🌍 Modi in America

Plus: TikTok’s top US executive quits and Ford wins a big EV loan

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Photo: Kevin Lamarque (Reuters)

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Here’s what you need to know

Narendra Modi dines with Joe Biden. The state dinner wraps up a busy US visit by the Indian PM, who refuted critics at a rare press conference; struck deals on tech and supply chains to diminish China’s economic influence; and met Elon Musk.

V. Pappas left TikTok. The influential COO (and the most prominent non-binary person in business) is stepping down; former Disney executive Zenia Mucha will help fill their shoes.


Ford won a massive government EV loan. The US will loan $9.2 billion to fund battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky as the Biden administration pushes to dominate renewable energy.

The OceanGate submariners are lost. Officials say the five passengers who attempted to visit the sunken Titanic are dead after their vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion.


A simple change could dramatically improve H1-B visas

Indian citizens are awarded nearly three-quarters of the temporary visas the US reserves for skilled workers, but renewing them requires leaving the country, which drives up wait times and expense. During Modi’s visit this week, the US is expected to announce that some holders can renew their visas without traveling overseas.

By the numbers:

65,000: Number of H-1B visas the US makes available to companies seeking skilled foreign workers each year, plus 20,000 more for holders of advanced degrees.


500,000: Indian visa holders that could be helped if the program is rolled out in full.

198 calendar days: The average waiting time for an “Interview Waiver Petition-Based Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q)” in Hyderabad, where most Indian techies are based and apply for work visas, in February.


150 years: Wait to obtain permanent US residency for Indians because of the country’s annual caps on skills-based green cards.

What if the next missing billionaire is lost in space?

he SpaceX Freedom Dragon crew ship with four Axiom Mission-2 private astronauts aboard is pictured approaching the International Space Station.
Photo: NASA

From a passenger’s perspective, a spacecraft disabled in orbit would be similar to the situation that was facing the OceanGate submarine in the north Atlantic: A trapped crew with limited resources, enduring a race against time to be rescued.

But while governments dispatched aircraft and ships to aid in the search for the missing submarine, the response to a disabled spacecraft in orbit would be very different: ​​There are no plans in place at NASA or at SpaceX, the only company that can currently fly humans off-planet, for how to mount a rescue in space.


Read about what it would take to rescue astronauts (or a billionaire space tourist) in our latest Space Business newsletter.

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