updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017


Trump's travel ban to face key test on Monday

Candidate Donald Trump's calls for a ban on Muslim immigration are at the heart of a challenge to his revised executive order restricting travel, to be considered Monday by a federal appeals court.

Is the 4th Circuit a liberal or conservative court? . The legal and political stakes in the case are high. That usually happens a few times a year.

And for the first time in the court's history the arguments will be broadcast live, on C-SPAN.

And in MA, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton - who was appointed by George H.W. Bush - refused to extend a restraining order against Mr. Trump's first executive order.

The clerk's office can not confirm if any judge or judges have recused themselves and said Thursday that the composition of the en banc panel will be revealed Monday.

The hearing will take place before 14 full-time judges of the appellate court. The exact list will be released Monday morning ahead of the hearing, set to begin at 2:30 pm (1830 GMT).

The 4th Circuit will decide the fate of a ruling from a Maryland district judge that struck down a section of the revised executive order barring visitors from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.

The administration issued its first order on immigrant entry in late January. A panel of three federal judges will review the Hawaii judgment on appeal later this month at a court in Seattle, Washington.

Chuang's 43-page, March 16 ruling noted that the second executive order differs from the first, "in that the preference for religious minorities in the refugee process has been removed".

In a 43-page decision, Chuang detailed many of Trump's statements about Muslims from the campaign trail and concluded that despite the significant changes to who was exempted by the executive order the second time around, "the history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the objective of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban".

The judge wrote that government officials defending the order "do not directly contest that this record of public statements reveals a religious motivation for the travel ban". But to the Trump administration, they are irrelevant, because all that counts is what the president said and did after he took the oath of office.

"In this highly unique case, the record provides strong indications that the national security objective is not the primary goal for the travel ban", he wrote.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: AMERICAS

Refugees can choose a separate high school in this Kentucky town

Faris (center) and Rana Nakhal recently arrived from Syria. They say it’s helpful to speak with Zaid Ali, right, a refugee from Iraq. Photo: Meredith Kolodner

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Faris Nakhal was walking home after work late at night in Damascus when two men grabbed him and hit him over the head. They then held the teenager captive for 24 days until his father, a driver for the United States ambassador to Syria, got enough money together to pay the ransom.

His family had been reluctant to leave Syria, but after that, fearing something worse might happen, they applied for asylum in the United States. And because education was second only to safety for Faris’ parents, when they finally reached Kentucky in February, they immediately enrolled Faris and his younger sister, Rana, in school.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: AMERICAS

Immigrants, Allies to rally for non-native rights in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine residents are joining with members of the state's immigrant community to rally for the rights of non-native Americans.
The rally is planned for 6 p.m. Monday in Congress Square Park in Portland. Speakers will include Sue Roche of Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project and Hamdia Ahmed, a local activist from University of Southern Maine.
  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: AMERICAS

Course teaches Somali culture in central Minnesota


By Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH — A new class will teach the basics of Somali culture and how central Minnesota has influenced it.

The Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization and Cultural Bridges are offering the course called “Somali Lives and Cultures in Central Minnesota.” It includes four classes over four weeks, that started April 27, and is a follow-up to a brief Somali language course taught last fall.

Much of the discussion will surround chapters of “From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis,” a new book by local educator and writer Hudda Ibrahim.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: AMERICAS

Trump escalates U.S. war in Somalia

United States President Donald Trump has pledged to intensify the war against the people of Somalia, which has gone on for decades.

His executive order granted the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) greater latitude in carrying out military operations inside the country against the al-Shabaab guerrilla movement. The operations no longer have to be approved at high levels in Washington nor do the officers have to show that U.S. lives are at stake and no civilian casualties will occur.

There is really no evidence that these parameters guided U.S. attacks in Somalia in the past. Though AFRICOM has often denied that its strikes and commando raids deliberately endanger civilians, this happens more often than not.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: AMERICAS