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Despite UN-brokered truce deal, Saudi Arabia bombs Yemen

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Mideast-Yemen_Beau-1024x683By NewsGram Staff Writer

Despite a UN-brokered truce, Saudi-led coalition forces bombed Houthi targets in several provinces of Yemen on Sunday killing at least 15 people, sources said.

The fresh airstrikes against Houthi fighters in the capital Sanaa killed at least 12 people on Sunday while several people were receiving treatment in hospitals, Xinhua cited the medical sources as saying.

The airstrikes also destroyed a conference hall used by the Shia Houthi group and damaged several civilian houses.

In Amran province, the warplanes hit a cement factory on Sunday, killing three people and wounding 10 others, the state-run Saba news agency reported.

The coalition also carried out air raids in Saada province, which is a Houthi stronghold, and the province of Lahj, security sources said. There were no reports of casualties.

The UN-brokered truce took into effect on Friday and will last through the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan on July 17. However, the warring parties did not abide by the ceasefire deal.

The Saudi-led coalition forces and Houthi group continued their military operations Friday midnight, hours after the truce technically came into effect.

The temporary truce was aimed at facilitating aid deliveries to more than 21 million people in Yemen who have suffered a severe shortage of food, water and medicine supplies after more than three months of airstrikes and civil war.

The Saudi-led coalition has been striking the Houthis and their allied forces since March 26 when Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was ousted by the Houthi militia which seized the capital Sanaa by force in September last year.

UN human rights agencies reported that more than 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, mostly civilians, and over 13,000 others wounded, while more than a million have fled their homes since late March.

According to UN statistics, the coalition-imposed blockade has also contributed in starving millions in Yemen where nearly 13 million people face a food security crisis and 9.4 million people have their access to water cut or severely disrupted, raising the risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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White House: Judge’s Decision Halting Travel Ban ‘Dangerously Flawed’

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Travel Ban
A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.VOA

The White House is reacting furiously to a federal judge blocking President Donald Trump’s latest executive Travel Ban order that would have banned entry to travelers from several countries beginning Wednesday.

“Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States,” said a White House statement issued Tuesday shortly after Judge Derrick Watson ruled against restrictions on travelers from six countries the Trump administration said could not provide enough information to meet U.S. security standards.

The travel ban order would have barred to various degrees travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Watson’s temporary restraining order does not interfere with restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela.

Justice Department defends White House

The Justice Department “will vigorously defend the president’s lawful action,” the White House said, contending its proclamation restricting travel was issued after an extensive worldwide security review.

The Justice Department called the ruling incorrect and said it will appeal the decision “in an expeditious manner.”

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said: “While we will comply with any lawful judicial order, we look forward to prevailing in this matter upon appeal.”

Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke
Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

No change for North Korea, Venezuela

The new travel order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the United States,'” Judge Watson wrote in his opinion.

The White House argues that its restrictions “are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation.”

Officials in the White House are expressing confidence that further judicial review will uphold the president’s action.

Hawaii involved for third time

Consular officials have been told to resume “regular processing of visas” for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, according to a State Department official.

The suit on which Judge Watson ruled on Tuesday was filed by the state of Hawaii, the Muslim Association of Hawaii and various individuals.

“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. “Today is another victory for the rule of law.”(VOA)