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November, 2014

 

Australia opens its’ door to international trade and tourism events

Australia Is Open For Business Events

The Australian Government is encouraging more international trade and tourism events to be held in Australia

The minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has launched a new initiative to attract more international business events to Australian shores.

Building on the success of the recent China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in securing greater opportunities – both at home and abroad – for the local tourism sector, Mr Robb said the ‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’initiative, will further enhance Australia’s thriving tourism market.

“Business events in Australia have a global reputation for being first-class, stellar events; they’re extremely important in terms of promoting Australia to the world,” Mr Robb said.

“They showcase Australia’s business capabilities, foster trade and investment outcomes, facilitate stronger people-to-people links and make a significant contribution to our economy.”

‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’ sets out a framework for the Australian Government – through Austrade and Tourism Australia – to work with industry during the bidding and event-delivery process.

Under the new framework, Austrade will coordinate ministerial support for an event and will organise onshore and offshore promotion, while Tourism Australia will partner with industry to provide marketing and promotional materials.

“This new framework demonstrates the common sense approach this Government has taken to the tourism portfolio, by moving it under the trade umbrella; allowing closer alignment between the work done by Austrade – our export promotion agency – and Tourism Australia,” Mr Robb said.

“The high-yield economic benefits of hosting business events – not just for the tourism sector but for the wider community – are key contributors to the Government’s economic diplomacy agenda, and are highly effective vehicles for driving industry growth, which is in keeping with the Government’s trade and investment priority areas.”

With the tourism sector already worth more than $13 billion a year, Mr Robb said this new initiative will make a significant contribution to the Tourism 2020 goal, of increasing overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by the year 2020.

The Deloitte Access Economics report: ‘Australia’s International Business Events Sector – 2014’ further highlights the synergies between the international business events industry and the strategic imperatives of the Government including:
Building a stronger, more productive and more diverse economy;
Delivering more growth from Asia;
Building a diverse, world-class 5-pillar economy; and
Delivering stronger and better communities.

Australian Convention Bureaux play a critical role in securing international business events for Australia. Under this new framework they will serve as the first point of contact for event organisers – and the broader business events sector – who are seeking Austrade and Tourism Australia support.

President of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Lyn Lewis-Smith, welcomed the collaborative approach being adopted by the Federal Government, Tourism Australia and Austrade, saying that it was vital all agencies and governments – both state and federal – work together to attract the world’s leading business events.

“The benefits to the Australian economy of winning and hosting international business events are felt long after the last delegate leaves the country,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.

Business Events Australia

http://www.australia.com/businessevents/where-to-go.aspx

 

Video, Why choose Australia for your next Business Event posted to Youtube by – Australia

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Scottish Referendum — the UK honors its’ promises to Scotland

The Scottish Referendum may have been voted down – However, all of the efforts are paying off in spades.

The UK has listened to Scotland’s complaints and demands.

We should expect to hear a lot of political chatter in the next few days.

The Smith Commission Report.
https://www.smith-commission.scot/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The_Smith_Commission_Report-1.pdf

Video, Smith commission report – Scottish powers posted to Youtube by – liar politicians

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Seven Hundred Refugees Stranded in the Mediterranean Sea

Seven hundred men, women, and children immigrants and fleeing refugees were recently found stranded in the Mediterranean sea 70 miles off of the coast of Crete.

The illegal migrants were crammed on-board an old cargo ship that went
“dead-in-the-water” due to engine failure.

The ship’s ultimate destination was Italy, a country being inundated with immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East — predominantly embarking from Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya.

The ship was towed by a Greek Navy Frigate to Lerapetra where it was anchored offshore.

The migrants/refugees had spent days without adequate food and water.

One pregnant woman was airlifted to a hospital and the other immigrants were domiciled in a basketball stadium.

Greek officials will decide who will be classified as illegal immigrants or legal refugees. Any person fleeing Syria will probably be given refugee status.

This ongoing tidal wave of tens-of-thousands of immigrants trying to reach Europe is a problem of gigantic proportions.

The European Ministers have tried to come to an agreement on how to handle the situation – find a resolution – but it appears that the magnitude of the dilemma will change the demographic face of Europe forever.

Video, Lerapetra, Crete posted to Youtube by – light222333

Video, Muslim demographics (Europe,USA,Scandinavia) posted
to Youtube by– welcometosweden

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The US Transportation Security Administration Issues Tips for Holiday Travelers.

George’s Travel Tidbits.

