Mexico’s president on Wednesday hailed a U.S. decision to open their shared border in November after more than 18 months of pandemic restrictions, though millions of Mexicans inoculated with Chinese and Russian vaccines face being shut out.
The world’s busiest land border, where nearly a million people crossed each day before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.
” The opening of northern border has been achieved, we are going to have normality,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told his daily morning news conference.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard added the United States would determine the exact date, but that it would be in early November.
With the United States planning to permit entry only to visitors inoculated with vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO), Lopez Obrador urged WHO to approve all other COVID-19 vaccines in public use.
“The WHO must act correctly, without political or ideological tendencies, sticking to the science,” Lopez Obrador said, in reference to slower certification for Russian and some Chinese vaccines.
The closure of the 1,954-mile (3,144-km) border dealt a blow to businesses on both side of the frontier. In Texas border counties alone, the loss of Mexican shoppers and visitors caused around $4.9 billion in lost GDP in 2020, a report by the Baker Institute calculated.
More than 950,000 people entered the United States from Mexico on foot or in cars on a typical day, according to 2019 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency data.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier said U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico would reopen in November for fully vaccinated travelers. U.S. officials last week said international visitors will need to be inoculated with U.S. or WHO-authorized vaccines.
This poses a problem for Mexico, which has inoculated millions of people with Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Cansino – neither of which is WHO-approved.
Mexico has signed agreements for Sputnik to inoculate another 12 million people, and Cansino, another 35 million people, according to the foreign ministry.
Sergio Flores, who lives in the northern border state of Baja California and often crosses into the United States with his family, said he first got the Cansino jab because it was the only option.
Then he saw rumours on social media that he would not be able to cross the border with the Chinese formula, and went to the United States to look for an alternative.
“I went to get the other one, Pfizer, it was the first thing that came to mind,” he said.
Foreign minister Ebrard said the border reopening will coincide with a push to reactivate economic activities in the frontier region, where Mexico has strived to bring vaccination rates in line with the United States.
He said high-level bilateral economic meetings in November will focus on the border area, and other meetings in the coming days will work out details of the reopening.
Mexico had been strongly pushing Washington for the reopening, including laying out proposals during a visit by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Ebrard added.
The United States “accepted many proposals that we made along the way to achieve this”, Ebrard said, without giving details.
(Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; writing by Drazen Jorgic; editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Bernadette Baum)
Basketball trailblazer denied Canadian permanent residency, must return to U.S. – CBC.ca
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, the trailblazing basketball player who set up an academy for girls and coached multiple sports at an Islamic school in London, Ont., has been denied permanent residency in Canada and will have to go back to the United States.
“We’ve been here for two years, my son is Canadian, and we would love to be part of this country, but we finally got the message from immigration that we were denied permanent residency. It’s very unexpected,” said Abdul Qaadir from her London home. “I’m at a loss for words. I’ve single-handedly brought sports to an underserviced community. It’s heartbreaking.”
Abdul-Qaadir and her husband, A.W. Massey, moved to London from Tennessee three years ago.
She said she hasn’t been able to work in Canada since August, when her work permit expired and wasn’t renewed by a Canadian border official.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do. We aren’t sure. We’re angry and we’re tired. We put our heart and soul into this application. We felt like we checked all the boxes.”
Abdul-Qaadir led a four-year battle against the International Basketball Federation, which banned religious head coverings on the court. She won, but sacrificed her basketball career to do so.
She had been the leading high school point scorer for both boys and girls in Massachusetts, and went on to play for the University of Memphis in Tennessee, where she was the first woman to play in a hijab in NCAA Division 1.
Alongside her motivational speaking gigs, she teaches at the London Islamic School and has opened a basketball academy in London, but all that is now up in the air.
After waiting an entire year, my Canadian permanent residency application was refused because the <a href=”https://twitter.com/CitImmCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CitImmCanada</a>’s officer felt that my job duties as Athletic Director at the Mosque/Private School in London ON, wasn’t adequate work.
On Thursday, Abdul-Qaadir got a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that said she doesn’t “meet the requirements for immigration to Canada.”
She applied for permanent residency as an athletic director at the London Muslim Mosque, but her duties — including developing, managing and supervising the school’s physical education and athletic programs, as well as being the head coach for the basketball, volleyball and cross-country teams — are “inconsistent with the actions” of an athletic director.
“I am not satisfied that your stated duties is sufficient to indicate that your role involves plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations of comprehensive fitness programs at this organization. I am also not satisfied that you performed a substantial number of the main duties for this [job classification],” IRCC wrote in her letter.
Abdul-Qaadir said she doesn’t know if she and her husband will fight the refusal.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
Mastercard expands cryptocurrency services with wallets, loyalty rewards
Mastercard Inc said on Monday it would allow partners on its network to enable their consumers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency using a digital wallet, as well as reward them with digital currencies under loyalty programs.
The credit card giant said it would offer these services in partnership with Bakkt Holdings Inc, the digital assets platform founded by NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange.
Founded in 2018, Bakkt went public earlier this year through a $2.1 billion merger with a blank-check company. Shares of the company were up 77% at $16.19 on Monday.
Mastercard said its partners can also allow customers earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency instead of loyalty points.
The company had said in February https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crypto-currency-mastercard-idUSKBN2AA2WF it would begin offering support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year.
Last year, rival Visa Inc had partnered https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockfi-crypto-currency-visa-idUSKBN28B603 with cryptocurrency startup BlockFi to offer a credit card that lets users earn bitcoin on purchases.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, touched a record high of $67,016 last week after the debut of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange traded fund. It has more than doubled in value this year.
(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returns to work in Shenzhen, after extradition drama – Global Times
Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei Technologies, returned to work at the tech giant’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Monday after almost three years fighting extradition to the U.S. in Canada, state-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times reported.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, completed three weeks of quarantine last week after returning to the southern city of Shenzhen where a crowd of well-wishers chanting patriotic slogans awaited her at the airport.
“Over the last three years, although we have struggled, we have overcome obstacles and our team has fought with more and more courage,” she said in a speech at an internal company event that was circulated online.
The extradition drama had been a central source of discord between Beijing and Washington, with Chinese officials signalling that the case had to be dropped to help end a diplomatic stalemate.
Meng was detained in December 2018 in Vancouver after a New York court issued an arrest warrant, saying she tried to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.
She was allowed to go home after reaching an agreement https://www.reuters.com/technology/huawei-cfo-meng-appear-court-expected-reach-agreement-with-us-source-2021-09-24 with U.S. prosecutors last month to end a bank fraud case against her.
(Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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