CHICAGO — The number of international students attending Illinois colleges and universities increased last year, but not as much as it has in previous years.
Illinois schools enrolled 52,225 international students for the 2016 to 2017 year, which is a 3.8 percent increase from the previous academic year, according to the Institute of International Education's annual Open Doors study.
In the previous three years, the increases have been 8.1 percent, 9.5 percent and 8.7 percent, the Chicago Tribune reported.
International students in Chicago said U.S. universities offer some of the best research opportunities in the world. But students and study officials agreed that political changes in the U.S. are impacting the market for recruiting international students, though full effect may not be known for a few years.
Multiple attempts by President Donald Trump administration to institute a travel ban have confused universities and prospective students, prompting some students to consider other options.
Sankul Rawat, a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student, said many of his peers in India are choosing Canada over the U.S.
"Actually the main reason (for) this shift is because of the politics," Rawat said. "Because right now students are thinking about how these immigration policies are going to change. Everyone is skeptical (about the) travel ban — (or) if there is any kind of ban."
The study didn't include complete data since Trump was elected last November.
Most of the nearly 500 schools surveyed reported increases in international student enrollment, though 45 percent showed drops. Study president Allan E. Goodman called the findings "a wake-up call" for colleges and university to reassess recruitment strategies.
"There's continuing concern about cost, there's continuing concern about campus safety, concerns about the complexity of our application process," Goodman said. "That has been evident over the past couple of years. We'll know a lot more next year."
BEIRUT — Saudi Arabia's dramatic moves to counter Iran in the region appear to have backfired, significantly ratcheting up regional tensions and setting off a spiral of reactions and anger that seem to have caught the kingdom off guard.
Now it's trying to walk back its escalations in Lebanon and Yemen.
On Monday, the kingdom announced that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen would begin reopening airports and seaports in the Arab world's poorest country, days after closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.
The move came just hours after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who shocked the nation by announcing his resignation from the Saudi capital on Nov. 4, gave an interview in which he backed off his strident condemnation of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah, saying he would return to the country within days to seek a settlement with the Shiite militants, his rivals in his coalition government.
The two developments suggest that Saudi Arabia's bullish young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may be trying to pedal back from the abyss of a severe regional escalation.
"This represents de-escalation by the Saudis," said Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. "The general trend is that the Saudis are going to back off and this is largely because of the unexpected extent of international pressure, and not least of all U.S. pressure."
Mohammed bin Salman, widely known by his initials, MBS, has garnered a reputation for being decisive, as well as impulsive.
At just 32 years old and with little experience in government, he has risen to power in just three years to oversee all major aspects of politics, security and the economy in Saudi Arabia. As defense minister, he is in charge of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
He also appears to have the support of President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner, who visited the Saudi capital earlier this month.
Saudi partners in the Gulf and the Trump administration rushed to defend the kingdom publicly after a rebel Houthi missile was fired at the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from Yemen last week. A top U.S. military official also backed Saudi claims that the missile was manufactured by Iran.
However, Saudi Arabia's move to tighten an already devastating blockade on Yemen in response to the missile was roundly criticized by aid groups, humanitarian workers and the United Nations, which warned that the blockade could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death."
Saudi Arabia's decision to ease the blockade after just a week suggests it bowed to the international criticism, and did not want the bad publicity of even more images of emaciated Yemeni children and elderly people circulating online and in the media.
Public pressure, however, has not always worked to bring about a change in Saudi policy. The kingdom's abrupt decision, in coordination with the United Arab Emirates, to cut ties with Qatar five months ago was widely criticized as an overreach. Still, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not backed down from their list of demands, and if anything, appear to have dug in their heels further. The kingdom accuses Qatar of backing extremists in large part due to its ties with Iran and its support of Islamist groups, an allegation that Qatar strongly denies.
While Saudi Arabia appears to have the full backing of Trump, the recent purge of top princes, officials, businessmen and military officers has raised concerns the crown prince has overextended himself. The kingdom says it has detained 201 people in the sweeping anti-corruption probe, which MBS is overseeing. The arrests raise the potential for internal strife and discord within the royal family, whose unity has been the bedrock of the kingdom for decades.
