Tag: crackdown

The Week in Business: A Conspiracy Crackdown

The days are getting shorter, the election is getting closer and retailers are preparing for a truly weird holiday season. Here’s what you need to know in business and tech for the week ahead. — Charlotte Cowles

On Tuesday, after years of allowing the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon to spread lies and violent rhetoric on its platform, Facebook took an uncharacteristically hard line and banned the group altogether. Soon after, the e-shop Etsy halted sales of all QAnon merchandise. And on Friday, Twitter adopted a slew of new measures to control the spread of misinformation leading up to the election. But critics are still wondering what took the tech companies so long to crack down.

House Democrats have spent over a year investigating Silicon Valley’s “big four” — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — for “abuses of

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Trump administration’s H-1B visa crackdown: Expect big hike in foreign worker wage costs

Tech companies on Tuesday were hit with major changes to the high-skilled worker H-1B visa program that will make them pay foreign employees much higher wages. 

The changes to the skilled visa program were announced by the White House as the Department of Labor announced an interim final rule that aims to bring wages of foreign workers in line with wages paid to US workers in similar roles. The department’s rule takes effect once it’s been published by the Office of the Federal Register.  

The administration has framed the H-1B reforms and foreign employee wage requirement as a way to protect American workers as the coronavirus pandemic pummels the US labor market. 

The Department of Labor said the pandemic combined with potential abuses of the H-1B visa program required “immediate corrective action”. 

“The US Department of Labor is strengthening wage protections, addressing abuses in these visa programs, and ensuring American

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BIR starts crackdown on unregistered online businesses

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) starting today will go after unregistered online businesses despite the challenges posed by the lack of physical addresses and possibly even financial documents to audit.

The BIR no longer exten­ded the Sept. 30 deadline for online-based enterprises to register as taxpayers, which had been prolonged by two more months from the original July 31 cutoff date as the taxman took into consideration the difficulty to visit their offices amid quarantine movement restrictions.

Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa told the Inquirer that at least 7,262 web-based businesses already registered as of Wednesday morning.

With the deadline lapsed, Guballa said unregistered online businesses would now be slapped penalties similar to those imposed on tax-delinquent firms.

Guballa said the BIR was working on how revenue officers could rise above the challenges posed by the online nature of these businesses.

“How to monitor and apprehend [unregistered online

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White House Expands Crackdown on Certain Diversity and Inclusion Training

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday evening that extends his crackdown on certain employee diversity and inclusion training for federal agencies, contractors, grant recipients and the military.

This order comes a few weeks after the Office of Management and Budget ordered federal agencies to redirect funding for certain diversity training for employees, which the administration deemed “un-American propaganda.” The new directive targets training for all those involved with the federal government that is “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.” It raised questions and concerns among experts and former government officials.

“Executive departments and agencies, our uniformed services, federal contractors and federal grant recipients should, of course, continue to foster environments devoid of hostility grounded in race, sex, and other federally protected characteristics,” said the executive order. “But training like that discussed above perpetuates racial stereotypes and division and

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Trump’s crackdown on ‘critical race theory’ training leads to cancellation of Justice Department ‘unconscious bias’ program

Weeks after White House officials called for a halt to training sessions for federal employees that deal with “white privilege” and “critical race theory,” some government staffers are starting to see the memo’s effects, MarketWatch has learned.

Last week, President Donald Trump told the Office of Management and Budget to crack down on federal agencies’ anti-racism training sessions, calling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

Employees in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division were supposed to hear about “unconscious bias” at a program scheduled for this week — but that has now been postponed pending further guidance.

“It does not appear that the Division has much, if any, discretion related to postponing the training at this moment,” Matthew Hammond, assistant chief of the department’s division’s telecommunications and broadband section, wrote in an email obtained by MarketWatch. “We were excited about this training. We had received a lot of positive responses about the

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