Unvaccinated children face public space ban in New York measles outbreak

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

(Reuters) – A New York suburb has banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces, such as schools and shopping malls, as it fights the state’s worst outbreak in decades of the potentially deadly disease.

Rockland County declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and said the ban would remain in place for 30 days or until unvaccinated children get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot.

The Rockland announcement follows measles outbreaks in California, Illinois, Texas and Washington and is part of a global resurgence of the viral infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk,” County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. “This is a public health crisis, and it is time to sound the alarm.”

There have been 153 confirmed cases of measles in Rockland County, about 11 miles (18 km) north of Manhattan, mostly among children who have not been vaccinated.

The ban begins at midnight after which unvaccinated children will not be permitted in locations such as places of worship, schools and shopping malls. Outdoor spaces like playgrounds are excluded from the ban. People medically unable to get vaccinated are exempt.

The outbreak began when a traveler visited Israel and returned to a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County. There have also been at least 181 confirmed cases of measles in the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens since October, mostly among Orthodox Jews, according to the city’s health department.

The New York and Washington outbreaks began after U.S. travelers picked up measles in foreign countries, where the disease was running rampant and brought it back to places where vaccination rates were too low by U.S. public health standards.

The disease has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated, citing reasons such as philosophical or religious beliefs, or concerns the MMR vaccine could cause autism, authorities said.

Large scientific studies have demonstrated that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Officials say the measles outbreaks offer a lesson about the importance of maintaining a minimum 95 percent “herd” level of immunization against dangerous, preventable diseases such as measles. Rates as low as 60 percent were found in parts of New York where measles spread, State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in February.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Bill Berkrot)

United Methodist Church strengthens ban on same-sex marriage, LGBT clergy

eople wave rainbow flags during the 2018 New York City Pride Parade in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 24, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Katharine Jackson

(Reuters) – The United Methodist Church voted on Tuesday to uphold and strengthen its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy in a move likely to alienate large numbers of followers who had pushed for reform.

By a vote of 438-384, delegates from around the world attending the church’s General Conference in St. Louis reinforced a United Methodist Church policy established in 1972 stating that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Known as the Traditional Plan, the new policy includes penalties for breaking its rules and asks those who will not obey it to find another church.

The Traditional Plan is designed to serve as a coherent United Methodist Church policy on LGBT clergy and their marriage practices after years of inconsistency among individual United Methodist churches, with some churches denouncing homosexuality as a sin and others embracing gay and lesbian clergy members.

Before opting for the Traditional Plan, delegates rejected an alternative known as the One Church Plan, which would have allowed individual churches to decide whether to perform same-sex marriages and welcome gay and lesbian clergy members. Under that plan, the statement that homosexuality is at odds with Christianity would have been eliminated.

The vote roiled many in America’s second-largest Protestant denomination. Tom Berlin, a delegate, told Reuters that some supporters of the One Church Plan held small protest demonstrations afterward.

LOSE CREDENTIALS

“This is devastating,” Lucy Berrier said on Twitter. “Above all, the United Methodist Church is supposed to be a place of grace and service, not this bigotry and hate. My heart is broken into a thousand pieces.”

Berlin, who is a pastor in the Washington suburb of Herndon, Virginia, said with the new plan in place, some church members would risk losing their credentials to practice their belief in LGBT rights.

“Some churches will begin to do what they desire. They will test this new legislation by performing marriages and some conferences will ordain gay clergy,” he said in an interview after the final vote.

At least 12 million people, including 7 million in the United States, belong to the United Methodist Church. A 2014 Pew survey found that 60 percent of U.S. Methodists said homosexuality should be accepted by society. About half of U.S. Methodists said they supported same-sex marriage.

The rift in opinion over gay marriage and clergy members’ sexual orientation is along geographic as well as ideological lines.

