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For many international entrepreneurs planning to move their businesses to the U.S. or simply file for a visa extension, these are uncertain times. Consular posts are closed around the world and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have temporarily suspended in-person green card and naturalization interviews. As some domestic offices begin to reopen, USCIS will reduce the number of appointments to ensure social distancing.

Are opportunities still available?

Foreign entrepreneurs come to the U.S. on many different visas, including the EB-5 immigrant investor program, the L-1 for intracompany executive transferees, the E-2 treaty investor visa,  the O-1 visa for people with extraordinary abilities and many others.

All of these visa categories have different requirements, like hiring employees or renting an office space. Because of COVID-19, many foreign entrepreneurs planning “a big move” haven’t been able to make further investments.

Others, however, feel the window of opportunity has widened. According to Jason Finkelman, an immigration attorney, startups in robotics or those providing solutions in real estate move fast to meet U.S. demand.

In June, USCIS re-introduced premium processing, which is widely used by foreign entrepreneurs. The service, suspended in March, expedites the  process to a mere 15 business days instead of the usual months-long process.  

Related: How Company Builders Create Long-Term Value in Latin America

Immigration not suspended

“Trump’s executive order temporarily ‘suspending immigration’ has contributed to the perception that ‘immigration is closed,’” said Joshua Goldstein, founder at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers. But USCIS is still processing new applications.

“We submitted an O-1 visa application in early March just after USCIS discontinued premium processing,” Goldstein said. “I told my client to expect a decision in about six-to-eight months. To my astonishment, his visa application was approved in 23 days.”

Applying for a visa is harder for applicants outside of the U.S. because consulates are shut down and in-person interviews have been delayed. New applicants are getting pushed down the line, leading to longer wait times.

“We are monitoring the situation every day,” said Jordana Hart, the managing attorney with the law firm Hart & Associates. “The consulates will open depending on the situation in their countries: Mexico City, for example, could stay closed longer then Paris.”

Scrutinized questioning  

Processing times had already increased in the past three years. “Whether you have a cure for cancer or are working on a coronavirus vaccine, it’s just harder to get a visa because the President wants to limit immigration,” said Jason Finkelman.

Although entrepreneurs are the least affected because they are job creators, they also have to deal with extra scrutiny. People on E-2 investor visas who have to travel back and forth for their business report more “questioning” about the time they spend outside of the U.S. “We pay extra attention when justifying our clients’ trips,” said Jordana Hart.

The calls to restrict immigration might get louder because of the looming economic recession, believes Henry Mascia, partner at Rivkin Radler law firm. “Officers are now treating extensions like first time applications, so the renewal process, for example, for an O-1 visa, is increasingly difficult.”

Related: Local Partnerships Will Be Crucial Amidst International Travel Restrictions

What’s next for international entrepreneurs?

The election in November adds additional uncertainty to immigration prospects. But there is some good news: An EB-1 extraordinary ability green card is now “current,” meaning it has no backlog and no wait time. “We are preparing green card cases for clients on O-1 who would have otherwise expected to wait several years,” said Joshua Goldstein.

Margo Charnysheva, chair of the immigration practice group at Fennemore Craig, recommends that entrepreneurs not leave if they are currently in the U.S. on a B-1/B2 tourist visa. “Instead, try to change your status to avoid a prolonged wait for an interview at the embassies, because they won’t schedule interviews until mid-June.”

The key in the strict immigration environment is to show that your business has an ability to grow and create jobs. “We push our clients to hire American workers,” said Jordana Hart. Also, preparing your application in advance is crucial. “In the face of so much chaos, you should be proactive,” Joshua Goldstein said. “Don’t wait for the pandemic to end.”

 

 

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Joe Biden will begin rolling out his plan on Thursday to repair the U.S. economy as he seeks to improve his standing with voters on one of the few issues where he lags President Donald Trump.

Biden will frame the economic argument for the remainder of his campaign with a speech near his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a place that’s been synonymous with the blue-collar workers who helped Trump win the state in 2016. He will unveil policies intended to foster manufacturing and encourage innovation, adopting some ideas from his progressive primary rivals but avoiding the big-ticket proposals like the Green New Deal.

