Washington, Jan 21: In a blow to his predecessor Donald Trump’s actions to limit immigration, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday has ended the ‘Muslim travel ban’, which blocked travel to the United States from several predominantly Muslim and African countries.
Hours after taking the office, Biden on Wednesday signed 17 executive orders memorandums and proclamations including ending the Muslim travel ban.
Restart visa processing
He has directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries and to develop ways to address the harm caused to those who were prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban, The New York Times reported.
Implemented in 2017 during Trump’s first week in office, the Muslim Ban initially restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The ban faced several legal challenges, but the Supreme Court in 2018 upheld the final version of the measure.
Muslim travel ban
The Muslim travel ban so far restricts citizens from 12 countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Tanzania and North Korea — and some Venezuelan officials and their relatives from obtaining a broad range of US visas, NPR reported.
With another executive order, Biden has bolstered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects from deportation immigrants brought to the United States as children, often called Dreamers.
Another executive order revoked the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census count, and another overturns a Trump executive order that pushed aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorised immigrants.
Biden has also halted construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico. The order includes an ‘immediate termination’ of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall.
Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar
(Asian News Hub) – Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, Associated Press reported quoting hospital official and an eyewitness.
The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.
Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.
Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.
At least 20 killed, over 300 injured in an earthquake in Pakistan
(Asian News Hub) – At least 20 people were killed and over 300 others injured after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province early on Thursday, October 7, 2021, according to PTI quoting media reports.
Disaster management officials said the death toll may increase, Geo News reported.
According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said many of the dead were women and children.
The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan.
Images on social media showed people in the city of Quetta out on the streets in the aftermath of the quake, Dawn newspaper reported.
Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20 am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway, with an emergency declared in all hospitals.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
He said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged. Many people were left buried under the rubble.
The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.
According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.
World surpasses 5M COVID-19 deaths
(Asian News Hub) – The coronavirus death toll around the world surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to Reuters’s tally.
Around the world, an average of 8,000 deaths a day were reported, according to the outlet. However, it noted that the global death rate has slowed in recent weeks.
Reuters reported that it took over a year to accumulate 2.5 million deaths, but it took under eight months to accumulate the second 2.5 million deaths.
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