Category Archives: Health

Private security companies in Baghdad do not enjoy enough immunity and support and demand the lifting of pressure

Mr. Ammar Al-Aga, Director of Al-Sour Security Services Department, referred to the efforts of the Brigadier General, the Director General of the Directorate of Private Security Companies, and that he is the sole supporter of the security companies and the concrete development of the Directorate since taking office.

 

Al-Daraji: Determining differences according to the constitution with the region will revive the economic situation

Engineer Mohammed Al-Daraji said that the oil wells in Kirkuk are fully controlled by the central government, including the third dome. Al-Daraji said in a televised interview that since July of this year, the 17% budget has stopped after the officials in the Kurdistan region seized the oil wells and the region began selling oil directly away from the center. % Of the region because they were acting in Kirkuk oil and selling it.

He said Darraji that no one knows the figures of oil exports, which come out of the Kurdistan region, including the parliament, Pointing out that the Kurdistan region was selling oil and does not pay the salaries of the staff of the region, which calls for the need to investigate the imports of oil that was issued by the region and there should be a final account and audit of the international imports of oil Kurdistan.

Al-Darraji said that the Kurdistan region has been a central part of the central government because the region has been separated for years from the federal government and its decisions. No one interferes in administrative and financial matters. He called for a re-discussion of the 17% budget and a fair division. Current economic danger and the Kirkuk fields pump only 555 thousand barrels and a rate of 45 dinars per barrel,

 

FBI asked Justice Department to refute Trump’s wiretapping claim

The FBI asked the Justice Department on Saturday to refute President Donald Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump’s phones last year, two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

The FBI made the request because such wiretapping would be illegal, since the President cannot just order the eavesdropping of a U.S. citizen’s phones, the sources said. A court would have to approve any request to wiretap. The sources would not say who was involved in the conversations between the FBI and DOJ or what role FBI Director James Comey might have played.

One of the sources said instead of the FBI saying something publicly about the allegations, it was felt it would be more appropriate to ask the Justice Department since the bureau as a policy does not confirm or deny investigations.

The source said it was also felt it would be more appropriate politically to handle this through the Justice Department since Justice officials are freer to talk about such matters with the White House. Before any possible rebuke, it would be expected some conversations with the White House would need to take place.

So far, the Justice Department has not said anything in reaction to Trump’s tweets on Saturday, in which he made the wiretapping allegations.

Asked about the FBI request, a Justice Department spokesman said he had no comment. The FBI refused comment as well.

The New York Times first reported that the FBI asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s wiretapping claim.

Trump’s aides asked Congress on Sunday to look into whether the Obama administration abused its investigative powers during the 2016 election. The move comes a day after Trump posted a series of tweets alleging, without presenting any evidence, that Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower in the weeks leading up to the November election.

“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement Sunday morning, which he also posted on Twitter. “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.

“Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” Spicer added. He did not provide any further details on the President’s request to Congress.

RELATED: Trump’s baseless wiretap claim

While Spicer said “reports” prompted the call for a congressional investigation, the White House still has not provided any evidence to back up the President’s accusations. There are no publicly known credible reports to back up Trump’s claim that Obama ordered Trump’s phones be monitored.

Frustrated that the Russia stories have overshadowed a widely praised performance in his joint address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump angrily raised the wiretapping issue unprompted in conversations with friends and acquaintances at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, two people who have spoken with him at his Palm Beach resort said on Sunday. The President didn’t specify what information he was basing his accusations upon, but told them he expected an investigation to prove him right.

Multiple former senior US officials have dismissed Trump’s allegations, however, calling them “nonsense” and “false.” Obama, through a spokesman, also rejected the claim that he ordered Trump’s phones tapped.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a career intelligence official who had oversight of the US intelligence community in that role, said Sunday that Trump was not wiretapped by intelligence agencies nor did the FBI obtain a court order through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor Trump’s phones.

“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,” Clapper said Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Ministry of mining and industry: national industry working without developing plan for the past ten years, administrative and financial corruption because of weakness of Iraqi industries.

