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Melania Trump’s parents become naturalised US citizens through ‘chain migration’

President Trump has railed against what he calls “chain migration”, which he says has resulted in fiercer competition for blue-collar jobs for native-born Americans and greater national security concerns.

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donald trump with wife Melania

New York, Aug 10 : US First Lady Melania Trump’s parents were sworn in as US citizens in a naturalisation ceremony in New York on Thursday, completing a years-long immigration process even as President Trump has called for new laws to bar Americans from sponsoring parents and other relatives.

Questions about the couple’s immigration status intensified last year as the President mounted a push to reduce legal immigration, including provisions to constrict the ability of US citizens to sponsor their parents, adult children and siblings for green cards.

Michael Wildes, an attorney for Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who had been living in the country as legal permanent residents after leaving their native Slovenia, confirmed that his clients took the oath of citizenship at the ceremony on Thursday, reports The Washington Post.

President Trump has railed against what he calls “chain migration”, which he says has resulted in fiercer competition for blue-collar jobs for native-born Americans and greater national security concerns.

In fiscal 2016, the US granted nearly 1.2 million green cards, of which 174,000 went to parents of American citizens, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“Citizenship was just awarded,” Wildes said. “They have prevailed in a wonderful journey, as millions have.”

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the First Lady, declined to comment on the couple, saying that “they are not part of the administration”.

Wildes said the Knavses satisfied the requirement that permanent residents hold their green cards for five years before they can apply for US citizenship.

However, it remains unclear when the Knavses first moved to the US, but by late 2007, Viktor Knavs was listed in public records as residing at Mar-a-Lago, the President’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla.

The Knavses received no special treatment because of their relationship with the first family, Wildes told reporters in New York.

“The application, the process, the interview was no different than anybody else’s, other than the security arrangements to (the) facility today,” he said. “This is an example of it going right. They’re very excited.”

Melania Trump, formerly a model known as Melania Knauss, arrived in New York in 1996 and began dating Donald Trump in 2000.

In 2001, she was granted a green card in the elite EB-1 programme, which was designed for renowned academic researchers, multinational business executives or those in other fields, such as Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors, who demonstrated “sustained national and international acclaim”.

The year she got her legal residency, only five people from Slovenia received green cards under the EB-1 programme, according to the State Department.

The Knavses raised Melania in the rural town of Sevnica when Slovenia was a part of communist Yugoslavia.

(IANS)

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Anna Burns wins 50th Man Booker Prize for ‘Milkman’

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London, Oct 17: Anna Burns from Northern Ireland has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her third novel “Milkman”. She won the much coveted 50,000 pound award for her timely, troubles-set novel about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.

Burns, 56, became the first Northern Irish winner of the award and accepted the prize at a ceremony at Guildhall here late on Tuesday.

She is also the first female winner since 2012, when Hilary Mantel took the award with “Bring Up the Bodies”.

Booker’s chair of judges, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, said that the novel is “incredibly original”.

“Milkman” is narrated by an unnamed 18-year-old girl, known as “middle sister”, who is being pursued by a much older paramilitary figure, the milkman.

“None of us has ever read anything like this before,” said Appiah, announcing the prize.

“Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in a surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour.”

Written in lengthy blocks of paragraphs, eschewing character names for descriptions, Appiah admitted that “Milkman” could be seen as “challenging, but in the way a walk up Snowdon is challenging. It is definitely worth it because the view is terrific when you get to the top,” he said.

Previous Irish winners, including John Banville, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle, all come from the Irish Republic.

Burns beat writers including American literary heavyweight Richard Powers, Canadian Esi Edugyan and Daisy Johnson, at 27 the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the award.

According to Appiah, the judges, picking from a shortlist that delved into some dark themes, were “unanimous” in their choice of winner — and not influenced by concerns that picking a third American winner in a row could cause controversy.

Burns, who was born in Belfast and now lives in East Sussex, drew on her own experiences growing up in what she called “a place that was rife with violence, distrust and paranoia”.

As the milkman presses his advances on the reluctant middle sister, rumours begin that she is having an affair with him.

Milkman also spoke to the concerns of today, Appiah said. “I think this novel will help people think about #MeToo … It is to be commended for giving us a deep and subtle and morally and intellectually challenging picture of what #MeToo is about.”

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for quality literary fiction written in English.

Its list of winners includes many of the giants of the last five decades, from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to J.M. Coetzee.

The prize has also recognised many authors early in their careers, including Eleanor Catton, Aravind Adiga and Ben Okri.

No Indian authors were longlisted or shortlisted for the 50th edition of the prize.

IANS

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Pakistan hangs 6-year-old Zainab’s killer

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Policemen escort Imran Ali as the suspect leaves an anti terrorism court. (File Photo- AFP)

Islamabad, Oct 17: Pakistan early on Wednesday hanged a man convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in January.

Imran Ali, who was arrested after her body was found in a garbage dump, was executed in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison, police said.

Zainab’s father and other relatives were present. Zainab’s father, Amin Ansari told the BBC after the execution that he was “satisfied”.

“I have seen his awe-inspiring end with my own eyes. They dropped him on the gallows, and let his body hang for half an hour,” he told reporters.

The case, the most heinous in a string of similar child murders in the city of Kasur, had sparked outrage and protests in the country.

Zainab disappeared on January 4 and her body was found five days later in a rubbish dump. She would have been 7 years and 2 months old if she was alive, said Ansari, who expressed regret that authorities did not televise the hanging.

Ansari’s earlier appeal for Ali to face a public hanging was dismissed by the Lahore High court.

Police said there had been several similar child murders in the past two years in Kasur but her killing proved to be a tipping point.

It triggered widespread outrage, including protests complaining of police incompetence. Two people were killed in the ensuing clashes.

Zainab’s family had said the police did not take action during the five days from when she was reported missing until her body was found.

Relatives, not police, had recovered CCTV footage of her last movements.
It showed a girl being led away by a man. Widely circulated on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForZainab later went viral, with many Pakistanis calling for action.

On January 23, 24-year-old Imran Ali was arrested using a DNA match. He was sentenced to death in February for Zainab’s rape and murder.

His appeals against the verdict failed and earlier in October President Arif Alvi rejected a plea for clemency.

IANS

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US strike in Somalia killed 60 militants, Pentagon says

This was the deadliest air strike since November 2017 when 100 militants were killed, the statement added.

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The US military says it believes some 60 al-Shabab militants were killed by one of its air strikes in central Somalia on Friday.

The “precision” strike around Harardere did not injure or kill civilians, it added in a statement.

The US said the attack was carried out as part of a joint effort with Somali forces to hit the al-Shabab group.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has not yet commented.

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