The former vice president’s plan is divided into four areas, the first of which he’ll address in more detail on Thursday: a push to buy American and create manufacturing jobs, costing at least $700 billion; building infrastructure and clean energy, advancing racial equity; and modernizing the “caring” economy such as child-care and elder-care workers and domestic aides. His campaign said he will follow Thursday’s speech with detailed policy proposals before the Democratic National Convention, which begins Aug. 17.

On Thursday, he’ll unveil plans for $400 billion in additional federal government purchases of products made by American workers over his first term — based on a proposal that Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former opponent, offered during the primaries — as well as $300 billion for federally funded research and development. In all, the Biden campaign estimates that its proposals on manufacturing and buying American will create 5 million jobs. It did not offer a plan for how to pay for those measures.

With Americans enduring a recession because of the coronavirus pandemic, Biden is homing in on the economy, the only policy area where a slim majority of voters favor Trump’s approach. In a recent New York Times-Siena College poll of registered voters in six critical electoral states, 55% preferred Trump on the economy while 39% preferred Biden.

Now the Democratic nominee, Biden has shifted to a general-election footing where he also needs to attract Republicans weary of the Trump administration and independents to win in November.

There was small progress toward recovery in the jobs numbers released Thursday. Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined last week by more than projected, easing concerns of a renewed downturn in the labor market after several large states reported an increase in coronavirus cases.

‘Matched to the moment’

“I think there is going to be a broad-based view not just among Democrats but among independents and even some Republicans that this plan and its substance is matched to the moment,” said Jake Sullivan, a top policy aide to Biden. “It is focused on trying to drive job creation fast so that we don’t have scarring, so that we don’t have people unemployed long term, so that we don’t have businesses dying.”

Aware that any positions Biden takes are parsed for outreach to the left, advisers argued he gets to truly progressive results, just at his own pace.

“Biden wants to get to the same place that many to his left want to get to but he firmly believes that it will take an incremental path to get there and that you can’t leapfrog the political reality that he has come to know in many decades in politics,” said Jared Bernstein, who is advising the campaign after serving as Biden’s chief economic adviser in the vice president’s office.

“So his destination on many key issues, particularly on the economy and health care, is very similar to the further left but his path to get there is going to be more incremental,” Bernstein added.

The plan for the U.S. government to buy American-made products would cost $100 billion a year over four years, and would purchase things like clean vehicles and clean energy; materials to prepare for future public health crises such as ventilators and masks; materials for infrastructure projects such as steel, concrete and equipment; and telecommunications. Warren had proposed a $150 billion a year for a decade to be spent on procurement of clean energy.

Biden would also work with other countries to renegotiate the Government Procurement Agreement at the World Trade Organization to ensure the U.S. and its allies can spend taxpayer dollars on growing investment in their own countries.

On trade, a senior Biden adviser, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity said the candidate would also study current tariffs as well as potential trade agreements he wants to negotiate. His advisers declined to comment directly on what would happen to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump abandoned in 2017, or existing tariffs under a Biden administration.

Trump has made buy-American policies and protecting the U.S. steel and aluminum industry a centerpiece of his administration but some domestic manufacturers have complained his actions didn’t go far enough.

The $300 billion R&D plan would encompass all 50 states and would increase direct federal programs such as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a health innovation entity that Biden had previously proposed. He would also direct money to support innovative small businesses and workforce development programs.

Each idea may seem small but “the beauty of these plans is in the totality” of everything that Biden will be proposing on the economy in the coming weeks, Bernstein said.

Biden’s advisers said the plan, once fully revealed, would be ambitious.

“This will be the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and R&D since World War II — and that’s just a part of the plan,” Sullivan said.

The senior Biden official said the campaign wasn’t ready to detail where the money for these programs would come from. Recurring programs would be financed with additional tax proposals but some measures might need to be treated as stimulus to help the economy recover and would be dependent upon economic conditions when Biden takes office, the official said.

No New Deal-style plans

Most of the more progressive ideas, like the Green New Deal and other large jobs programs that also hearken back to Franklin Roosevelt’s policies in the Great Depression, would likely be left behind at the beginning in favor of a more step-by-step approach, the Biden campaign says.

