Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 29, 2017

Judge limits enforcement of Trump immigration order, airport protests sparked nationwide, and more


Judge limits enforcement of Trump immigration order

A federal judge on Saturday evening issued an emergency stay temporarily and partially preventing the enforcement of President Trump's executive order banning visitors from seven Mideast nations. The ruling specifically applies to people, like two Iraqi men detained at the airport in New York City, who have valid visas and were arriving or in transit to the United States when the order was issued. Similar rulings were later handed down in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington state. The Department of Homeland Security indicated it will comply with the orders. Both Iraqi men in New York have been released.


Trump order sparks nationwide airport protests

Thousands of protesters flooded American airports Saturday evening in response to President Trump's Friday executive order that temporarily bans U.S. entry of people from seven majority-Muslim nations and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The airport venues were chosen in response to the detention of two Iraqi men at the airport in New York City. As their court case was in progress, protests occurred in cities including New York, Portland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Newark, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.


Trump order faces broad backlash from religious, political leaders

President Trump came under widespread criticism Friday and Saturday for his executive order on immigration and refugee admissions. "Christ calls us to care for everyone, regardless of who they are and where they come from," said Jenny Yang of World Relief, an evangelical organization, in comments that reflect the uproar from a diversity of religious leaders. In Washington, Democrats quickly castigated the order, and Republican critics soon weighed in too. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) called the order "ridiculous" and a potential threat to "many innocent, vulnerable people," while Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted that it is "not lawful to ban immigrants on basis of nationality" and that the order "appears to be more about politics than safety." Despite the criticism and legal challenge, Trump said Saturday afternoon his order is "working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over."


Trump order draws ire from ally nations

Some of the United States' closest allies registered their alarm Saturday over President Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees. The Christian commitment to "loving your neighbor ... unites the West," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and German Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel in a joint press conference. "Welcoming refugees who flee war and oppression is part of our duty," Ayrault continued. A representative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believes the war on terror "does not justify putting people of a specific background or faith under general suspicion," while British Prime Minister Theresa May refused to offer an opinion. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canada will welcome "those fleeing persecution, terror & war" regardless of their faith.


Iran, Iraq respond to Trump order

Two of the seven majority-Muslim countries subject to President Trump's temporary travel ban have announced their responses. After initial rumors that Iraq might react with a denial of entry to U.S. citizens, Baghdad backed down Sunday, saying it understands why Trump issued the executive order but asked that America's "special relationship" with Iraq, where the U.S. has been at war since 2003, be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, Iran intends to move forward with a reciprocal ban, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry said Saturday. Tehran labeled Trump's rule "an open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation in particular."


Trump-Putin call addresses national security, not U.S. sanctions

President Trump's much-anticipated phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday afternoon mostly focused on national security issues and did not, as some expected, address the easing of U.S. sanctions against Russia which Trump has indicated he will consider. Both sides described the conversation as constructive, with a White House statement characterizing it as covering "a range in topics from mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS to efforts in working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including Syria." Moscow's statement added more detail, saying the presidents discussed terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nuclear proliferation, North and South Korea, and Ukraine.


Trump, Abe confirm 'the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance'

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by phone Saturday morning, a conversation Abe characterized as a mutual confirmation of "the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance for areas such as the economy and national security." Abe said after the call that he and Trump plan to meet in person for bilateral discussions on Feb. 10 "to have a candid exchange of views on the economy and security issues as a whole." On Monday, Trump signed an executive order pulling the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal Abe supported as central to Japanese economic growth. Trump also spoke with leaders of Germany and France on Saturday.


1 U.S. commando killed, 3 wounded in ground operation in Yemen

One American was killed and three wounded in a firefight Saturday against al Qaeda militants in Yemen. Local reports say the raid killed about 30 people, including 10 women and three children. The U.S. commandoes arrived by helicopter in the Yakla district of al-Bayda province to target a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abdulraoof al-Dhahab, who was among those killed. Though the United States has long provided support for Saudi Arabia's coalition intervention in Yemen, including drone strikes, this is believed to be the first U.S. ground operation in Yemen's civil war.


25 rescued alive after Malaysian boat accident

Most passengers and crew were successfully rescued after a Malaysian tourist boat sank Saturday off the coast of Borneo island, local officials reported Sunday. Though 25 people, mostly Chinese tourists, have been found alive, the search continues for six more people, including one crew member. The boat was sailing toward Pulau Mengalum, an island known for its beaches and diving spots, when it was reported missing. "According to the skipper, the boat was 'broken' after being hit by waves and sank," said a statement from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.


Federer beats Nadal for 18th major title in Australian Open

Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer won the Australian Open title over Spaniard Rafael Nadal Sunday in five sets scoring 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, and 6-3. This is Federer's 18th Grand Slam title, the most by any man in the open era of men's tennis. "Tennis is a tough sport, there are no draws in tennis, but I would have been happy to share one with Rafa tonight," Federer said of the matchup with his longtime rival. Federer's win comes one day after Serena Williams won her 23rd major at the Australian Open, giving her highest Grand Slam count of any woman in the open era.


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