Day: July 8, 2020

Harvard, MIT sue to block ICE rule on international students

BOSTON (AP) — Colleges and universities pushed back Wednesday against the Trump administration’s decision to make international students leave the country if they plan on taking classes entirely online this fall, with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filing a lawsuit to try to block it, and others promising to work with students to keep them on campus.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified colleges Monday that international students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools operate entirely online this fall. New visas will not be issued to students at those schools, and others at universities offering a mix of online and in-person classes will be barred from taking all of their classes online.

The guidance says international students won’t be exempt even if an outbreak forces their schools online during the fall term.

In a statement, the U.S. State

Read More

Colleges sue ICE over international student rule. Others try to find loopholes

Two universities have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the agency said international students could be deported if they only take online classes.

International students must take in-person classes in order to stay in the country legally, ICE announced Monday, drawing swift criticism from some of the nation’s top universities, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Some colleges plan to keep students off campus this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they wouldn’t have the option to take in-person classes.

There are 1.1 million international college students in the U.S., according to New York University.

Students on visas must take in-person college classes or risk deportation, ICE says

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow and MIT President Rafael Reif filed a joint lawsuit Wednesday morning against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to reverse the new rule.

“ICE’s decision reflects

Read More

How Rachel Hislop relaunched Okayplayer

Rachel Hislop became editor-in-chief of Okayplayer in 2017
Rachel Hislop became editor-in-chief of Okayplayer in 2017

June was an unforgettable month for Rachel Hislop. Just not in the way she expected.

For the last two years, she’s been plotting the relaunch of the ground-breaking and influential hip-hop website Okayplayer.

Once one of America’s most popular online music destinations, its reputation had dipped in recent years; and Hislop, who’d made her name working with Beyoncé, was brought in to make it relevant again.

By the start of 2020, plans were in place. New writers had been hired, photoshoots were booked and interviews were scheduled,

Then Covid-19 hit and scattered her staff.

Then the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor irrevocably changed the site’s editorial goals.

Then her CEO, Abiola Oke, was forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment.

“It all just came tumbling down,” Hislop tells the BBC.

We spoke to

Read More

4 things I learned from renovating my bathroom during the middle of a pandemic

When stay-at-home orders were enforced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, my husband and I suddenly found ourselves at home 24/7 with two young children — and a totally demolished bathroom.

You see, at the end of February, we’d decided to redo our outdated, almost entirely pink 1960s bathroom. But what at first seemed like a daunting task paired with terrible timing ended up being a source of solace.

I had the opportunity to create a space for self-care at a time when that space became more important than ever. I took on the creative design process and my husband, who has professional construction training, gutted the bathroom and did the heavy lifting (well, most — Mama’s got some serious kid-carrying strength).

The project not only reinforced the importance of our family working as a team to build something together (even our 2- and 5-year-olds pitched in with a

Read More

How the U.S. seeks to protect children’s privacy online

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TikTok is under investigation for allegedly violating a settlement reached with U.S. authorities last year that resolved charges the popular app broke rules governing how children’s personal information is treated online.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, and the Justice Department, which often files court actions for the FTC, have opened a preliminary investigation into the matter involving the China-based video-sharing app.

Under rules dating to 1998 legislation, COPPA requires websites to get parental permission to collect data on children under the age of 13. Websites or online services are also expected to ban third parties from collecting the data.

COPPA also applies to mobile apps, gaming platforms and internet-connected toys, among others.

Under pressure from the FTC, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, agreed in early 2019 to pay a $5.7 million civil penalty for violating COPPA by

Read More

What if you were receiving the $600 every week and then it stopped? Your COVID-19 money questions, answered

It’s hard out there. And, in this time of uncertainty, USA TODAY is working to find answers to your money questions – anything from stimulus checks or unemployment benefits to your 401(k) or retirement plans. You can submit your questions here and read earlier answers below.

We will be updating the Q&A, so check back often. But, also look to these places:

… Will it continue or has it stopped for New Jersey? Do you need to contact anyone?

If you are still receiving unemployment benefits, the extra $600 should continue until July 25 in New Jersey. If the missed money doesn’t show up in your next payment, you should contact the state’s unemployment benefits office.

If you are back to work full time, you will no longer receive jobless benefits. If you are back to work part-time, you can receive partial unemployment insurance which should include the extra $600 … Read More

Civil rights leader says Mark Zuckerberg’s power must be reined in

The 100-page independent audit faulting Facebook for decisions that were “significant setbacks” for civil rights shows that Mark Zuckerberg’s vast power over the social media company must be reined in, activist Rashad Robinson told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. 

Robinson, president of online racial justice group Color of Change, urged lawmakers to demand accountability from Zuckerberg when he appears before Congress later this month as part of a sweeping investigation into the market power of some of the world’s largest and most powerful technology companies. 

“Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression,” wrote the auditors, Laura Murphy and Megan Cacace, who are civil rights experts and attorneys.

What civil rights groups want: For Facebook to stop hate speech and harassment of

Read More

Trump has zero understanding of what it will take to safely reopen U.S. schools

High school students and their teacher in Cascais, Portugal, wear masks on their first day back in school on May 18. <span class="copyright">(Horacio Villalobos / Corbis via Getty Images)</span>
High school students and their teacher in Cascais, Portugal, wear masks on their first day back in school on May 18. (Horacio Villalobos / Corbis via Getty Images)

President Trump wants to have it both ways: He is pressuring U.S. public schools to reopen, citing nations such as Germany, Denmark and France that have led the way, while insisting that our schools don’t need the kind of money that those countries have spent on safely reopening.

Trump seems to think he can ignore the serious surges of COVID-19 in many states and return the schools to nearly pre-pandemic normal just by wishing it. Do it fast, do it on the cheap — or else.

He’s also ignoring the nation’s own experts, but what’s new about that? Although the administration’s top infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, supports school reopening, he says the decisions need to be left to local officials who

Read More

Reddit moderators spent years asking for help fighting hate. The company may finally be listening

For years Jefferson Kelley watched hate bloom in his treasured online spaces.

When Kelley, a Reddit moderator, booted hateful users off threads where Black people discussed sensitive personal experiences, racial slurs piled up in his inbox. Crude remarks about women filled the comment sections under his favorite “Star Trek” GIFs. The proliferation of notorious forums, including one that perpetuated a vicious racist stereotype about Black fathers, stung Kelley, a Black father himself.

Kelley and other moderators repeatedly pleaded with the company to back them up and take stronger action against harassment and hate speech. But Reddit never quite came through.

Then, all of a sudden, that seemed to change. When Reddit announced last week it was shutting down a noxious pro-Trump group that had violated the site’s rules for years, Kelley could scarcely believe it.

Reddit’s move to overhaul content policy and ban some 2,000 subreddits, or forums, is one

Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic Shifts Back-to-School Spending

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping parents from hitting the back-to-school sales, but it may be changing what’s on their shopping lists.

Back-to-school spending for children in grades K-12 is expected to hit $28.1 billion — or $529 per student — which is relatively flat from last year, when $27.8 billion was spent, according to the 2020 Back-to-School survey by international accounting and professional services firm Deloitte, released July 8.

However, the uncertainty over whether students will be learning in-person or virtually is driving many parents to spend more on technology upgrades.

Improving the learning experience with technology

As the school season nears, parents have a lot on their mind. Two-thirds of the parents surveyed said they were anxious about sending their children back to school this fall because of the pandemic.

In addition, a majority of parents were not satisfied with their children’s learning experience during the last school year.

Read More