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A New York judge has issued a temporary halt to the deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at airports following President Donald Trump’s executive order.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a case in response to the order issued on Friday.

The group estimates that between 100 and 200 people are being detained at airports or in transit.

Thousands of people have been protesting at US airports over Donald Trump’s immigration order.

Donald Trump’s executive order halted the entire US refugee program and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Those who were already mid-flight were detained on arrival – even if they held valid visas or other immigration permits.

On January 28, President Trump told reporters: “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”

The ruling, from District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York, prevented the removal from the US of people with approved refugee applications, valid visas, and “other individuals… legally authorized to enter the United States”.

The emergency ruling also said there was a risk of “substantial and irreparable injury” to those affected.

Judge Donnelly’s ruling is not on the constitutionality of Donald Trump’s executive order. What will happen to those still held at airports remains unclear.

The case was brought on January 28 on behalf of two Iraqi men detained at JFK Airport in New York.

One worked for the US military in Iraq. The other is married to a former US military contract employee.

Both have now been released. Another court hearing is set for February.

Lee Gelernt, deputy legal director of the Immigrants Rights Project, argued the case in court and was greeted by a cheering crowd outside.

He said that some people had been threatened with being “put back on a plane”.

“The judge, in a nutshell, saw through what the government was doing and gave us what we wanted, which was to block the Trump order and not allow the government to remove anybody who has come and is caught up in the order, nationwide,” Lee Gelernt told the crowd.

He also said the judge had ordered the government to provide a list of names of those detained under the order.

“We are going to see each of the people, provide counsel, try and get them out of detention right now – but at minimum, they will not be returned back to danger,” Lee Gelernt said.

In addition to those detained on arrival in the US, some passengers were prevented from boarding US-bound flights after the order was signed.

On January 28, five Iraqi passengers and a Yemeni national were prevented from boarding a flight at Cairo airport bound for New York.

Dutch airline KLM said it had turned away seven people who were booked on US-bound flights because they would no longer have been accepted.


Amber Heard has announced she will donate her $7 million divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to two charities that work with abused women and ill children.

The actress will give half to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to prevent violence against women, and half to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Amber Heard said she hoped to “help those less able to defend themselves”.

She earlier accused Johnny Depp of striking her and throwing a mobile phone during a fight. He denied the allegations.

Johnny Depp’s lawyer claimed Amber Heard had made the accusations in order to obtain a more favorable settlement.Amber Heard dogs Australia

Announcing their divorce settlement on August 16, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp said their relationship was “intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love”.

In a statement, Amber Heard, 30, said: “Money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully help those less able to defend themselves.

“As reported in the media, the amount received in the divorce was $7 million and $7 million is being donated. This is over and above any funds that I have given away in the past and will continue to give away in the future.”

She said the money donated to the ACLU would have a “particular focus to stop violence against women”.

The actress added: “I know these organizations will put the funds to good use and look forward to continuing to support them in the future. Hopefully, this experience results in a positive change in the lives of people who need it the most.”

Amber Heard married Johnny Depp, 53, in February 2015 and they announced their split in May 2016.

She then took out a temporary restraining order against Johnny Depp obliging him not to get in contact and stay 100 yards away from her.

Their settlement came a day before a court hearing into the restraining order was due to take place. The order was then withdrawn.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp released a joint statement on August 16 saying: “Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.”

Edward Snowden spoke before a packed auditorium of technology innovators via video link in Austin at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference on Monday.

Global mass surveillance conducted by the US and other governments is “setting fire to the future of the internet”, he said.

He added: “You guys are all the firefighters, and we need you to help us fix this.”

The former NSA contractor, who fled the US last year after leaking thousands of documents that revealed his employer’s extensive surveillance programs, spoke to the audience through a choppy Google Hangout video connection running through multiple proxy servers to conceal his location.

Although Edward Snowden has granted a handful interviews to the media since his revelations made global headlines and led to his seeking asylum in Russia, it was one of his first live appearances before a general audience.

During his one-hour session moderated by his lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Edward Snowden urged internet and computing experts to design and produce encrypted communication technology that the average user can use.

Often delving into the technical details of internet security, calling it “defense against the dark arts in the digital realm”, he said the systems currently available, if used by the general public, would make NSA bulk surveillance programs much more difficult.

Edward Snowden also denounced what he saw as a change in US priorities since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, focusing on breaking communication security rather than protecting information.

Edward Snowden spoke via video link at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin

Edward Snowden spoke via video link at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin

“When you are the one country in the world that is sort of a vault that is more full than anyone else, it doesn’t make sense for you to be attacking all day rather and never defend your vault,” he said.

He also criticized the NSA’s mass data collection system as being ineffective and a waste of resources. Instead, he said, the agency should be focusing on the type of people who present a threat.

Edward Snowden cited Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as individuals the government might have been able to catch if they had directed resources in the right areas.

“We spent all this money, we spent all this time hacking into Google’s and Facebook’s back end to look at their databases,” he said.

“What did we get out of that? We got nothing.”

Edward Snowden received a warm reception from the audience, and the question-and-answer session included words of praise in an email from internet pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who said his actions were “profoundly in the public interest”.

His appearance was not without critics, however. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas wrote an open letter to the conference’s organizers on Friday, urging them to deny the NSA leaker a public platform to air his views.

Edward Snowden’s “only apparent qualification”, he writes, “is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of first amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin”.

At the start of the session, Ben Wizner, who serves as Edward Snowden’s legal advisor, replied that although freedom of expression protections are generally stronger in the US than in Russia, “if there’s one person for whom that’s not true, it’s Ed Snowden”.

If Edward Snowden were still in the US, he said, he’d probably be held by the government in solitary confinement.

Edward Snowden’s session is the latest event in a technology conference that has been dominated by talk of internet security, government surveillance and privacy rights.

In his final question, Edward Snowden was asked to assess the importance of his revelations.

“Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had a right to know,” he said.

“I took an oath to support and defend the constitution, and I saw the constitution was violated on a massive scale.”

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