Supporters of the Traditional Plan include many African and Philippine members as well as evangelical members from Europe and the United States. The One Church Plan derived most of its support from members in the United States who have witnessed a wave of social change regarding LGBT rights and awareness.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in 2015. But the law does not apply to religious institutions.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, remains strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. But a growing number of U.S. Protestant denominations allow gay marriage and clergy, including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

(Reporting by Katharine Jackson in Washington; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney)

Third woman breaches ban at Indian Hindu temple amid protests

Protesters scuffle with police during a protest against state government for allowing two women to defy an ancient ban and enter the Sabarimala temple, in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

KOCHI, India (Reuters) – A woman aged 46 has become the third to enter the Sabarimala Hindu temple in south India in defiance of an ancient ban on females of menstruating age, the office of the chief minister of Kerala state said on Friday.

It was not immediately clear how the woman, a Sri Lankan, had got in, and the temple management denied that she had in fact entered.

The hill temple, which pays homage to the celibate god Ayyappan and draws millions of worshippers a year, is one of a few in India that bar entry to girls and women between the ages of 10 and 50, saying that menstruating women are impure.

Conservative Hindu groups shut businesses and halted transport across Kerala on Thursday with a protest strike against the communist state government, which backs a Supreme Court ruling in September that ordered the lifting of the ban.

The first two women to breach the ban arrived in an ambulance with a plainclothes police escort on Wednesday and went in through a side gate without any devotees noticing.

VISITS BLOCKED

The chief minister’s office said the third had gone to the temple with her husband, and had been offered police protection.

Media identified her as Sasikala and reported that she had had her womb removed, which would mean she cannot menstruate. They said she had gone in at about 10:55 p.m. on Thursday.

The temple has refused to abide by the court ruling and subsequent attempts by women to visit had been blocked by thousands of devotees. It says the ban is necessary because menstruating women are impure, and denied that another woman had visited.

“The chief minister’s office is lying,” said Ayyappa Dharma Sena leader of the temple and grandson of former chief priest Rahul Easwar. “The pictures of the Sri Lankan woman Sasikala being shown in the media are fake.”

The protests against Kerala’s communist coalition, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, were backed by both of the main national parties – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party. A general election is due by May.

On Friday, only small protests were reported from across the state. Fewer than 100 members of the Congress youth wing marched and shouted slogans against the chief minister in the city of Kochi.

In some parts of South Asia, menstruating women are commonly forbidden to enter houses or temples or take part in festivals and community events.

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan and Jose Devasia in KOCHI; Editing by Martin Howell and Kevin Liffey)

Berlin imposes entry ban, arms freeze over Khashoggi killing

FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany banned Saudi citizens suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from much of Europe on Monday and moved to halt all arms sales to the kingdom in a firming of its stance towards Riyadh.

The entry bans, targeting 18 Saudis suspected of playing a role in the killing of Khashoggi in Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate, bind all members of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone, suggesting that Germany is willing to use its influence as the EU’s largest country to push for a tougher line.

“We have coordinated closely with our French and British friends and decided, as Germany, to put an entry ban beside their names in the Schengen system database,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger told a regular news conference.

A spokesman later added that the government would further cut down on arms exports by pressuring arms manufacturers with valid export licenses to stop shipments that had already been authorized.

The moves represent a sharpening of the position of Germany, which last month imposed a ban on the issuing of future export weapons export licenses to Saudi Arabia until the circumstances of Khashoggi’s killing have been fully cleared up.

Any member of the 26-country Schengen area can unilaterally impose a binding entry ban on anyone it deems a security risk, although it unusual for a country to impose such a large number of bans at once in such a politically sensitive case.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Brussels the decision was closely coordinated with France, which is part of the Schengen zone, and Britain, which is not. He said EU states expressed “great support” for the decision when he briefed them in Brussels on Monday.

“We also had a joint statement on the issue this weekend, which indicates we are not satisfied with the results of the investigation thus far … and that we retain the right to take further steps,” he said.

Burger said the members of the 15-strong squad accused of carrying out the killing of the critic of Saudi policy, and a further three who are suspected of organizing it, had been given entry bans. He declined to name the individuals.

Asked if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seen by U.S. intelligence as having ordered the killing, was among their number, Burger declined to comment.

