Wednesday February 26, 2020
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US could deport 35,000 Cubans

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Washington: Over 35,000 Cubans for whom deportation orders have been issued could be repatriated to the Caribbean island as a result of the renewal of relations between the two countries, according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to ICE data, deportation orders have been issued for 35,106 Cubans in the US, of whom 162 are currently in custody and 34,944 are at liberty.

The ICE told EFE that, up to now, Cuba’s policy was to “occasionally” accept repatriations, including in criminal cases, something that could change soon with the new understanding between the two countries and the reestablishment of diplomatic ties.

A case apart during these years, the ICE said, has been a specific list of Cubans that the governments of the island and of the US agreed upon in 1984, and which includes 2,746 names of Cuban citizens to be repatriated.

Of those, most of whom migrated to the US from the Cuban port of Mariel, 1,999 have already been repatriated.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will on Monday receive Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, the first time that a foreign minister of Cuba visits the State Department in more than half a century, the US government said.

Kerry will not attend the formal reopening ceremony at the Cuban embassy in Washington on Monday, but he will receive Rodriguez later at the State Department, where the two will take part in a joint press conference.

(IANS)

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Federal Judge in Washington Halts Pentagon Work with Microsoft on Cloud Contract

US Court has currently put a pause to Pentagon Work with Microsoft on Cloud Contract

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People stand in the lobby for Amazon offices in New York. Amazon says President Donald Trump's “improper pressure" and behind-the-scenes attacks harmed its chances of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract. VOA

By Peyton Bigora

A federal judge in Washington has halted, for now, a major U.S. Defense Department cyber contract, blocking Microsoft Corp. from working on the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud-computing initiative pending the resolution of a lawsuit brought by rival Amazon.com.

In October, Microsoft was awarded the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, which has an estimated worth of around $10 billion over the next decade. The JEDI project will process and store classified data to provide the U.S. military improved communications with soldiers in the field as well as artificial intelligence to speed up war planning and fighting capabilities.

By November, Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing division, filed a lawsuit alleging the Defense Department unfairly judged its bid for the contract. Amazon believes the process was tainted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s animosity towards Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer and owner of The Washington Post newspaper, which Trump has regularly accused of bias against him.

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The Microsoft logo in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, France. VOA

Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said the JEDI contract cannot continue to be enacted “until further order of the court.” Judge Campbell-Smith’s full opinion was sealed.

While Amazon scored at least a preliminary victory, it is required to create a $42 million security fund that will be used to pay for any damages if the court later finds the injunction was improper.

Earlier this week, Amazon asked the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to allow them to question Trump and top Pentagon leaders, including former defense secretary James Mattis and Defense Secretary Mark Esper about any political interference from the White House in the awarding of the contract.

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“We believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require,” said Microsoft’s spokesman Frank Shaw, adding that he is disappointed by the ruling and believes the Pentagon’s decision-making process was fair. (VOA)

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