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Travel ban takes effect: State Department defines ‘Close Family’

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Political Editor, LeNora Millen

President Trump’s Travel Ban takes effect at 8:00 p. m. ET Thursday.  The implementation of the scaled back travel ban, criticized as a ban on Muslims, is a result of the Supreme Court partial restoration of Trump’s executive order.

The Trump administration implemented new measures for visa applicants—and refugees from the six predominantly Muslim nations with a “bona fide relationship” to a U.S. person or entity—a standard set by the Supreme Court on who can enter.

Under the new guidelines, visitors traveling from six majority-Muslim countries will be denied visas to enter the U.S., unless close family ties to someone already residing in the U.S., a workplace, university, or institution is proven.

International passengers arrive at Washington Dulles airport. Photograph: James L. Duggan/Reuters

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six majority-Muslim countries.

The Justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity.  The court offered only broad guidelines — to include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S.—As to how that should be defined.

The State Department specified in the travel ban guidelines on Wednesday that new applicants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.visas that have already been approved will not be revoked

To minimize confusion surrounding the “bona fide relationship” for visa applicants in the affected countries—grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, fiancé or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships.  The state guidelines were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday, with new rules taking effect at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

In addressing questions about business and professional entities, the State Department guidelines are as follows: A legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban.

The exemption does not apply to anyone seeking a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, according to the State Department’s guidelines. For example, a hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if prepaid, would also not count.

The State Department details possible exemptions in the guidelines: Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if they have “previously established significant contacts with the United States;”  “significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S.; if they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; if they are travelling for business with a recognized international organization or the U.S. government; or if they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada.

One of the largest airlines in the Middle East reports its flights to the United States are operating as normal amid new travel guidelines effective date.

Responding to questions on the Thursday’s travel ban, a spokesperson for the Dubai-based Emirates said the airlines “remains guided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on this matter.” Passengers traveling on the airlines were informed that they “must possess the appropriate travel documents, including a valid U.S. entry visa, in order to travel.”

Trump’s first travel ban led to chaos at airports around the world.   The scaled back travel ban according to State Department guidelines exempt previously issued visas; therefore, similar problems are not expected. After a Judge had blocked Trump’s original ban, he issued the scaled-down order.

The Supreme Court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people affected by the travel ban.  While the initial travel ban order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, the scaled back travel ban was delayed 72 hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

 

 

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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Business

TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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