Saudi prosecutors said last week that the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, knew nothing of the operation, in which Khashoggi’s body was dismembered, removed from the building and handed over to an unidentified “local cooperator”.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the ban would apply even if any of those sanctioned held diplomatic passports, which normally offer immunity to members of the Saudi royal family and key diplomats.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Riham Alkousaa and Andrea Shalal, Editing by Michelle Martin and Alison Williams, William Maclean)

Trump signs immigration order on asylum

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a news conference following Tuesday's midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he has signed an immigration proclamation, an order that would help effectively ban migrants who cross the U.S. border with Mexico illegally from qualifying for asylum.

The Trump administration unveiled new rules on Thursday to sharply limit migrant asylum claims by barring individuals who cross the U.S. southern border illegally from seeking asylum. People have to come into the United States at points of entry, Trump said before leaving for Paris.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Kentucky Senate passes bill restricting abortion procedure

FILE PHOTO: Republican Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Steve Bittenbender

(Reuters) – The Kentucky Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation on Thursday to ban a common abortion procedure once the patient reaches her 11th week of pregnancy, in what would amount to one of the strictest abortion limits yet in the United States.

The Senate voted 31-5 in favor of the measure, which now goes back to the state’s House of Representatives for final approval of changes to a version of the bill it passed 71-11 vote on March 12. Both bodies are controlled by Republicans.

The procedure in question, called dilation and evacuation, accounts for 16 percent of all abortions performed in Kentucky. It is primarily for pregnancies in the second trimester.

The House and Senate are in recess until March 27.

On Monday, Mississippi’s governor signed into law the most restrictive abortion measure enacted in the United States, which bans any type of procedure once pregnancies reach 15 weeks.

But on Tuesday, a U.S. federal judge blocked the law from taking effect for 10 days, pending legal arguments over whether the injunction should remain in effect while the overall case remains under judicial review.

The Kentucky and Mississippi measures both allow medical emergency procedures that otherwise would be prohibited.

Representatives for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican who has described himself as “100 percent pro-life,” could not be reached immediately for comment.

Since last year, when Republicans won control of the Kentucky House for the first time since 1921, the state’s legislature has passed several measures to restrict access to abortion, including banning any type of abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Representative Addia Wuchner, a Republican, tweeted after a state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, that her bill protects “unborn children in Kentucky from intentional bodily dismemberment”.

But critics say that the bill will almost certainly face a legal challenge. Last year, a similar measure passed by Texas lawmakers was struck down by a federal judge.

Similar bans in other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma have also been struck down by courts.

“Kentucky can’t afford doomed legislation created out of willful ignorance,” Marcie Crim, executive director of the Kentucky Health Justice Network, said on Twitter. “We need every dime of our money to go towards real improvements, not grandstanding.”

While dilation and evacuation is used in most second-trimester abortions, nearly 90 percent of all abortions are performed in the first trimester, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by Bernie Woodall and Richard Borsuk)

Federal judge blocks Down syndrome abortion ban in Ohio

Supporters of Planned Parenthood (L) rally next to anti-abortion activists outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday blocked an Ohio law due to take effect later this month that would criminalize abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis, ruling that it violates a woman’s right to choose.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black’s decision came after the Ohio state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court in Cincinnati, arguing the legislation violated the liberty and privacy clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Because H.B. 214 prevents women from making the choice to terminate their pregnancy prior to viability, it is unconstitutional on its face,” Black wrote in his 22-page ruling.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.

Under the legislation, signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich last December, doctors would lose their medical licenses in the state and face a fourth-degree felony charge if they were to perform an abortion with that knowledge.

Mothers would not face criminal charges.

“The Down syndrome abortion ban violates four and a half decades of legal precedent that says a woman has the unfettered right to choose whether to end a pregnancy before the point of viability,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said in a statement.

A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Wednesday that his office was planning to defend the law passed by the state’s majority of Republican lawmakers.

“While we are reviewing this ruling to determine further action, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will continue to vigorously defend Ohio law,” spokesman Dan Tierney said.

The Ohio law marks the 20th restriction on abortion and reproductive rights signed by Kasich since 2011, according to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Similar laws have been passed in Indiana and North Dakota. An Indiana District Court issued a permanent injunction on a similar Down syndrome abortion ban on Sept. 22, 2017.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Lisa Shumaker)

Saudi Arabia begins screening films after decades-long ban lifted

Children are seen inside the first Saudi Arabia cinema in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia January 13, 2018. Picture taken January 13, 2018.

