The Cable

Immigration Ban Blocked for Now, Romanian Protesters Aren’t Done Yet: The Weekend Behind, the Week Ahead

It's Monday again. Time to catch up on the top stories from the weekend.


The fallout from U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries continued over the weekend.

On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle, Washington temporarily blocked the enforcement of the order. The Department of Homeland Security and Department of State both announced they would comply with that judicial decision (despite the president’s tweets of frustration). On Sunday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency request filed by the Department of Justice to put the ban back in effect.

But that does not mean the ban is gone for good. The court asked both sides to file legal briefs before making its final decision. The suspension of the ban is in effect for now. Lawyers for Washington and Minnesota state have until Monday afternoon to file legal papers; those for the Department of Justice, until Monday evening. A three-judge panel will then either hold a hearing or rule.

Also this weekend, protests continued — and not only in the United States.

Tens of thousands of Romanians took to the streets to protest a law that would decriminalize official misconduct. The law was ostensibly meant to deal with overcrowded prisons, but was widely interpreted as a way to let politicians — including Liviu Dragnea, leader of the ruling party — go unpunished for corruption. Facing the largest protest since the fall of communist rule, the Romanian government announced it would scrap the law on Sunday. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said he did not want to divide Romania.

But it may be too little, too late for that: tens of thousands rallied to call for Grindeanu’s resignation after his announcement.

Russia, meanwhile, is making headlines by crafting them. On Sunday, Russian state media outlet Sputnik ran an article suggesting French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is a paid agent of the United States. Macron is widely seen as the only a frontrunner who can challenge the sometimes Russia-backed, always Russia-friendly Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front. Russian influence in European elections continues to be a story to watch in the week, and weeks, ahead.

Photo credit: ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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