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Parents, children entering US illegally will be separated: Sessions

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US Attorney Jeff Sessions

Washington, May 8: US Attorney Jeff Sessions has said that Washington will take a stricter stance on illegal crossings at the Mexico border by separating parents from children, rather than keeping them together in detention centres, the media reported.

“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Time magazine quoted Sessions as saying on Monday at a law enforcement event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Sessions added, describing the new policy as zero tolerance.

“We are dealing with a massive influx of illegal aliens across our Southwest Border. But we’re not going to stand for this.”

He said “11 million people are already here illegally. That’s more than the population of Portugal or the state of Georgia”, adding that illegal border crossings “must end”.

Sessions ramped up legal resources at the border, sending 35 federal prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to the southwest region to assist with an expected increase in border crossing cases.

The new policy is being implemented with the goal of a 100 per cent prosecution rate for all that enter the US illegally, reports Time magazine.

Charged adults will be sent directly to federal court.

Children in turn will be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, which works with shelters or relatives in the US.

So far this fiscal year which began on October 1, 2017, more than 26,000 minors have been detained along the southern border, of which almost half come from Guatemala – 12,459 – followed by those from Mexico (6,151), Honduras (4,624) and El Salvador (2,090).

According to the the Department of Homeland Security, 700 children have been separated from their parents so far.

Last month, Senators at a subcommittee testimony said almost 1,500 migrant children went missing after federal officials put them in the homes of adult sponsors around the country.

The number of migrants detained along the US-Mexico border rose by 223 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2017, with 50,924 illegal migrants being apprehended.

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Middle East

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah dies at age 91

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Emir Sheikh Sabah

Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has died at the age of 91, state media report.

He is expected to be succeeded by his 83-year-old half-brother and crown prince, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed.

In July, Sheikh Sabah was flown to the United States for medical treatment following surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait.

He had ruled the oil-rich Gulf Arab state since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years.

He was dubbed the “dean of Arab diplomacy” for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.

The emir also often acted as a mediator in regional disputes, including the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between Saudi Arabia, its allies and Qatar.

Kuwait also refrained from intervening in Syria’s civil war, instead hosting several donor conferences for humanitarian aid.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah (2nd right) stands beside Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (right) and Bahrain’s King Hamad (2nd left) at a GCC summit in Riyadh on 10 December 2019

Sheikh Sabah came to power in January 2006, after Emir Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah stepped down just nine days into his rule as parliament moved to depose him on health grounds.

He had been prime minister under the previous Emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, and for several years had been seen as the de facto ruler.

Before then, he served as foreign minister from 1963 to 1991 and from 1992 to 2003.

Kuwait – which has a population of 4.8 million, including 3.4 million foreigners – has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves and is a major US ally.

It has been ruled by the Sabah family for the past 260 years.

The emir has the last say in political matters. He has the power to override or dissolve parliament, and call elections.

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India

Unprecedented provocation! China says it does not recognise illegally established union territory of Ladakh

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed that India had “illegally” established the UT of Ladakh and opposed infrastructure development on border areas.

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Wang Wenbin

New Delhi: A belligerent China on Tuesday again sought to provoke India amid the ongoing border dispute, saying that it does not recognise the union territory of Ladakh. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed that India had “illegally” established the UT of Ladakh and opposed infrastructure development on border areas.

“China does not recognize the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes,” spokesperson Wang said while commenting on India’s move to build roads along the border.

“According to the recent consensus reached between China and India, neither side should take any actions in border areas that would complicate the situation, so as not to affect the efforts of both sides to ease the situation,” Wang added, in comments posted by state-run Global Times on its Twitter handle.

It may be recalled that Ladakh used to be a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir till 2019. On August 5, last year, the Central government revoked the special status of J&K and bifurcated the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The bifurcation came into effect on October 31 (2019) – which India marks as National Unity Day.

The Chinese remarks came on a day when Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on said that the prevailing situation along the Line of Actual Control was “uneasy”. According to the IAF chief, a “no war, no peace” status was prevailing along the northern border amid the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh.

He, however, assured that the Indian armed forces were prepared for any eventuality and that the IAF was resolved to counter “any misadventure”.

“Present security scenario along our northern frontiers is at an uneasy — no war, no peace status…. The recent induction of Rafales along with other aircraft has provided the IAF with substantial practical and strategic capability enhancement,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.

“Air power will be a crucial enabler in our victory in any future conflict,” he added.

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World

Trump taxes are ‘national security’ issue: Nancy Pelosi

Mr Trump departed from decades of tradition among presidents and presidential candidates when he refused to release his federal income tax returns the first time he ran for president in 2016.

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Trump Speaker PelosTrump Speaker Nancy Pelosii

Washington, Sep 29 : The top-ranked Democrat in Washington has called US President Donald Trump’s alleged tax avoidance a question of “national security”.

The Republican president responded in a series of Twitter posts to a New York Times report that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises.

“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.”

The Republican president, who will face Democratic rival Joe Biden on Tuesday night for their first presidential debate, said he had “extraordinary assets” and boasted a “very IMPRESSIVE” financial statement.

Mr Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt amid chronic business losses that he uses to avoid paying taxes, the Times reported. It said it has obtained tax-return data covering more than two decades for Mr Trump and his businesses.

Mr Trump’s reported debts raise national security issues, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, as the public deserves to know to whom he owes money because it could be used as leverage against him. “To me this is a national security question,” she told MSNBC.

Mr Trump departed from decades of tradition among presidents and presidential candidates when he refused to release his federal income tax returns the first time he ran for president in 2016.

He says it is because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service but the agency has said there is no reason he cannot release his taxes while under audit.

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