By Stephen Kalin

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia began screening feature-length animated children’s films this weekend in a makeshift theater, after a 35-year-old ban on cinemas was lifted in the conservative Islamic kingdom.

The first permanent theaters could open as early as March, part of a liberalizing reform drive that has already opened the door to concerts, comedy shows and women drivers over the past year.

For now, the authorities are sponsoring temporary settings, like the state-run cultural hall in the Red Sea city of Jeddah equipped with a projector, a red carpet and a popcorn machine.

“Until now, there is no infrastructure for movie theaters, so we are trying to take advantage of (alternative) venues to approximate the cinematic form,” said Mamdouh Salim, whose Cinema 70 brand organized the week-long screenings.

“We tried to use these films to be a starting point as the first cinematic screening after the decision on Dec. 11 to permit movie theaters.”

Cinemas were banned in the early 1980s under pressure from Islamists as Saudi society turned towards a particularly conservative form of religion that discouraged public entertainment and public mixing between men and women.

But reforms led by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have eased many of those restrictions, as the government tries to broaden the economy and lessen its dependence on oil.

In a nod to conservatives, films will be censored to make sure they remain in line with the kingdom’s “moral values”.

MORE FUN

After watching The Emoji Movie with his wife and daughter on Sunday evening, 28-year-old Sultan al-Otaibi said Saudis are happy to see movies in the theater instead of staying at home.

“It’s more comfortable, more fun to have a change of scenery and an activity on the weekend. It is a step that was very late in coming but thank God it’s happening now.”

Thousands of Saudis currently travel to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and other countries for entertainment. The government wants to retain the money spent on those trips.

The authorities expect to open 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by 2030, building an industry it hopes will contribute more then 90 billion riyals ($24 billion) to the economy and create 30,000 permanent jobs.

Regional and international cinema chains are also eyeing the Saudi market, keen to tap the spending power of the young people who make up roughly 70 percent of the population.

“I want to see everything because it is something new for Saudi,” said 30-year-old movie-goer Ibtisam Abu Talib. “I hope everything is available – action, romance, children’s films, comedy. Everything, God willing.”

(Reporting By Stephen Kalin, editing by Larry King)

South Carolina capital could be first U.S. city to ban gun bump stocks

An example of a bump stock that attaches to a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing rate is seen at Good Guys Gun Shop in Orem, Utah, U.S. on October 4, 2017.

By Harriet McLeod

(Reuters) – South Carolina’s capital on Tuesday could become the first U.S. city to ban the use of bump stocks, a gun accessory that has drawn national scrutiny after being found among the Las Vegas mass shooter’s arsenal of weapons in the October rampage.

Last month, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a law that explicitly bans bump stocks.

Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, the South Carolina capital, said the city council was expected in a vote on Tuesday night to approve an ordinance barring the devices, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds a minute like fully automatic machine guns.

“One of the common refrains that you hear, whether it was in Texas or Vegas or Sandy Hook, is that a good guy with a gun could have stopped the carnage,” Benjamin, a Democrat, said in a phone interview on Monday. “It’s time for the good guys with guns to begin to pass some really good policy.”

Authorities said Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had 12 rifles outfitted with bump stocks in the hotel room where he launched his attack on an outdoor concert, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Since then several states and cities have proposed measures outlawing or restricting the attachments, and the U.S. Justice Department said earlier this month it was considering a ban on certain bump stocks.

California and New York do not prohibit bump stocks outright, but the devices fall under the definition of an automatic weapon, which are illegal in those states, according to Anne Teigen, who covers firearm legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some other states and the District of Columbia have assault weapons bans that could include bump stocks.

“We are not aware of any cities that have passed ordinancesbanning bump stocks,” said Tom Martin, a spokesman for the National League of Cities.

In Columbia, four of the council’s six members approved the city’s proposed ordinance on a first reading earlier this month.

The measure also would ban the use of other gun attachments that allow rifles to fire faster. Owners would be required to keep them stored separately from any weapon.

Trigger-enhancing devices are not gun parts, gun components, weapons or ammunition, which state law prohibits cities from regulating, Benjamin said.