  Iraqi minister of mining and industry engineer MOHAMMED SHIYAA ALSODANY  stated that the corruption is one of the main reasons contribute in disabling national industry in addition to other reasons like absence of vision and support weakness, showing that central social system before 2003 was controlled all sectors including industry sector so there are huge infrastructure of factories and companies in all over Iraqi provinces in the shadow of governmental  attitude toward the market economy after 2003, this shift was not counted with clear plan with series of procedures but was like a hybrid economy gathering between social and economical system

ALSODANI said in press conference to the reporter of Press newspaper that the amounts which previously allocated for Ministry of mining and industry within investment plans for federal budget for the last ten years was 3 trillion and 444 billion Iraqi dinar , when the ministry  companies had signed about 121 investment contract with participation with local and foreign companies adding the amounts had been paid as salaries during the same period which reach to 13 trillion dinar, referring to not using those amounts positively shares in developing industrial situation in the country because of the squandering of money and not using those amounts properly.

ALSODANI said that supporting national industry during the last ten years was not according to studied plan and in the same time the private sector did not supported to be partner to move the national economy from centralization to market economy.

Confirming that private sector needs a real support not only unimplemented decisions and speeches.

Disabled Pharmaceutical Companies

Concerning the pharmaceutical companies, ALSODANI confirms that there are several measures concerning the assignment of Medicine Company contracts, pointing that GAYATH SAKHTAN

Company for investment the It led to a decline in Samarra pharmaceutical co

mpany so that it cannot enter partnership with specialized local companies since 2012, or production of new pharmaceutical products. Stressing the protection of the national product and not leaving the market on this case, noting the difficulty of obtaining the amount of contracts concluded by the Ministry of Health with them.

  Adding that “there must be flexibility in the process of import of raw materials in addition to the process of downloading a new products as well as the tightening of interest by the Iraqi Ministry of Health to take care of the public sector to give many contracts from which increased the contracting with pharmaceutical companies and concluded with the Iraqi Ministry of Health does not exceed $ 10 million a year does not exceed 1%.

What the available options to Iraq for the industry development with a financial crisis raise the alarm in the country.

 The Iraqi minister of industry starts his speech about Iraqi industry development in several points hardly helps in the development of the economy and industry alike

  • anti-flooding the market, With the promotion of protection for products that add value less than 25%

  • Oblige the Ministry of Oil to provide the required support to national industry through various types of fuel for securing public and private sector with low and subsidized prices, the Cabinet  will follow-up implementation

  • Oblige the Ministry of Electricity to provide national industries with electricity at subsidized prices, the Cabinet will follow-up implementation.

  • Cabinet , the State Consultative Council and parliament committees each according to his duties and competence to speed up the rules and regulations under the relevant industrial sector The proposed laws, including the:

  • Amendment of metal Investment Law No. 91 of 1988

  • amendment  of industrial Investment Law No. 20 of 1998

  • Amendment the law of supporting small enterprises and income-generating No. (10) of 2012

  • Industrial Estates Act.

  • Renewable Energy Law

  • The Ministry of Minerals and Industry seeks to reduce production costs in the public sector factories to support the domestic price of the product, with the necessity to apply the standards in the production and marketing by companies And follow-up its update , the adoption of manufacturing and quality standards and to obtain ISO certification for national products.

  • The Ministry of Minerals and Industry and the parliamentary Committee economy and investment to reconsider the legislation in force (of the laws, regulations and instructions), aims for proposing amendments to the crisis, including contributing to the smooth flow of marketing of local industrial products produced by the public and private sector.

  • The Ministry of Minerals and Industry to revive military industries in Iraq to bypass the import and depletion money because of military spending.

  • The need to engage and attract foreign expertise to achieve the set goals and to contribute to the development of the industrial base

  • The Ministry of Finance and the concerned authorities committed to activate working in texts stated in the customs tariff law No. (22) for 2010 , the fees will contribute in raising the competitiveness of the Iraqi product

  • Iraqi Media Network and various state media’s commitment to adopt a national initiative and professional ongoing promotional advertising supporting national product depends on the cadres of the producing companies in coordination with the productive enterprises in the public , mixed and private sector, Aims to increase consumer appetites upon, and the piece active role posed by the media in this area, and the contribution of other different local media in this campaign within the framework of the high sense of responsibility towards the national product.