Steph Sterling, vice president for advocacy and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, and others on the left say they would like to see Biden contemplate a jobs guarantee or other measures that would be more in the vein of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

A Biden adviser said such policies are not being seriously considered, though the candidate has proposed creating a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that would employ 100,000 people.

Biden offered some parameters in April.

“Look at the institutional changes we can make without us becoming a socialist country or any of that malarkey that we can make to provide the opportunities to change the institutional drawbacks.”

If Biden wins the presidency, he will be walking into a far different economy than he would have faced before the pandemic.

“If Biden is president he will be up against this just incredibly, incredibly weak economy,” said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, and a chief economist at the U.S. Labor Department in the Obama administration. “Regardless of what’s going on with COVID, whether there’s a vaccine or widespread mask-wearing or not, it will be a hugely depressed economy.”

Even with improvement in jobs and consumer spending that’s been better than analysts expected, the U.S. economy remains in a deep hole, and most forecasters expect only a gradual recovery. Unemployment, at 11.1% in June, is higher than any time in the 80 years before the pandemic. Black and Latino unemployment rates are even higher.

Since mid-June, economic gains have slowed as virus cases accelerated in a variety of states, leading local officials to pause or reverse re-openings. And if lawmakers allow the expiration of extra unemployment benefits and small-business aid in coming weeks, jobs and consumption could take a further hit.

More politics coverage from Fortune:

  • From Pope Francis to the Bond King, universal basic income is gaining support around the world
  • To fight tomorrow’s pandemic, we need to think like the military today
  • This is what people mean when they say they want to defund the police
  • The fate of the USPS may be on the ballot in November
  • WATCH: Protests for George Floyd from around the U.S.

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Data is everything in business. It helps companies understand their customers better, make smarter business decisions, and is a primary driver of growth. That’s why companies routinely invest in data analysts to help steer them in the right direction. Data analysts have great job security, make good money, and get to solve challenging problems all the time. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the Best Jobs in America according to Glassdoor.

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There is really no downside to learning to work with and analyze data like a pro. Whether you want to start a new career or get better at what you currently do, these skills will help. The Complete Big Data & Power BI Bundle is on sale now for just $39.99.

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The trio of clients that got Deutsche Bank AG in regulatory trouble this week had a shared back story: They were all castoffs of JPMorgan Chase and Co.

Deutsche Bank moved millions of dollars across the globe for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the past decade, and billions on behalf of international lenders Danske Bank A/S and FBME Bank Ltd. Along the way, the German bank missed or disregarded compliance red flags for years, New York’s Department of Financial Services said Tuesday in levying $150 million in penalties.

JPMorgan’s moves to offload those same clients years earlier may have helped it dodge a similar bullet. The biggest U.S. bank stepped away from handling money for FBME in 2009. It distanced from the others around 2013, the same year it undertook a broad purge of higher-risk clients from its correspondent banking business.

The bank had incentive to offload risky clients. JP Morgan’s primary U.S. regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, put it on notice in early 2013, faulting its due diligence processes and ordering it to clean up its anti-money laundering controls. Later that year, the bank said it would spend $4 billion to shore up its compliance operations — a process that included reviewing the accounts of hundreds of clients and shedding many of them.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank, whose business is regulated in New York, said this week that it has cooperated with authorities and that it regretted bringing Epstein on as a client. Although it acknowledged deficiencies in its oversight of the FBME and Danske relationships, the bank said it found no intentional effort to facilitate unlawful activity. It declined to comment for this article.

Danske Flags

Concerns about Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest bank, centered on its Estonia unit. News organizations including the Organized Crime Corruption and Reporting Project wrote in 2018 that the unit had helped rich Russians move nearly a quarter-trillion dollars from their country over the course of a decade, largely through anonymized shell corporations. The bank acknowledged later that year that many of those transactions should have been flagged as suspicious.

JPMorgan stopped providing the Estonia unit access to the U.S. financial system in 2013, citing the high percentage of client accounts domiciled outside the Baltic country. Deutsche Bank continued providing banking services to Danske for another two years.

The Justice Department is investigating the role played by Danske’s correspondent banks in the U.S., including Deutsche Bank, people familiar with the matter have said, adding that the authorities are also trying to understand JPMorgan’s role.

