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Global Pulse: Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ is being heard in the supreme court

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The controversial ‘Muslim ban’, as President Donald Trump’s travel ban is known, is being tried at the Supreme Court in the United States. The president of Armenia tried to extend his political powers but was so strongly protested that he had to desist and issue an apology to the citizens of Armenia. Meanwhile, why do we care so much that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a new baby boy? And is it a bad thing?

Trump v Justice

On April 25, the Supreme Court will decide whether “the third version of Donald Trump’s restrictions on travel from primarily Muslim countries is consistent with the law and the constitution,” writes The Economist. 

“The challengers argue that Mr Trump’s latest travel ban is a direct descendant of his campaign-trail calls for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering America “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.”

Trump’s third version of the travel ban includes non-Muslim countries like Venezuela and North Korea. “But to think that Mr Trump no longer intends the travel ban as a partial realisation of his long-promised Muslim ban is to take an exceedingly charitable view of his motives and to ignore his tweets disparaging Muslims.”

Trump has openly displayed Islamophobic tendencies. He has retweeted and shared videos that are discriminatory towards Muslims, and has repeatedly said he doesn’t want Muslims entering the United States.

“White House statements and speeches to foreign governments, of course, are scripted, edited and filtered; Mr Trump’s tweets emphatically are not. But even the Ramadan greeting referred to “barbaric terrorist attacks” in Britain and Egypt and the “perverted ideology” that fuelled them. While Mr Trump noted that these terrorist incidents were “directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan”, the subtext was not difficult to discern. Mr Trump has conveyed the message that Muslims are dangerous and his travel restrictions are a tool to keep millions of them far from America. His lawyers know that, the justices know that. The question is whether a majority of the justices will bury their heads in the sand and give their blessing to a policy with little—other than religious bigotry—to recommend it. They will rule by the end of June.”

Armenia doesn’t head down the Russian or Chinese way

Serzh Sargsyan, who was the president of Armenia from 2008 until this month, has been a “faithful client of Vladimir Putin,” writes the editorial board of the Washington Post. So it was no surprise when he tried to emulate the Russian model and to stay in power indefinitely by transferring power to the prime minister and having parliament name him to that post.

However, he underestimated his citizens. “The result was 11 days of mounting mass demonstrations that, on Monday, prompted Mr. Sargsyan to give up the position. “I was wrong,” he said in a statement.”

Armenia will still be pro-Russia. “The popular revolt nevertheless is a blow to the authoritarian political model promoted by Mr. Putin, which has spread not only to other former Soviet Bloc states in Russia’s orbit but also to Turkey, where ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping to complete the transition from prime minister to all-powerful president in June.”

“What drove Armenians to the streets was not foreign provocations but the fact that Mr. Sargsyan’s bet on Russia failed to deliver. During his decade in office, the economy stagnated. About 10 percent of the population abandoned the country, while 30 percent of those who remained fall below the official poverty line.” But still, democracy triumphed in Armenia on Monday.

It’s a Prince!

The birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges’ new son dominated British news the entire day, and not even French president Macron’s arrival in the United States proved to be competition, editorializes the New York Times.

“It was “breaking news” when Prince William brought his other children, little Prince George, still in his school uniform, and Princess Charlotte, who gave an oh-so-precious wave to the crowd, to visit their new brother. The royal obstetrician and royal gynecologist — “royal” was the word of the day — were richly profiled. The fact that Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, had been born in the same hospital on the same day, only 37 years earlier, was presented as a remarkable coincidence. Westminster Abbey announced it would ring a full peal of “Cambridge Surprise Royal” on Tuesday; tabloids noted with disapproval that the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, took more than three hours to send his greetings to “Kate and William.””

“Was it too much? Of course, but when offered alongside all the other “evil news” of White House iniquities, shooting rampages and other horrors, it’s barely enough, as Mark Twain might have put it.”

The world needed something minute to obsess over and celebrate, and the wildly popular royals were the perfect family to focus on. “Today Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 92 on Saturday, presides over a curiously sympathetic and attractive mix of archaic tradition, fairy-tale titles and very modern lives. While the duchess was giving royal birth, her brother-in-law Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle, an American actress, were attending a memorial service on the 25th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence, murdered in a racially motivated attack.”

So stay tuned, writes the New York Times. They should be announcing His New Royal Highness’ name any time now.

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