  • The Ministry of Minerals and Industry and in coordination with other relevant authorities approved the development of national industries on the initial available locally and provides all its supporting facilities.

  • The Ministry of Minerals and Industry, in coordination with the National Investment Commission and other relevant authorities to put a national strategy to encourage investment in the productive sectors and announce them so as to promote the best use of local resources and increase national production

  • Facilitating the allocation of land for the establishment of investment projects by the competent ministries, provinces and other relevant authorities.

  • The competent ministries authorized representatives in the single window the required authority to facilitate the investment license process.

What is your assessment of the products that arise in the local market, which amounted to the level of competing imported products, but it lacks the quality and durability?
Financial loans but
!!!! The Ministry of Industry and Minerals had a share of the Japanese loan to finance its projects for the year 2017

What industry may care of to develop its capabilities and development?
Do you think Iraq possesses suitable environment for investment and attracting foreign corporate?

Does The Ministry of Minerals and Industry revive military industries in Iraq to bypass the import and depletion money because of military spending?

 With the need of using foreign expertise and attract them to achieve the set goals and to contribute to the development of the industrial base.

When the companies will be questions for applying the standards specifications in the production, marketing and follow-up its update, the adoption of good manufacturing quality standards to obtain ISO certification for national products.

The Ministry of Industry pharmaceutical laboratories neglected and useless, according to economists

In your opinion, what is the obstacle in front of the Ministry of Industry to develop the pharmaceutical industry?
Do you have prepared an action plan in 2017 for the advancement of the industrial reality in the country and do you have directed at the private sector development?

 

Democrats in dilemma over Supreme Court

In a season of Democratic Party frustration and anger, Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court Tuesday night is a particularly bitter pill to swallow.

When the seat opened nearly a year ago following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Democrats imagined a durable liberal majority on the court for the first time since the 1960s.

Even as the Republican Senate majority broke with longstanding tradition and blocked any consideration of President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, Democrats comforted themselves with the prospect of Hillary Clinton’s likely victory in November’s presidential election. They entertained the possibility that she would instead pick someone younger and even more progressive than the decidedly moderate Mr Garland.

Then the election happened – setting up the inevitability of Tuesday night’s prime-time announcement. President Trump, standing in the East Room of the White House, sprayed lemon on their open wounds, noting that the next Supreme Court justice would follow in Scalia’s conservative footsteps.

Republicans, across the board, are thrilled with the pick. Mr Gorsuch has a sterling legal reputation and indisputable right-wing pedigree. While Mr Trump has proven an uncertain quantity when it comes to fealty to other party orthodoxies, they view his court pick as their trust rewarded.

Media captionDonald Trump picks Neil Gorsuch as US Supreme Court nominee

“President Trump won 81% of the evangelical vote in no small measure because he made an ironclad pledge that if elected he would fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court with a strict constructionist who would respect the Constitution and the rule of law, not legislate from the bench,” Faith and Freedom Coalition Chair Ralph Reed said in a press release. “We never doubted then-candidate Trump’s sincerity or commitment, and by nominating Judge Gorsuch, he has now kept that promise.”

As great as was conservative joy, so were the depths of liberal anger – likely only stoked by calls by Republicans, from Mr Trump on down, to give their nominee a fair shake.

“The default is if you are generally qualified and not extreme you are confirmed,” White House press spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s a sentiment that has not been welcomed by those on the left.

“The Democrats should treat Trump’s [Supreme Court] pick with the exact same courtesy the GOP showed Merrick Garland,” tweeted Dan Pfeifer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “Don’t flinch, don’t back down.”

Senate Democrats considering Mr Gorsuch’s nomination have a powerful weapon at their disposal, should they choose to use it – the filibuster. If 41 of the 48 members of their caucus are on board, they could block a confirmation vote indefinitely. It’s something some Democrats are already promising to do.

