The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out an appeals court ruling that struck down President Donald Trump’s previous temporary travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations countries that have now expired.
“This is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorists entering the United States. We all know what that means,” said Trump.
The court acted in one of two cases pending involving a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had sued to stop the ban contained in a March executive order.
The court did not act on a separate challenge brought by the state of Hawaii, which the court had also agreed to hear. That case also features a challenge to a separate 120-day refugee ban, which has not yet expired.
The expired ban had targeted people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan.
The new open-ended ban, scheduled to take effect on Oct. 18, removed Sudan from the list while blocking people from Chad and North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela from entering the United States. — Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the international community on Tuesday (August 20) to work out how to stop Iran from being “unshackled to create new turmoil” when a United Nations arms embargo on the country and a travel ban on the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force expire in October 2020.
Speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Middle East peace and security challenges, Pompeo called for greater cooperation in the region to produce “fresh thinking to solve old problems,” citing problems including the Libyan and Syrian conflicts and a rift between several Gulf states and Qatar.
He also singled out Iran.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration last year quit an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and began to ratchet up sanctions.
“Since the U.S. declared our intention to bring all Iranian oil purchases to zero in April, the Ayatollah has gone all in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy,” he said, calling out Iran for breaching caps imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal, test-firing a ballistic missile and seizing tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.
Under the Iran nuclear deal, a U.N. arms embargo on the country and a travel ban on Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani are due to expire next year. The Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
Pompeo said the U.S. State Department had put a clock on its website that was counting down to the removal of the measures.
“The international community will have plenty of time to see how long it has until Iran is unshackled to create new turmoil, and figure out what it must do to prevent this from happening,” he said.
The council has not, and is unlikely to take any action on Iran. European powers have been scrambling to salvage the nuclear deal, while diplomats say Russia and China – which are council veto powers along with the United States, France and Britain – are likely to shield Iran from any action. (Reuters)
An Iranian tanker headed through the Mediterranean towards Greece on Monday (August 19) after it was released from detention off Gibraltar as Tehran warned against any U.S. move to seize the vessel again.
The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday (August 18).
Refinitiv ship tracking data showed early on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece.
The seizure of the tanker by British Royal Marines near Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions led to a weeks-long stand-off between Tehran and the West. It also heightened tensions on international oil shipping routes through the Gulf.
Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, lifted the detention order on Thursday (August 22) but the next day a federal court in Washington issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million.
Iran on Monday said any U.S. attempt to seize the tanker would have “heavy consequences” and that a crisis in Iran’s ties with Britain would not be over until the vessel reached its destination. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has advised Filipinos to refrain from travelling to Hong Kong for now as the ongoing demonstrations have crippled operations in the international airport there.
“Ang travel ban siguro with respect kung gusto mo pumunta sa (The travel ban perhaps is with respect to your choice to travel to Hong Kong.) This is not the right time to go there kasi ang flight mo biglang naka-cancel, (as your flight might suddenly get cancelled,)” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a press briefing Tuesday (August 13).
Thousands of protesters swarmed Hong Kong International Airport’s main terminal on Monday (August 12) which led to cancellations of hundreds of outbound and inbound flights to and from the autonomous territory.
“Avoid muna going there, that’s the advice (because) you’re not sure you’re going to reach Hong Kong in the first place,” Panelo added.
When asked about a proposed ban on deployment of workers to Hong Kong, the Palace spokesperson said there is no need to declare such prohibition citing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III since the protest movements as limited only to specific areas in Hong Kong.
“Nagkakagulo sa airport. Limited naman ang gulo sa airport, (The chaos is in the airport and it’s limited only within the airport,)” he said.
On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said in a statement that terminal operations at the airport “have been seriously disrupted, and all check-in processes have now been suspended.”
“Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport. All passengers are advised to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible,” the statement said.
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