Oct 162017
 
New Green Card Lottery Enrollment Period Starts Wednesday

A new enrollment period for the U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Program – also known as the Green Card Lottery – begins Wednesday. All applicants must apply between October 18 and November 22 to have their entries considered.The original new registration period began October 3, but had to be scratched after all entries submitted between October 3rd and 10th were lost due to a technical glitch.“Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been excluded from the system; they will not count as a duplicate entry,” a message on the U.S. State Department’s website said.Duplicate entries to the program disqualify aspiring immigrants.“The technical issue has been resolved and a new full entry period will begin at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 18, 2017 and will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 22, 2017,” it added, telling applicants to “throw away” any confirmation number or documentation of applications submitted between the 3rd and 10th.The State Department will be sending automated email notifications to each entrant who applied in early October, instructing them to check the website dvlottery.state.gov “for an important announcement”, spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told VOA via email.“We will also work through our embassies and consulates to inform potential entrants of the situation and new registration period using social media and local media outlets,” she wrote.The State Department is unable, however, to provide an estimate of how many people were affected and expected to reapply, Jhunjhunwala said.A page on the US Embassy to Ecuador [Read More…]

Oct 152017
 
US Green Card Lottery Applications Lost, Must Be Resubmitted

WASHINGTON All entries submitted to the U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, between October 3rd and 10th have been lost due to a technical glitch.Individuals who submitted applications during these dates are directed to reapply.“Entries submitted during October 3-10 are not valid and have been excluded from the system; they will not count as a duplicate entry,” a message on the U.S. State Department’s website said.Duplicate entries to the program disqualify aspiring immigrants.“The technical issue has been resolved and a new full entry period will begin at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 18, 2017 and will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 22, 2017,” it added, telling applicants to “throw away” any confirmation number or documentation of applications submitted between the 3rd and 10th.The State Department will be sending automated email notifications to each entrant who applied in early October, instructing them to check the website dvlottery.state.gov “for an important announcement”, spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told VOA via email.“We will also work through our embassies and consulates to inform potential entrants of the situation and new registration period using social media and local media outlets,” she wrote.Though the application period has been extended, experts fear that many entrants may not know to reapply.“At least, they extended the entry period to make it a full month again. But I have doubt that thousands of applicants from the third world, who don’t check the internet every day, will know that their [Read More…]

Dec 022016
 

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA: Dozens of coffins carrying those killed when a plane flying Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team crashed into a Colombian mountain were loaded onto Brazilian air force planes for their final journey home on Friday. The disaster on Monday killed 71 people and shocked soccer fans the world over. The LAMIA Bolivia BAe146 airliner apparently ran out of fuel, lost electrical power and was preparing for an emergency landing when it crashed. Only six people survived, including three members of the soccer squad en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in its history. Footballers’ deaths in Colombia plane crash stun Brazilian home city The tragedy plunged Latin America’s largest nation, Brazil, into mourning as it reels from a deep recession and political crisis. A convoy carrying the 64 dead Brazilians made its way from a funeral home in the Colombian city of Medellin to Rionegro airport, where coffins were solemnly accompanied into the bellies of the planes by a military honor guard. The remains are scheduled to arrive early on Saturday morning for funeral services in Chapeco, the club’s small farming hometown in southern Brazil. Temporary structures in the team’s stadium will shelter the coffins of players, staff and journalists for an open-air wake. Some 100,000 fans, about half the city’s population, are likely to attend, as is Gianni Infantino, president of world soccer governing body FIFA. Brazilian President Michel Temer will attend a ceremony at the Chapeco airport after the coffins arrive, but he will not be [Read More…]

Dec 022016
 
Bodies of Colombia plane crash victims flown home

MEDELLIN, Colombia: The bodies of the 71 victims killed in a plane crash in Colombia that wiped out a Brazilian football team began arriving home Friday, as mourners prepared a massive funeral. The remains of the first victim, Paraguayan crew member Gustavo Encina, were handed over to his family early Friday in a coffin draped in his country’s flag. The other victims — 64 Brazilians, five Bolivians and a Venezuelan — will be flown home on a series of flights throughout the day. “What we want now more than anything else is to go home, to take our friends and brothers home. The wait is the worst,” said Roberto Di Marche, a cousin of football team Chapecoense Real’s late director Nilson Folle Junior. In the club’s hometown, the southern Brazilian city of Chapeco, more than 100,000 people — about half the city’s population — are expected to attend a memorial service Saturday in honour of the team, whose fairytale season was tragically cut short by the Monday night crash. FIFA chief Gianni Infantino cancelled a trip to Australia to attend the funeral at the team’s stadium. Officials said Brazilian President Michel Temer would likely be there as well. Authorities are still investigating what caused the charter flight to smash into the mountains outside Medellin, where Chapecoense was due to play the biggest match in its history — the finals of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second-largest cup tournament. A harrowing recording has emerged of the panicked pilot asking the control [Read More…]

Sep 022016
 

BOGOTA: Colombia’s peace deal with FARC rebels will be formally signed on September 26, in a new milestone towards ending the half-century conflict, President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday. “Peace will be signed on September 26 in Cartagena,” announced Santos, ahead of an October referendum on final ratification of the historic accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The emotional president called it “perhaps the most important announcement” of his life. Minutes later, FARC leader Timoleon “Timochenko” Jimenez tweeted the date and location of the signing, calling it “the foundation for building #peace.” Colombia announces historic peace deal Various Latin American leaders, as well as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, were expected to attend the ceremony in the port city on the Caribbean coast. Once the deal is formally signed, the FARC will have 180 days to demobilize, disarm and relaunch itself as a political party. The UN has agreed to monitor the process. The government and FARC began a landmark ceasefire Monday, the first time both sides have put down their weapons since the Marxist guerrilla group was launched in 1964. The conflict, which has drawn in various left- and right-wing armed groups and gangs, has left 260,000 dead, 45,000 missing and 6.9 million uprooted from their homes. On October 2, Colombians will vote on this question: “Do you support the final accord to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace?” A new poll out Friday said 59.5 percent would vote “yes” in support of the [Read More…]

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