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US top court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban

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WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries even as legal challenges continue in lower courts.

The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted Trump administration’s request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban, which is the third version of a contentious policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January.

This is not a final ruling on the travel ban as challenges to the policy are winding through the federal courts, and the justices themselves ultimately are expected to rule on its legality.

But the action indicates that the high court might eventually approve the latest version of the ban, announced by President Donald Trump in September.

Opponents of this and previous versions of the ban say they show a bias against Muslims. They say that was reinforced most recently by Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos.

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“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret. He has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter. It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. The ACLU is representing some opponents of the ban.

ONly two justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — noted their disagreement with court orders allowing the latest policy to take full effect.

The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those countries with a claim of a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.

Now, those relationships will no longer provide a blanket exemption from the ban, although visa officials can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

In lawsuits filed in Hawaii and Maryland, federal courts said the updated travel ban violated federal immigration law. The travel policy also applies to travelers from North Korea and to some Venezuelan government officials and their families, but the lawsuits did not challenge those restrictions. Also unaffected are refugees. A temporary ban on refugees expired in October.

Reuters/AP

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FPTP vote count concludes, UML emerges as largest party with 80 seats

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KATHMANDU — The vote count for the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) for the House of Representatives and provincial Assembly elections has for concluded on Wednesday.

As per the final result, CPN-UML has emerged as the largest party of the nation with 80 seats to the House of Representatives and 168 seats on provincial assemblies.

Similarly, the CPN (Maoist Centre) has won in 36 federal constituencies and the party has emerged victorious in 73 provincial constituencies.

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Likewise, the Nepali Congress (NC) has won in 23 federal constituencies. The party has been elected in 45 provincial constituencies.

Federal socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janta Party Nepal (RJPN) have secured victory on 10 and 11 seats on federal constituencies and 24 and 16 seats in provincial assemblies respectively.

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