Thanks to pressure from prestigious academic and scientific organizations and leaders of high-tech industries, the administration added staff and streamlined the [student visa] process so clearance now takes less than two weeks, on average.We should always treat such news cautiously but hopefully these new policies will encourage more foreign students to come study in the states.
The capstone was a policy change announced last week that made a clearance valid for four years for students and two years for working scientists, making it easier for them to stay in the country for the duration of their study or research. America's reputation for welcoming scholars from around the world can only benefit.
Update: Also in today's Times, an article announcing the ACM Turing Award that went to Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf for their early work on the internet. The Turing Award is the closest computer science has to the Nobel Prize and its nice to see the New York Times taking it as such.