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New US entry bar order will likely exempt green-card holders
Washington, Feb 19: US President Donald Trumps revised executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering America will be phased in and will likely exempt green-card holders, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said."The President is contemplating issuing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first (executive order)," Kelly said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday."I will have, this time, the opportunity...to work the roll-out plan in particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system moving from overseas to our airports, which happened in the first release," he said.The phase-in period, Mattis said, would allow people who are already in transit to the US to still enter the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.He also said it was a "good assumption" that green card permit holders would be allowed into the country."If they are in motion from some distant la...




Trump calls 5 media organisations 'enemy of American people'
Washington, Feb 18: US President Donald Trump on Friday slammed the country's five major media organisations by calling it "the enemy of the American people"."The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!" he tweeted after arriving at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday.However, he quickly deleted the tweet and posted a slightly different version which omitted ABC and CBS. He also included the word "SICK!" at the end of the original post, Xinhua news agency reported."Trump's tweet was a striking escalation in his attacks on the news media," a New York Times report commented.Earlier on Friday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a press conference: "I've been pretty candid with him and all of you that I'm not a fan of the daily tweets."The President's latest tweet came a day after his first solo news conference in the White House...




Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing sealed after shrine attack
Islamabad, Feb 17: Pakistani authorities have sealed the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan for an indefinite period in the wake of a terror attack at a shrine in Sindh province that killed at least 72 people, the media reported on Friday.According to the authorities, the border crossing has been sealed for all kinds of trade and commercial activities due to security concerns, Dawn news reported.  The military also confirmed the development in a tweet: "Pakistan-Afghanistan border closed with immediate effect till further notice."  The attack on the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan town took place on Thursday.    According to the police, a suicide bomber entered the shrine through its Golden Gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode.  The explosion took place at the spot where the "Dhamaal" Sufi ritual was being performed within the premises of the shrine.  The Islamic State claimed ...




IS bombing hits Pakistan Sufi shrine, kills 72
Karachi, Feb 17: A devastating explosion, claimed by the Islamic State, ripped through a Sufi shrine in Sehwan town of Pakistan's Sindh province on Thursday, killing at least 72 people, including 12 women and four children, and injuring over 250 others.Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said a suicide bomber entered the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar shrine through its Golden Gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he said.The explosion took place at the spot where the "Dhamaal" Sufi ritual was being performed within the premises of the shrine.The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's affiliated news agency AMAQ reported.There were conflicting reports about casualties in the blast. Taluka Hospital Medical Superintendent Moinuddin Siddiqui said 72 bodies and scores of injured were brought to the hospital.A stampede followed the blast as a large number of devotee, including women and children, were present...




Exhibition of expressions for Indo-Pak peace held in Delhi
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 16: Aiming to strengthen citizen diplomacy and peace building efforts between India and Pakistan, an exhibition of letters, greeting cards and paintings made by the schoolchildren from both the countries was organized at India International Center (IIC) here in New Delhi on Thursday.   Through their works, the children shared their thoughts on peace and good relations between the two neighbors.   Along the exhibition, a panel discussion titled "Revitalising Indo-Pak Peace building Efforts" was also organized by Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative.   Talking about the future sustainability of peace, Dr. Naresh Verma, the president of IIC said, "The joint declaration at the first ‘Aman ki Asha' meeting noted with concerns that the South Asia remained the world's least economic integrated region; and India and Pakistan should join regional trade and commerce."   "...




Indian techies welcome in Canada after Trump ban
Gurmukh Singh, Toronto, Feb 13: Indian-origin tech leaders in Canada say the controversial visa and travel restrictions imposed by US President Donald Trump will be a boon for tech recruitment and investment in Canada."This provides a great opportunity for the best talent from India to come, live and work in Canada," said Shafin Diamond Tejani, the CEO of Fantasy 360, a Vancouver-based global leader in creating immersive experiences and games using Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR)."We are already getting inquiries from Indian techies, both in India and in the United States, about relocating to Vancouver," said Tejani, whose family is originally from Gujarat.Together with his partner Ray Walia, another NRI in Vancouver who runs the not-for-profit tech incubator Launch Academy, Tejani is working on streamlined avenues to attract top tech talent from India.The duo is part of the Canadian technology community that has written to Prime ...




India President greets Khameini on Iran revolution anniversary
New Delhi, Feb 10: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday greeted Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, on the 38th anniversary of Islamic Revolution and praised the sacrifices of people of Iran."I extend warm greetings and best wishes to Your Excellency and to the friendly people of Iran on the occasion of 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran," Mukherjee said in a statement issued here.The Islamic Revolution stands testimony to the great valour and sacrifices of the people of Iran, he said.The President added that India-Iran relations were rooted in history and "are based on our close cultural and civilisational linkages that span millennia. We consider Iran as an important partner and look forward to strengthening our bilateral cooperation across diverse areas on the basis of our shared interests".He said he was confident that "such engagement will bring stability and prosperity to the entire region".The Islamic Revolution...




