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Hawaii judge indefinitely extends order blocking Trump’s travel banThe US government says the ban falls within President Donald Trump’s power to protect national security. AFP file photo

Hawaii judge indefinitely extends order blocking Trump’s travel ban

30 Mar 2017 | 3:26 PM

HONOLULU: A federal judge in Hawaii indefinitely extended on Wednesday an order blocking enforcement of President Donald Trump’s revised ban on travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries.

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Honolulu, March 30

A federal judge in Hawaii indefinitely extended on Wednesday an order blocking enforcement of President Donald Trump’s revised ban on travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries.

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US District Judge Derrick Watson turned an earlier temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by the state of Hawaii challenging Trump’s travel directive as unconstitutional religious discrimination.

Trump signed the new ban on March 6 in a bid to overcome legal problems with a January executive order that caused chaos at airports and sparked mass protests before a Washington judge stopped its enforcement in February. Trump has said the travel ban is needed for national security.

In its challenge to the travel ban, Hawaii claims its state universities would be harmed by the order because they would have trouble recruiting students and faculty.

It also says the island state’s economy would be hit by a decline in tourism. The court papers cite reports that travel to the United States “took a nosedive” after Trump’s actions.

The state was joined by a new plaintiff named Ismail Elshikh, an American citizen from Egypt who is an imam at the Muslim Association of Hawaii and whose mother-in-law lives in Syria, according to the lawsuit.

Hawaii and other opponents of the ban claim that the motivation behind it is based on religion and Trump’s election campaign promise of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

“The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Watson wrote on Wednesday.

Watson wrote that his decision to grant the preliminary injunction was based on the likelihood that the state would succeed in proving that the travel ban violated the US Constitution’s religious freedom protection.

Trump has vowed to take the case to the US Supreme Court, which is currently split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives with the president’s pick - appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch - still awaiting confirmation. — Reuters

Convert to Islam to avoid conviction: Pakistani prosecutor to Christians

Convert to Islam to avoid conviction: Pakistani prosecutor to Christians

30 Mar 2017 | 6:42 PM

ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani prosecutor has been accused of blackmailing dozens of Christians after he allegedly asked them to embrace Islam to avoid conviction in the killing of two Muslims in mass violence two years ago.

Nikki Haley says open to ideas on UNSC reform

Nikki Haley says open to ideas on UNSC reform

30 Mar 2017 | 11:43 AM

NEW YORK: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said she is open to ideas on the reform of the United Nations Security Council but did not name countries such as India that could be permanent members in an expanded Council.

Trump says will make US a place where women can thrive

Trump says will make US a place where women can thrive

30 Mar 2017 | 3:26 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said his administration will work to ensure America becomes a place where woman can work and thrive “like never before”, as he praised his women colleagues, including Indian-Americans Nikki Haley and Seema Verma.

Malaysia mistook slain Kim Jong Nam for South Korean

Malaysia mistook slain Kim Jong Nam for South Korean

30 Mar 2017 | 2:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities wrongly identified the slain half-brother of North Korea’s leader as a South Korean national and first alerted Seoul’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur soon after his death, sources familiar with the incident told Reuters.

Australia evacuates cyclone-hit island resorts as water runs low

Australia evacuates cyclone-hit island resorts as water runs low

30 Mar 2017 | 10:36 AM

SYDNEY: Australia began evacuating thousands of people stranded on resort islands in the tropical northeast on Thursday, as water supplies began to run low two days after Cyclone Debbie tore through the region.

China’s Xi to meet Trump in Florida next week

China’s Xi to meet Trump in Florida next week

30 Mar 2017 | 3:03 PM

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to the United States to meet President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida on April 6-7, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, its first official confirmation of the highly anticipated summit.