The mayor, who has a background in law enforcement and said he owns guns, said the measure had drawn support from local police and council members who support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting gun ownership rights.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod in Charleston, South Carolina; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)

Trump slaps travel restrictions on North Korea, Venezuela in sweeping new ban

International passengers wait for their rides outside the international arrivals exit at Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S. September 24, 2017.

By Jeff Mason and Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Sunday slapped new travel restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding to eight the list of countries covered by his original travel bans that have been derided by critics and challenged in court.

Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries in a new proclamation issued by the president. Restrictions on citizens from Sudan were lifted.

The measures help fulfill a campaign promise Trump made to tighten U.S. immigration procedures and align with his “America First” foreign policy vision. Unlike the president’s original bans, which had time limits, this one is open-ended.

“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” the president said in a tweet shortly after the proclamation was released.

Iraqi citizens will not be subject to travel prohibitions but will face enhanced scrutiny or vetting.

The current ban, enacted in March, was set to expire on Sunday evening. The new restrictions are slated to take effect on Oct. 18 and resulted from a review after Trump’s original travel bans sparked international outrage and legal challenges.

The addition of North Korea and Venezuela broadens the restrictions from the original, mostly Muslim-majority list.

An administration official, briefing reporters on a conference call, acknowledged that the number of North Koreans now traveling to the United States was very low.

Rights group Amnesty International USA condemned the measures.

“Just because the original ban was especially outrageous does not mean we should stand for yet another version of government-sanctioned discrimination,” it said in a statement.

“It is senseless and cruel to ban whole nationalities of people who are often fleeing the very same violence that the U.S. government wishes to keep out. This must not be normalized.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement the addition of North Korea and Venezuela “doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban.”

The White House portrayed the restrictions as consequences for countries that did not meet new requirements for vetting of immigrants and issuing of visas. Those requirements were shared in July with foreign governments, which had 50 days to make improvements if needed, the White House said.

A number of countries made improvements by enhancing the security of travel documents or the reporting of passports that were lost or stolen. Others did not, sparking the restrictions.

The announcement came as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on Oct. 10 over the legality of Trump’s previous travel ban, including whether it discriminated against Muslims.

 

NORTH KOREA, VENEZUELA ADDED

Trump has threatened to “destroy” North Korea if it attacks the United States or its allies. Pyongyang earlier this month conducted its most powerful nuclear bomb test. The president has also directed harsh criticism at Venezuela, once hinting at

a potential military option to deal with Caracas.

But the officials described the addition of the two countries to Trump’s travel restrictions as the result of a purely objective review.

In the case of North Korea, where the suspension was sweeping and applied to both immigrants and non-immigrants, officials said it was hard for the United States to validate the identity of someone coming from North Korea or to find out if that person was a threat.

“North Korea, quite bluntly, does not cooperate whatsoever,” one official said.

The restrictions on Venezuela focused on Socialist government officials that the Trump administration blamed for the country’s slide into economic disarray, including officials from the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service and their immediate families.

Trump received a set of policy recommendations on Friday from acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and was briefed on the matter by other administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a White House aide said.

The rollout on Sunday was decidedly more organized than Trump’s first stab at a travel ban, which was unveiled with little warning and sparked protests at airports worldwide.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump told reporters about the ban: “The tougher, the better.”

Rather than a total ban on entry to the United States, the proposed restrictions differ by nation, based on cooperation with American security mandates, the threat the United States believes each country presents and other variables, officials said.

Somalis, for example, are barred from entering the United States as immigrants and subjected to greater screening for visits.

After the Sept. 15 bombing attack on a London train, Trump wrote on Twitter that the new ban “should be far larger, tougher and more specific – but stupidly, that would not be politically correct.”

The expiring ban blocked entry into the United States by people from the six countries for 90 days and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days to give Trump’s administration time to conduct a worldwide review of U.S. vetting procedures for foreign visitors.

Critics have accused the Republican president of discriminating against Muslims in violation of constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equal protection under the law, breaking existing U.S. immigration law and stoking religious hatred.

Some federal courts blocked the ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to take effect in June with some restrictions.

 

(Additional reporting by James Oliphant, Yeganeh Torbati, and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Peter Cooney)