Biden news live: Latest updates as president undoes Trump’s WHO exit and deportations

Biden news live: Latest updates as president undoes Trump’s WHO exit and deportations


Biden news live: Latest updates as president undoes Trump’s WHO exit and deportations

Biden news live: Latest updates as president undoes Trump’s WHO exit and deportations

Joe Biden quotes ‘American Anthem’ during inaugural address

President Joe Biden has moved swiftly to undo the work of his predecessor Donald Trump by signing 17 executive orders on issues ranging from Covid to immigration in his first day on the job.

Acting homeland security secretary David Pekoske has paused some deportations for 100 days while asylum policies are reviewed and the newly-elected president is also halting the US withdrawal from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Leaders around the world congratulated Mr Biden after his inauguration on Wednesday but the Kremlin has so far kept silent. 

That didn’t stop Russian state media portraying him as an absent-minded politician pre-occupied with minority rights or Aleksey Zhuralyev, a deputy for the ruling United Russia party, branding Mr Biden’s first speech as a “boring, old man’s” spiel.

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Biden revamps White House

As well as signing a raft of executive orders the newly-elected president has decided to take the opportunity to redecorate his new home.

The most notable addition to the White House so far has been a bust of legendary workers rights advocate Cesar Chavez that is sat behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

Get all the details from Josh Marcus

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 15:58

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Jill Biden thanks first responders in video statement and praises ‘hope and optimism’ in inauguration

First Lady Jill Biden has thanked first responders and civil servants for the effort they put into making sure the inauguration “was a reflection of the pride and promise of our nation.”

She tweeted: It’s the start of a bright new chapter for our country. A time for all of us to come together as one America, with one government that serves us all. 

“And we saw that hope and optimism in our inauguration celebration. It was a combination of 1000’s of people working together to create something incredible, especially in this uniquely difficult year.”

She added that Americans saw “hope and optimism” in the event which included performances from J-Lo and Lady Gaga.

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 15:38

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‘We don’t know what the future holds’: Mike Pence says he’s leaving D.C. in emotional farewell speech

The former vice president – who attended the inauguration on Wednesday unlike Donald Trump – has confirmed he will be leaving Washington to return home to Indiana in the summer.

Speaking in front of at least 60 people at the Columbus airport in Mr Pence’s hometown, he said “I’ve already promised Karen we will be moving back to Indiana come this summer,” adding “There’s no place like home”.

Gustaf Kilander has all the details

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 15:18

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President Biden’s agenda for his first full day in office

The White House has released the schedule for Mr Biden’s first full day in office as he is expected to ramp up the country’s efforts to battle coronavirus.

The new president has vowed to take far more aggressive measures to contain the virus than Donald Trump, starting with stringent adherence to public health guidance. 

He faces steep obstacles such as slow progress on the vaccine rollout and uncertainty over whether congressional Republicans will help him pass a $1.9 trillion economic relief and COVID response package.

The agenda shows he will deliver remarks in the press room and sign executive orders, before receiving a briefing from members of the Covid-19 taskforce.

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 14:57

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‘More a will than a political programme’: Russia reacts to inauguration of ‘old man’ Joe Biden

International reaction to Joe Biden becoming the 46th US president has been broadly positive, but the Kremlin has so far stayed silent on the matter.

That hasn’t stopped the Russian state media portraying the 78-year-old in an unflattering light and Aleksey Zhuralyev, a deputy for the ruling United Russia party branding the new president’s first speech as a “boring, old man’s” spiel.

The Independent’s Moscow Correspondent Oliver Carroll has all the details…

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 14:38

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Mitt Romney attacks former president Trump for handing out pardons to ‘cronies’

The Republican has strongly criticised Donald Trump’s list of pardons and called for constitutional reform for presidential powers of clemency.

“I can’t imagine the founders in providing for pardon power for a president anticipated that presidents would use it to reward political friends, and as a result I would hope that we could develop a tradition of more narrowly providing pardons,” said Mr Romney.

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 14:15

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Dr Fauci: US will resume funding of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The United States will resume funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and join its consortium aimed at sharing coronavirus vaccines fairly around the globe, President Joe Biden’s top adviser on the pandemic said today.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s commitment to the WHO marks a dramatic and vocal shift from the Trump era towards a more cooperative approach to fighting the pandemic.

“I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci told a virtual meeting of the WHO from the United States.

Just hours after Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, he wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres saying the US had reversed the planned pullout from the WHO that was expected to take effect in July.

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 13:57

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Ted Cruz slams Biden for rejoining climate crisis agreement ‘for Paris citizens’

Texas senator Ted Cruz has been bombarded with criticism on social media after a tweet attacking Joe Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord.

Mr Cruz said: “By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans.”

The Republican’s argument baffled many online and was mocked by climate activist Greta Thunberg and Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Joe Sommerlad has all the details

Joe Middleton21 January 2021 13:41

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Secret invitation to work for Joe Biden hidden in White House website

Post-Trump, the website for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now acknowledges the existence of climate change – hurray!

It also has a new dark mode, part of a design makeover.

But the White House site also has one more hidden secret, aimed at recruiting people into the service of the state.

The mysterious Adam Smith explains.

Joe Sommerlad21 January 2021 13:15

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The ‘best’ of Donald Trump: Four years of division, chaos and lies in the USA

If you’re missing the old spray-tanned authoritarian already, Independent TV offers you this “highlights” package of his turbulent four-year term.

Joe Sommerlad21 January 2021 12:55


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