Expedited H-1B Visas Temporarily Suspended Effective April 3rd
Effective April 3rd, expedited processing of H-1B visas will be temporarily suspended, eliminating shorter wait times for highly skilled foreign workers. Standard applications for H1-B visas ranges between three to six months. Premium processing costs $1,225 and ensures a response in 15 days from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This expedited processing is what will be eliminated. This change has been announced alongside a new drafted version of the executive order that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. Applicants can still request expedited consideration for humanitarian reasons, an emergency situation or the prospect of severe financial loss to a company or said individual. The United States caps H-1B visas at 65,000 a year, plus an additional 20,000 applicants for those who have earned advance college degrees in the United States.
Apple Makes Supplier Policy Change After Child Labor Video Goes Viral
Apple has stopped buying cobalt mined by hand following a heart-wrenching investigation by Sky News, which revealed child laborers in the Congo mining the mineral for iPhones. The Sky News team visited mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and discovered Dorsen, an 8-year-old with no shoes who worked 12 hour days and had no money to eat. Another child, 11-year-old Richard, complained of his body aching in the video from the investigation. All of the workers, including both children and adults, suffer harsh working conditions. The mine tunnels are dug by hand by miners with no protective equipment. Apple said the new policy would be in effect until they could confirm the suppliers give workers appropriate protections and ban child labor. Congo supplies 60% of the world’s cobalt.
Employee Error Leads to 4 Hour AWS Outage, Crashes Internet
Amazon blames human error for a 4-hour AWS outage that took down a significant portion of the internet. According to Amazon, an engineer was tasked with taking down a small number of servers on an S3 sub-system and took more servers offline than expected. The employee was debugging an issue with the billing system and created a domino effect that caused the systems to require a full restart. While the subsystems were restarted, S3 was not able to service requests. AWS leases out computing power and data storage to companies and is set to hit $14 billion annually.
Stock Market Rallies as Snap Jumps 44% on First Day at $24.48 Per Share
Snap Inc. shares closed at $24.48 in their first day of trading, jumping 44% over the share price of $17 set on Wednesday. The first-day gain is either evidence of strong investor demand for Snap or that the shares were priced too low. Snap sold 145 million new shares, giving the company $2.47 billion in cash for investment banks and to make future acquisitions. Second day trading closed at $27.09 reflecting a 10.7% jump. Although the beginning places Snapchat as Los Angeles’ most successful IPO, some analysts predict the stock will plunge.