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FBI Investigating $300 Million Whitefish Deal

first_imgFBI Investigating $300 Million Whitefish Deal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Agents from the FBI’s San Juan field office are looking into circumstances surrounding the deal that the public power monopoly known as Prepa signed with Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, according to the people familiar with the matter.Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló canceled the contract Sunday, saying it had become a distraction from the U.S. territory’s efforts to restore the devastated grid. Only 30% of the island’s power customers have had electricity restored.The Federal Emergency Management Agency, multiple congressional committees and local auditors also have raised concerns and begun requesting documents about the deal.Whitefish, a startup firm based in the remote hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, had roughly 350 subcontracted workers and 2,500 tons of heavy equipment on the ground for restoring electrical lines destroyed in the Category-4 hurricane. But the firm’s small size and limited track record, as well as the terms of the contract, ignited concerns around Puerto Rico’s management of the flow of federal disaster-relief dollars to the island.More ($): FBI Is Probing Puerto Rico Power Contractlast_img read more

Govt Asks Kuwait to Recognize Indian Engineers’ Qualifications

first_imgThe Indian government has written to Kuwait, saying that most Indian engineers have valid qualifications that should be recognized in the country. The move comes following the Kuwaiti government’s decision to make it mandatory for expatriate engineers to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE).The Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development has now said that many engineers from the country would have received their degrees from institutes that would probably not be listed by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). “Since NBA has started functioning only from 2012, it is possible that some engineers are currently working in Kuwait who acquired degrees prior to setting up of NBA. It is requested that the qualification of such engineers may not be questioned at this later stage,” the letter said, the Hindustan Times reported.The government also highlighted that some premier institutions of excellence in the field of engineering have been created by India, in which candidates are admitted only after going through a highly competitive entrance examination.“These institutes have their own system of accreditation through External Peer Group reviews. Government of India considers that the students graduating from these institutions have qualified duly accredited courses,” R Subrahmanyam, higher education secretary in the HRD ministry, stated in the letter, as per the report.Thousands of Indian engineers in Kuwait have been panicking, including many who are graduates of premier Indian engineering institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and National Institute of Technology (NIT), the report added.Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower enforced in March this year a newly introduced regulation, according to which expatriate engineers would be unable to renew their work visas until they get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the KSE. In order to acquire the NOC, the applicant must be a graduate from a university that is on the list of accredited universities, and in courses included on the KSE master list.The move by the Kuwait government is believed to have affected over 15,000 Indian engineers.Most engineers are in the age group of 30-45 years and graduated long before NBA got into the act, Jyothidas Narayan, a member of the Kuwait Engineers Forum, which represents 1,400 engineers in the construction and oil & gas industry had earlier said. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee of External Affairs, had then told the Indian embassy in Kuwait to have a dialogue with authorities in the country.In March, the Kuwait Engineers Forum (KEF) had posted the problems faced by them on the social media, saying that they are going through a tough phase.“At present our job, our family, our life itself is being disturbed by the circular dated 11 March, 2018 issued by Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) advising the concerned authorities that all expatriate engineers should obtain NOC from Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE) for renewal of residency,” the KEF said on Facebook, adding that the most important possession of the engineers — their educational qualification — is “being challenged and the whole Indian educational system is being questioned.” Related ItemsEmploymentKuwaitlast_img read more

Thousands of Visa Applications of Doctors Rejected in UK, Figures Reveal

first_imgOver 2,300 visa applications of doctors from foreign countries looking to work in the United Kingdom were rejected from December 2017 to April 2018, figures obtained by a UK law firm through a freedom of information (FOI) request revealed, the Guardian reported.Out of the 3,597 requests from doctors for tier 2 visas between Nov. 6, 2017 and Apr. 5, 2018, only 34 per cent were successful. As many as 2,360 visa applications by overseas doctors who are from outside the European Economic Area were denied in the period covered by the FOI request made by the law firm Eversheds Sutherland.These findings come after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said recently that the United Kingdom will review the country’s visa system for highly skilled immigrants. Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of National Health Service Employers, had then welcomed the move of the review of tier 2 visa system, urging for a speedy, effective solution which he said is required to clear the backlog.The figures showed that the chances of success for junior doctors were even worse. While 90 of 97 applications by consultants were successful, only 733 out of 2,341 (31 percent) among registrars were granted a visa. In total, there were 18,517 applications made during the five months, out of which 8,330 were successful, the Guardian reported.The number of applications from December 2017 to April 2018 for doctors who would earn annual salaries below £50,000 was 3,004 and the number of applications approved was 890, the figures showed.“These figures demonstrate that the tier 2 visa cap is resulting in thousands of highly trained, experienced doctors being blocked from taking up empty posts in the health service that the NHS is unable to fill,” a British Medical Association spokesman was quoted as saying by the publication. The spokesperson added that the National Health Service (NHS) is under unmanageable pressure from increasing demand, stagnating budgets and huge staff shortages.Data obtained by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) released on May 16 revealed that the UK government refused 6,080 applications for skilled overseas workers holding a job offer because of an arbitrary cap on visas since December 2017. This included Indian professionals such as engineers, tech professionals, doctors and teachers.As many as 1,226 IT or tech professionals were refused visas in this period, with 429 refusals in March this year. The corresponding figure for medical professionals was 1,518, with 487 refusals taking place in March this year.Reports had emerged earlier that 100 Indian doctors who had been recruited for 30 NHS trusts in the north west of England were not granted a visa to enter the United Kingdom. Related ItemsNHSUnited Kingdomlast_img read more