International news brief: Biden keeps US target for refugee admissions at 125,000 and more
Washington, Sep 28: President Joe Biden on Wednesday kept the nation's cap on refugee admissions at 125,000 for the 2023 budget year, despite pressure from advocates to raise it even higher to meet the need after falling far short of that target this year.
Refugees advocates have been pushing the Biden administration to do more to restore the US Refugee Admissions Program. The programme suffered deep cuts under the Trump administration, which slashed admissions to a record low.
Biden raised the cap to four times that amount this year, but so far fewer than 20,000 refugees have been admitted this budget year, according to the latest count in August. The budget year ends September 30.
Hawaii fines US Navy for unauthorized sewage release
The Hawaii Department of Health said Tuesday it has fined the US Navy USD 8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The department said in a news release that it recorded 766 counts of the Navy discharging pollutants in excess of limits established by a permit.
The pollutants were released between January 2020 and July 2022 from the Hawaii Wastewater Treatment Pant operated by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the department said.
Cuba without electricity after hurricane hammers power grid
Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country's most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island's western tip as a major hurricane Tuesday.
Cuba's Electric Union said in a statement that work was underway to gradually restore service to the country's 11 million people during the night. Power was initially knocked out to about 1 million people in Cuba's western provinces, but later the entire grid collapsed.
Ian hit a Cuba that has been struggling with an economic crisis and has faced frequent power outages in recent months. It made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the island's western end, devastating Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used for Cuba's iconic cigars is grown.
Bullish sentiment on India on clear display: EAM Jaishankar after meeting US biz community
The bullish sentiment on India was on clear display, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Tuesday after holding a meeting with business executives here.
US India Business Council (USIBC) president Atul Keshap thanked Jaishankar for sharing ''such keen insights'' with its members. ''We all found it very useful and instructive,'' he said.
''The bullish sentiment on India was on clear display. Shared the conviction that stronger business links will further galvanize our relationship,'' Jaishankar said in a tweet after his meeting with the business executives and USIBC members.
Over 194,000 Russians flee call-up to neighbouring countries
It took Vsevolod four days to drive from Moscow to Russia's southern border with Georgia. He had to abandon his car at one point and continue on foot.
On Tuesday, he finally finished his 1,800-kilometer (1,100-mile) journey and crossed the frontier to escape being called up to fight in Russia's war in Ukraine.
"At 26, I do not want to be carried home in a zinc-lined (coffin) or stain (my) hands with somebody's blood because of the war of one person that wants to build an empire," he told The Associated Press, asking that his last name not be used because he feared retaliation from Russia.