Deutsche Bank had a decades-long relationship with FBME, which is registered in Tanzania and based in Cyprus. In the 1980s, the small bank was a client of Banker’s Trust, which Deutsche Bank acquired the next decade. By 2005, Deutsche Bank had deemed FBME high on its risk scale, and its monitoring systems were flagging suspicious transactions at a rate of more than twice a week during some years, according to the New York regulator. Although Deutsche Bank admonished FBME at times over its practices and demanded more information about its clients, the German bank continued doing business with it, the regulator said.

JPMorgan started doing business with FBME in the early 2000s and quickly grew frustrated with its failure to fully explain certain transactions, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The banking giant was also wary of other practices at FBME, such as offering “hold mail” services, in which a bank allows clients to use the bank’s address to limit paper trails, according to those documents.

Deutsche Bank provided banking services to FBME for five years after JPMorgan stopped, processing some $618 billion in all. It ended the relationship in 2014, after the U.S. Treasury labeled FBME a “primary money laundering concern” for its alleged work with organized crime and terror groups, effectively freezing it from the U.S. financial system. FBME has disputed those allegations.

The late Epstein, for his part, was a longtime client of JPMorgan — characterized inside the bank as a “center of influence” who could help it attract lucrative clients. Epstein stayed with the bank well after 2008, when he pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting minors for prostitution. Epstein moved over to Deutsche Bank in 2013, after a banker who’d recently joined from JPMorgan persuaded executives to bring him aboard, according to the DFS.

Epstein’s legal troubles mounted again in 2018. That November, the Miami Herald published a series of articles cataloging allegations from women who said they had been abused sexually by him as minors. Deutsche Bank notified Epstein in December 2018 that it would be closing his accounts.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

  • If Ernst & Young auditors had done this one thing, they might have uncovered Wirecard’s $2 billion fraud years sooner
  • After overbooking flights in a pandemic, American Airlines is now paying passengers to get off
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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


No matter the size of your business, your corporate culture matters. Having a strong culture leads to increased employee retention and a competitive edge when hiring. Statistics from the Digest of Company Culture show that a strong culture can reduce employee turnover from 48.4 percent to 13.9 percent. In addition to helping you build and keep a strong team, a healthy culture can help to build your brand, increase your team’s overall productivity, and improve client and customer relationships. 

While having a strong culture is important, it’s not something that just happens on its own. Instead, it’s something that leaders have to plan for and consistently work towards. This can feel overwhelming to leaders, especially those at small businesses that are constantly pulled in different directions. Making culture even harder for small companies is the fact that most small businesses don’t have the budget for building culture that many big corporations do. 

That said, spending time on culture is important and is something that all business owners should do. Even without a budget for big events or perks, there are plenty of things that leaders can do to help develop a culture that will allow for building and keeping a talented, productive, and happy team. Here are a few key actions that all small-business owners should take. 

Step 1: Determine what you want your culture to look like

Corporate culture is nothing more than identifying core values and then finding ways to live them out. It’s easy to say that you want a strong culture, but for many leaders, it’s more difficult to identify specifics about that culture. The first step towards building a strong culture is clearly identifying what that culture should look like and tangible ways to determine whether you’re achieving it. This step might seem obvious, but too often leaders try to build culture without clearly defined goals

Co-founder of Buildium, Michael Monteiro, advises that answering some key questions about culture is an essential first step. He asserts that before you can build the culture you want, you have to be able to answer questions like: Why do you do what you do? What do you believe? Where do you want the company to go? 

Further, he encourages leaders to address these core values and plan for culture as soon as possible, warning that “without a defined culture, employees get disenchanted; they move on.” 

Related: Managing Your Company Culture Virtually Through a Pandemic

Step 2: Make core values a part of everyday life

Once you’ve determined your core values and what you want your culture to be centered around, it’s important to find ways to make these values a part of the everyday life of your business. As many leaders have learned, it’s all too easy to come up with core values that live on a shelf or on a poster. 

To avoid this and to make these values meaningful, they have to be a part of the everyday experience for your employees and customers. To do this, it’s important to find ways to make core values a part of your lifeblood and to find ways to constantly reinforce those values. 

