir Jayanti and encouraging all to reflect on Mahavir's teachings as a guiding light towards a brighter future, reported PTI. This year, Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated on April 21, 2024. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, who was given the name of 'Vardhamana' in his childhood. Lord Mahavir was born in 615 BC in a royal family. As Vardhamana grew up, he renounced his princely status at the age of 30 and started on his spiritual journey in search of truth and enlightenment. He practiced austerities and meditated for 12 years in a forest to achieve 'Kevala Jnana.' He then propagated the Dharma known as Jainism. The birth anniversary of Mahavira is celebrated with joy and excitement by the Jain community across the globe. Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism who spread peace and harmony through his teachings. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with rituals like praying at Jain temples, processions, singing hymns adoring Lord Mahavira, fasting to purify the body and soul, charity, cultural programmes, and lectures by religious scholars and leaders. The festival of Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated to highlight the significance of Jainism in the world, especially in India. The key teaching of 'ahinsa parmo dharma' or non-violence, is of great significance in the world today. (With inputs from PTI)

22 April,2024 09:33 AM IST | Washington | mid-day online correspondent
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IMF team to visit Pak for bailout talks

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has said that an IMF team is expected to visit Islamabad next month to negotiate a new long-term bailout package to secure a staff-level agreement for the cash-strapped country by mid-July. Speaking to the media after his week-long visit to Washington, the minister said the contours of the new International Monetary Fund programme will shape up later. “We will start getting into the granularity of the programme by mid-May,” Dawn News quoted Aurangzeb as saying. Cash-strapped Pakistan has made a formal request to the IMF to seek the next bailout package in the range of USD 6 to USD 8 billion with the possibility of augmentation through climate financing. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:43 AM IST | Islamabad | Agencies
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Africa needs $277bn/yr for climate adaptation

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina called for more urgent action as climate change continues to wreak havoc in many African countries. He was speaking at a high-level roundtable on climate finance convened during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings by UK Deputy Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, and the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, according to a press release issued by the Abidjan-based bank. Adesina said the ongoing devastating drought in several parts of Africa underscored the need for all stakeholders to come together to accelerate support for Africa. “Africa is in the eye of the storm from climate change, accounting for 9 out of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change globally,” Adesina told participants. He added: “But Africa is not getting what it needs to adapt to climate change. Africa received just USD 30 billion per year for climate adaptation, while its needs are USD 277 billion per year, leaving a huge financing gap.” The African Development Bank has scaled up climate finance and is exceeding its financing targets for African countries. The bank has launched several innovations to mobilise resources that will help scale up climate finance, including a USD 750 million hybrid capital issue in global capital markets. $30 bnAmount Africa receives per year for adaptation

22 April,2024 07:40 AM IST | Washington | Agencies
Palestinians mourn over the bodies of relatives after they were unearthed from the Nasser hospital compound in Khan Yunis in Gaza on Sunday. Pics/AFP

Toll of kids rises to 14 in Rafah strike

Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 18 people, including 14 children, health officials said on Sunday, as the United States was on track to approve billions of dollars of additional military aid to its close ally. Palestinians inspect the damage to a street after a raid by Israeli forces in the Nur Shams camp for Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank on Sunday Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere. It has also vowed to expand its ground offensive to the city on the border with Egypt despite international calls for restraint, including from the US. The House of Representatives approved a USD 26 billion aid package that includes around USD 9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza. The first strike killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital, which received the bodies. The woman was pregnant, and the doctors managed to save the baby, the hospital said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:38 AM IST | Rafah | Agencies
Firefighters putting out a fire after a strike in Kherson, amid the Russian invasion on Ukraine. Pic/AFP

