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Trump signs executive order to end separation of immigrant families

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has backed down and abandoned his policy of separating immigrant families on the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, after images of children in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad.

“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time we’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

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Trump signed an executive order requiring that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally for as long as their criminal proceedings take. But that may violate a court settlement on how long children may be held, setting up a potential legal fight, unless Congress acts on the issue.

The Trump order also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings and asks the Department of Defence to help house them. But it does not end a 10-week-old ‘zero tolerance’ policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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