Step 3: Keep culture in mind when hiring

It’s clear that building a strong culture takes consistent work and effort. As a result, it’s important to have a team that fits well with the culture that you’re building and that is willing to help support it. 

As a baseline, it’s important to make sure potential hires understand and appreciate your culture and values. On top of that, however, you should prioritize cultural fit when hiring. It can be tempting to hire based solely on skills and experience, but to build the most effective team possible, you want to prioritize cultural fit throughout every phase of the hiring process. 

Step 4: Prioritize communication

Whatever your core values, good communication is key for building a strong and healthy culture. And, it’s important for leaders to appreciate that the best way to build a business with healthy communication is from the top down. This means that it’s essential for leaders to consistently model good communication. This should include transparency and regular check-ins with employees and teams. Businesses with the healthiest communication styles also include effective feedback cycles, where leaders are consistently getting, reviewing, and responding to feedback from the team. 

Related: Does Your Company Culture Lead to Happy Customers?

Step 5: Plan sacred events to build culture

While corporate culture is much more than holiday parties or family picnic, strategically planning and executing some events can help to build a strong culture. These events don’t have to be fancy, in fact, they can be as simple as weekly lunches where the team gets together and just socializes. It doesn’t matter what you do, but come up with some regular events that help to build your culture and make these sacred among your team. When planning these, resist the temptation to use these events for things. For example, if you schedule a monthly lunch with the goal of building relationships, don’t use that time to get a status update on a new project. 

Conclusion

Strong corporate culture matters and it’s something that needs to be intentionally built and supported. While all businesses will have a unique culture, the above steps are some actions that all leaders can take to help plan for and build their culture. 

No matter the size of your organization, working to build a strong culture is an important way to make your organization as effective as possible. In fact, according to David Cummings, co-founder of Pardot, “corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”

Related: How to Create a Winning Company Culture

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Apple has not taken a firm stand against Beijing’s new national security law in Hong Kong like other U.S. tech firms. The company has not elaborated on its decision, but there’s no doubt the iPhone maker has more to lose than its peers in taking on Beijing.

On Tuesday, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Zoom, and Telegram, announced they will temporarily halt sharing data with the Hong Kong government a week after its national security law took effect. The decision puts the firms at odds with China’s central government, which foisted the law on the special administrative region in what critics see as an attempt to quell pro-democracy protests. Apple’s response, meanwhile, was less explicit; it told Bloomberg that it is still “assessing” the implications of the law. Apple did not respond to Fortune’s request for further clarification on its comments.

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Unlike Google, Facebook, and Twitter, whose flagship websites are banned on the mainland’s censored Internet, the mainland remains core to Apple’s business interests. Apple relies on the mainland to manufacture an overwhelming majority of its iPhones, computers, and other products, and some 75% of its suppliers have at least one production site in China. In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked on Fox Business if Apple’s supply chain is too reliant on China given the pandemic’s early disruption there. “My perspective sitting here today is that if there are changes, you’re talking about adjusting some knobs, not some sort of wholesale fundamental change,” Cook said.

Apple’s sales in the Greater China region—encompassing the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau—represent 14.8% of Apple’s overall revenue. In 2019, the Chinese market also made up 17% of the company’s profits, according to Apple’s financial statements. While the iPhone’s popularity in China has dimmed in recent years amid the rise of domestic competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi, the device remains the top-selling foreign smartphone in China and accounted for 8.5% of all smartphone sales in China in the first quarter of 2020, according to tech research firm Canalys.

“Whereas Facebook, Google, and Twitter are already banned, Apple heavily relies on China for both revenue streams and supply chains,” said Brock Silvers, chief investment officer of Adamas Asset Management in Hong Kong. “Apple has a great deal of risk in China… [and] is understandably lagging its tech peers in suspending data sharing arrangements with the Hong Kong government.”

Indeed, Apple has been a rare foreign tech firm to find success behind China’s Great Firewall. But that record now appears to be setting it apart from tech companies willing to stand up to Beijing when it comes to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong security law

The tech companies that immediately suspended data sharing with the Hong Kong government saw the provisions as a potential violation of privacy and human rights.