“This is a stolen seat,” Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said, pledging to invoke the filibuster power. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

Such a scorched-earth strategy puts Senate Democrats in a bit of a bind, however.

Media captionLabor union leader Mary Kay Henry: “This judge is a step backwards”

First of all, if they do indeed filibuster, Republicans may simply do away with the procedure entirely – the so-called “nuclear option” – as Democrats did for all other presidential nominees in 2013, allowing Mr Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority.

“If you can, Mitch, go nuclear,” Mr Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a meeting on Wednesday.

In fact, Democratic pressure could prompt Republicans to do away with the Senate tradition entirely, allowing their party to enact all legislation without minority consent. That would make it significantly easier for Congress to pass conservative priorities like Obamacare replacement, weakening union power, education reform and sweeping deregulation.

Already some Democrats are giving indications they may not take such a hard-line stand.

“I’m not going to do to President Trump’s nominee what the Republicans in the Senate did to President Obama’s,” Delaware Senator Chris Coons said in a television interview.

Mr Coons is in a safely Democratic seat. The 10 Senate Democrats up for 2018 re-election in states Mr Trump carried last year may be under even more pressure to avoid total war with the president over a Supreme Court nomination.

While the base may be angry, they will need independent and moderate conservative votes if they want to stay in office.

Ronald Klain, a former legal adviser to Democratic President Bill Clinton, offers another reason why Democrats should be cautious when choosing how to handle Mr Gorsuch’s nomination. The real battle is not over this seat – it’s the next one.

While it seems unlikely any of the four liberal justices will willingly vacate their seats during the Trump administration, 80-year-old Anthony Kennedy – who leans conservative but has proven to be a swing vote – may be gauging retirement and will be watching the proceedings closely.

“While it is tempting to begin the confirmation process with an intent to avenge the injustice done to President Barack Obama and his nominee,” Klain writes, “an attitude of score-settling and partisan bitterness would likely be off-putting to Kennedy.”

The Democratic base may not care. They’re angry, and they’re out for blood – and if they don’t get it from Republicans, they may turn on their own.

“Senate Democrats, let’s be very clear: You will filibuster and block this Supreme Court nominee or we will find a true progressive and primary you in next election,” liberal filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted.

More than 1,000 Democrats showed up at a town hall by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse after he voted to support Mr Trump’s CIA nominee. Around 200 protesters picketed California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s California home in response to her votes for several of his cabinet picks.

Democrats ignore this sentiment at their own peril – and their recent efforts to delay confirmation of Mr Trump’s cabinet appointments may be evidence that they are getting the message. The situation is similar to the one the Republican Party found itself in following Barack Obama’s election.

At first, they thought they could harness conservative Tea Party anger to defeat Democrats. They did – but the Tea Party brought down a lot of establishment Republicans, as well.

This damaged the party’s electoral chances in the short term, likely costing them the Senate in 2010 and 2014. It also contributed to Mr Trump’s rise and eventual victory in 2016, however.

That, alone, should be enough to give Democrats officeholders many a sleepless night.

In Iran, Shock and Bewilderment Over Trump Visa Crackdown

TEHRAN — Families, businesspeople, athletes and tourists from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa found their travel plans — and even their futures — in a state of suspension on Friday after President Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring thousands from obtaining visas to travel to the United States.

The order is expected to freeze almost all travel to the United States by citizens from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days. Three of those countries are considered sponsors of terrorism (Iran, Sudan and Syria), and three are designated countries of concern (Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

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Passport-holders from those countries, who have American visas but are outside the United States, will not be permitted to return.

“We only want to admit those who will support our country and love deeply our people,” Mr. Trump said on Friday before signing the order at the Pentagon. “We will never forget the lessons of 9/11, nor the heroes who lost their lives at the Pentagon.”

(The 19 hijackers implicated in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack came from Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. None of those countries will be subject to what Mr. Trump described as “new vetting measures.”)

During the 90-day period, the Trump administration will assess if the foreign governments on the list are providing enough information about citizens seeking visas to enable the United States to assess whether they pose a terrorism risk. If the governments do not comply, they will be given 60 days to do so; failing that, their citizens will be barred from entering the United States.

