August 2009

ComputerWorld.com digs into the details of the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009, proposed by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and currently sitting in limbo in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The principal point to recognize about the legislation, ComputerWorld says, is that it is actually rather limited in scope, despite murmuring to the contrary:

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The New York Times reported on the difficult work still to be done in the United States’ attempt to build stronger relations with Pakistan. As a vivid example, the Times cited Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale’s interview with Pakistani journalist Ansar Abbasi in Islamabad earlier this week, during which Abbasi was very direct in expressing his feelings about the United States.

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International admissions to U.S. graduate schools have declined for the first time since 2004, according to an article from InsideHigherEd.com and a report released this week by the Council of Graduates School. “Admissions from prospective international students declined by 3 percent from 2008 to 2009, and applications from India and South Korea fell by 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively.”

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President Obama delivered a message to Muslims around the world on Friday to mark the start of Ramadan. He emphasized “ America’s commitment to engage Muslims and Muslim-majority nations on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect,” including an expansion of educational exchange programs:

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The next U.S. national education plan must include “clear and practical strategies and incentives for K–12 educators and youth to build collaborative partnerships with their peers worldwide,” writes Ed Gragert in the August issue of ASCD’s Education Update. “The positive impact of online and physical international interaction” must be integrated into U.S. classrooms, says Gragert:

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The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, wrote a “harsh critique” of the U.S. government’s efforts to engage the Muslim world, the New York Times reported last week. The main thrust of Mullen’s argument, according to the Times, is that the United States must “worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate”:

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