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Supreme Court to hear Trump travel ban case, allows part to go into effect

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The US Supreme Court will hear arguments about President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban against foreign nationals from six majority-Muslim countries in their next term. In the meantime, people with no relationship with the US won’t be able to enter.

The case will be heard “during the first session of October Term 2017,” as the government “has not requested that we expedite consideration of the merits to a greater extent,” the court said.

Foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who have a “bona fiderelationship” with the United States ‒ such as a relative or a work or educational opportunity ‒ will still be able to enter the country.

A “bona fiderelationship” would mean “a close familial relationship” to qualify for the exemption, the court said. “As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading” the executive order. Such an entity could be an educational institution or a business that is hiring the foreign citizen.

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented in part, noting that he would grant the government’s request in its entirety and objecting to the court “keeping the injunctions in place with regard to an unidentified, unnamed group of foreign nationals abroad.”

The compromise will invite “a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits,” Thomas wrote. His dissent was joined by two of his fellow conservatives on the bench, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed by Trump earlier this year.

The justices will hear arguments about the second iteration of Trump’s travel ban, which was issued in early March, after the first, harsher version was put on hold by multiple courts. The second executive order, which Trump has complained was “watered down,” was set to go into effect on March 16 for a 90-day review period, but was halted before that could happen.

In mid-June, the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals upheld the majority of an injunction issued by US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in March. His injunction blocked the Trump administration from enforcing two sections of their revised travel ban. However, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit later concluded that the injunction was too broad.

The court granted the government’s application to stay the lower courts’ injunctions that prevent enforcement “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

“We leave the injunctions entered by the lower courts in place with respect to respondents and those similarly situated, as specified in this opinion,” the court wrote.

The 9th circuit’s decision to stay the suspension of refugee admissions was also partly overturned, and narrowed to apply only to those who have a “bona fide relationship” to an American individual or entity.

“But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security,” the court said.

Trump called the Supreme Court’s announcement a “clear victory for national security.”

“Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland,” the president said in a statement. “I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”

Two days after the 9th Circuit upheld much of the injunction, Trump had issued a memo to his secretary of state, attorney general, secretary of homeland security and director of national intelligence, instructing their agencies to begin internal vetting reviews and to activate the travel and refugee bans 72 hours after the injunctions are lifted.

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FBI should have informed me of Manafort investigation: Trump

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Donald Trump

Washington, June 4 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has questioned the fact that the FBI did not inform him about the investigation of his then campaign manager Paul Manafort ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Trump said on Sunday on Twitter.

“Should have told me!” The President also said that Manafort joined his campaign “very late” and that he worked with him for “a short period of time,” specifically, between June and August 2016, Efe news reported.

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

The indictment charged Manafort with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, among others.

Manafort had to step down as Trump’s campaign manager after it was discovered that he had failed to report receiving a $12.7 million payment for providing counsel to deposed pro-Moscow Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2016).

Manafort’s trial, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges at a court appearance on October 30, 2017, is set for July 24 in the state of Virginia.

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Ex-English teacher finds errors in White House letter

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

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White-House

New York, May 28 (IANS) A retired English teacher found many errors in a White House letter bearing President Donald Trumps signature and mailed it back after making corrections, a media report said.

The letter, dated May 3 and printed on White House stationery, was addressed to Yvonne Mason, 61, who retired in 2017. After she made the corrections, she snapped a picture, posted the letter on Facebook and mailed it back to the White House.

“It was a poorly worded missive,” she told The New York Times on Sunday.

“Poor writing is not something I abide. If someone is capable of doing better, then they should do better.”

Mason, a Democrat who lives in Atlanta, had written to Trump to ask that he visit each family of those who died in the shooting that killed 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

“I had written to them in anger, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I thought he owed it to these grieving families.”

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

Instead, it listed a series of actions taken after the shooting, like listening sessions, meetings with lawmakers and the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that would authorise $500 million over 10 years for safety improvements at schools but had no provisions related to guns.

Some of the things Mason wrote in the letter were: “Have y’all tried grammar & style check?”

“Federal is capitalised only when used as part of a proper noun.”

There was more, but she did not correct everything.

“I did not mention the dangling modifier… I focused mainly on mechanics,” Mason told The New York Times.

“Nation” was capitalised, so was “states”. She circled both the words.

The letter stood in contrast to other letters she has received from politicians, Mason said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, sent “beautiful” letters that struck a tone that “makes me more important than him”, she said.

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George H.W. Bush hospitalised with low pressure

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George H.W. Bush

Washington, May 28 (IANS) Former US President George H.W. Bush was hospitalised to be treated for low blood pressure and fatigue, a family spokesman said.

“The former President is awake and alert, and not in any discomfort,” spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted on Sunday, adding that the 93-year-old will likely remain at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, Maine, “for a few days for observation”.

Bush was released from Houston Methodist Hospital this month after being admitted for a virus just a few hours after attending the funeral of his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died on April 17, reports Efe news.

Bush suffers from a type of Parkinson’s that hampers his ability to walk and has been hospitalised several times over the last few years for a variety of health conditions.

Last year, he was admitted in January and April for respiratory complications and had to undergo surgery.

In 2015, he fractured a neck vertebrae and in 2012 he spent Christmas at Houston Methodist Hospital due to bronchitis and a viral infection.

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