Government reaction to the order has been cautious. But there is little doubt that the demand for information will be a challenge for Iran, which sends far more people to the United States each year, around 35,000, than any other country on the list.

While Iran willingly allows its citizens to travel to the United States, it is ideologically opposed to sharing information with Washington. But if it does not, many of its citizens will be cut off from visiting relatives who are among the estimated one million Iranian-Americans living in America.

The visa ban will provide an early indication of where relations between Tehran and the Trump administration are headed, one analyst said.

“Trump will regard the Iranian reaction as a test,” said Farshad Ghorbanpour, who is close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani. “If Iran doesn’t comply, they won’t do so either on other issues. We will see in 30 days.”

Another analyst doubted the government would comply with the order.

“We are not obliged to give information about our citizens to the Trump administration,” said Hamidreza Taraghi, considered a hard-liner. “Such a move would be unjustifiable.”

The Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti in “The Salesman.” She canceled her trip to the Academy Awards on Feb. 26 on news of President Trump’s visa crackdown.© Habib Majidi/Cohen Media Group, via Amazon Studios, via Associated Press The Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti in “The Salesman.” She canceled her trip to the Academy Awards on Feb. 26 on news of President Trump’s visa crackdown.

In the United States, Americans of Iranian descent expressed shock and dismay at news of Mr. Trump’s impending policy change, and were particularly concerned about their relatives and friends in Iran.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington-based advocacy group, said many Iranian citizens with valid green cards and American visas were distraught. Those outside the United States are fretting they will not be allowed in, and those already in the country fear they will not be able to leave, even temporarily, because they will be barred from returning.

“There is a sense of bewilderment, as well as a sense of injustice,” over why Iran was even included on the list of targeted countries, Mr. Parsi said. No Iranian has been accused of an attack on the American homeland. By contrast, he said, the Sept. 11 attackers included citizens from countries which are not on the list — and “the United States has produced more ISIS fighters than Iran has.”

Iran’s most popular actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, announced on Twitter that she was canceling her trip to the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, after reports that Mr. Trump was about to sign the sweeping executive order.

Ms. Alidoosti plays a leading role in ‘‘The Salesman,’’ directed by the acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi and nominated for best foreign film. She almost certainly could have obtained a visa as a ‘‘culturally unique artist,’’ but said she no longer felt like making the trip.

“This is not about me or the Academy Awards, it’s about having a discussion about this decision,” Ms. Alidoosti said. “This is such a bizarre ban, it is uprooting people’s lives in ways not imaginable.”

In 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security, a total of 35,266 nonimmigrant visas were granted to Iranians to enter the United States, compared with 21,381 for Iraq; 16,010 for Syria; 5,549 for Yemen; 4,792 for Sudan; 2,879 for Libya and 359 for Somalia.

As there is no American embassy or consulate in Iran, Iranians must travel to Ankara, Turkey, Dushanbe in Tajikistan or to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to apply for a visa. The State Department says that more than 40 percent of all applications are rejected. There are numerous agencies in Iran and other countries that mediate and assist Iranians seeking appointments.

“Let’s hope this is fake news,” said Ali Reza Falahati, who runs a mediation agency in Ankara. “People are constantly calling to ask us if their appointments are canceled. They paid visa fees, $160, and booked tickets and hotels. I just hope this will be all right.”

One woman in Tehran, a 28-year-old restaurant manager, nearly broke down in tears when hearing news of the ban.

She said she had been waiting for a green card and that she and her husband had been planning for years to move to Orlando, Fla., where her mother, father and brother live. They even postponed having a baby, she said, and now regretted having waited for so long.

The effects of the measure were felt in Africa, too.

Many people in Mogadishu, Somalia, used the same word to describe Mr. Trump. “He’s a dabaal,” said Guled Hassan, a Somali university student. “Dabaal” is the Somali word for a fool.

On Thursday, Mr. Guled and his friends, who were hanging out in a park near Mogadishu’s crumbling seashore, slurping mango shakes, were paying extra close attention to the news streaming into their phones. Just about all of them had heard that Mr. Trump might ban visas for Somalis.