FBI arrests Mexican state Attorney-General on drug charges

30 Mar 2017 | 10:40 AM

LOS ANGELES: The Attorney-General of Mexico’s Pacific coast state of Nayarit, hard hit by drug cartel violence in recent years, has been arrested in San Diego on US narcotics trafficking conspiracy charges, federal officials said on Wednesday.

China sets rules on beards, veils to combat extremism in Xinjiang

30 Mar 2017 | 1:41 PM

BEIJING: BEIJING: China will step up a campaign against religious extremism in the far western region of Xinjiang on Saturday by implementing a range of measures, including prohibiting “abnormal” beards, the wearing of veils in public places and the refusal to watch state television.

Muslim immigrant to join California lieutenant governor race

Muslim immigrant to join California lieutenant governor race

30 Mar 2017 | 1:20 PM

LOS ANGELES: A Pakistani-born doctor announced Wednesday that he is joining the 2018 race for lieutenant governor on a platform of saving the Affordable Care Act, providing free community college education and fighting what he termed “Donald Trump’s hate.”

Speaker Ryan opposes Trump working with Democrats on health care

Speaker Ryan opposes Trump working with Democrats on health care

30 Mar 2017 | 10:29 AM

WASHINGTON: US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said he does not want President Donald Trump to work with Democrats on new legislation for revamping the country’s health insurance system, commonly called Obamacare.

Ivanka Trump takes unpaid job as White House adviser

Ivanka Trump takes unpaid job as White House adviser

30 Mar 2017 | 10:26 AM

WASHINGTON: First daughter Ivanka Trump is about to take on another title as an unpaid adviser to her father President Donald Trump, the White House has announced.

Lawmaker pushes for Duterte impeachment over ‘defeatist’ China stance

Lawmaker pushes for Duterte impeachment over ‘defeatist’ China stance

30 Mar 2017 | 10:24 AM

MANILA: A Philippines lawmaker filed supplementary charges on Thursday to an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte, accusing him of taking a “defeatist stance” by doing nothing to challenge Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea.

Trump rolls back Obama’s green plans

Trump rolls back Obama’s green plans

30 Mar 2017 | 12:37 AM

WASHINGTON:US President Donald Trump today signed another controversial executive order to radically change his predecessor Barack Obama’s climate policies, dealing a body blow to the international efforts to combat global warming.

12 killed, 3 hurt in church bus-truck collision in Texas

30 Mar 2017 | 10:18 AM

UVALDE: A small shuttle bus carrying Texas church members home from a retreat collided head-on with a pick-up truck, killing 12 persons and injuring three others on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, officials have said.

US in process of reviewing Afghan policy: General

US in process of reviewing Afghan policy: General

30 Mar 2017 | 10:12 AM

WASHINGTON: A top American commander has said the Trump administration is in the process of reviewing its policy in Afghanistan.

Five terrorists killed by security forces in Pakistan’s Punjab

30 Mar 2017 | 10:15 AM

LAHORE: Five al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, who were plotting to target security agencies and important buildings, were on Thursday killed by security forces in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Argentine Congress votes to legalise medical marijuana

30 Mar 2017 | 10:19 AM

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s Senate has voted unanimously to legalise medical marijuana, joining the Lower House and setting the country on course to become the latest to relax its laws on pot.

BREXIT TRIGGERED

BREXIT TRIGGERED

30 Mar 2017 | 12:37 AM

LONDON:Prime Minister Theresa May filed formal Brexit divorce papers on Wednesday, pitching the United Kingdom into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the cohesion of the European Union.

Woman accused of trying to run down cops near US Capitol

30 Mar 2017 | 10:16 AM

WASHINGTON: A woman was arrested near the US Capitol in Washington after she drove erratically, crashed into another vehicle and tried to run over officers on Wednesday, the police said.

State Dept employee accused of misleading FBI in China case

30 Mar 2017 | 9:53 AM

WASHINGTON: A veteran State Department employee has been charged with making false statements to the FBI about gifts she had received from Chinese intelligence agents, the Justice Department has said.

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