Top News Stories for Today – July 14, 2017
Judge rules grandparents are exempt from Trump’s travel ban
A federal judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot stop grandparents and other close relatives from entering the United States under the president’s travel ban. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s 90-day travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations and 120-day refugee ban could go through, as long as it was not enforced against travelers who had a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States.
The Trump administration decided that only spouses, parents, children, siblings, and fiancés counted as close family members, and the state of Hawaii requested an injunction, arguing that this was too narrow of a list. US District Judge Derrick Watson agreed, saying “common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members.” On Twitter, an attorney for the state of Hawaii, Neal Katyal, called the ruling a “sweeping victory.” Reuters, The Week
Trump legal team knew Trump Jr.’s Russia emails in June
Last month, President Trump’s attorneys were told about the email chain from June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone setting up a meeting for Trump Jr. with a Kremlin-connected attorney, two people with knowledge of the matter told Yahoo News Thursday. The New York Times reported about the meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last weekend, and on Wednesday, Trump told Reuters he first heard about it “two or three days ago.”
The emails, released by Trump Jr. and the Times on Tuesday, reveal that Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting after learning he would receive information that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton and was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. also invited his father’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law and current senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to attend. Yahoo News reports Trump’s chief lawyer in the Russia investigation, Marc Kasowitz, and Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer of the Trump Organization, found out about the emails in the third week of June, after they were discovered by Kushner’s lawyers. A Kasowitz spokesman declined to comment to Yahoo News. Yahoo News, The Week
Israeli police killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site
Two Israeli policemen have been killed and a third wounded in a shooting attack near a sacred site in Jerusalem. They were shot by three Israeli Arabs close to the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). Police chased the attackers into the site and shot them dead.
There has been a wave of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings of Israelis predominantly by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since late 2015. Two of the previous attackers were Jordanians. Police say the three men who carried out Friday’s attack were aged between 19 and 29 and came from the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said that they were not previously known to the security services. BBC
Senate Republicans release new Obamacare repeal bill
Senate Republicans released a new draft of their bill to repeal Obamacare Thursday, which tentatively includes a controversial amendment from Ted Cruz. The change is aimed at building enough GOP support to open debate on the bill next week, but it’s not clear the votes will be there.
Some senators aren’t even sure the bill will get a vote next week given opposition from a cross-section of Republicans. “I don’t even know that it’s going to get to a vote,” said GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Rand Paul (Ky.) have already indicated their opposition, enough to defeat the bill. On Friday, President Trump tweeted that “Republican Senators must come through as promised!” Politico, US Senate Committee on the Budget, ABC News
Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo dies
China’s best-known human rights prisoner, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent his last eight years as a prisoner of conscience, Liu Xiaobo, died Thursday at age 61 following a high-profile battle with liver cancer that made his death as controversial as his life. He passed away at a hospital in Shenyang, China, where he had been moved from his prison cell in the final stage of his illness. The judicial bureau in Shengyang announced the cause of death as “multiple organ failure.”
Liu’s final days were marked by a public dispute over the quality of his care and Beijing’s refusal of a family request that he be transferred for treatment to the United States or Germany. He is the first Nobel laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, who died of tuberculosis under the watch of Nazi secret police in Berlin, Germany, in 1938. VOA
London acid attacks
Five men were attacked with acid in London on Thursday night with one man suffering life-changing facial injuries in what police are treating as linked assaults. The five attacks, which took place over 70 minutes, are the latest in a spike of incidents using corrosive liquids as weapons in robberies and gang-related violence in the British capital.
According to a report released by the Metropolitan Police Service in March, acid attacks are on the rise in London. In 2014, there were 166 filed incidents, rising to 261 in 2015, and 454 in 2016. Police have told CNN that trend has continued this year. CNN
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