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Trump administration

Trump administration rolls back clean water protections

WASHINGTON: The US government has unveiled a plan to roll back clean water rules protecting the nation's waterways and wetlands, fulfilling a pledge from President Donald Trump to farmers and supporters who view environmental regulations as too strict. The proposed changes to the Clean Water Act would "remove and replace" rules set by the administration of Barack Obama in 2015, which was widely praised by environmental protection activists. That rule limited the runoff from pesticide and fertilizer products allowed in…

White House cannot shield information on transgender military ban: judge

A federal judge in Baltimore rejected the Trump administration’s request to shield information it employed when deciding to ban transgender people from the US military. The decision on Tuesday by US Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite came in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf more than one dozen transgender people serving or who want to serve in the military. Copperthite declined to decide whether President Donald Trump deserved a protective order for his own communications, pending a ruling on…

Accidentally killing migratory birds not a crime, Trump administration says

Energy companies and other businesses that accidentally kill migratory birds will no longer be criminally prosecuted, the Trump administration said Friday in a decision hailed by industry but denounced by environmental groups. The decision, in a legal memo from the U.S. Department of Interior, reverses a longstanding practice at the agency as well as a last-minute rule released by the outgoing Obama administration. It comes after several appeals courts ruled that the government was interpreting a century-old law aimed at…

Trump’s national security aide arrives in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: United States National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on Monday arrived in Islamabad to hold talks with the Pakistani civilian leadership and military officials. According to sources, the US national security advisor in the first visit by any senior official of the Trump administration to Pakistan will hold important meetings with the civil and military leadership of Pakistan. McMaster will hold talks with the Pakistani leadership regarding Pakistan-US ties as well as regional security. US NSA McMaster…

US unveils deportation plan of 11 million undocumented foreigners

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration issued tough new orders Tuesday for a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants, putting nearly all of the country's 11 million undocumented foreigners in its crosshairs. The orders sent shivers through US immigrant communities, where millions of people who have spent years building families and livelihoods in the country, most of them from Mexico and Central America, were seriously threatened with deportation for the first time in decades. Rights groups labeled the move a "witch…

Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportations

WASHINGTON: The Department of Homeland Security has prepared new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process. The new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home. The guidance instructs asylum officers to "elicit all…

Trump administration defends travel ban in court

WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department faced tough questioning Tuesday as it urged a court of appeals to reinstate President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries -- put on hold by the courts last week. The latest twist in the legal showdown comes four days after a federal judge suspended Trump's decree, opening US borders back up to the thousands of refugees and travelers it had suddenly barred from the country. Three judges from an appellate court in San Francisco chaired the…

Trump administration to allow 872 refugees into US this week: document

WASHINGTON: The US government has granted waivers to let 872 refugees into the country this week, despite President Donald Trump's executive order on Friday temporarily banning entry of refugees from any country, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security document. A Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the waivers, noting that the refugees were considered "in transit" and had already been cleared for resettlement before the ban took effect. Refugees preparing for…

China urges Trump administration to grasp importance of ‘one China’

BEIJING: The new US administration must fully understand the importance of the "one China" policy and appreciate that the issue of Taiwan is highly sensitive for the Beijing government, China said on Monday. US President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated on Friday, said in December the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of "one China". Earlier, Trump broke with decades of precedent by taking a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. According…