The 2014 Thanksgiving Holiday in the US is the beginning of
seasonal travel increase of air passengers.

Airports will be busy, crowded, and will probably incur flight delays
due to inclement weather conditions in certain regions of the US.

The Transportation Security Administration will be inundated
with passengers anxious to get to their holiday destinations.

To expedite your security screening and avoid conflicts at
airport ticket counters, the TSA has listed some travel tips
that you should be aware of before departing on your journey.

Regards
George

TSA Holiday Travel Tips
http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/11/tsa-2014-holiday-travel-tips.html


Ebola Death Toll climbs to 5,444 in West Africa

Latest Update on Ebola Case Counts in West Africa.

 

Country/Reported Deaths

Guinea/1214
Liberia/2463
Sierra Leone/1267

Total 5,444

 

U.S. Center for Disease Control –Updated 24November2014 – Ebola case counts
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/case-counts.html
World Health Organization (WHO) — Ebola situation report and update.
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/situation-reports/en/

 

Video,Ebola: The Full Story posted to Youtube by – It’s ok to be smart

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FBI Tips on how to avoid cyber scams

Today, I received a media release from the FBI on cyber fraud.

I am disseminating it to my readers as a public service and as a caveat.

Cyber crime is on the increase and has evolved into “worldwide sophisticated scams”.

On a personal note, this week I received ,in postal mail,a letter
embedded with the logo of one of my credit card companies.

The letter was professionally written and every indication that it was
a legitimate correspondence.

The letter advised that law enforcement had recently recovered data from
an individual and that my private credit card information had been compromised.

They made me the generous offer of a one year free membership to a credit card
protection plan. In order to activate the subscription I had to sign-in online to my
credit card account with a specific sign-in as instructed in the letter.

They requested detailed personal information.
I have been with the credit card company for several decades and they are
already in possession of the information and would have never asked me
publicly.

This was probably a mass mailing and some unsuspecting souls gave up
their personal information.

The below FBI media release gives you tips on how to avoid becoming
a victim of cyber fraud.(formatted for online reading)
Regards
George

######
FBI REMINDS SHOPPERS TO BE AWARE OF CYBER CRIMINALS OFFERING SCAMS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

IF THE DEAL SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.
The FBI reminds shoppers in advance of the holiday shopping season to beware of cyber criminals and their aggressive and creative ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to defraud consumers by offering too good to be true deals via phishing e-mails advertising brand name merchandise, quick money making offers, or gift cards as an incentive to purchase a product. Remember, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is and never provide your personal information to an unknown party or untrusted website.

Scammers often use e-mail to advertise hot-ticket items of the year that may become hard to find during the holidays to lure unsuspecting consumers to click on links.

Steer clear of untrusted sites or ads offering items at unrealistic discounts or with special coupons. You may end up paying for an item, giving away personal information and credit card details, and then receive nothing in return, along with your identity compromised.

These sites may also be offering products at a great price, but the products being sold are not the same as the products they advertise. This is known as the bait and switch scam.

Beware of posts on social media sites that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards, especially sites offering deals too good to be true, such as a free $500 gift card. Some may pose as holiday promotions or contests. It may even appear one of your friends shared the link with you. If so, it is likely your friend was duped by the scam after it was sent to them by one of their friends.

Oftentimes, these scams lead to online surveys designed to steal personal information. Remember, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. And never provide your personal information to an unknown party or untrusted website.

When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling discounted or bulk offers of gift cards. When purchasing gift cards in the store, examine the protective scratch off area on the back of the card to see if it has been tampered with.

Be on the lookout for mobile applications designed to steal your personal information from your smartphone. Such apps are often disguised as games and are often offered for free. Research the company selling or giving away the app and look online for third party reviews before installing an app from an unknown source.

Tickets to theater, concerts, and sporting events are always popular gifts during the holidays. If you purchase or receive tickets as a gift, do not post pictures of the tickets to social media sites.

Protect the barcodes on tickets as you would your credit card number. Fraudsters will create a ticket using the barcode obtained from searching around social media sites and resell the ticket.

You should never allow the barcode to be seen on social media.

If you are in need of extra cash at this time of year, beware of sites and posts offering work you can do from the comfort of your own home. Often, the work from home opportunities rely on convenience as a selling point for applicants with an unscrupulous motivation behind the posting. You should carefully research the job posting and individuals or company contacting you for employment.

As a consumer, if you feel you are a victim of an Internet-related crime, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

Tips
Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
Check your credit card statement routinely.
Protect your credit card numbers from “wandering eyes”.
Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.

Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and lead you to a legitimate site.

Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.

If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.

Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website.

“Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”


Monday’s Quote 24November2014

Start the week thinking

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
— John F . Kennedy
Video, John F Kennedy Speech 1961 posted to Youtube by – Mrmnmn91

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Mexico and the United States enter into a new Civil Aviation Agreement

This week Mexico and the United States enhanced their civil aviation agreement.

The agreement will go into effect 01January2016.

The ad referendum liberalizes the existing Civil Aviation Agreement between the two countries.
It allows US and Mexican airlines unrestricted access to any city in the United States and Mexico.

Not addressed as a reason for the negotiation of the ad referendum — but the timing
is impeccable — the newly proclaimed presidential executive order on immigration reform will
open up new air passenger markets to Mexico and connections to Central and South America.

There is multi-millions of “illegal immigrants” (now legal) in the U.S. that did not travel
back to their home country for fear of being caught and deported from the United States.

With the enactment of the new presidential executive order, that fear has been eliminated.
This will open up a gigantic new air passenger market in the U.S. as there is Latino
“undocumented residents” domiciled in every U.S. State.

I am sure that the civil aviation corporations are excited and expecting to operate new
profitable routes. They will be busy doing their demographic research, penciling out
costs analysis, determining what type of aircraft to utilize, applying for new landing slots,
establishing new partnerships and codeshare agreements with other air carriers and maybe just
a smidgen of lobbying in Washington, DC.

The new agreement will also open up new markets for international air cargo, which were previously restricted. Joint production (passenger & cargo aircraft) and “all-cargo carriers” will be looking
for new business and feverishly calculating their “contribution and/or capacity cost yields”.

If the American aviation corporations intend to compete in these new markets, then they
are going to need Spanish speaking cabin crew members and ground staff.

This new established aviation agreement should open up thousands of employment opportunities for the newly legalized Spanish speaking “undocumented residents”.

A short synopsis of the new aviation referendum is below.

Regards
George

###
The U.S. government officials led by the Department of State’s Economic and Business Affairs Bureau reached agreement, ad referendum, on a new civil aviation agreement between the United States and Mexico.

The agreement will enter into force on January 1, 2016, after both parties have completed their necessary routine internal processes.

The new agreement, when brought into force, will benefit U.S. and Mexican passenger and cargo airlines, airports, travelers, and businesses by allowing significantly increased market access for passenger and cargo airlines to fly between any city in Mexico and any city in the United States.

Cargo airlines, for the first time, will have expanded opportunities to provide service to new destinations that were not available under the current agreement.

This air transport agreement further elevates and strengthens the dynamic commercial and economic relationship between the United States and Mexico by facilitating greater trade and tourism.

It is a key element of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue, that aims to promote competitiveness and connectivity, foster economic growth, productivity and innovation, and partner for regional and global leadership.


Executive Order on Immigration — Facts from the USCIS

Executive Actions on Immigration

The below information outlines the facts, as put forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, on President Obama’s recent “Executive Order On Immigration.”

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

George

###

These initiatives include:
Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years | Details
Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks | Details
Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens | Details
Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs | Details
Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee | Details
Important notice: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scam. Subscribe to this page to get updates when new information is posted.

Next steps
USCIS and other agencies and offices are responsible for implementing these initiatives as soon as possible. Some initiatives will be implemented over the next several months and some will take longer.
Over the coming months, USCIS will produce detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary. The brief summaries provided below offer basic information about each initiative.
While USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time, if you believe you may be eligible for one of the initiatives listed above, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish factors such as your:
Identity;
Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
We strongly encourage you to subscribe to receive an email whenever additional information on these initiatives is available on our website. We will also post updates onFacebook and Twitter.
Share this page with your friends and family members. Remind them that the only way to be sure to get the facts is to get them directly from USCIS. Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of you by charging a fee to submit forms to USCIS on your behalf or by claiming to provide other special access or expedited services which do not exist. To learn how to get the right immigration help, go to the Avoid Scamspage.
Below are summaries of major planned initiatives by USCIS, including:
Who is eligible
What the initiative will do
When you can begin to make a request
How to make a request

1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
Who
Current DACA recipients seeking renewal and new applicants, including individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, who meet all other DACA guidelines.
What
Allows individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA (removing the upper age restriction) provided they meet all other guidelines.
Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007.
Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from the current two years.
When
Approximately 90 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.
How
Go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)page for instructions which will be updated over the next several months.Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

2. Deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents
Who
An undocumented individual living in the United States who, on the date of the announcement, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and who meets the guidelines listed below.
What
Allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:
Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010;
Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and
Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension,Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.
Notes: USCIS will consider each request for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include (but are not limited to) national security and public safety threats.
When
Approximately 180 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.
How
Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

3. Provisional waivers of unlawful presence
Who
Undocumented individuals who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are:
The sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
The spouse and sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents.
What
Expands the provisional waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.
Clarifies the meaning of the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain a waiver.
Notes: Currently, only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver if a visa is available. For more information about the waivers program, go to the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiverspage which will be updated over the next several months.
When
Upon issuing of new guidelines and regulations.
How
Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

4. Modernize, improve and clarify immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs
Who
U.S. businesses, foreign investors, researchers, inventors and skilled foreign workers.
What
USCIS will:
Work with the Department of State to develop a method to allocate immigrant visas to ensure that all immigrant visas authorized by Congress are issued to eligible individuals when there is sufficient demand for such visas.
Work with the Department of State to modify the Visa Bulletin system to more simply and reliably make determinations of visa availability.
Provide clarity on adjustment portability to remove unnecessary restrictions on natural career progression and general job mobility to provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.
Clarify the standard by which a national interest waiver may be granted to foreign inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises to benefit the U.S economy.
Authorize parole, on a case-by-case basis, to eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who:
Have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing; or
Otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.
Finalize a rule to provide work authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B visa holders who are on the path to lawful permanent resident status.
Work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop regulations for notice and comment to expand and extend the use ofoptional practical training (OPT) for foreign students, consistent with existing law.
Provide clear, consolidated guidance on the meaning of “specialized knowledge” to bring greater clarity and integrity to the L-1B program, improve consistency in adjudications, and enhance companies’ confidence in the program.
When
Upon issuing necessary guidance and regulations.
How
Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

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5. Promote the naturalization process
Who
Lawful permanent residents eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship
What
Promote citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents.
Allow naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
Assess potential for partial fee waivers in the next biennial fee study.
Notes: Go to the U.S. Citizenship page to learn about the naturalization process and visit the Citizenship Resource Center to find naturalization test preparation resources. You can also visit the N-400, Application for Naturalization, page.
When
During 2015