Just about all of them said they wanted to go to the United States, and they mostly agreed the visa ban was “stupid” and “unfair.”

No Somalis doubt that their country has a terrorism problem. Just the day before, more than a dozen people were killed in a double-bombing at a Mogadishu hotel. The Shabab, a Somali militant group, took credit for the attack and remains one of the world’s most bloodthirsty and dangerous terrorist organizations, having killed thousands across several countries in eastern Africa.

But the consensus was that Mr. Trump was punishing all Somalis for the potential misdeeds of a few. “He won the election by saying he would chase away black people,” said Bilal Guled Mohamed, a college student.

Another young man, Abdul Karim Hilowle, asked, “What’s the difference between Somalis already in the U.S. and those who want to go now?”

The displaced people in unenclosed area for five days,are calling for help and relief , and Dr. Sabah Al-Tamimi is responding to them by getting them in displacement camp.

thepeacenews” Dr. Sabah was able to enter 11 family (Mosul origin) whom are displaced from Al-Hool camp in Syria to Baghdad,  in displacement camps at Al-Jamea’a neighborhood after being stayed in un enclosed area for 5 days .

The displaced people said that “we  demanded  a lot of officials in Baghdad and Nineveh for 5 days , but unfortunately, no one replied us , so we forced to ask Dr. Sabah Al-Timimi for  a relief and help, who responded  to us within short  hours  and was able to get us in displacement camps at Al-Jamea neighborhood after we were  stayed for 5 days in un enclosed area without water, food or even medicine” .they thanked Al-Timimi deeply upon her noble humanitarian position to rescue and save them and their kids from hunger, cold and diseases.

Al-Timi said that our duty is to serve the displaced people and assured that she is proud of serving all Iraqi people whether they are from Baghdad or Mosul or any other Iraqi governorate, referring that she would take care them and follow up those families via her multi visits to them as well as she would do her best efforts to meet their necessary humanitarian requirements .

What to know about Trump’s visa and refugee restrictions

President Donald Trump’s road to the White House was paved in part with hard-line promises such as building a “great, great wall” along the US-Mexico border and outright banning immigration from any nations “compromised by terrorism.”

After a week in office, Trump has sought to make these dramatic steps the pillars of his national security policy, scrawling his signature on executive orders aimed at reshaping immigration across the United States.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest controversial actions.

What immigration restrictions are under consideration?

An executive order signed by Trump on Friday bans all people from certain terrorism-prone countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The text of the order doesn’t name the countries, but a White House official said they are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

The same order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated for nationals of countries that Trump’s Cabinet believes can be properly vetted.
The total number of refugees admitted into the United States will be capped during the 2017 fiscal year at 50,000, down more than half from the current level of 110,000.
During his campaign, Trump vowed to ban Muslim immigrants from countries with a “proven history” of terrorism against the United States or its allies.
Friday’s executive order gives the Department of Homeland Security leeway to prioritize refugee claims “on the basis of religious based persecution” as long as the person applying for refugee status is “a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”
That would make it easier for Christians and other religious minorities in majority-Muslim countries to enter the United States than it would for Muslims in general.
Trump to take action on refugees, visas

Trump to take action on refugees, visas

Trump to take action on refugees, visas 02:21
Trump’s order also cancels the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which once allowed repeat travelers to the United States to be able to forgo an in-person interview to renew their visa. Under the new order, these travelers must now have an in-person interview.
“We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race,” the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. refugee agency said in a joint statement.

What’s the reaction to his plan?

Abed A. Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Trump’s actions were “tantamount to a Muslim ban.”
“In our view, these actions taken by Trump and this administration have nothing to do with national security,” he said. “They’re based off Islamophobia, they’re based off of xenophobia, and we cannot allow that to continue.”
Justin Cox, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, agreed.
“This is a Muslim ban,” Cox said. “It doesn’t say that in those words, but those seven countries are Muslim-majority.”
The National Iranian American Council, for instance, pointed out that all seven nations have Muslim-majority populations.
“We agree with the goal of making America safe from terror, but a blanket ban based on national origin does nothing to achieve that objective,” the council’s statement said.

