Trump travel ban to be heard by federal appeals court

In this May 15, 2017, file photo, protesters wave signs and chant during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. (AP/Ted S. Warren)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Trump travel ban to be heard by federal appeals court

RICHMOND, Virginia: President Donald Trump’s updated travel ban is headed back to a federal appeals court in Virginia.
Thirteen judges on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals will be asked to decide if the ban violates the constitution by discriminating against Muslims, as opponents say, or is necessary to protect national security, as the Trump administration says.
The hearing scheduled Friday comes four days after the US Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can fully enforce the ban even as the separate challenges continue before the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit and the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit appeals courts.
The 4th Circuit is being asked to reverse the decision of a Maryland judge whose injunction in October barred the administration from enforcing the ban against travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people or organizations in the US The ban also applies to travelers from North Korea and to some Venezuelan government officials and their families, but the lawsuits didn’t challenge those restrictions.
Trump announced his initial travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority nations in late January, bringing havoc and protests to airports around the country. A federal judge in Seattle soon blocked it, and courts since then have wrestled with the restrictions as the administration has rewritten them. The latest version blocks travelers from the listed countries to varying degrees, allowing for students from some of the countries while blocking other business travelers and tourists, and allowing for admissions on a case-by-case basis.
Opponents say the latest version of the ban is another attempt by Trump to fulfill his campaign pledge to keep Muslims out of the US The administration, however, says the ban is based on legitimate national security concerns.
The 4th Circuit rejected an earlier version in May, finding that it “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination” toward Muslims. The judges cited Trump’s campaign pledge on Muslim travelers, as well as tweets and remarks he has made since taking office.
“For the people here who are waiting for their families and friends to come to the United States, it has an impact on their faith. It denigrates their faith,” said Mariko Hirose, litigation director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. The group is one of the plaintiffs in the Maryland case.
The Trump administration also says the latest version of the ban was the product of a global review and evaluation of inadequate information-sharing practices of certain foreign governments on security issues.
“The fact that serious national-security risks are posed by some Muslim-majority nations cannot prevent the government from addressing those problems, especially after the kind of extensive, multi-agency review process that occurred here,” government lawyers argued in written briefs.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in a separate lawsuit filed in Hawaii. Much of Wednesday’s arguments focused on a narrower point: whether the president satisfied immigration law in issuing his latest travel order.
It is unclear when the appeals courts will rule, though both sides expect the US Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the legality of the ban.


Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

Updated 15 min 50 sec ago
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Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

JEDDAH: When people attain a high level of creativity and are able to dive into their imaginations, they tend to create their own world and maybe their own creatures in their head. This is how a creative young Saudi artist defined her brand, Moshkhmt.
The word “Moshkhmt” is Saudi slang meaning pencil scribble. As the name suggests, it is all about one’s power of imagination. It is all about one’s unique perception of the world and to express it through a simple sketch without uttering a word.
Haneen Turkistany, 24, the founder of the brand, explained: “Fear was the main motive for me to start and create the character Moshkhmt.”
Turkistany used the Moshkhmt character to draw a full graphic novel that was exclusive to Comic Con Dubai 2018 and will be published soon in the Middle East.
The brand offers products such as sketchbooks, notebooks, pins, stickers and wrapping sheets with creative signs and logos using the character Moshkhmt. It also focuses on the moon, stars and the outer space.
All products are available at @crate.ksa.
Explaining the basic concept and aim of Moshkhmt, Turkistany said: “Moshkhmt is there in each one of us, young and old. It is there in our memories and dreams, our joy and pain. It could be a loved one or a target we aspire to achieve. Moshkhmt is not just a brand. It is a story in every heartbeat, and I can say that life is mainly my audience.’’
Such startups encourage the creative side of all talented Saudi youths, as they make them realize the ultimate goal in life is not just material well-being or to run after wealth. With the right attitude and using one’s talent in a positive manner, wealth and success follow. This is what Turkistany believed in and launched her brand in July 2017.
She is not only an artist but also an intellectual with a message to convey to the world. “All I wish for is that people should stop underestimating the power of their feelings (and ideas),” she said.
Turkistany is working on getting her brand recognized for its main concept and plans to continue developing her sketches and character to achieve international recognition.