How
 Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

Key Questions and Answers
Q1: When will USCIS begin accepting applications related to these executive initiatives?
A1:  While USCIS is not accepting applications at this time, individuals who think they may be eligible for one or more of the new initiatives may prepare now by gathering documentation that establishes factors such as their:
Identity;
Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
USCIS expects to begin accepting applications for the:
Expanded DACA program approximately 90 days after the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement; and
Deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) approximately 180 days after the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.
Others programs will be implemented after new guidance and regulations are issued.
We strongly encourage you to subscribe to receive an email whenever additional information is available on the USCIS website. Remember that the only way to get official information is directly from USCIS. Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of you by charging a fee to submit forms to USCIS on your behalf or by claiming to provide other special access or expedited services which do not exist. To learn how to get the right immigration help, visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for tips on filing forms, reporting scams and finding accredited legal services.
Q2: How many individuals does USCIS expect will apply?
A2: Preliminary estimates show that roughly 4.9 million individuals may be eligible for the initiatives announced by the President. However, there is no way to predict with certainty how many individuals will apply. USCIS will decide applications on a case-by-case basis and encourages as many people as possible to consider these new initiatives. During the first two years of DACA, approximately 60 percent of potentially eligible individuals came forward. However, given differences among the population eligible for these initiatives and DACA, actual participation rates may vary.
Q3: Will there be a cutoff date for individuals to apply?
A3: The initiatives do not include deadlines. Nevertheless, USCIS encourages all eligible individuals to carefully review each initiative and, once the initiative becomes available, make a decision as soon as possible about whether to apply.
Q4: How long will applicants have to wait for a decision on their application?
A4: The timeframe for completing this new pending workload depends on a variety of factors. USCIS will be working to process applications as expeditiously as possible while maintaining program integrity and customer service. Our aim is to complete all applications received by the end of next year before the end of 2016, consistent with our target processing time of completing review of applications within approximately one year of receipt. In addition, USCIS will provide each applicant with notification of receipt of their application within 60 days of receiving it.
Q5: Will USCIS need to expand its workforce and/or seek appropriated funds to implement these new initiatives?
A5: USCIS will need to adjust its staffing to sufficiently address this new workload. Any hiring will be funded through application fees rather than appropriated funds.
Q6: Will the processing of other applications and petitions (such as family-based petitions and green card applications) be delayed?
A6: USCIS is working hard to build capacity and increase staffing to begin accepting requests and applications for the initiatives. We will monitor resources and capacity very closely, and we will keep the public and all of our stakeholders informed as this process develops over the course of the coming months.
Q7: What security checks and anti-fraud efforts will USCIS conduct to identify individuals requesting deferred action who have criminal backgrounds or who otherwise pose a public safety threat or national security risk?
A7: USCIS is committed to maintaining the security and integrity of the immigration system. Individuals seeking deferred action relief under these new initiatives will undergo thorough background checks, including but not limited to 10-print fingerprint, primary name and alias name checks against databases maintained by DHS and other federal government agencies. These checks are designed to identify individuals who may pose a national security or public safety threat, have a criminal background, have perpetrated fraud, or who may be otherwise ineligible to request deferred action. No individual will be granted relief without passing these background checks.
In addition, USCIS will conduct an individual review of each case. USCIS officers are trained to identify indicators of fraud, including fraudulent documents. As with other immigration requests, all applicants will be warned that knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject them to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.
Q8: What if someone’s case is denied or they fail to pass a background check?
A8: Individuals who knowingly make a misrepresentation, or knowingly fail to disclose facts, in an effort to obtain deferred action or work authorization through this process will not receive favorable consideration for deferred action. In addition, USCIS will apply its current policy governing the referral of individual cases to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of Notices to Appear before an immigration judge. If the background check or other information uncovered during the review of a request for deferred action indicates that an individual’s presence in the United States threatens public safety or national security, USCIS will deny the request and refer the matter for criminal investigation and possible removal by ICE, consistent with existing processes.
Q9: If I currently have DACA, will I need to do anything to receive the third year of deferred action and work authorization provided by the executive initiatives?
A9: The new three-year work authorization timeframe will be applied for applications currently pending and those received after the President’s announcement. Work authorizations already issued for a two-year period under the current guidelines will continue to be valid through the validity period indicated on the card. USCIS is exploring means to extend previously issued two-year work authorization renewals to the new three-year period.
Q10: Will the information I share in my request for consideration of deferred action be used for immigration enforcement purposes?
A10: Information provided in your request is protected from disclosure to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless you meet the criteria for the issuance of a Notice to Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance. Individuals who are granted deferred action will not be referred to ICE. The information may be shared, however, with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including:
Assisting in the consideration of the deferred action request;
To identify or prevent fraudulent claims;
For national security purposes; or
For the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense.
This policy covers family members and guardians, in addition to you.
Q11: What is USCIS doing to assist dependents of U.S. armed services personnel?
A11: USCIS is working with the Department of Defense to determine how to expand parole authorization to dependents of certain individuals enlisting or enlisted in the U.S. armed services. For information on the existing parole-in-place policy for military personnel, please read this policy memorandum.
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Glossary
Continuous residence: For a detailed explanation, go to the USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 3: Continuous Residence.
DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program launched in 2012. For more information, go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)page.
Deferred action: A use of prosecutorial discretion to not remove an individual from the country for a set period of time, unless the deferred action is terminated for some reason. Deferred action is determined on a case-by-case basis and only establishes lawful presence but does not provide immigration status or benefits of any kind. DACA is one type of deferred action.
Parole in place: Immigration and Nationality Act section 212(d)(5)(A) gives the Secretary the discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to “parole” for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” an alien applying for admission to the United States. Although it is most frequently used to permit an alien who is outside the United States to come into U.S. territory, parole may also be granted to aliens who are already physically present in the U.S. without inspection or admission. This latter use of parole is sometimes called “parole in place.”
Prosecutorial discretion: The legal authority to choose whether or not to take action against an individual for committing an offense.
Provisional waiver: Waiver for individuals who are otherwise inadmissible due to more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States, based on a showing of extreme hardship to certain U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members, which allows the individual to return after departure for an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information, go to the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers page.
You can find definitions of other terms used on our website in Glossary of Terms.


US Drug Enforcement Agency Extradites German from Estonia

Today’s Media Release:

DEA extradites German Citizen from Estonia.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Reports,

Former member of the German Armed forces extradited to the United States of America.
drug conspirator was associate of Joseph Hunter, who was brought to U.S. in murder-for-hire scheme.