Rohingya Muslims have right to 'live their faith': Pope Francis
IndiaTomorrow.net, Standing strongly in defence of Burma's Rohingya Muslims, Pope Francis said they have right to ‘live their faith', and criticised Burmese government for an alleged campaign of persecution.   As per a report in Independent, the Pope said the Rohingyas have been tortured and killed "simply because they want to live their culture and their Muslim faith".   However, Burma has denied carrying out atrocities against the Muslim minority who are around 1.2 million in number in the northern Rakhine state of Burma.




Over 100 tech firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft file legal brief against Trump's travel ban
New York, Feb 7: Technology giants, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Uber have filed a legal brief opposing the administration's travel ban, a media report said."The move represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry -- about a hundred companies in total -- and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban," The Washington Post reported on Monday.The brief was filed with the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is expected to rule within a few days on an appeal by the administration after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order putting the entry ban on hold.The brief comes at the end of a week of nationwide protests against the plan as well as a flurry of activity in Silicon Valley -- a region that has many immigrants who are responsible for many innovations in the world.Companies backing the filing also include Lyft, Pinterest, Yelp, Square, Reddit, Kickstarter, Github,...




US court rejects appeal against stay on Trump's travel ban
Washington, Feb 5: A US court has rejected the Justice Department's appeal asking to pause the sweeping decision that temporarily halted enforcement of President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.The Ninth Circuit Court has asked to file legal briefs before it makes a decision, CNN reported.Just after midnight on Sunday, the Justice Department filed an appeal asking the court to put on hold its sweeping decision that temporarily halted enforcement of Trump's travel ban nationwide, saying in a strongly-worded filing that blocking the travel ban "harms the public" and "second-guesses the President's national security judgment".The legal battle, which now moves up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, surrounds a Friday ruling issued by US District Court Judge James Robart, who halted the implementation of several key provisions of Trump's executive order.Trump's policy banned foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority -- Syria...




Trump's visa ban: Indian scientists ready to welcome stranded peers
Sahana Ghosh, Kolkata, Feb 5: Refusing to bow before US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, scientists across the world, including India, have opened up their lab spaces to counterparts stranded outside America. Under the Science Solidarity List (SSL) initiative, researchers from over 30 countries have agreed to host the affected.What began on social media as spontaneous offers of help from scientists to accommodate banned peers awaiting US clearance, following Trump's January 27 order, has emerged as a clarion call to support those in need of immediate work spaces.Anchored by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the SSL is a "list of scientists offering temporary bench or desk space, library access and possibly even accommodation for US-based scientists who are stranded abroad due to the White House Executive Order 13769, 'Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States' of 27 January, 2017."On Friday, a US judge i...




US suspends travel ban, reinstates thousands of visas after court order
Washington, Feb 5: The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday said it will stop flagging travellers from the countries under the Trump administrations travel ban, following a federal judges ruling to suspend the executive order, even as the President termed the order "ridiculous".A spokesperson for Homeland Security said in a statement that the decision was made in order to comply with a Friday ruling by a federal judge, adding that the department will resume its standard procedures in its inspection of travellers."We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas," a State Department official said in a statement. "Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid."The Justice Department will lodge an emergency stay to reverse the court order at the earliest possible time, the spokesperson said.Earlier, President Donald Trump responded to the judge's block of his travel ban, tweeting that ...




US judge blocks Trump's travel ban, White House vows to fight ruling
Washington, Feb 4: A federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked President Trump's week-old immigration order from being enforced nationwide, reopening America's door to visa holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries.Following the ruling on Friday, government authorities immediately began communicating with airlines and taking steps that would allow travel by those previously barred from doing so, the Washington Post quoted a US official as saying.At the same time, though, the White House said in a statement that the Justice Department would "at the earliest possible time" file for an emergency stay of the "outrageous" ruling from the judge. Minutes later, it issued a similar statement omitting the word "outrageous"."The President's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people," the White House said.In his opinion, US District Judge James L. R...