Ukraine, West leaders laud US aid package

Ukrainian and Western leaders welcomed a desperately needed aid package passed by the US House of Representatives, as the Kremlin claimed the passage of the bill would “further ruin” Ukraine and cause more deaths. The House swiftly approved $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other US allies in a rare session as Democrats and Republicans banded together after months of hard-right resistance over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s invasion. With an overwhelming vote, the $61 billion in aid for Ukraine passed in a matter of minutes. Many Democrats cheered on the House floor and waved Ukrainian flags. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who had warned that his country would lose the war without US funding, said that he was grateful for the decision of US lawmakers. What’s in package >> About $61 billion for Ukraine and replenishing US weapons stockpiles. Amount provided for purchase of weapons is $13.8 billion. Ukraine would receive more than $9 billion of assistance in the form of “forgivable loans”. >> About $26 billion for supporting Israel and providing humanitarian relief for Gaza. About $4 billion of that for replenishing Israel’s missile defence systems. More than $9 billion of total for humanitarian assistance in Gaza. >> About $8 billion for helping US allies in Indo-Pacific region and countering China. Over $3.3 billion for submarine infrastructure, with $1.9 billion to replenish U.S. weapons provided to Taiwan and other regional allies. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:35 AM IST | Kyiv | Agencies
Mohamed Muizzu. Pic/AFP

President Muizzu's ruling PNC secures supermajority in parliamentary elections

President Mohamed Muizzu's ruling People's National Congress (PNC) has won a supermajority in the Maldives Parliament. His party won 60 seats in the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, Maldives-based Sun Online reported. Over 200,000 people voted in the parliamentary elections, in which 326 candidates were in the fray for 93 seats in the next parliamentary assembly, including six new seats. Maldives ruling party's candidates contested 90 seats. The candidates who contested the elections also included 89 candidates from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP); 39 candidates from the Democrats; 10 candidates from the Jumhoory Party (JP); four candidates from the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA); four from the Adhaalath Party (AP); two from the Maldives National Party (MNP); and 130 independent candidates. According to preliminary results, President Mohamed Muizzu's PNC secured the win in more than 60 seats, which is roughly two-thirds of the total seats. It does not include the independent candidates who contested with the party's support and candidates from the MNP and MDA. MNP and MDA are two parties allied with the ruling coalition. Notably, the then-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won a supermajority with 64 seats in the elections held in 2019, while the then-opposition PPM-PNC coalition secured a win in just eight seats, according to Sun Online report. The then-ruling PPM won a majority in the 2014 elections, Sun Online reported. The only ruling party that has not been able to secure a majority was the MDP in the 2009 elections. Notably, ties between India and the Maldives had become strained since Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu assumed office. He criticised India during and after the presidential polls and his government also formally requested India to withdraw its troops from Male. However, in March, Muizzu requested New Delhi for debt relief measures, while stating that India would continue to remain the Maldives' "closest ally," local media reported. He further claimed that he has "not taken any action nor made any statements" that may strain the relationship between the two countries. In an interview with local media 'Mihaaru', Muizzu said that he hopes India will accommodate debt relief measures for the Maldives' in the repayment of the hefty loans taken from the country over consecutive governments, Adhadhu reported. He said, "The conditions we have inherited are such that there are very large loans taken from India. Hence, we are holding discussions to explore leniencies in the repayment structure of these loans. Instead of halting any ongoing projects, proceed with them at speed. So I see no reason for any adverse effects [on Maldives-India relations]." This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:33 AM IST | Maldives | ANI
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Japanese Navy helicopters crash in the Pacific Ocean, leaving 1 dead, 7 missing

Two Japanese naval helicopters carrying eight crew members fell into the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo during a nighttime training mission, killing one and leaving seven others missing, according to the country's defence minister. The crash of Japanese naval helicopters involved two SH-60K choppers from the Maritime Self Defence Force, each carrying four crew members, that lost communication late Saturday near Torishima island, about 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of Tokyo. The cause of the disaster was not immediately established, but Defence Minister Minoru Kihara suspected that the helicopters may have clashed before plunging into the lake, stated a report by the Associated Press.  According to the AP report, the MSDF initiated rescue efforts immediately, deploying eight warships and five aircraft to look for the missing crew members. Rescuers found flight data recorders, helicopter blades, and parts from both helicopters near the accident scene, indicating that the helicopters were flying close together before the tragedy. The SH-60K helicopters, modified and produced in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, were conducting nighttime anti-submarine training when the incident happened. Only one distress call was heard, indicating that the two helicopters were close together because their signals could not be distinguished, the report added.  The report further stated that Japan, under its 2022 security strategy, has been strengthening its military capabilities in the southwestern Japanese islands to counter threats from China's assertive military activities. Saturday's training exercise was solely conducted by the Japanese navy and was not part of a multinational exercise, according to defence officials. This incident comes a year after a Ground Self-Defence Force UH-60 Blackhawk crashed off the southwestern Japanese island of Miyako, resulting in the death of all 10 crew members. Additionally, in January 2022, an Air Self-Defence F-15 fighter jet crashed off the northcentral coast of Japan, killing two crew members, the report added.  While no weather advisories were issued in the area at the time of the crash, investigations into the cause of the incident are ongoing, the AP report further stated.

