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Donald Trump plans to reshape judiciary

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Washington, Dec 27, 2016: US President-elect Donald Trump, who will inherit over 100 vacant federal courts, and an open Supreme Court seat, plans to reshape the judiciary after taking office, a media report said.

The judicial vacancies that President Barack Obama would hand over to Trump in the January 20 transition of power were nearly double the 54 openings that Obama found eight years back, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominees slowed to a crawl after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015.

Obama White House officials blamed Senate Republicans for “an unprecedented level of obstruction” in blocking the Democratic president’s court picks.

The result was a multitude of openings throughout the federal circuit and district courts that would allow the new Republican president “to quickly make a wide array of lifetime appointments”.

State gun control laws, abortion restrictions, voter laws, anti-discrimination measures and immigrant issues were all matters that were increasingly heard by federal judges and would be influenced by the new composition of the courts.

Trump has vowed to choose ideologues in the mould of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon — a prospect that has activists on the right “giddy”.

The Supreme Court vacancy created by Scalia’s death in February was a motivating issue for many conservative voters, especially evangelical Christians, to turn out for Trump in November.

Senate Republicans refused to hold even a hearing on Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, for the Scalia seat.

“Republican tactics have been shameful and will forever leave a stain on the US Senate,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

“Republican congressional dysfunction has now metastasised to the third branch of government, and that is not a legacy to be proud of,” Schultz added.

Trump spoke frequently about his intentions to put forward a more conservative Supreme Court nominee as a way to galvanise the right.

“The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophies,” Trump said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

“Very important. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election,” he said.

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Amid political crisis Maldives to hold presidential poll in September

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Male, Feb 23: The first round of presidential elections in the Maldives will be held in early September and preparations for the polls have already begun, the Elections Commission has announced.

It said on Thursday that a second round, if necessary, would be held within 21 days from the election day.

The President’s Office in a statement said it welcomed the announcement and encouraged all relevant stakeholders to offer the Elections Commission their full, unreserved support for the conduct of their work.

“Free, fair and credible elections are the foundation of our democracy and it is essential for continuity of our nation’s growth, stability and prosperity,” the statement said.

“The government of the Maldives extends its invitation to all international stakeholders to observe the electoral process and… urges the international community to provide support in bringing back normalcy in the Maldives.

“It also requests the international community to refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation the country is facing,” the President’s Office said.

It further said that the government recommended all political parties and politicians alike to work towards, making the upcoming elections free and fair, rather than engage in a battle to topple the government and to destabilize the nation.

The Maldivian Parliament earlier this week approved extending the state of Emergency in the country by 30 days following a request by President Abdulla Yameen.

Yameen had requested for an extension “as the threat to national security had not diminished” following the Supreme Court ruling on February 1 ordering the release of detained opposition leaders, including self-exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The President had first declared a 15-day state of emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ruling, which was, however, rescinded shortly after the declaration of the state of Emergency.

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UK violates women’s rights by unduly restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland

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Geneva, Feb 23:  The United Kingdom violates women’s rights by unduly restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland, a report by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women stated on Friday.

“Denial of abortion and criminalization of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations,” Reuters quoted citing the committee’s vice-chairwoman, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, said in a statement.

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Financial Action Task Force to put Pakistan on grey list for terror financing: Sources

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Financial Action Task Force(FATF) has taken the decision to put Pakistan on the grey list for terror financing, Reported ANI Sources. 

The motion brought forth by the United States (US) was backed by the countries like the United Kingdom (UK), France, and India.

The insiders revealed that Pakistan’s traditional friend China withdrew its objections in putting Islamabad on the grey list.

The move will make it difficult for international financial institutions and banks to do business in Pakistan and it will also make it difficult for Pakistani businesses to raise money overseas.

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