“We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on its pause on reviewing Hong Kong government requests for user data.

An Apple store in Hong Kong. The tech giant’s reliance on sales in the Greater China region make it more susceptible than its peers to Beijing’s demands.
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The tech firms’ decisions came after Hong Kong’s government announced rules for how it intends to carry out Beijing’s new national security law, which went into effect on June 30 and aims to target the four crimes of subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign actors. The new provisions provide broad powers for Beijing authorities to seize user data from Internet publishers and service providers and use it to prosecute those found in violation of the new law.

The wariness that tech firms harbor over the Hong Kong’s new law aligns with criticism of the law by U.S. and European governments.

In a tweet on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the law “draconian” and said the U.S. condemns the “Orwellian assaults on the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people.”

For major tech firms that don’t operate in mainland China, the move ultimately may risk their business in Hong Kong. But Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents represent a relatively small market for global companies, and tech firms likely would rather sacrifice business opportunities in the city than be seen by Western powers as subservient to Beijing.

“Facebook, Google and Twitter really don’t have much to lose” by taking a stand in Hong Kong, said Jeffrey Towson, a private equity investor in China and investment professor at Peking University in Beijing. “User data and privacy were already hot-button issues in U.S. politics relative to China… so it wasn’t surprising that these U.S. tech firms looked at user data and privacy first.”

In regards to sharing data, the new Hong Kong law is the first time Beijing authorities may be able to access user data from tech companies like Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook, for instance, has never received a request for data from China’s government because the mainland’s Internet blocks its 1.4 billion residents from accessing Facebook’s platform.

Meanwhile, Apple’s established mainland business means it already has mechanisms in place for processing user data requests from Beijing as well as from Hong Kong officials. From January through June of 2019, Apple approved 96% of 906 user data requests from the Chinese government and 91% of 358 requests from Hong Kong.

Siding with Beijing

Apple’s reticence to pause data sharing with Hong Kong is not the first time Apple has appeared to side with Beijing when it comes to the city.

Amid the protests that engulfed Hong Kong for much of 2019, app developers in Hong Kong created a tool for city residents to track the location of protesters and police via an app called HKmap.live.

The developers submitted the app to Apple in late September. Apple initially rejected the app, claiming that it encouraged illegal behavior. Apple then reversed the decision and released the app on its store on Oct. 4.

China Development Forum (CDF) 2018
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook attends China Development Forum in Beijing in 2018. The company has come under fire in the U.S. in the past for appearing to capitulate to Beijing.
Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

In response, the China’s state-run newspaper penned an editorial on Oct. 9 accusing Apple of “helping Hong Kong rioters engage in more violence.” The following day, Apple removed the app from its store and in a statement said that the app had been “used to target and ambush police” and “threaten public safety.” Google, on the other hand, decided to leave the HKmap.live app up on its play store.

Apple’s decision to take down the app drew the ire of U.S. lawmakers who wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing deep concerns over Apple’s decision.

“Cases like these raise real concern about whether Apple and other large corporate entities will bow to growing Chinese demands rather than lose access to more than a billion Chinese consumers,” said the letter signed by lawmakers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D–N.Y.).

Amid Hong Kong’s new national security law, Apple is still firmly stuck between the demands of Beijing and its home market.

More must-read international coverage from Fortune:

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  • If Ernst & Young auditors had done this one thing, they might have uncovered Wirecard’s $2 billion fraud years sooner
  • The insurance case that helped end the slave trade
  • Russia’s online censorship machine is no longer running smoothly
  • Wirecard shows auditing is broken. Here’s why—and how to fix it

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Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani is the mind behind the clever Tobia lamp created for Foscarini, a minimal and geometric light source with a standout statement “handlebar” that invites you to grab hold. Tobia’s eye-catching focal point can be used to easily move the slender, compact floor lamp version around, inviting you to be a nomad in your own space. The wall version emits light from both ends of its loop – upward a powerful beam, downward soft accent lighting – making it possible to accommodate a wide range of lighting needs at home.

“Tobia is an example of how simplicity can have character. The lightness of a sign that becomes object, almost like a child’s drawing that outlines a body and a form to narrate a function. I’ve been intending to do this project for a long time,” said Laviani.