DEA Deputy Administrator Thomas Harrigan and Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York today announced that Michael Filter was extradited from Estonia where he had been arrested for conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and conspiracy to distribute cocaine on board an aircraft.

Filter, a German citizen, arrived in the Southern District of New York Wednesday, and made his first appearance in Manhattan federal court Thursday.  Filter’s co-defendants, Joseph Manuel Hunter, Timothy Vamvakias, and Dennis Gogel were previously arrested in Thailand (Hunter) and Liberia (Vamvakias and Gogel) and brought to the United States in September 2013.

Co-defendant Slawomir Soborski was previously arrested in Estonia in September 2013 and was extradited to the United States in April 2014.

“Michael Filter, who allegedly facilitated global drug trafficking and violence with associates such as Joseph Hunter, will now face justice in the United States,” Harrigan said. “A former member of the German armed forces, Filter was a key player in a worldwide criminal enterprise that included associates charged in an elaborate murder-for-hire scheme.”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Now that he has arrived in the Southern District, Michael Filter can begin to answer for his role as an alleged member of a would-be ‘security team’ to international narcotics traffickers.  This Office remains committed to pursuing and prosecuting those who would help perpetuate the flow of illegal drugs into our country.”

According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment:
All five defendants have previously served in the armed forces of their respective nations.  Filter and Gogel served in the German armed forces until 2009 and 2010, respectively; Soborski served in the Polish armed forces until 2011; and Hunter and Vamvakias served in the U.S. Army until 2004.

Filter, Gogel, and Soborski were trained as snipers; Hunter served as a sniper instructor and a senior drill sergeant, training other soldiers in marksmanship and tactics; and Vamvakias attained the rank of sergeant and served both as infantryman and a military police officer.

During meetings in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, beginning in January 2013 and continuing through late September 2013, Hunter communicated with three confidential sources (the “CSs”) working with the DEA, who purported to be Colombian narcotics traffickers.  Hunter agreed to serve as the head of security for the CSs’ purported narcotics trafficking organization, and assembled a “security team” consisting of Filter, Vamvakias, Gogel, and Soborski.

Hunter and his co-defendants, including Filter, thereafter agreed, in meetings and communications with the CSs, to provide security and surveillance services to the narcotics trafficking organization.  Hunter and his four co-defendants provided a variety of services to the CSs’ purported narcotics organization.

In late March 2013, in Thailand, at Hunter’s direction, Filter, Soborski, and Gogel surveilled a vessel on behalf of the CSs’ purported narcotics trafficking organization.

In April 2013, in Mauritius, at the direction of the CSs, Filter, Soborski, and Gogel provided security for a meeting at which the participants discussed the distribution of illegal narcotics to the United States, and in late June 2013, in the Bahamas, Filter, Soborski, Vamvakias, and Gogel conducted surveillance of a purported U.S.-registered aircraft at the direction of one of the CSs.

That CS informed the defendants that the aircraft was to be loaded with 300 kilograms of cocaine to be shipped to New York.

In late September 2013, Filter was arrested in Estonia, with Soborski, in coordination with Estonian authorities, and remained in the custody of Estonian authorities until his extradition today to the United States.

Filter, Hunter, Vamvakias, Gogel, and Soborski have each been charged with conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States (Count One) and Filter, Vamvakias, Gogel, and Soborski are also charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine on board an aircraft (Count Five).

Hunter, Vamvakias, and Gogel are also charged with conspiracy to murder a law enforcement agent and a person assisting a law enforcement agent (Count Two); conspiracy to kill a person to prevent communications to law enforcement agents (Count Three); and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (Count Four).

These additional charges against Hunter, Vamvakias, and Gogel relate to their alleged participation in a murder-for-hire plot proposed by the CSs targeting a Special Agent of the DEA and a person who those defendants believed was providing information to the DEA about the CSs’ narcotics trafficking.  Filter is not charged with participating in the murder-for-hire plot.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.  Trial has been set for March 9, 2015.

The charges, arrests, and transfers of the defendants were the result of the close cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York;  DEA’s Special Operations Division; DEA’s  Bangkok, Ghana, Pretoria, Bucharest, Manila, Nassau, and Copenhagen Offices; the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau and Crime Suppression Division;  Royal Thai Immigration; the Royal Thai Attorney General’s Office; Republic of Liberia’s National Security Agency; the Republic of Liberia’s Attorney General’s Office; the Estonian Police and Border Guard; the Estonian National Criminal Police, Investigative Bureau; the Estonian State Prosecutors Office; the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Drug Enforcement Unit; the Romanian National Police; Interpol; and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Lockard, Aimee Hector, Anna Skotko, and Emil Bove are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Etihad begins service to San Francisco

Etihad Airways begins service Abu Dhabi to San Francisco.

