Dan Cohen AUTHOR Legislation introduced in the Massachusetts House would eliminate any gaps in federal G.I. benefits allowing veterans to attend public colleges in the state for free.The bill, sponsored by Rep. James Arciero, is supported by dozens of lawmakers, but there are still questions about how much the proposal would cost the state. The bill would provide full coverage of all tuition and fees for any veteran who has served 90 days of active duty, reported the Lowell Sun.“I am proud that Massachusetts leads the nation in providing for veterans and their families and offers the most generous veterans’ benefits of any of the 50 states,” Arciero said in a statement. “We need to continue to strengthen our ability to care for our veterans and ensure all veterans in Massachusetts receive free public higher education.”The G.I. bill covers tuition and fees for Massachusetts veterans at colleges and universities, but time restrictions on when the benefits must be used and a sliding scale for the cost of education depending on how many years the veteran served leave gaps in coverage, according to Arciero.“While the G.I. bills lift the financial burden of the cost of higher education from most veterans, my legislation will ensure that no veteran will ever slip through the cracks,” Arciero said.A spokesman for the state Executive Office for Administration and Finance said it is too early to determine if it would be feasible to fund the bill in the state’s budget, according to the story.Last month Arciero testified before the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs to support a favorable recommendation from the panel, which would move the bill to the Ways & Means Committee.
The badge of a Ford carReutersAmerican multinational automaker Ford is likely to cut about 10 percent of its salaried workforce worldwide. The decision comes at a time when the brand aims to boost its profits and stock price.While the company is yet to make any announcement on the rumoured job cut, Ford did say it intended to concentrate on cost optimisation and higher efficiency.”We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities,” Reuters quoted the Dearborn company as saying.”Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work. We have not announced any new people efficiency actions, nor do we comment on speculation.”The move comes at a time when there have been doubts surrounding CEO Mark Fields and his strategy. While the company has made profits in the past and remains a key player in the automobile industry, Ford stock has seen a decline of 17 percent since January to $10.94 per share.Experts also believe Ford is considering job cuts to offset declining sales figures.”Belt tightening comes as no surprise with sales softening and profits squeezed,” Detroit Free Press quoted Michelle Krebs as saying. “Ford has been under particular pressure to take action to boost its stock price. The board meeting last week likely added pressure to get specific about cost cuts.” ReutersFord held the annual meeting last week and stakeholders are said to have expressed their displeasure over the falling stock of the company during the meet. Ford executive chairman Bill Ford told Detroit Free Press: “Look, we’re as frustrated as you are by the stock price. And a couple of people have said, ‘Well, does the Ford family care about the stock price?’ The short answer is yes, a lot. Much of our — most of our net worth is tied up in the company. And the stock price matters a lot to us.”Ford, along with other auto giants, has been criticised by US President Donald Trump for using Mexican plants to produce cars for the US. Post the criticism, Ford had decided to create about 700 jobs in Michigan, instead of building a $1.6 billion car factory in Mexico.It looks like the IT companies are not the only ones cutting jobs. Last week, IT giants such as Infosys, Wipro, Capgemini, Cognizant and TCS among others made news for laying off employees. While the companies said the sackings were part of the ongoing appraisal process, many firms have been accused of sacking employees in India and hiring workers in the US to appease the Donald Trump administration.
A youth dressed as the Hindu god Krishna takes part in a procession during celebrations for the Janmashtami festival in Dhaka on 14 August, 2017. Photo: AFPThe Hindu community of the country observed Janmashtami, marking the birth of lord Krishna, on Monday with due religious fervour, says UNB.According to Hindu religion, lord Vishnu incarnated in the universe as lord Krishna in the prison of Raja Kangsa on this day, the eighth of “Shukla Pakkha” (bright fortnight) in the month of Bangla calendar Bhadra in Dwapara Yuga to protect “Dharma” from the hands of devils.Sri Krishna was born to Devaki and her husband Vasudeva in Mathura to which Krishna’s parents belonged.Hindu community members brought out processions in the capital, divisional cities and district towns displaying the eventful life of Krishna and held other programmes on the occasion.Different socio-cultural and religious organisations also observed Janmashtami with various programmes.President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception at Bangabhaban marking the day.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Special Response Team (SRT) officers are seen through concertina wire at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after the land border crossing was temporarily closed to traffic in Tijuana, Mexico 19 November. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump is likely to give US troops authority to protect immigration agents stationed along the US border with Mexico if they come under threat from migrants seeking to cross into the United States, a US official said on Monday.Ahead of US congressional elections earlier this month, Trump denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an “invasion” that threatened American national security, and he sent thousands of US troops to the border to help secure it.Currently, the troops do not have authority to protect US Customs and Border Patrol personnel. The new authority could be announced on Tuesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.US officials briefly closed the busiest border crossing from Mexico early on Monday to add concrete barricades and razor wire amid concerns some of the thousands of Central American migrants at the border could try to rush the crossing.Northbound lanes at the San Ysidro crossing from Tijuana to San Diego, California, were temporarily closed “to position additional port hardening materials,” a US CBP spokesperson said.A Department of Homeland Security official, who requested anonymity, told reporters on a conference call that US officials had heard reports some migrants were intending to run through border crossings into California.The closing was rare for the station, which is one of the busiest border crossings in the world with tens of thousands Mexicans heading every day into the United States to work or study.”Today was a lost day of work. I already called my boss to tell her that everything was closed and I did not know what time I would be able to get in,” said Maria Gomez, a Mexican woman who crosses the border every day for work. “I cannot believe this is happening.”Trump had remained mostly silent about the caravan since the Nov. 6 vote, but on Monday he posted a photo on Twitter showing a fence that runs from the beach in Tijuana into the ocean now covered with razor wire.Critics charged that his talk of a migrant “invasion” was an effort to rouse his political base ahead of the elections.Officials have stressed that the 5,900 active-duty US troops on the border are not there in a law enforcement capacity and that there are no plans for them to interact with migrants.Instead, their mission is to lend support to the CBP, and they have been stringing up concertina wire and erecting temporary housing.The commander of the mission told Reuters last week that the number of troops may have peaked, and he would soon look at whether to begin sending forces home or shifting some to new border positions.About 6,000 Central Americans have reached the border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, according to local officials. More bands of migrants are making their way toward Tijuana, with around 10,000 expected.Hundreds of local residents on Sunday massed at a monument in a wealthy neighborhood of Tijuana to protest the arrival of the migrants, with some carrying signs that said “Mexico first” and “No more migrants.”Last month, thousands of Central American migrants began a long journey from Honduras through Mexico toward the United States to seek asylum.Other bands of mostly Salvadorans followed, with a small group setting off on Sunday from San Salvador