Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Protesters gather at MSP airport to denounce Trump immigration order

Plus: decision expected this week on suspended Gopher football players; Minnesota’s share of Volkswagen settlement could help electric cars; Delta halts flights over (another) tech glitch; and more. 

The WCCO/AP story says: “Several hundred protesters gathered at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday, and briefly made their way inside, to rally against President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporary bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. … Two people were arrested at the Minnesota rally: One male was arrested after sitting in the middle of the roadway and refusing orders to move, and a second male was arrested after refusing orders to leave … .” 

MPR’s story on the protests says: “A similar scene played out Sunday in Rochester, Minn., where hundreds gathered in the city’s Peace Plaza to protest the Trump executive order. Rochester attracts patients and employees from the around the globe because of the Mayo Clinic. It also attracts some of the best minds in medicine from around the world. ‘This ban will hurt science,’ said Jeremy Webb, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic who’d come to the rally. He said he was the only natural born citizen in his lab and that three of the unit’s top researchers are from Iran. ‘We partner with businesses to bring our technology to reality. So this is going to hurt science and business, let alone the people who have come here for a better life,’ Webb said. ‘I don’t know what else to say. It’s heartbreaking.’”

Article continues after advertisement

KSTP-TV says: “President Trump’s executive order on immigration is drawing condemnation from Minnesota two Democratic Senators. Both Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken spoke in St. Paul Sunday. ‘This order was put out in a way that is terribly confusing,’ said Franken. ‘It is possibly, probably unconstitutional.’ ‘If the new President wants to look at biometrics and some of the other technology that we think we could use more, I think that’s a good thing,’ said Klobuchar. ‘But you don’t create chaos while you’re doing it.’”

Another MPR story, from Peter Cox, says: “President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration could affect the resettlement of at least 39 refugees that are scheduled to arrive in Minnesota in the next month. ‘They’ll most likely be sent back to the refugee camps where they were,’ said Jane Graupman of International Institute of Minnesota. ‘There’s a lot that isn’t clear right now, the details for on the ground,’ said Jane Graupman, the executive director of the International Institute of Minnesota, which resettles refugees.” 

For The Washington Post, Dave Weigel reports on Keith Ellison’s response to the executive order: “Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who in 2007 became the first Muslim member of Congress, said in an interview Saturday that opponents of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees should oppose them in the streets. ‘It’s time for people to get active, to get involved, to vote and to organize,’ said Ellison, who was in Houston to campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. … Ellison, one of the first candidates to enter the DNC race, is also the most politically prominent member of a faith singled out in Trump’s executive orders temporarily halting the visa interview process from seven nations and the refugee flow from Syria. … Once in Houston, Ellison found himself zipping between meetings with DNC members while Muslim legal groups were collecting stories of stranded refugees and working, in vain so far, to reunite them with families.”

This week. The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson and Karen Zamora write: “After two days of closed-door hearings at the University of Minnesota, a ruling is expected this week on the educational futures of 10 Gophers football players suspended for their alleged roles in a sexual assault. In more than 20 hours spanning Thursday and Friday afternoons and nights, the three-person Student Sexual Assault Subcommittee, which will make the decision on the players’ appeals, heard from lawyers for the players, the players themselves, the alleged victim and school administrators.”

MN’s split of the VW settlement could help electric cars, according to the AP: “Minnesota is set to receive nearly $47 million under the federal government’s settlement with Volkswagen over its emissions scandal. The settlement will give the state the chance to eliminate 600 tons of pollution from nitrogen oxides … . Some 9,300 Volkswagen diesels operating in Minnesota have sent 600 tons of nitrogen oxides into the air. That contributes to ground-level ozone, which can worsen respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. Most of the money must be spent on making diesel vehicles run cleaner or converting diesel vehicles to run on electricity, natural gas or propane. Those steps would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.”

Another bad for our beloved semi-hometown airline. Michael Sasso at Bloomberg’s Technology desk writes, “Delta Air Lines Inc. halted U.S. flights because of a technology failure, the second major domestic U.S. airline to ground services due to computer glitches in only a week. Delta’s international flights are exempt from the grounding, which was caused by ‘automation issues,’ the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement on its website. ‘Our systems are down,’ Delta said in a tweet. ‘The IT department is working to rectify the situation as soon as possible,’ said Atlanta-based Delta, the second-largest U.S. airline.”