Designer Ferruccio Laviani

Both versions of Tobia are made from liquid-coated metal and aluminum. They’re available in white, black, fluo yellow, fluo orange, and gold (wall lamp only).

Learn more about Foscarini’s Tobia floor and wall lamps, visit foscarini.com.

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Fighter jets, stealth bombers, attack drones and air-traveling missiles all need to “operate at speed” in a fast-changing great power conflict era. What that means is that “sensor to shooter” time (how fast data can go from a sensor to a war-fighter) needs to be drastically sped up. Without that speed, warfighters won’t be able to react as quickly to threats and it will be harder to win.

When faced with fast, multi-frequency, long-range precision fire from enemy air defenses, air attackers simply must “operate at speed,” according to U.S. Air Forces, Europe Commander General Jeffrey Harrigian, who used the phrase in a discussion with The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. 

Harrigian, who is also now the Commander of U.S. Air Forces Africa, ran much of the air campaign during Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS; he offered a first-hand war perspective in a conversation with retired Lieutenant General David Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute.

NEW AIR FORCE STEALTH BOMBER ARRIVES IN JUST ‘2 YEARS’

The opportunity to operate with air supremacy in uncontested environments is, essentially, over, as joint forces prepare for warfare in high-threat areas against advanced enemy forces, sophisticated air defenses and rival fifth-generation stealth fighters. U.S. forces, of course, enjoyed overwhelming air superiority during the years of counterinsurgency in Iran and Afghanistan, a circumstance enabling most key combat decisions to travel all the way up the echelon into an “air operations center.” Now, warfighters and commanders themselves operating at the edge of combat will need to be empowered to make more decisions independently for a simple reason: the speed of attack.

File photo - A pilot looks up from a U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter as it prepares to refuel in mid-air with a KC-135 refuelling plane over European airspace during a flight to Britain from Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in Romania April 25, 2016.

File photo – A pilot looks up from a U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter as it prepares to refuel in mid-air with a KC-135 refuelling plane over European airspace during a flight to Britain from Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in Romania April 25, 2016.
(REUTERS/Toby Melville)

“Years of operating in uncontested environments provided an opportunity to have some time to make decisions and bring them back into a command center. When troops are in contact and you start targeting in a dynamic environment, you don’t want to over centralize. Let your commanders operate, and trust the guys at the tip of the spear,” Harrigian said.

While pilots and Commanders have of course always had the ability to respond as needed under enemy fire or in intense combat situations, newer threats and advanced, long-range sensor technology will require forward-attackers themselves to operate with even more autonomy.

AIR FORCE TECH STOPS DRONES FROM BEING SHOT DOWN

Advanced command and control technologies, including AI applications and sensor networking are also expected to greatly expedite this kind of tactical approach, as air fighters and commanders on the ground are likely to have a more immediate, informed sense of specific circumstances. Should an enemy fifth-generation fighter or long-range air-attack be incoming, pilots and commanders simply will not have time for a full complement of high-echelon commanders to make a decision regarding counterattack. These combat Tactics, Techniques and Procedures provide key parts of the conceptual inspiration for the Pentagon’s emerging Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) program.

The tactical concept, Harrigian explained, is to “trust the guys at the tip of the spear who understand commanders’ intent.”

“As commanders, we need to do a better job of how we provide intent to support decisions in flight. At the end of the day you need to go from sensor to shooter as quickly as possible,” he added.

During the course of his discussion with Harrigian, Deptula asked about how his experience as an Air Commander fighting against Russian-built air defenses has influenced his tactical thinking. Harrigian specifically cited Russian weapons as an area of particular concern.

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“We don’t want to train every three months. We need muscle memory fighting against air defenses,” he said.

— Kris Osborn is the Managing Editor of Warrior Maven and The Defense Editor of The National Interest –

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I am no stranger to the world of unemployment, but when I was let go from my role as an events manager at Oracle earlier this year, I still panicked. With so many people in the world being made redundant at once, I was worried about how I would fare against other job seekers in the market.

Thankfully, within two weeks I got an offer at a large tech firm. A week later, I was offered a position at a multinational bank. 

