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China warning: What to know before visiting the country

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On Thursday, the US State Department issued a new travel advisory urging Americans to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to the People’s Republic of China.

According to the State Department, China may issue exit or travel bans in instances where there are business disputes and court orders to pay a settlement. Unfortunately, individuals and family members not directly involved with or even aware of the dispute can still be subject to a ban, the agency explained.

Thursday’s advisory is based on concerns that the Chinese government may arbitrarily enforce local law and prevent US citizens from leaving the country.

Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping US citizens in China for years,” the State Department said in its advisory.

Read more: The US government is warning Americans that if they visit China they may not be able to return home.

The level-two advisory doesn’t dissuade Americans from going to China. In fact, countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all boast level-two travel advisories.

In addition, millions of Americans visit China every year without incident. So here’s what you need to know before going to China, according to the US State Department.

  • Make sure your US passport has a valid Chinese visa and keep it with you.
  • Ask officials to notify the US embassy in Beijing or the nearest consulate immediately if you’re arrested or detained.
  • Stay away from North Korea.
  • Join the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which is a free service offered to US citizens traveling abroad that alerts the local embassy or consulate of your presence in the country.
  • Follow the State Department’s alerts on social media
  • Review the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s crime and safety reports.
  • Have a contingency plan in place if an emergency does occur while traveling.

The US Embassy in China is located at No. 55 An Jia Lou Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600, China. Its phone number is 86-10-8531-400. Its email is BeijingACS@state.gov. There are local US consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Wuhan,

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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