Kuwait Visa Ban: Russian news agency admits its report was untrue
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 4: The Kuwaiti visa ban on nationals of five Muslim-majority countries has been found to be a false news report. The report was circulated by a Russian news agency Sputnik on Thursday (Feb 02, 2017) and was picked by Indian news agency IANS and various leading newspapers in India.   The Sputnik International had flashed the news under this headline "Kuwait Imposes Visa Ban On Five Muslim-Majority Countries" on Feb 02. Without quoting any Kuwaiti official or Kuwaiti media, the Russian news agency had said: "The Kuwaiti government has told would-be migrants to not apply for visas from the five banned nations, as Kuwait City is worried about the possible migration of radical Islamic terrorists." The lead para of the story was this: "Kuwait has ripped a page from the playbook of US President Donald Trump by suspending the issuance of visas for travelers native to Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran."  ...




Pakistan envoy denies visa ban by Kuwait
Kuwait City/Karachi, Feb 3: Pakistan on Wednesday rejected reports of a visa ban by Kuwait on its nationals.Pakistani ambassador in Kuwait Ghulam Dastagir has termed news on social media about the ban as baseless, adding that similar news had cropped up in 2011, Geo News reported.On Wednesday, IANS quoted Russian news agency Sputnik International to say that Kuwait has banned nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It said the ban included on tourism, visit and trade visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses.The ban was attributed to the "difficult security conditions" in the five countries by the Russian agency.The news could not be immediately verified.(IANS)




Israeli settlements may not help in achieving peace: US
Washington, Feb 3: The US government has said that Israel's construction of new settlements on occupied Palestinian land "may not be helpful" in achieving peace, a White House statement said.Although it clarified that the Donald Trump administration has not taken an official position on the matter, Efe news reported."While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace," said the White House in the statement on Thursday, admitting "construction of new settlements or expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal." The White House was responding to Israel's decision on Tuesday to build 3,600 new homes on Palestinian territory in the West Bank.The new authorisation came a week after Tel Aviv had given the green light to building another 2,500 homes.This was the first critical statement about Israel made by the new US administration, which had appeared to be adopting a much mor...




Microsoft seeks exemption for workers, students from travel ban
New York, Feb 3: As it pursues a legal battle against President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban, Microsoft has made a formal plea to the US administration seeking an exemption for students and workers from the order.In his recent executive order, Trump has authorised the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the national interest, to issue visas and other immigration benefits."Microsoft is filing a formal request asking the cabinet officers to create a process to grant exceptions that will permit 'Responsible Known Travelers with Pressing Needs' to re-enter the country while protecting the nation's security," Brad Smith, Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.Microsoft has urged the administration that people with employer-sponsored work visas or student visas in "good standing at an accredited university should be exempt from the ban"."These are not people trying to avoid ...




At least 92,000 people displaced in Myanmar since October: UN agency
United Nations, Feb 3: At least 92,000 people have been displaced since the last October attacks on police posts in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State, UN officials told reporters here.UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Thursday made the remarks by citing information from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Xinhua news agency reported.This includes some 69,000 people who have fled across the border into Bangladesh, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.The UN estimates that 23,000 people remain displaced in the north of Maungdaw Township where security operations continue, the spokesman said."After a three-month interruption in most aid deliveries provided by UN agencies and partners in northern Rakhine, the government has allowed an incremental resumption of some activities," Dujarric said."With international staff still facing severe movement restrictions, national staff are distributing food and other items in most villages," he ...




After America, now Kuwait bans entry of nationals from 5 Muslim-majority countries
Kuwait City, Feb 2: Kuwait has suspended the issuance of visas for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.After US President Donald Trump's executive order banning seven Muslim-majority countries last Friday, the Kuwaiti government has told would-be migrants from the five banned nations to not apply for visas, as it is worried about the possible migration of radical Islamic terrorists, Sputnik International reported.Under the executive order signed by Trump, refugees from all over the world will be denied US entry for 120 days while all immigration from so-called "countries with terrorism concerns" will be suspended for 90 days. The countries included in the US ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.Kuwait was the only nation to prohibit the entry of Syrian nationals prior to Trump's executive action. Kuwait City previously issued a suspension of visas for all Syrians in 2011.A group of militants bombed a Shia mosque in 2015, killing 27 K...




US travel ban 'not best way to protect' America: UN Secretary-General
United Nations, Feb 2: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here on Wednesday that the US travel ban imposed on refugees and immigrants from seven Middle East and North African countries "is not the way to best protect the US or any other country," voicing his hope that "this measure should be removed sooner rather than later".The secretary-general made the remarks in response to a question as he was briefing reporters here on his travel to Ethiopia, where he attended an African Union summit, Xinhua reported.In the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday, Guterres commended African countries for opening their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence while other parts of the world, including the developed West, close boundaries and build walls."In my opinion, this is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that existed about the possibility of terrorist infiltration," he said. "I don't...




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