How many people come to the US from countries Trump is targeting?

In the last fiscal year, 43% of refugees admitted into the United States came from the seven countries that could be affected by restrictions, according to data from the Refugee Processing Center.
The Obama administration had pushed to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States as part of humanitarian efforts in 2016.
During fiscal 2016, which began October 2015 and ended September 2016, the United States admitted the following number of refugees from the seven countries: 9,880 from Iraq; 3,750 from Iran; 1 from Libya; 9,020 from Somalia; 12,587 from Syria; 1,458 from Sudan and 26 from Yemen.

Are other types of visas available?

Apart from refugees, there are also other types of visas issued by the United States. Here are the number of total US non-immigrant and immigrant visas issued to the affected countries in 2015: 15,509 to Iraq; 42,542 to Iran; 3,575 to Libya; 1,409 to Somalia; 11,962 to Syria; 2,153 to Sudan and 7,668 to Yemen.
Trump on Syrian refugees

Trump tracker syrian refugees_00001307

Trump on Syrian refugees 00:15

What do critics of the resettlement effort say?

The issue is a major domestic political flashpoint. Critics like Trump and several Republican governors have expressed concern about the potential for ISIS or other terrorist groups to exploit refugee flows to reach the West.

Is it legal?

Hours after Trump signed the executive orders, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced it will mount a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the order.
CAIR said more than 20 plaintiffs have joined the suit, the details of which will be announced Monday.
“The courts must do what President Trump will not — ensure that our government refrains from segregating people based on their faith,” said Gadeir Abbas, co-counsel on CAIR’s lawsuit.
Still, the Immigration and Nationality Act grants broad-ranging powers to the President:
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate,” part of the act reads.
This suggests Trump has a lot of leeway.
But another section of the law, which was passed in 1965 during the Civil Rights movement, states that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”
In an analysis piece, David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, wrote that such protection extends to green card holders and may not extend to non-immigrants such as refugees, asylum seekers, guest workers, tourists and temporary visitors.
Anxiety over Trump in a California mosque

exp Muslim Fears Tuchman_00002001

Anxiety over Trump in a California mosque 03:03

What will be some effects of these actions?

Melanie Nezer, vice president for policy and advocacy at HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit, said Trump’s actions could be devastating for refugees. “People will literally, if this goes through, not be allowed to get on planes, or arrive in the US and be told they have to go back,” she said.
She said she wonders whether refugees who have already been approved for travel to the United States will have their papers revoked.
“So maybe they’ve given up their housing,” Nezer said. “Maybe they’re waiting at the airport and everything has been sold.”
Said Cox, “It could have real consequences for individuals who have been issued visas and are making their way to the United States right now. They could conceivably be denied entry at airports or at the border.”

Is there precedent for this?

President George W. Bush suspended refugee admissions for three months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while certain safeguard were put in place.
However, banning people from specific countries is new.
“I’m not aware of any prior such edict from the president saying that people from a particular country aren’t permitted to be admitted as refugees,” Cox said.

Trump Mexico wall will destroy lives, Berlin mayor warns

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller has urged US President Donald Trump “not to go down the road of isolation” with his planned border wall with Mexico.

Mr Mueller warned such divides cause “slavery and pain” and would “destroy the lives of millions”.

The German city was divided by the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989.

Mr Mueller’s statement came as Mr Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto agreed to “work out their differences” over the issue.

The planned wall was one of Mr Trump’s key election campaign pledges, but it has cast a shadow over the US’s relationship with its neighbour.

Mr Pena Nieto has repeatedly stated that Mexico will not pay for the wall and has condemned a US suggestion that it may impose a 20% tax on his country’s imports to finance the structure.

A sign in front of the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate reads Image copyrightEPAImage captionThe Berlin Wall (pictured in 1986) divided the city from 1961 to 1989

“We Berliners know best how much suffering was caused by the division of an entire continent,” Mr Mueller said in a statement, referring to Europe’s “Iron Curtain”.

He said the city could not “silently look on as a country sets about building a new wall”.

