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Trump bars visitors from mainly 7 Muslim nations

Five Iraqi passengers and one Yemeni were barred from boarding an EgyptAir flight from Cairo to New York on Saturday after President Donald Trump halted the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, sources at Cairo airport said.

The passengers, arriving in transit to Cairo airport, were stopped and re-directed to flights headed for their home countries despite holding valid visas, the sources said. Trump on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travelers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries, saying the moves would help protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

He said his most sweeping use of his presidential powers since taking office a week ago, barring travelers from the seven nations for at least 90 days, would give his administration time to develop more stringent screening procedures for refugees, immigrants and visitors. "I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don't want them here," Trump said earlier.

"We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people," he said. The bans, though temporary, took effect immediately, causing havoc and confusion for would-be travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Besides Cairo it was not immediately clear whether other airports of countries listed by Trump had swiftly implemented the ban. Arab officials of the listed countries would not comment on the matter. The order seeks to prioritise refugees fleeing religious persecution, a move Trump separately said was aimed at helping Christians in Syria. That led some legal experts to question whether the order was constitutional.

One group said it would announce a court challenge on Monday. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the order targets Muslims because of their faith, contravening the US Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

"President Trump has cloaked what is a discriminatory ban against nationals of Muslim countries under the banner of national security," said Greg Chen of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Trump has long pledged to take this kind of action, making it a prominent feature of his campaign for the November 8 election. But people who work with Muslim immigrants and refugees were scrambling to determine the scope of the order.



Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai slam US President

America is a nation of immigrants and should be proud of it, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Saturday as he criticised President Donald Trump's decision to severely limit immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries.

"Like many of you, I'm concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

Google's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai on Saturday criticised Trump's controversial immigration order, saying it will create "barriers" to bringing great talent to the US, as the Internet search giant ordered its travelling staff to return to America. Pichai in an email to staff said the US ban on foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries will hit at least 187 Google employees.


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