Biden and Trump news live: Latest Putin and Covid stimulus updates
Biden and Trump news live: Latest Putin and Covid stimulus updates
Putin responds to Biden ‘killer’ claim
Former US president Barack Obama has called for “common sense gun safety laws” following the shooting of eight people at three massage parlours in Atlanta, Georgia, this week, an attack that has cast a spotlight on a spike in racial prejudice against Asian Americans over the past year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier branded Mr Biden’s attack “very bad” and said: “It shows he definitely doesn’t want to build relations with our country and things will flow from this.” The country has also recalled its US ambassador in protest.
Obama says Atlanta shooting shows need for ‘common sense gun safety laws’
The 44th US president has taken to Twitter to call for gun reforms in the wake of the Atlanta shootings.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 14:35
House to vote on immigration bills that could create path to citizenship for millions
The House is expected to vote on two separate immigration bills today that could create a pathway to citizenship for millions of people.
Lawmakers will vote on one bill aiming to give more than 2 million “Dreamers,” or people brought to the US undocumented as children, and others full legal status, with the chance to pursue citizenship.
They will also weigh a second proposal which sets out to offer a similar path to roughly 1 million immigrant farm workers.
Both bills are expected to pass in the Democrat-led House.
In fact, they have already been passed by the House in past years, but never made it through the Senate, where they are likely to face opposition once again from Republicans.
Chantal Da Silva18 March 2021 14:11
Blinken calls on China to persuade North Korea to abandon nuclear programme
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged China to use its “tremendous influence” to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme after the North snubbed negotiations with the US.
Speaking following security talks in Seoul, which saw the secretary of state and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meet with their South Korean counterparts, Mr Blinken suggested it was in China’s “interest’ to help push north Korea towards denuclearisation.
“Beijing has an interest, a clear self-interest, in helping to pursue denuclearization of (North Korea) because it is a source of instability. It is a source of danger and obviously a threat to us and our partners,” the secretary of state said, according to The Associated Press.
With most of North Korea’s external trade going through China, Mr Blinken suggested Beijing had a responsibility to help persuade the country to end its nuclear programme.
He further emphasised that China is obligated by UN Security Council resolutions to enforce sanctions imposed in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reportedly said the country would “continue to play a constructive role” in the matter.
Mr Zhao noted that China supports a “two-track approach”, which would see the US agree to offering security guarantees to North Korea for the country to abandon its nuclear efforts,” AP reported.
“All parties concerned should move in the same direction, work together to manage differences, actively promote dialogue and contacts, and maintain regional peace and stability,” he said at a daily briefing.
Chantal Da Silva18 March 2021 13:56
US jobless claims rose to 770,000 last week
The number of people in the US seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 770,000, according to new data from the Labor Department.
Compared with the week prior, which saw 725,000 people seek out benefits, the number represents a 45,000-person increase.
Overall, the numbers have dropped since last spring, but the recent rise suggests that lay offs are continuing across the country.
Prior to the pandemic, the number of those seeking benefits had never passed 700,000 in any given week, according to The Associated Press.
The four-week average of unemployment aid claims has dropped to 746,000, however, representing the lowest number since late November.
According to AP, a total of 4.1 million people continue to collect traditional state unemployment benefits, representing a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week.
With the inclusion of federal programming meant to help workers struggling due to the pandemic, 18.2 million people in the US were receiving some form of unemployment aid in the week of 27 February. That number too decreased from the week prior, declining by 1.9 million.
The Biden administration is hoping to provide fresh relieve and stimulate growth with its $1.9 trillion relief package, which will see most adults across the country receive $1,400 stimulus checks this month.
Chantal Da Silva18 March 2021 13:34
US Army refuses to return medal to soldier Trump pardoned over murder
The military has rejected an appeal for the return of medals of valour by a retired Army major who was pardoned by former president Donald Trump over a murder charge in Afghanistan.
Retired major Mathew Golsteyn had sought the restoration of his Silver Star Medal and Special Forces tab after his presidential pardon. Its restoration would have marked his service as a member of the elite Army Special Forces, colloquially referred to as the Green Berets.
Namita Singh has this report.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 13:30
‘No question’ Trump’s racist rhetoric fuelled anti-Asian hate, says White House
Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki has said there is “no question” that racist rhetoric used by Donald Trump and his allies has led to a spike in discrimination against Asian Americans.
President Trump repeatedly labelled the deadly respiratory disease the “China virus” or “Wuhan flu” throughout the last year as his administration oversaw the loss of half a million American lives to the pandemic and he sought a scapegoat for his own mishandling of the crisis, attempting to pin the blame on China, where the virus was first identified.
Trump had also stoked Sinophobic sentiment during his trade war with China, which he once declared he had been chosen by god to commence, and attempted to attack his Democratic presidential rival by nicknaming him “Beijing Biden” on the campaign trail.
“I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration – calling Covid the ‘Wuhan virus’ or other things – led to perceptions of the Asian American community that are inaccurate, unfair… has elevated threats against Asian Americans, and we’re seeing that around the country,” Saki said during her Wednesday briefing.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 13:10
Putin reponds to Biden calling him a ‘killer’: ‘It takes one to know one’
Here’s the Russian president’s suprisingly childish retort to his US counterpart.
Oliver Carroll brings us the very latest from Moscow.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 12:50
Outrage as 172 Republicans vote to oppose Violence Against Women Act
Honestly, what can you even say about that at this point?
Nevertheless, the House of Representatives did vote to reauthorise the Violence Against Women Act on a majority of 72, with 29 members of the GOP joining the Democrats in its favour.
Maroosha Muzaffar has this report.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 12:35
Asian Americans felt shooting was coming after a year of racism
As we’ve seen, the Georgia suspect’s motives have not been definitively established yet but the shootings have already prompted Asian Americans to come forward to discuss the discrimination they have experienced over the past year, with many blaming Donald Trump for using the phrase “China Virus” to scapegoat Beijing for the pandemic he so badly mishandled.
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 12:15
Police say Georgia suspect said ‘bad day’ and sex addiction led to massage parlour murders
Cherokee County sheriff Frank Reynolds said interviews with the suspect in the Atlanta shootings revealed that his actions may not have been racially motivated but tied to sexual issues.
“The suspect has been interviewed, which indicated he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction. He may have frequented some of these places in the past,” Sheriff Reynolds said.
Officers say he told them he had had a “very bad day” and that the killings were a result of him being “at the end of his rope” and “fed up.”
Joe Sommerlad18 March 2021 11:55