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Judges sceptical about Trump travel ban

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Michelle T. Friedland N. Randy Smith

US President Donald Trump has made it clear he intends to fight to instigate his travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries after a court refused to reinstate the ban.

Most, of course, applaud the unanimous decision by a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The US president's executive actions on extreme vetting and visa ban apply to migrants, refugees and US legal residents - Green Card holders - from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

"I think our security is at risk today", Trump told a meeting of sheriffs from around the nation, as he defended his executive order, which was blocked nationwide by the federal courts a week after it went into effect.

The court is not expected to make a decision Tuesday.

The 9th Circuit judges found fault with both the administration's argument that the ban was motivated by fears of terrorism and the states' arguments that the ban targeted Muslims.

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Mohammad Aseem, governor of the hard-hit northern province of Parwan, said 16 people had died in two districts. There are fears the number of deaths will continue to rise as heavy snowfall is predicted for the coming days.

Trump took aim at Robart over the weekend on Twitter, diminishing him as a "so-called judge" whose decision "is ridiculous and will be overturned!"

Following the announcement of the original ruling over the weekend, the Justice Department argued that the president was within his rights to suspend immigration from certain countries based on national security threats.

Twitter, Uber, Google and Apple were among almost 100 companies that filed a friend-of-the court brief arguing against Trump's executive order. "And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination". And they said the administration presented no evidence that any foreigner from the seven countries was responsible for a terrorist attack in the US. Some experts predict the case will ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court because the losing side likely will request the justices consider the case.

Judge Richard Clifton asked whether it could be discriminatory if it affected only 15% of the world's Muslims. His travel ban sparked protests and chaos at USA and overseas airports.

The result is a rebuke to the White House.

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