Policy Monitor Weekly Digest

► A continuing resolution (CR) will keep the federal government funded at current levels through December 11, maintaining funding for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs at the current FY15 level of $589.9 million. The CR was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on Wednesday, September 30. 

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► Chinese President Xi engaged in people-to-people diplomacy during his U.S. trip, visiting a local high school in Tacoma, WA earlier this week.

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► The Russian government has decided to close the U.S. Embassy’s American Center at M. Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow, ending more than two decades of U.S.-Russia cooperation, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

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► In a series of tweets last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump advocated for increased opportunities for international students to stay in the U.S. after graduating from American colleges and universities.

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► A federal court found the 17-month extension to the F-1 optional practical training (OPT) program invalid, ruling that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not follow required procedures, Inside Higher Ed reports.

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► A warming in U.S.-Iran diplomatic relations, along with a potential nuclear agreement, may create new opportunities for academic exchanges, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education and the PIE News.

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► Meeting with 500 Mandela Washington Fellows earlier this week, President Obama praised the “incredible talent” of the fellows and the diplomacy value of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

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► Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA) spoke in support of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program on the House floor on Tuesday.

► Local News Stories of the week:

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► A recent White House report reaffirmed the value of the Exchange Visitor Program as a “rich cultural experience” for participants.

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► The Greek debt crisis is causing problems for Greek Erasmus scholars; however, the crisis has had little effect on Americans studying abroad in the country, Greek and American news sources report.

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