The United States is banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin luggage on certain flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the Associated Press has reported.
The new rule, which is expected to be officially announced will take effect on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
It will apply to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from 10 international airports in the cities of Cairo in Egypt, Amman in Jordan, Kuwait City in Kuwait, Casablanca in Morocco, Doha in Qatar, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Istanbul in Turkey, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Passengers will be barred from putting laptops, tablets, digital cameras and other large electronics in their carry-on luggage. Only cell phones and approved medical devices would be excluded from the ban.
The ban will apply only to foreign carriers including the Royal Jordanian Airlines. No American carriers will be affected.
The reason for the ban was not immediately clear. The ban had been under consideration since the U.S. government learned of a threat several weeks ago, the Reuters reported, quoting a U.S. official.
And the ban comes as the Trump administration attempts to overturn court rulings against its latest travel bans affecting people from six muslim nations.
The Justice Department said it will appeal a Maryland federal judge’s ruling that blocked federal agencies from enforcing certain parts of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.
The federal judge in Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on one part of Trump’s revised ban — the section that imposes the 90-day pause on the issuance of visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries included in the executive order.
U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang ruled that the plaintiffs had standing and a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims, including claims that the executive order discriminated on the basis of religion.
The nationwide preliminary injunction will remain in place indefinitely until it is either lifted by the Maryland judge or overturned by a higher court.
Earlier a federal judge in Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, made a more sweeping decision to freeze the president’s executive order, saying there was “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation” of the revised order and its predecessor.
Watson’s ruling on Wednesday prevented core provisions of the executive order, affecting refugees and citizens of the six predominantly Muslim countries, from going into effect the next day. (NAN)
Additional reports by Xinhua.