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Australia cuts annual immigrant cap 15 pc, puts key cities off-limits
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is trailing badly in the polls ahead of a federal election in May, hopes to tap into rising voter frustration over house prices and congestion, which some see as a consequence of population growth.

Australia cuts annual immigrant cap 15 pc, puts key cities off-limits

20 Mar 2019 | 6:14 PM

SYDNEY: Australia on Wednesday cut its annual intake of immigrants by nearly 15 per cent, and barred some new arrivals from living in its largest cities for three years.

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Sydney, March 20

Australia on Wednesday cut its annual intake of immigrants by nearly 15 per cent, and barred some new arrivals from living in its largest cities for three years, in a bid to ease urban congestion.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is trailing badly in the polls ahead of a federal election in May, hopes to tap into rising voter frustration over house prices and congestion, which some see as a consequence of population growth.

“This is a practical problem that Australians wanted addressed,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, the capital, after announcing the annual immigration intake would be cut to 160,000 people, from 190,000 previously.

The immigration policy change comes at a time of national reflection over Australia’s attitude towards migrants after the shooting of at least 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday after a lone gunman opened fire at the two mosques during Friday prayers.

“My great frustration is that, in addressing these issues of population and immigration programmes, these debates often get hijacked by those of competing views who seek to exploit them for other causes,”Morrison added.

“I reject all of that absolutely.”

A ReachTel poll published in September showed that 63 per cent of Sydney residents supported curbs on the number of migrants moving to Australia’s biggest city.

Morrison said the cap would include places for up to 23,000 people who could migrate to Australia under a new skilled visa.

Such arrivals could gain permanent residency after living outside of Australia’s largest cities for three years, he added.

They would be barred from living in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney or the Gold Coast, where infrastructure is overutilised, said immigration minister David Coleman.

Authorities will require proof of residential and work addresses in future applications for permanent residency, he added, as a way of enforcing the requirement. Reuters

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DUBAI: Two Indians and a Pakistani have been charged with stealing 900 juice boxes from a food catering company in Dubai, the media reported on Tuesday.

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Indian-Americans protest against Pak for 'sponsoring terrorism'

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17 Mar 2019 | 11:34 AM

HOUSTON: Hundreds of Indian-Americans here protested against Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack and urged the global community to hold Islamabad accountable for "atrocities on minorities" and "sponsoring terrorism".

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16 Mar 2019 | 8:03 PM

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CHRISTCHURCH:Five Indians have been killed in the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch in which 50 persons lost their lives, the Indian High Commission said today, as New Zealand grapples with the emotional fallout of its worst attack on Muslims.

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18 Mar 2019 | 8:10 AM

LONDON:Britain’s then Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the chiefs of MI6 security service and Buckingham Palace aides all conspired to cover up one of the last scandals of the British Empire involving the theft of charity funds by one of its Governors posted in India, papers in the UK’s National Archives have revealed.

Indian-origin Uber driver pleads guilty to kidnapping woman in US

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NEW YORK: An Indian-origin man working as a driver for ride-sharing company Uber in the US has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a sleeping passenger to boost his fare.

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WASHINGTON:Neomi Rao, a prominent Indian-American lawyer, has been confirmed for a powerful federal judgeship by the US Senate after she came under scrutiny for her past writings on sexual assaults.

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WASHINGTON: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would start accepting new H-1B visa petitions for the fiscal year 2020 starting April 1, the media reported.

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