While it took a few days, the U.S. response has been embarrassing for the kingdom.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. opposes action that would threaten the stability of Lebanon and warned other countries against using Lebanon "as a venue for proxy conflicts" — a statement that seemed to be directed equally at Saudi Arabia and Iran.
More surprisingly, the White House issued a strongly worded statement calling on all states and parties to respect Lebanon's sovereignty and constitutional processes, describing Hariri as a "trusted partner of the United States in strengthening Lebanese institutions, fighting terrorism and protecting refugees."
"I think the Saudis fundamentally misjudged this ... and should have known better," said Sayigh, the Carnegie analyst.
"They've been relying too heavily ... on Trump's people and misjudged that the U.S. administration is not just Trump," he said.
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Today is Tuesday, Nov. 14, the 318th day of 2017. There are 47 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 14, 1889, inspired by the Jules Verne novel "Around the World in Eighty Days," New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) set out to make the trip in less time than the fictional Phileas Fogg. (She completed the journey in 72 days.)
On this date:
In 1851, Herman Melville's novel "Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale" was published in the United States, almost a month after being released in Britain.
In 1910, Eugene B. Ely became the first aviator to take off from a ship as his Curtiss pusher rolled off a sloping platform on the deck of the scout cruiser USS Birmingham off Hampton Roads, Virginia.
In 1925, the first group exhibition of surrealistic paintings opened at the Galerie Pierre in Paris.
In 1940, during World War II, German planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry.
In 1944, Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "Opus No. 1" for RCA Victor.
In 1954, the president of Egypt, Muhammad Naguib, was deposed by the Revolutionary Command Council, leaving Gamal Abdel Nasser fully in charge as acting head of state.
In 1965, the U.S. Army's first major military operation of the Vietnam War began with the start of the five-day Battle of Ia Drang. (The fighting between American troops and North Vietnamese forces ended on Nov. 18 with both sides claiming victory.)
In 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.
In 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed while trying to land in West Virginia, killing all 75 people on board, including the Marshall University football team and its coaching staff.
In 1986, the Securities and Exchange Commission imposed a $100 million penalty on inside-trader Ivan F. Boesky and barred him from working again in the securities industry.
In 1996, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the senior Roman Catholic prelate in the United States and leader of Chicago's 2.3 million Catholics, died at his home at age 68. Singer Michael Jackson married his plastic surgeon's nurse, Debbie Rowe, in a ceremony in Sydney, Australia.
In 1997, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia, decided that Pakistani national Aimal Khan Kasi should get the death penalty for gunning down two CIA employees outside agency headquarters. (Five years later on this date, Aimal Khan Kasi was executed.)
Ten years ago: Michael Mukasey took a ceremonial oath as the new U.S. Attorney General, five days after he was privately sworn in. A justice of the peace in Las Vegas ordered O.J. Simpson to stand trial on kidnapping and armed robbery charges stemming from a confrontation with memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room. (Simpson was convicted and served nine years in prison before being paroled in Sept. 2017.) The prime ministers of North and South Korea launched their first talks in 15 years.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in his first news conference since winning a second term, challenged congressional Republicans to let taxes rise on the wealthiest Americans, saying that would ease the threat of another recession as the nation faced a "fiscal cliff." Israel said it had killed the leader of Hamas' military wing in a wave of airstrikes launched in response to days of rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza. Baseball's Cy Young Awards went to Tampa Bay's David Price in the American League and R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets in the National League.
One year ago: In his first extended remarks on the election, President Barack Obama abandoned his dire warnings and dark predictions about his newly elected successor and urged Americans to give President-elect Donald Trump time to rise to the daunting responsibilities of the office.
-- Associated Press
HARRISBURG — A boil water order has been issued for customers on East Church Street, from Commercial Street to the east end of Church Street, including Subway.
-- The Southern