21 April,2024 02:13 PM IST | Tokyo | mid-day online correspondent
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed. Pic/AFP

Third temporary channel opens for vessels to Baltimore port after bridge collaps

A third temporary channel for boats to enter and depart the Port of Baltimore has opened, expanding further shipping access as collapsed sections of the Francis Scott Key Bridge are salvaged before the span can ultimately be rebuilt. The alternate channel, located to the northeast of the fallen bridge, is open to 'commercially essential vessels,' port officials announced late Friday. The new temporary path, with a controlling depth of 20 feet (6.1 meters), a horizontal clearance of 300 feet (91.4 meters) and a vertical clearance of 135 feet (41.2 meters), allows a greater variety of vessels to access the port while crews work to reopen the main channel, Coast Guard and port Capt. David O'Connell said in a news release. With the new channel open, about 15% of pre-collapse commercial activity will resume, O'Connell said. The first temporary channel opened April 1. The bridge collapsed early March 26 after it was struck by the cargo ship Dali. Officials hope to open a channel by the end of the month to allow most maritime traffic back into one of the East Coast's busiest maritime transit hubs. Workers are labouring to remove thousands of tons of debris sitting atop the Dali, the cargo ship that veered off course and struck the 1.6-mile-long (2.57-kilometer-long) bridge. Six roadwork crew members on the bridge died. Two of their bodies have not been found. With massive cranes, workers so far have taken away about 1,300 tons (1,179 metric tons) of steel. The debris on the stationary ship must be removed before the vessel can be returned to the port. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 08:26 AM IST | Baltimore | AP
Myanmar citizens crossing Moei river. Pic/AP

Myanmar citizens escape to Thailand amid clashes

About 1,300 people have fled to Thailand as fresh fighting erupted at a border town in eastern Myanmar that has recently been captured by ethnic militants, officials said Saturday. Fighters from the Karen ethnic minority last week captured the last of the Myanmar army’s outposts in and around Myawaddy, which is connected to Thailand by two bridges across the Moei River. The latest clashes were triggered when the Karen guerillas launched an attack against Myanmar troops who were hiding near the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, a major crossing point for trade with Thailand, said police chief Pittayakorn Phetcharat in Thailand’s Mae Sot district.  The fall of Myawaddy was a major setback for the military as they took power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021. The clashes, involving drone attacks from the Karen forces and air strikes by the Myanmar military, had subsided by Saturday noon, but police chief Phetcharat said he could still hear sporadic gunshots. He also confirmed that the Thai authorities would move the fleeing people into a safer zone. “I do not desire to see any such clashes have any impact on the territorial integrity of Thailand and we are ready to protect our borders and the safety of our people. At the same time, we are also ready to provide humanitarian assistance if necessary,” wrote Thailand’s PM Srettha Thavisin.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 05:29 AM IST | Bangkok | Agencies
Young Palestinian brought to Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah. PIC/AP

9 Palestinians including 6 kids killed in Israeli strike in Rafah

As Israel pursued its nearly seven-month offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza’s southernmost city killed at least nine people, including six children, hospital authorities said Saturday. The fatalities included Abdel-Fattah Sobhi Radwan, his wife, their three children, his brother-in-law Ahmed Barhoum said. Barhoum also lost his wife, Rawan Radwan, and their  five-year-old daughter Alaa.  According to the hospital records, their bodies were  taken to Rafah’s Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospital. The strike late Friday hit a residential building in the western Tel Sultan neighbourhood of the city of Rafah. “This is a world devoid of all human values and morals,” Barhoum told The Associated Press Saturday morning, crying as he cradled and gently rocked the body of Alaa in his arms. “They bombed a house full of displaced people, women and children. The only martyrs were women and children.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 05:26 AM IST | Gaza | Agencies
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