Was it because I am an extraordinary candidate? Far from it. It was because I took effective steps in my job search, and so can you. Based on my experience, here are the steps you can take to stand out:

1. Cast a wide net

This seems obvious, but different people have varying ideas of what applying for “many” roles looks like. Some think that 10 is a lot.

On LinkedIn alone, I had applied for 97 jobs. This excludes all the emails I sent out with my resume attached to people that I had been referred to.

It would be helpful to think about all the skills you have, even the ones you didn’t use in your last role, and you’ll be surprised to find that you can apply those skills to a diverse multitude of careers. Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is make a few tweaks to your resume, and start hitting that “Apply Now” button.

Related: I’ve Interviewed and Hired Thousands of People. Here’s What to …

2. Do your homework

Often, when people tell me they’re in between jobs, they’ll say, “If you hear of any openings, please keep me in mind.” The problem with this is that the request is too vague and open-ended. Even the kindest people will promptly forget, simply because they have other priorities.

What you need to do is ask specific questions when reaching out to people for a favor. Before approaching someone, go through their company’s website, find out what available roles you qualify for, and only then ask if they can refer you to the right hiring managers. People are more likely to help you when you’ve made it as easy as possible for them to do so.

3. Move quickly and honestly

No one likes to seem desperate, but there is no point in beating around the bush. 

When the radio station I worked for shut down in 2015, there were suddenly nine of us looking for gigs in a highly saturated market. We each reached out to the same few station managers at other companies. While most of my former colleagues tried to play it cool by inviting these managers to lunch, I tried a more direct approach and told them exactly what had happened. One station manager immediately told me he didn’t have any open positions, but that his sister station did. I scheduled a meeting with the manager at the sister station, and was hired on the spot.

If you’ve recently lost your job, hiring managers will be understanding of your predicament, and you shouldn’t have a hard time explaining yourself. However, what you need to do is act quickly, because now there are even more people fighting for the same vacant roles than there were before. Make sure you have your updated CV and sample portfolios ready to go, so you have them on hand when you need them. Don’t forget — you snooze, you lose.

Related: Here’s What Millennials Want from Their Jobs

4. Show them who you are as a person

A friend of mine recently told me that she answers interview questions by thinking about what the interviewer wants to hear. I strongly disagree with this method.

If you get an interview, that means that on paper, you already qualify for the role. A company would not schedule time to talk to you unless you met their base requirements. The thing that will set you apart from other candidates are your soft skills.

Usually, candidates will try to prove they have soft skills by throwing out buzzwords like “team player,” “problem solver,” and “strong work ethic,” but soft skills are about so much more than that. You have to show hiring managers that you are someone they will actually enjoy being with. Sometimes, all it takes is a warm smile or small comment about a hobby you’re truly passionate about. It’s best to stay professional, but it would also do you some good to mention a song you can’t get out of your head, or a sport you miss going out to play.

Job hunting is challenging, sometimes daunting, and it’s easy to get discouraged — especially in today’s economic climate. But who knows? Maybe you’re just a step away from landing your dream job.

Related: 5 Ways For Job Seekers To Efficiently Use Lockdown Period

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services debuted a website Wednesday in which people can sign up to participate in clinical trials related to potential COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

The website, or network as it’s officially called, was developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is affiliated with the National Institutes of Health.

The NIAID said that the website, known as the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network, was built from the merger of “four previously existing clinical trials networks that focused on HIV/AIDS.”

After people choose to enroll in the various clinical trials via the website, officials will contact and screen the potential volunteers for participation.

“Having a safe and effective medical countermeasure to prevent COVID-19 would enable us to not only save lives but also help end the global pandemic,” NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement. “Centralizing our clinical research efforts into a single trials network will expand the resources and expertise needed to efficiently identify safe and effective vaccines and other prevention strategies against COVID-19.”

As CNN noted, the number of required volunteers is unclear.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle will oversee the new clinical trial project.

More coronavirus coverage from Fortune:

  • Why black-owned businesses were hit the hardest by the pandemic
  • Pop-up retail was made for the pandemic
  • How the coronavirus crisis has affected female founders
  • The enduring history of health care inequality for black Americans
  • E-book reading is booming during the coronavirus pandemic

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