Last night, Etihad Airways non-stop inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco
touched down in the Northern California city. This is the commencement of a daily nonstop flight between the two cities. This marks the fifth U.S. destination that Etihad has established.

The Etihad flight is a partnership agreement with Jet Airways. Etihad is operating
the Boeing 777-300ER under a lease agreement. The cabin crew members will be a
combination of Etihad Airways and Jet Airways employees.

The arrival of flight EY183 was met by representatives from the diplomatic community.
In attendance for the inaugural flight was Abdulla Alsaboosi, Consul-General of the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Los Angeles. Members from Etihad management and
San Francisco International Airport were there to celebrate the event.

There was ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the departure and arrival gate. The guest passengers on-board the flight were the happy recipients of “special commemorative certificates”.

This flight will establish the first “direct link” between Abu Dhabi and Northern California. Both cities are known for being global tourist destinations and regional business centers. The newly established flight will also provide for interline connections on either end of the route.

Etihad entering this market will give passengers another option when traveling to/from
the UAE/USA. This also adds additional air cargo capacity to both regions being served
and creates another logistic route.

Etihad Airways was established by Royal (Amiri) Decree in July 2003. Since its’
inception, in November 2003, it has developed into one of the fastest growing airlines in
the history of commercial aviation.

Their rapid expansion is being accomplished by increasing their own fleet, partnerships,
interline code shares, and acquisitions of other air carriers.

Etihad is entering into many aviation markets, which includes international, domestic
and regional. I recently flew on a small regional Etihad aircraft round-trip
from Geneva to Valencia — this regional authority permitted due to their acquisition of Darwin Airways(Switzerland).

Abu Dhabi is the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abu Dhabi is aggressively marketing the Emirate as having the regions’ fastest growing air cargo industry. They have a significant multi-modal logistic platform connecting
air, sea, and land.

Abu Dhabi is trending towards enhancing its’ importance as a regional logistic
hub and creating support industries, including warehousing and distribution.

Abu Dhabi is building futuristic cities bustling with international commerce and tourism.
In a few short decades, oil rich Abu Dhabi has transformed from a poor
desert nation to one of the most affluent states on the planet with financial interests around the globe.

Abu Dhabi hosts many international business and sports events including the prestigious
Formula One Grand Prix.

Abu Dhabi is a prime example of what visionary leaders, that are concerned with nation building, can achieve in a short time span that is measured in decades not centuries.

Regards
George

Video, Abu Dhabi top 5 attractions posted to Youtube by – daintellekt

Video, Documentary on Abu Dhabi History posted to Youtube by – Tariq Riaz

Note: email recipients if you cannot view video in your browser then click www.openeyesopinion.com


TransCanada states its’ case for the XL Pipeline

U.S. Midterm elections are completed and TransCanada – Keystone XL Pipeline
is back in the spotlight.

Here we go again – All the lobbyist’s have turned on the afterburners, political posturing being exhibited in the media, opposition by climate/environmental advocates, and narratives/false narratives being formulated.

Most of the dialogue we hear in the media and canned news is political in nature.

Let’s take a break from the political bantering on Capitol Hill and
give TransCanada our undivided attention — a chance to publicly state their case.

Let the American citizens make their own determinations based on “valid”
arguments from both sides of the debate.

I received the below news release from TransCanada – it is worth a read.
(I formatted it for easy reading online)

Regards
George
TransCanada Highlights Reasons to Approve Keystone XL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 18, 2014 – TransCanada Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP)
(TransCanada) President and CEO Russ Girling today provided a comment in advance of the debate and vote on U.S. Senate bill 2280.

“I was very pleased to see another vote in the House of Representatives in favor of Keystone XL, a vote that demonstrates such broad bi-partisan support for the project. The majority of the U.S. Congress, in keeping with public opinion surveys, wants to see the Keystone gridlock come to an end so thousands of Americans can go to work building the final stage of one of the largest infrastructure projects on the books right now in the U.S.

This past week, two more polls were released that show two thirds of Americans continue to support the project and the jobs and energy security Keystone XL will provide. This builds on 25 previous polls since 2011 that found a similar level of support.

