By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to weigh the constitutionality of a U.S. law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem - the historic holy city claimed by Israelis and Palestinians - to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports. The case concerns a long-standing U.S. foreign policy that the president - and not Congress - has sole authority to state who controls Jerusalem. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue, the U.S. State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, but no country name is included. The State Department, which issues passports and reports to the president, has declined to enforce the law passed by Congress in 2002, saying it violated the separation of executive and legislative powers laid out in the U.S. Constitution.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a provision in an Arizona law that sought to criminalize the harboring and transportation of illegal immigrants. The court's decision not to hear the state's appeal leaves intact an October 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that found in part that the provision was trumped by federal immigration law. The harboring provision, part of Arizona's controversial 2010 immigration law, made it a criminal offense to encourage illegal immigrants to enter the state or to harbor or transport them within Arizona. In a 2012 case, the Supreme Court partially upheld other provisions of the 2010 law.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's report that examines government collusion in wildlife trafficking.
Five years after refashioning US foreign policy to emphasize Asia, President Barack Obama will face questions over his strategy's content and staying power in the region this week. Obama will counter the impression that events, including carnage in Syria and the East-West showdown over Ukraine have dragged his administration’s attention elsewhere. He will argue in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines that the "rebalancing" policy -- of withdrawing US military, economic and human resources from Middle East wars and deploying them to emerging Asia -- remains on track. Obama will embark on his fifth visit as president to Asia when he lands in Japan on Wednesday.