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Social media details now required for US visa – Dominica News Online

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Dominicans and nearly everyone applying for United States Visas should take note that from the month of July, the content of their social media page could now affect their application for legal access into the U.S.

That’s because the State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.

So this means even if someone deletes their account, the information is still relevant.

The US department is not only looking for terrorists but would use the facebook, instagram, twitter and other social media forums to scrutinize a person’s character.

According to media reports, it’s a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

In a move that’s just taken effect after approval of the revised application forms, the department says it has updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information, including “social media identifiers,” from almost all U.S. applicants.

The change, which was proposed in March 2018, is expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the United States each year.

“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the department said. “We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”

Social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought in the past from applicants who were identified for extra scrutiny, such as people who had traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 applicants per year had fallen into that category.

The department says collecting the additional information from more applicants “will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”

The new rules apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas. When it filed its initial notice to make the change, the department estimated it would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education.

The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.

In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants are now asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types are exempted from the requirements.





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Dominica

Tsunami Warning put in effect for Jamaica following 7.7 Earthquake

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A massive earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.7 has impacted the waters between Jamaica and Cuba.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake, measuring 7.7, occurred around 2:10 p.m. local time at 125km north, northwest of Lucea, Hanover.

The quake was felt in several parishes, including Kingston, St Andrew, St Ann, St Catherine and Manchester.

It was reportedly felt in several other countries, including The Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Haiti and Honduras.

According to reports from Jamaica, schools and work places have been evacuated and a tsunami warning was issued.

The earthquake was felt island-wide.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) said on its Twitter page, that tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to one metre or three feet above the tide level were possible for Kingston.

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Dominica

Queen contestant Savahnn James to push for sustainable living through renewable energy

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Carnival Queen contestant Savahnn James of Roseau says she will use her platform “Sustainable Living Through Renewable Energy” to push for Dominica to become self-sufficient where energy is concerned.

James was officially launched over the weekend.

She said she selected her platform because of her passion for taking care of the environment.

“I believe that we are stewards of the Earth and it is our responsibility to preserve it. We see the effects of climate change here in Dominica and we have the resources to combat these changes and safeguard ourselves,” she explained.

James said using renewable energy is one-way Dominica can become self-sufficient and contribute to the preservation of the environment.

The beauty queen also intends to further her studies by perusing a degree in Environmental Engineering.

“This isn’t just a platform for me but a lifestyle. I plan to further my studies in environmental engineering and I will continue to push my platform after the show,” she said.

James also hopes to start a conversation on the implementation on renewable energy in Dominica.

Meantime Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South constituency Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite called on businesses to support the Queen show and to provide sponsorship to contestants.

Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite and Savahnn James

Hypolite was filling in for Melissa Poppone Skerrit-the MP for Roseau Central.

“I am asking business places to support the national queen show, there are young ladies who do not have any sponsorship,” she said.

She said carnival is a tourism product and it must be looked at it in a wholistic manner.

“The greatest beneficiaries in my mind is the business community so I am asking on behalf of DDA and DFC if there are any private businesses, there are queen contestants who are looking for support…” she said.

Hypolite further explained that a show of this magnitude needs financial backing and support.

She also called on businesses in the Roseau South constituency to come on board and support the Queen show.





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Dominican martial artist wins award for world-renowned karate teacher of the year

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Robin receives the award

Dominican martial artist, Shihan Shannah Robin has received the award for the World-Renowned Karate Teacher of the Year.

On the 24th, 25th and the 26th of January this year, Robin was nominated as World Renowned Karate Teacher of the Year.

He received the award at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey over the weekend.

Robin told Dominica News Online (DNO) that this was a historic moment.

“… a dream come true, a dream of never giving up on your passion no matter what,” he said.

According to Robin he had the opportunity to be among “the best of the best, legends upon legends” including American actor, Director and Martial Artist Michael Jai White.

Robin and Michael Jai White

He also had the opportunity of being inducted into one of the best action martial arts Hall of Fame in the world.

“This is big for me, a rare opportunity. I was very privileged to be in his presence and to rub shoulders with him is more than words can talk about,” he said.

He said it was also an honour to represent Dominica.  “It is an honour to represent my people and I just want to say thank you, bigger and better things are coming,” he indicated.

Meantime, Robin said his plan in the near future is to bring White to Dominica to visit different schools to conduct motivational talks.

“So right now, we are just networking and making sure everything gets on the right track,” Robin stated.

Robin said while he waits for the opportunity, “I am planning to get appropriate sponsors, trying to bring the government onboard, the Ministry of Tourism and to see how we can work together”, he said.





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