Last week, I was surprised to read some of the remarks that were made in relation to the value of the Keystone XL pipeline to the American people. That value is as strong today as when we first filed for a cross border permit in 2008.

The U.S. Department of State’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) concluded that Keystone XL would create 42,000 direct and indirect jobs and $3.4 billion in U.S. GDP. Also, 17 of the 29 counties that Keystone XL moves through will see their property taxes increase by more than 10 per cent.

We put 9,000 Americans to work building the first two phases of the pipeline back in 2009/2010. We hired another 5,000 to build the southern leg of the project two years ago, and we want to put 9,000 more Americans to work to finish what we started.

This project is truly in the national interest of America.

It is disappointing that since 2008, almost 10,000 miles of oil pipelines have been constructed in the United States – the equivalent of eight Keystone XL pipelines – and yet our project sits idle, all while the U.S. continues to import over seven million barrels of oil from unstable countries that do not share American values. It makes no sense to receive oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and not from a friendly neighbor in Canada.

Also last week, comments were made that Keystone XL is an export pipeline. This statement is factually incorrect. Keystone XL will carry oil from both Canada and the U.S. – a receipt point at Baker, Montana is an important part of the project that will allow Bakken oil to be delivered to U.S. refineries. In fact, American-produced oil is already making its way to Gulf Coast refineries through the southern leg of Keystone.

Valero, the largest refiner in the United States, said last week the company does not plan to export any of the crude it has contracted to transport through the Keystone XL pipeline. They said they intend to process that crude and turn it into products at its refineries on the Gulf Coast to be used by Americans – gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels and many other products.

After 2,200 days and five environmental reviews totaling 17,000 pages it is time to move this project forward as it has passed the environmental GHG test. All reviews concluded Keystone XL would have minimal impact on the environment. The scientific conclusions are clear – more delays will not change that.

The regulatory process itself has been hijacked by those who believe if they can delay or prevent the Keystone XL pipeline, oil production and refining will be controlled and global GHG emissions will be reduced.

This is a naïve, inaccurate and unrealistic conclusion. The Department of State’s FSEIS concluded denial of Keystone XL would not impact the amount of oil produced or refined in North America and they are right.

Since 2008, while the Keystone XL decision has been delayed, Canadian oil production has increased by one million barrels per day and U.S production has grown by 1.5 million barrels per day or two and half times the capacity of Keystone XL.

Unfortunately, the real consequences of delay are no jobs, increased rail transport, increased GHG emissions, greater public and environmental risk, and decreased U.S. energy security. This does not make rational sense.

Our opponents appear to be content for purely symbolic reasons to be killing American jobs, forcing more oil deliveries by rail, driving up GHGs and ensuring the U.S. continues to rely on oil from overseas.

Keystone XL is an $8 billion, privately funded project that improves American energy security, minimizes the environmental and safety impacts of moving that oil to U.S. refineries and continues to have the support of a strong majority of Americans. They understand the benefits of the project and I believe support the energy security and jobs Keystone XL will provide.

Let’s break the gridlock, approve Keystone XL and unlock its benefits for America.”
With more than 60 years’ experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and liquids pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities.

TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,500 kilometres (42,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins
in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent’s largest providers of gas storage and related services with more than 400 billion cubic feet of storage capacity.

A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in over 11,900 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States.
TransCanada is developing one of North America’s largest liquids delivery systems.

TransCanada’s common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. Visit TransCanada.com and our blog to learn more, or follow us on social media and 3BL

Media.
FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION
This publication contains certain information that is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties (such statements are usually accompanied by words such as “anticipate”, “expect”, “believe”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “estimate”, “intend” or other similar words). Forward-looking statements
in this document are intended to provide TransCanada security holders and potential investors with information regarding TransCanada and its subsidiaries, including management’s assessment of TransCanada’s and its subsidiaries’ future plans and financial outlook. All forward-looking statements reflect TransCanada’s beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements
were made and as such are not guarantees of future performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this news release, and not to use future-oriented information or financial outlooks for anything other than their intended purpose. TransCanada undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
information except as required by law. For additional information on the assumptions made, and the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from the anticipated results, refer to the Quarterly Report to Shareholders dated November 3, 2014 and 2013 Annual Report filed under TransCanada’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission at www.sec.gov.
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Media Enquiries:
Shawn Howard/ Mark Cooper
403.920.7859 or 800.608.7859
TransCanada Investor & Analyst Enquiries:
David Moneta/ Lee Evans
403.920.7911 or 800.361.6522