“We cannot let our historical experience get trashed by the very people to whom we owe much of our freedom: the Americans.

“I call on the president not to go down the road of isolation,” the statement reads(in German). “Mr President, don’t build this wall.”

A strategic relationship

At a joint news conference on Friday at the White House with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, Mr Trump said he had had a “very good call” with Mr Pena Nieto.

The White House later released a statement describing the telephone conversation as “productive and constructive”, adding that both presidents recognised the “differences of positions” on the issue of the proposed wall.


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“Both presidents have instructed their teams to continue the dialogue to strengthen this important strategic and economic relationship,” the statement said.

He did not reveal the subject of the conversation with Mr Nieto when questioned at the White House, but said the US was “no longer going to be the country that doesn’t know what it’s doing”.


The new order? – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News North America Reporter

Welcome to a brave new world of international diplomacy, Donald Trump style.

The new president seems determined to run foreign policy the way he handled his business empire and public interactions – vying for dominance and exploiting weakness.

Recalcitrant clients were either denied payment or sued. Personal adversaries were mocked. Political foes were demeaned.

On the international stage, we see these attitudes playing out in Mr Trump’s goading, belligerent remarks directed at Mexico and its president. With a gross domestic product that’s a fraction of the US’s, Mexico is the Rosie O’Donnell or “Little Marco” Rubio on Mr Trump’s world stage.

Contrast that with the president’s deferential treatment of Russia’s Vladimir Putin or British PM Theresa May during her recent White House visit.

US-Mexico border wall

1,900 miles

Length of the border (3,100 km)

650 miles

Distance the current barrier covers

  • $10bn-$12bn Amount Donald Trump estimates the new wall will cost
  • $25bn Amount Washington Post study estimates the new wall will cost
Getty Images

When it comes to foreign relations, Mr Trump respects strength and tradition. His admiration for Winston Churchill is not so different from past praise of General George Patton or actor John Wayne – strong men from a different era.

Mr Trump was elected because voters – particularly blue-collar workers – believed he would fight for them and economic benefits would follow. His critics warned his temperament would disrupt global order.

We’ll eventually find out who was right.


Mexico’s increasing nervousness over its northern neighbour appears to have prompted Mexico’s richest man to step in.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim speaks during a press conference in the midst of a diplomatic rift between Mexico and the US over Donald TrumpImage copyrightAFPImage captionMexican billionaire Carlos Slim acknowledged Mr Trump was a good negotiator, but ‘not Terminator’

In a rare news conference, Carlos Slim said Mr Trump – who he spoke out against during the campaign, but has since had dinner with – is a good negotiator, but “he is not Terminator”.

Mr Slim, who has offered to help his government negotiate with Mr Trump, added that he believed “the circumstances in the United States are very favourable for Mexico”, and policies aimed at boosting the US economy would also help Mexico.

He also said he expected Trump’s “hyperactivity” to cool down with time.

Britain’s May due in Turkey for talks with Erdogan

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, arrived in Turkey on Saturday for a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — another important but complicated British ally.

May flew overnight to Ankara by RAF Voyager jet from the U.S., where she and Trump hailed a new chapter in the trans-Atlantic “special relationship.”

May’s talks in Ankara with Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will focus on boosting trade between Turkey and Britain once the U.K. leaves the European Union, and on increasing cooperation over security and counterterrorism.

May, who is paying her first visit to Turkey since becoming prime minister, is under pressure at home to condemn Turkey’s clampdown on civil liberties since the government crushed a coup attempt in July.

Turkey has detained tens of thousands of people suspected of links to a movement led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt. More than 100,000 others have been dismissed from government jobs.

The clampdown extended to other government opponents. More than a hundred journalists and pro-Kurdish party leaders are in jail.

Kate Allen, head of Amnesty U.K., said the visit was a “vital opportunity” for May to ask “probing questions” about allegations of excessive use of force and ill-treatment in detention.

May’s office said Britain urged Turkey “to ensure that their response is proportionate, justified and in line with international human rights obligations.”

May and Turkish leaders are also expected to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts to reunite Cypru