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US President Donald Trump Signs New Travel Ban Directive

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order placing a ninety-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations.

Iraq which was covered in the previous seven-nation order has been removed from the new one after agreeing to additional visa vetting measures.

The directive, which includes a one hundred and twenty-day ban on all refugees, takes effect on 16 March.

The previous order, which was blocked by a federal court, sparked confusion at airports and mass protests.

Presented as a means to strengthen national security against terror threats, it was blocked by the courts and effectively remains on hold.

The new order was unveiled by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

In justifying the refugee ban, Mr Sessions said there are more than 300 refugees under investigation for potential terror offences. But no further details were given.

Citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the other six countries on the original 27 January order, will once more be subject to a 90-day travel ban.

White House officials said Iraq has been taken off the banned list because its government has boosted visa screening and data sharing.

The new directive says refugees already approved by the State Department can enter the US. It also lifts an indefinite ban on all Syrian refugees. Green Card holders (legal permanent residents of the US) from the named countries will not be affected.

The new order does not give priority to religious minorities, unlike the previous directive. The three Cabinet secretaries held a joint news conference This morning to discuss the new directive.

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