Sports tourism key to JLP manifesto

first_imgSports tourism, the building of new facilities and renovation of existing ones will be high on the agenda of the new administration. With the strong belief that Jamaica is perfectly placed, especially with its proximity to the North American market, increased efforts are expected to be made to woo athletes to the island, especially during the winter months. In its election manifesto, the Jamaica Labour Party promised to “intensity efforts to establish an extensive sports tourism programme that will, among other things, provide discounted prices to athletes that wish to use our facilities (especially during their winter season)”. To meet current and future demand the new government said, in its manifesto, that local sports training facilities “should be equipped to meet international standards and include gymnasium, swimming pool, indoor halls, cycling velodrome, squash courts, hockey fields (grass and synthetic, athletic tracks – cinder and synthetic) and outdoor courts such as in tennis.” With the National Stadium cycle track not meeting international standards, the country could be presented with plans to build a cycling velodrome to facilitate not only local riders, but top cyclists from the United States and Canada. “Jamaica has more than 1,600 sporting facilities … These facilities need to be rehabilitated. Other facilities should be built,” the manifesto said. There are also plans to increase the numbers and to improve the efficiency of local sports professionals to make them more marketable worldwide. “We will enhance greater partnership between the government and our local sporting bodies to enhance training and certification of our local coaches … not only to meet local, but also international standards that would deem them qualified/certified to ply their trade across the globe,” the new government’s manifesto said. The upgrade of sports professionals will not be limited to coaches – the expanded training will also cover sports physicians, physiotherapists, sports medicine physicians, sports nutritionists and sports administrators. The new government is also planning to promote more research in sports sciences. “The days of relying solely on raw-born talent is a thing of the past,” its manifesto said. With the many advances in approaches, the manifesto said, strategies will be developed to improve the overall health of the country’s citizens and this will be done in consultation with the ministry of health.last_img read more

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I will fight to keep Lloris and key Spurs men, vows Pochettino

first_imgMauricio Pochettino says he will fight to keep Tottenham’s best players at White Hart Lane beyond the summer.The North London club have become well known for selling their star assets in recent years with the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Dimitar Berbatov all making big-money moves.In recent weeks, Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris has been linked with a switch to Manchester United, while Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen are all likely to attract interest from top clubs in Europe, which is a real concern for Spurs fans.However, the Argentine head coach is adamant he will do everything to ensure the best players remain at the club and give them every chance of securing a top-four finish next season.Pochettino said: “Personally, if I want a player to stay with us, I will fight for them to remain at the club.“In football it is difficult. If you sign a contract, there is still no guarantee.“The key is to take the right decision, it is not just about money but about the right profile, the right position to build the right squad. This is our job now.” 1 Mauricio Pochettino last_img read more

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Science gets a nod in Obama’s immigration plans

first_imgPresident Barack Obama’s big speech last night on immigration policy included several nuggets of interest to the research community—including moves that will make it easier for foreign students studying at U.S. universities to gain a temporary work permit, and for Chinese and Indian researchers who already have U.S. work permits to change jobs and apply for permanent residency.But to the disappointment of the high-tech industry, Obama stopped short of using his executive power to address what they say is a chronic shortage of permits for highly-skilled foreign workers. That step, White House officials say, would require Congress to pass legislation that has been bottled up in the U.S. House of Representatives.In the meantime, Obama followed through on a threat to take unilateral administrative steps because Congress hasn’t acted. The big news was a series of policy changes to enable some 4 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, at least for the remaining 2 years of the administration. But Obama also announced policies, to be finalized over the next 4 months, which he said will “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us?” he added. “Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in America?”The United States wants them to stay here, Obama emphasized in announcing his plans.One change would expand an existing program that enables foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities to work full time while on a student visa (such visas typically bar employment). Some 120,000 students, including at least 25,000 in STEM fields, participated in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program in 2013, according to government statistics. OPT currently allows students to work full time for up to 29 months, with approval from their institution.Now, immigration officials will develop new rules “to expand the degree programs eligible for OPT and extend the time period and use of OPT for foreign STEM students and graduates,” according to a 20 November memo from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson. But in a nod to controversy surrounding the OPT program, including criticism that universities weren’t adequately monitoring adherence to the rules, and that it takes jobs away from native-born workers, Johnson also ordered officials to “improve” oversight rules and “safeguard the interests of U.S. workers in related fields.”Johnson’s memo also sets out plans to make it easier for multinational companies to move workers from foreign facilities to U.S. operations, and simpler for immigrants who already have U.S. work permits to shift to “same or similar” jobs. “This guidance should make clear that a worker can, for example, accept a promotion to a supervisory position or otherwise transition to related jobs within his or her field of endeavor,” Johnson wrote. The Obama administration also wants to make it easier for spouses of workers holding certain types of H-1B visas—which are common in the high-tech industry—to gain the ability to work.Researchers from India and China, who face an especially long wait for visas as a result of current rules, could see particular benefits from the new policies, says immigration attorney Mark Harrington of the Harrington Law Firm in Houston, Texas. One visa issuance change, for example, should make it easier for workers to file a form—called an I-485—that is needed to transition from a temporary work permit to a permanent residency permit, or green card. Now, he says, Indian and Chinese workers may have to wait years to file that paperwork because of backlogs in the system. Under new rules, they’ll be able to file the I-485 immediately after approval of their National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition, even though, because of the backlog, they may not get the visa for years. And filing an I-485 has major benefits, he adds: You can get a work authorization, so you’re no longer bound to a particular employer. Your spouse can get one, too. And traveling gets easier, since you no longer have to renew your visa at the embassy. Less concrete but also promising for foreign researchers is a move to make it easier for “certain non-citizens with advanced degrees or exceptional ability” to receive NIWs. The waiver allows holders “to seek green cards without employer sponsorship if their admission is in the national interest,” according to Johnson’s memo. “This waiver is underutilized and there is limited guidance with respect to its invocation,” Johnson wrote. He asked the agency to clarify the rules “with the aim of promoting its greater use for the benefit of the U.S economy.”  The administration also would offer “parole status” to immigrants who haven’t yet qualified for a national interest waiver, allowing “inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises … who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation” to temporarily start work in the United States. To qualify, applicants would have to meet certain “income and resource thresholds,” which have not yet been set.Harrington says that under the Obama administration, immigration cases involving efforts to obtain NIWs have been “brutal”; they should get easier under these new guidelines.Such moves are drawing positive, albeit muted, reviews from high-tech industries that recruit high-skilled foreign workers. They had hoped Obama would do more. Some labor unions, scholars and professional groups, meanwhile, remain worried that that opening any gates to more foreign high-skilled workers will depress wages and reduce job possibilities for native-born scientists and engineers.*Clarification, 25 November, 11:45 a.m.: The paragraph dealing with I-485 requests has been revised to clarify their relationship to the National Interest Waiver process.last_img read more

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