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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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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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Clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces kills 466

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Kabul, Aug 14 :At least 466 people, including 40 civilians, have been killed in ongoing clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in Ghazni city as the Islamist group launched an offensive to seize control of the eastern Afghan city five days ago.

“Taliban deaths increased to 326 while we have 100 security forces martyred, among them 70 policemen. Up to 40 civilians have also been killed,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Ghafoor Ahmad Javid said.

Javid said the casualties had increased from 325 on Monday to 466 as the Afghan security forces, with support from the US Air Force, have been clearing the city and forcing the insurgents to the outskirts.

The data on civilian casualties was still preliminary and the exact number would be released after operations to clear the city of remaining insurgents was complete, he said.

“All areas inside the city are cleared of the Taliban fighters and currently the operation is focused on the western and northern outskirts of the city.”

Javid said the priority for authorities was to provide food and water to the approximately 270,000 residents of Ghazni.

They were also working to restore telecommunication services, electricity and water distribution services, which have been severely disrupted.

This has been the heaviest Taliban offensive on a provincial capital since the brief occupation of the western city of Farah in May.

In 2015, the Taliban seized the northern city of Kunduz and held out for several days.

In 2016, the Taliban surrounded and managed to enter Trinkot, the capital of Uruzgan province, and Lashkargah — the capital of Helmand — but in both cases they were able to maintain control for only a few days.

According to information released in 2017 by the US, the Afghan government controls about 56 per cent of the country and the Taliban 11 per cent, while the rest of the territory is under dispute.

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Car Crashes Outside UK Parliament in Suspected Terror Attack

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London, Aug 14:A car crashed into security barriers outside the UK House of Parliament on Tuesday injuring number of  cyclists and pedestrians and the driver  was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences .

The Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command is investigating an incident in Westminster this morning during which a number of people were injured.

Armed police swooped on the scene moments after the vehicle collided with the barriers at 7.37 a.m, pointing their weapons at the vehicle before a male driver in his late 20s emerged.

Though he has not yet been identified, the man is not thought to be previously known to security services, according to Neil Basu, the U.K.’s counter-terrorism police chief.

He was detained and taken to a police station in south London where he remains in custody.
London Ambulance Service said it had taken two patients to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after cyclists and pedestrians were hit. A third patient with minor injuries was assessed at the scene. No one else was in the car and no weapons were found, the police said.

The decision to treat the incident as “terrorist” was made for several reasons, including CCTV recovered by the police showing the vehicle driving at pedestrians and civilians, outside an iconic site, which is seen as a high-profile target for terrorist attacks, reports said.

Westminster tube station was closed and streets around Millbank, Parliament Square and Victoria Tower Gardens were cordoned off. The nearby Strutton Ground was also closed to the public.

“My thoughts are with those injured and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response,” said Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Houses of Parliament, as it is known, are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete. The measures were extended after the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when a Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on the bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car and then stabbed and killed an unarmed police officer, Keith Palmer, before he was shot by police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

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Pakistan celebrates Independence Day

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Islamabad, Aug 14 : People all across Pakistan on Tuesday celebrated the country’s 72nd Independence Day.

As the clock struck midnight, fireworks began across the county while buildings were lit up to celebrate Independence Day.

The day-long festivities began with thanksgiving prayers and the hoisting of the national flag at all important public buildings in the country, which had been decorated with bunting and lights ahead of August 14, reports Dawn online.

The day began with a 31-gun salute in the capital, followed by 21-gun salutes in all four provincial capitals.

Pakistan Rangers officials at the Wagah border crossing exchanged sweets with Indian Border Security Force personnel.

The main ceremony will be hosted at the Islamabad’s Convention Centre, where President Mamnoon Hussain is expected to hoist the national flag. Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, the three chiefs of the armed forces and other notable personalities will be in attendance.

Change-of-guard ceremonies were also held at the mausoleums of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.

People across the country flocked to stalls that lined up streets to purchase national flags in different sizes, t-shirts, badges and other merchandise to display their national pride.

IANS

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