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Maryland lawmakers pass bill to curb federal immigration enforcement

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Maryland’s House of Delegates on Monday approved legislation to bar police statewide from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest or keeping them locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of federal agents seeking to deport them.

The state Senate in Annapolis, which like the lower house of the General Assembly is controlled by Democrats, has yet to consider the bill, and Republican Governor Larry Hogan issued a statement vowing to veto the measure if it reached his desk.

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“This legislation would interfere with our state and local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities,” Hogan said.

Supporters say the measure, which cleared the House of Delegates on a largely party-line vote of 83-55, is designed in large part to maintain the trust of immigrant communities in local law enforcement and government agencies.

It would prohibit state and local police officers from stopping, arresting, searching or detaining an individual for purposes of suspected immigration violations.

It would also bar police from honoring administrative “detainer” requests from federal immigration authorities seeking to keep jailed individuals in custody after they should otherwise be released on bond.

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Other provisions would require the state attorney general to issue guidelines to public schools, courthouses and hospitals on limiting immigration enforcement in those places. And it would restrict state funds from being used to create a registry of people on the basis of immigration status, nationality, religion or ethnic origin.

The measure follows in the footsteps of dozens of municipalities and local jurisdictions across the country that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities,” including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

So far no such statewide designations have been enacted.

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Republican President Donald Trump in January signed an executive order seeking to withhold federal funds from local governments that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

At the time, he said local jurisdictions put U.S. citizens at risk by releasing criminals who should be deported and who, in some cases, commit additional offenses after being released from jail.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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