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Judge blocks Trump asylum restriction: reports

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A judge on Friday blocked a move by US President Donald Trump’s administration to stop migrants from claiming asylum unless they had entered the country at an official border crossing, news outlets reported.

The policy, enacted by Trump last year, is among a host of measures his government has taken against the movement of hundreds of thousands of migrants from Central America and elsewhere who have recently tried to cross into the US from Mexico and request asylum.

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Federal judge Randolph Moss, sitting in Washington, ruled that the policy was “in excess of statutory… authority,” ABC News reported.

Moss said it contradicts standing US immigration law, which allows undocumented people who are physically present in the country to apply for asylum even if they did not enter at an official port of entry, The Hill newspaper said.

The policy had earlier been blocked by a judge in San Francisco, a ruling the government is appealing.

Trump’s immigration policy has been the subject of numerous court challenges.

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Last week, a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the administration’s new rule barring most immigrants from obtaining asylum in the US if they transit through Mexico.

That policy would have effectively prevented most Central American asylum seekers from gaining entry into the United States at the southern border, as the majority come through Mexico.

Day later, Guatemala signed an agreement with the US that, according to Washington, makes it a “safe third country,” meaning migrants who want to seek asylum in the United States but travel through Guatemala must request asylum in the Central American country.

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The number of border-crossers detained by the US Border Patrol surged to a 13-year high of more than 144,000 in May before easing to 104,000 in June — still up 142 percent from a year earlier.

Most are families from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.


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Trump announces toughest sanctions ‘ever’ on Iran

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President Donald Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran's central bank, calling the measures the toughest ever imposed on another country by the United States.

"We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

"These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," he said.

The Trump administration has vowed a response after US officials blamed Iran for weekend blasts on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which caused a sharp hike in global crude prices.

The United States already maintains sweeping sanctions on Iran including on its central bank, with anyone who deals with it subject to prosecution.

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Trump uncorks bizarre rant on ‘clean coal’ in Oval Office: ‘When you talk minerals, it’s about digging’

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President Donald Trump on Friday uncorked a strange and nonsensical rant about the virtues of so-called "clean coal" during an Oval Office conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

When asked about the importance of Australia's mineral industry, the president praised the country for doing so much to extract resources in what he described in an environmentally friendly way.

"Coal, as an example, you're the leader of safety in coal digging and we've actually studied it," the president said. "We're doing a lot of coal. You have very little -- you have almost no -- used to have a thing, black lung disease, and in Australia you almost don't have it anymore, you've got all of the dust down."

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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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