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In a Sudden Move, Malaysia’s King Abdicates Throne

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

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Malaysia
Malaysia King Sultan Muhammad V salutes during the national anthem at the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2018. VOA

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on Sunday in an unexpected move, after just two years on the throne.

The palace said in a statement that the 49-year-old ruler had resigned as Malaysia’s 15th king with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term. No reason was given in the statement.

It marked the first abdication in the nation’s history.

Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, took his oath of office in December 2016, becoming one of Malaysia’s youngest constitutional monarchs.

Malaysia King
Malaysia’s King Sultan Muhammad V at the Trooping of Colours ceremony.

He is said to have married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November while on a two-month medical leave. Reports in Russian and British media and on social media featured pictures of the wedding, which reportedly took place in Moscow. Neither the sultan, the palace nor the government had officially confirmed the wedding.

Speculation that Sultan Muhammad V would step down emerged this past week, shortly after he returned from his leave, but Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that he was unaware of any abdication plans.

Also Read: Muslims in Malaysia Rally In Kuala Lumpur To Keep Status

Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country’s king for five-year terms.

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

The monarch’s role is largely ceremonial, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament. But the monarch is highly regarded, particularly among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority, as the supreme upholder of Malay tradition. (VOA)

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End Date of Protected Status for Six different Nationals gets Extended by US

The announcement follows Monday’s news, tweeted by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, that a deal had been struck with Washington to extend protected status for about 250,000 Salvadorans residing in the US

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The lawsuits in US were brought by civil rights and immigrant rights groups challenging the termination of TPS for nationals of the six countries, which was originally scheduled for early next year. Pixabay

Nationals of six countries who live in the United States under a special humanitarian status will be permitted to stay longer, the US government announced Friday, delaying the Trump administration’s target dates for terminating the program for certain groups.

Officials pushed back the end date of Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan, in order to comply with court orders stemming from ongoing lawsuits, the government said in a document released Friday.

The lawsuits were brought by civil rights and immigrant rights groups challenging the termination of TPS for nationals of the six countries, which was originally scheduled for early next year.

TPS recipients from those nations will have their status automatically extended to January 4, 2021, but with a caveat. While recipients may continue to live and work legally in the U.S. for an extended period, the document released Friday states that, should a judge rule in favor of the government sooner, TPS holders from the named countries will have 120 days from that point to adjust their immigration status or leave the country.

The announcement follows Monday’s news, tweeted by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, that a deal had been struck with Washington to extend protected status for about 250,000 Salvadorans residing in the U.S., the largest of the TPS groups.

Salvadoran recipients may get an extension for an additional year, pushing the end date to 2022, according to the document and statements by Bukele.

US
Nationals of six countries who live in the United States under a special humanitarian status will be permitted to stay longer, the US government announced Friday, delaying the Trump administration’s target dates for terminating the program for certain groups. Pixabay

Friday’s U.S. announcement had been anticipated in Honduras, where earlier this week the country’s news media reported an extension for some Hondurans living in the U.S., based on comments made by Honduran Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales.

The United States offers TPS to citizens of nations in crisis — sometimes from war, other times because of a natural disaster — who are in the US already and cannot safely return to their country.

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Once the status expires, for example if conditions in the country improve and the U.S. government deems TPS to no longer be justified, its recipients return to whatever status they held before TPS. If they lack legal status, they can be deported. (VOA)