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Erdogan to meet Putin on 17th Sept. for Syria talks

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ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday, officials said, amid rising international concern over a looming Syrian government assault on a rebel-held province bordering Turkey.
“President Erdogan will meet with Mr Putin on Monday,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a televised press conference on Friday.  The meeting will take place in the Russian resort city of Sochi, a senior Turkish official told the Media. 
Russia-backed forces of the Syrian regime have massed around the Idlib province in recent weeks, sparking fears of an imminent air and ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion. UN agencies and relief organisations have warned repeatedly that such an assault could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters of Syria’s seven-year war.
Turkey has intensified negotiations with Russia to avert a possible attack, repeatedly calling for a ceasefire.  However last week Erdogan and Putin failed to agree on a ceasefire at a three-way summit in Tehran which also involved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Russia and Iran are key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 

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Politics

Trump’s asylum ban blocked by US judge

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Trump's Walk of Fame star must go

NEW YORK: In a blow to US President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda, a federal judge has put a temporary halt to his administration’s order denying the possibility of asylum to people who enter the US illegally, according to American media reports.
President Trump issued the proclamation earlier this month as a matter of what he called national security as thousands of Central American migrants made its way through Mexico toward the US border.
US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued on Monday night a temporary restraining order against the Trump proclamation, thus granting a request from human rights groups who had sued shortly after the order was announced.
Under the proclamation, Trump said only people who enter the US at official checkpoints – as opposed to sneaking across the border – can apply for asylum.
Judge Tigar said Trump’s anti-immigration policy likely violated federal law on asylum eligibility.  The judge issued the temporary nationwide restraining order barring enforcement of the policy after hearing arguments in the case, according to the reports.
The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security had earlier published a joint rule prohibiting certain people caught crossing the US southern border from Mexico between ports of entry from claiming asylum.
“Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources,” acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a joint statement at the time.
The rule was opposed by immigration activists and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“We don’t condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum,”

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Asia

Imran Khan reaches Kuala Lumpur

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KUALA LUMPUR: Imran Khan reached here today on a two-day official visit of Malaysia. It would be the first state visit by any foreign leader since Dr. Mahathir Mohamad assumed office in May.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

Imran Khan leaves for Kuala Lumpur

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Politics

White House introduces new press rules amid CNN row

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White House introduces new press rules amid CNN row

WASHINGTON: The White House has introduced new rules for journalists during administration news conferences following restoration of a  press pass for CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
Under the new rules, a journalist will be permitted a single question before yielding the floor to other journalists, but a follow-up question or questions may be permitted at the discretion of the president of other White House officials taking questions.
After follow-up questions have been asked, the questioner will be required to yield the floor, which when applicable constitutes physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner. The failure to abide by any of the rules may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass. White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders said the rules were created with a “degree of regret”.
For years, members of the White House press corps have attended countless press events with the President and other officials without engaging in the behavior Mr. Acosta displayed at 7th November 2018, press conference, she said.
During the aforementioned press conference, Acosta challenged Trump for referring to a caravan of Central American migrants approaching the United States as an invasion. In the midst of a heated exchange, Trump called Acosta a rude, terrible person and ordered a White House aide to take the microphone from Acosta’s hand.
Acosta’s press pass was withdrawn the following day. Sanders also said the White House may institute further rules regarding press decorum if necessary.
It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events, she said.

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