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Tag Archive: United States

Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Illegal According to Experts

Donald Trump signed executive orders barring immigration and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries on Friday. Protests have erupted throughout the world. Policy experts are also protesting the ban, stating that it’s actually illegal.

Why Is the Ban Illegal?

In an op-ed for the New York Times, David J. Bier from the Cato Institute’s Center for the Global Liberty and Prosperity called the ban illegal. He cited the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 as the reason. This act “forbids all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin”.

Trump’s order bans Syrian refugees indefinitely until “significant changes” are made and also temporarily blocks visitors from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The reason? The order states that these countries are of “particular concern”.

Trump has been using a law from 1952 to support the order. But Bier states that “the president ignores the fact that Congress then restricted this power in 1965, stating plainly that no person could be ‘discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.’” This 1965 law was also designed to “give Americans the freedom to sponsor family members or marry a foreign-born spouse”.

Bier also questions whether Trump can rewrite immigration laws without Congress. He writes: an appeals court stopped President Barack Obama’s executive actions to spare millions of undocumented immigrants from deportations for the similar reason that he was circumventing Congress. Some discretion? Sure. Discretion to rewrite the law? Not in America’s constitutional system.”

Other Concerns About the Muslim Ban

There are a number of other experts who are also speaking out against Trump’s Muslim ban. United Nations right’s chief, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, recently stated “Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law”.

Other organizations are also speaking out. The Paris-based medical aid agency, Médecins Sans Frontières, is also against the ban. The organization said that the Muslim ban “will effectively keep people trapped in war zones, directly endangering their lives”. The organization Doctors Without Borders is also speaking out. They called the Muslim ban “an inhumane act against people fleeing war zones” and called on the US government to lift the order.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also issued a statement saying that “such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism”.

Only a couple of days in, Trump’s time as President is off to a very rocky and troubling start.

Story sources: The Independent here and here

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Congress Repeals Meat Labelling Law After Canada’s Retaliation Measure

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed a new legislation that repealed a controversial meat labelling law, known as COOL, that had been causing problems between Canada, Mexico and U.S. trade relations.

Canada and Mexico argued that the measure was “nothing more than thinly disguised protectionism”. The World Trade Organization had also repeatedly ruled in favour of both countries. The WTO stated that the law gave U.S. products an unfair advantage over Canadian and Mexican ones and that the labelling provisions on beef and pork products violated international trade rules. The WTO gave both countries the right to impose $1 billion in punitive tariffs on various U.S. products. The U.S. products targeted by the retaliation included a wide variety of industries other than the beef and pork industries and included products like apples, rice, maple syrup, wine, jewelry, office chairs, wooden furniture, and mattresses.

Before congress passed the bill, there was tension between Canada and the U.S. with some American politicians supporting COOL while Canada was expected to move forward and retaliate if COOL was not repealed. U.S. President Barack Obama signed the bill on Friday, December 18, thus completing the legislative process.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay called it “a great day for Canada”. Freeland also stated that “this is a real vindication of the power and significance of the WTO dispute-resolution mechanism, which has secured a real win for Canada” and that “this is a decision that will have a real and immediate benefit to the Canadian economy”. Both ministers also thanked Canadian diplomats and the American politicians and industries that supported repealing the measure.

For more information on this story, read on here and here.

Featured image and story source: CBC

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Charleston shooter shouldn’t have been allowed to own a gun

Once again, we are faced with another shooting-spree tragedy out of the US. As everyone deals with the anger and shock of the Charleston church shooting on Wednesday, we are left with the conclusion that with all of this gun violence that has transpired in the last few decades, all of the perpetrators (most of whom have been quite young) have had access to firearms when they clearly shouldn’t have. In the Charleston case, there was even greater legal precedence as to why shooter Dylann Roof shouldn’t have been able to possess a gun, yet there he was.

Back in February, Roof was arrested and charged with possession of a narcotic prescription drug called Suboxone. Because of this criminal record, he is legally not allowed to obtain a gun, as dealers are required to run background checks before sales. So what happened?

Roof celebrated his birthday in April and his father got him, yup, a gun as a present. Unlike buying a gun at a store, there do not have to be any background checks for a private gun transaction in South Carolina (along with 39 other states). Nonetheless, you shouldn’t really be allowed to give guns to people with criminal records but technically, you also aren’t required to ask, so you can pretty much be held blameless.

Obviously, Roof’s father must have known about his son’s recent arrest but as long as he says he didn’t, he’s in the clear. Prosecutors are trying to show that the father did in fact know, but I guess that’s harder to prove than you’d think.

Sadly and tragically, that’s America for you.

Image source: Fortune

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Hershey Starts A Chocolate War With Lawsuit Banning Imported Creme Eggs

Cadbury Creme Egg

The Cadbury Creme Egg is by far the tastiest chocolate treat available in that golden period leading up to Easter. Unfortunately, Americans have had to deal with subtle tinkering of this glorious product for a while now. This is because Cadbury, a British company, doesn’t actually market and distribute their Creme Eggs in the U.S. – these rights being held by American chocolate powerhouse Hershey. In the last several years, they have unwittingly decreased the size of the Creme Egg and changed the chocolate recipe of the shell to one that is slightly lower-grade, which, in my mind, are really the most blasphemous things that you can do around Easter time.

At least American citizens living in urban centres could take solace in the niche market of British candy stores, which do solid business importing treats from the UK, including the original and superior British Cadbury Creme Egg. But now even that is about to change. DNAinfo is reporting that the jerks at The Hershey Co. have just slapped LBB Imports (who are responsible for the Creme Egg importing) with a lawsuit barring them from importing any candy that is too similar to Hershey products.

Fearing the loss of profit from their inferior Creme Egg, Hershey is making sure that theirs is the only one legally available. This also extends beyond just the Creme Egg, as the lawsuit also seeks to ban imports on Britain’s Toffee Crisp because the wrappers are too similar to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the popular Yorkie bar because the name is too close to Hershey’s York Peppermint Patties.

It looks like a new war on candy is officially underway with Hershey flexing their muscle first. Another reason to be glad to live in Canada.

Image source: Wikipedia

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