A series of avalanches in Afghanistan have killed at least 54 people in the past few days, officials said Sunday. Afghan state minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs said an additional 50 other people had been injured, and more than 150 homes destroyed. Heavy storms hit the northern provinces, and the death toll is expected to rise as many people are still missing. In the Sari Pul province at least 70 people were trapped beneath snow, the AFP reported, and rescue efforts were still underway Sunday to save them. The storms have closed off many highways throughout the country, and Afghanistan’s government declared a public holiday because of the snowfall.
—The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal request to restore the Trump administration’s travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries.
—It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and the New England Patriots face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston.
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Deadly Avalanches in Afghanistan Have Killed at Least 54 People and Trapped Many More
An Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Request to Reinstate the Travel Ban
A federal appeals court denied an emergency request early Sunday morning from the Trump administration that would have reinstated the travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s refusal to hear the request means that a previous decision to stop enforcing the executive order by a federal judge in Seattle will stand, and that visa holders and travelers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and vetted refugees from all countries, will be allowed to come to the U.S. Judge James Robart of the Federal District Court in Seattle had ruled Friday evening that the Trump administration had offered “no support” for its decision to block people from those countries, or any evidence they collectively represented a threat to the U.S. The Justice Department (DOJ) had appealed the Seattle judge’s ruling in hopes the higher court would issue a stay, which would would have restored the ban. In the appeal, the DOJ argued the president had “unreviewable authority” to suspend any foreigner from entering the U.S. The next step in this legal back-and-forth will come Monday, when the Trump administration will reply to the rejected appeal.
Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017