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News Wrap: Federal appeals court temporarily blocks ‘remain in Mexico’ policy

In our news wrap Friday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy. Under it, nearly 60,000 asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico while their cases are decided. Also, intense fighting between Turkey and Syria in northwestern Syria's Idlib province prompted urgent diplomacy while setting a new wave of refugees in motion.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: A federal appeals court in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration's remain in Mexico policy.

    Under it, nearly 60,000 legal asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico while their cases are decided. Today's ruling halts the policy in California and Arizona. Those are the border states in the court's jurisdiction. The administration is expected to appeal.

    Separately, the federal immigration court system proposed raising fees. The price of appealing a decision would go from just over $100 to nearly $1,000. Immigration groups said that that would make it too expensive to challenge deportation orders.

    Mounting chaos in Northwestern Syria touched off heavy fighting and urgent diplomacy today, and set a new wave of refugees in motion.

    Foreign affairs correspondent Nick Schifrin has our report.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    On the border that separates Turkey from Syria, the two countries' militaries are hammering each other.

    Turkey launched multiple attacks against Syrian government forces, in retaliation for Syrian airstrikes that killed 33 Turkish soldiers last night.

  • Hulusi Akar (through translator):

    Over 200 Syrian regime targets were heavily struck by aircraft, unmanned aerial aircraft and land-based resources immediately following this heinous attack.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Inside Syria, the Turkish military is siding with Syrian rebels in Idlib against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia.

    Nearby, the Turkish military has deployed to outposts along near the border. Syrian civilians are forced into refugee camps, where children have little to defend against a new adversary, the cold.

    These displaced families have spent years fleeing the violence and are hoping to escape to Turkey.

  • Mustafa (through translator):

    If the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies are in charge, then we have no option but to go to Turkey, and, from Turkey, go to Europe.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    But, in Turkey, Syrian refugees who have spent months or years sheltering are trying to enter Greece, after Turkey hinted at opening its Western border. Some migrants aren't waiting, boarding dinghies to make the perilous journey by sea, stoking memories of 2015, when almost a million refugees risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean and seek asylum in Europe.

    To try and reduce tensions, today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Erdogan also spoke with President Trump.

    And following an emergency meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia and Syria to stop bombing civilians.

  • Jens Stoltenberg:

    I call on them to stop their offensive, to respect international law.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    The U.S. says it supports the Turkish operation, but the U.S. has not yet provided material support to help end the crisis.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nick Schifrin.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In Afghanistan, a one-week lull in violence has set the stage for the U.S. and the Taliban to sign a peace agreement tomorrow.

    President Trump announced today that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will witness the signing in Qatar. We will get the details later in the program.

    India's capital city, New Delhi, tried to return to calm today after Hindu-Muslim rioting this week left 40 people dead. Police upped their presence in the capital, where some neighborhoods were burned and wrecked.

    Residents voiced both caution and complaints.

  • Asif Mohammed (through translator):

    There is a peaceful environment now, but not that much, as people are still very scared. They are scared to even leave their homes and go out.

  • Mohd Anish (through translator):

    If the administration was as active 72 hours ago as they are now, then these riots would certainly not have happened.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The violence erupted after months of protests against a citizenship law that favors non-Muslims.

    Back in this country, President Trump has nominated Congressman John Ratcliffe to be director of national intelligence. He initially said he would nominate the Texas Republican last July. The plan stalled, until now, after Senate Republicans questioned Ratcliffe's lack of an experience in the intelligence field.

    The U.S. House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation of Attorney General William Barr. Democratic Chairman Jerry Nadler said the focus is possible political meddling in criminal cases. It includes Barr's push for a lighter sentence for Roger Stone, President Trump's ally, who was convicted of lying to Congress.

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