Biden news live: President urged to announce 50% climate emission goal
Biden news live: President urged to announce 50% climate emission goal
Related video: Kerry apologises for Trump’s climate change stance
Mr Biden will host the virtual summit later this week. Scientists and climate campaigners say a 50-per-cent reduction in emissions “is ambitious, but it is achievable”.
Mr Obama told Americans: “I want to make sure that our communities, particularly ones, African-American, Latino, as well as young people understand that this will save lives and allow people to get their lives back to normal.”
Iran nuclear talks progressing well, Russian delegate says
Talks aimed at bringing the US back into the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran are moving ahead, even though a solution remains “far away”, Russia’s delegate said.
The US unilaterally left the agreement, which promises Tehran economic incentives in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, when Donald Trump was president. The Republican imposed crippling sanctions instead.
In response, Iran has steadily been violating the restrictions set by the deal, by enriching uranium far past the purity allowed and stockpiling vastly larger quantities, in a thus-far unsuccessful effort to force the other countries involved to provide economic relief that would offset the American sanctions.
Joe Biden wants to return to the deal, and Iran has been negotiating with the five remaining signatories – Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia – for the past two weeks on how that might take place.
Diplomats are acting as go-betweens for the American and Iranian sides, which are not speaking directly.
Russian representative Mikhail Ulyanov said negotiations had progressed to the point where the drafting of plans for Washington’s return to the pact can begin.
“Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal,” he wrote on Twitter.
On Saturday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said that Tehran had proposed draft agreements that could be a basis for negotiations.
“It seems that a new understanding is taking shape, and now there is agreement over final goals,” he told state TV. “It does not mean that differences of views have come to the end.”
Additional reporting by AP
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 12:08
Shooting at Chicago McDonalds drive-through kills seven-year-old girl, amid spate of gun deaths nationwide
A shooting at a McDonald’s drive-through has left a seven-year-old girl dead and resulted in serious injuries to her father.
According to police in Chicago, Jaslyn Adams was with her father Jontae Adams, 28, in their car in the McDonald’s parking lot in the Homan Square neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon when they were shot.
A McDonald’s employee, who asked not to be named, told the Chicago Sun-Times that two people got out of a grey car in the drive-thru and started shooting at Adams’ car.
It comes amid a spate of mass shootings that will put pressure on Joe Biden to drive through reforms to gun rules. The president has already taken executive action on some peripheral issues – like so-called “ghost guns” – but is pushing for legislative measures.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and an international embarrassment,” Mr Biden said earlier in April.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 11:20
Biden to hold infrastructure meeting with bipartisan group
Joe Biden is scheduled to hold another meeting with a bipartisan group of politicians on his infrastructure plan.
According to The Hill, there will be five Democrats, four Republicans and one independent at the meeting.
It follows a similar summit last week.
Mr Biden is trying to rally support for a huge, $2 trillion (£1.44 trillion) programme of building, renovating and job creation.
His administration wants nationwide improvements to roads and bridges, water systems, broadband internet access and supply-chain production, as well as green energy.
The president has defended his plan from Republican scepticism by saying that “inaction is simply not an option”.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 10:32
FedEx gunman able to buy rifles despite weapon confiscation
The gunman who shot dead eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis this week legally bought the two assault rifles he used in the killings despite having a shotgun confiscated months earlier, police have confirmed.
Former FedEx worker Brandon Scott Hole, 19, was able to buy an assault rife in July and another in September despite having a weapon confiscated by police in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.
His mother told police that the teenager might try to commit “suicide by cop”, leading to his weapon being removed and him being placed on a temporary mental health hold, writes Gustaf Kilander.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 10:07
After the FedEx shooting, Sikhs in Indianapolis feel targeted
Amarjeet Kaur Johal was once a regular at Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis, volunteering to cook and clean up after communal meals.
On Saturday, Ms Johal’s family, friends and co-workers gathered at the temple without her.
Ms Johal, a grandmother of five, was one of the eight workers killed when a gunman opened fire at a FedEx warehouse Thursday night. Four of the victims were Sikh, a loss that cuts deep in this tightknit community,connected by faith and a common heritage tied to the Punjabi region of India.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 09:30
Secret Republican memo that ‘would burn down the internet’ revealed
Republican lawmakers are ready with a proposal to reform a key section of US communications law aimed at reining in technology giants, a move which critics have said is tantamount to “burning down the internet”.
The law in question and facing scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats, albeit for different reasons, is Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that protects internet companies from liability for the material that the users post on their networks.
The proposal to reform Section 230 was unveiled by the Republican members of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, writes Mayank Aggarwal.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 09:12
GOP members who voted to impeach Trump get flood of donations
Despite Donald Trump’s vow to drive them from office, the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president for his role in the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January are enjoying a flood of re-election campaign donations.
The latest filings from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that the group raised $6.4m (£4.6m) collectively in the first quarter of 2021, writes Oliver O’Connell.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 08:49
Hunter Biden: The US president’s prodigal son – a profile
Rock bottom, if you’ll pardon the pun, came for Hunter Biden a few years ago when he shared his home in Washington DC with a homeless crack cocaine dealer known variously by the names “bicycles” (because of her personal transport) and “Rhea”.
He offered her accommodation and a bed (to sleep in, but not with him); she supplied the crack, taught him how to smoke it and how to prepare freebase cocaine in the kitchen, writes Sean O’Grady.
While vice president Joe Biden was in the White House sitting with the joint chiefs of staff and the president to decide their next futile gesture to stop the pitiless war in Syria, or lobbying senior senator colleagues to push key budget legislation through Congress, his second son, Hunter, was rummaging around on the floor, preoccupied with more down-to-earth matters.
In his new memoir, Beautiful Things, Joe Biden’s second son talks of his life in the shadow of American politics and his redemption from the years of debauchery and chaos that almost cost his father the presidency. Sean O’Grady wonders if his problems are really over
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 08:30
Obama joins televised vaccine push
Barack Obama was among the stars who joined a televised coronavirus vaccine campaign on Sunday night.
The former president urged ethnic minority groups to take up the jab.
He said: “I want to make sure that our communities, particularly ones, African-American, Latino, as well as young people understand that this will save lives and allow people to get their lives back to normal.”
Former NBA stars Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were among those who took part in the “Roll Up Your Sleeves” special on NBC, which aimed to dispel myths around coronavirus vaccines.
It came alongside news that half of American adults have now received at least one dose of a vaccine. Nearly one-third are fully inoculated.
It means that across the entire US population, 39 per cent have received at least one dose of vaccine and 24.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 08:03
Biden urged to set 50% climate emission goal
Activists and experts are urging Joe Biden to announce that the US will cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, ahead of his flagship Earth Day climate summit.
Mr Biden will host the virtual summit later this week.
The target the president chooses “is setting the tone for the level of ambition and the pace of emission reductions over the next decade”, said Kate Larsen, a former White House adviser who helped develop Barack Obama’s climate action plan.
The figure must be realistic but aggressive enough to satisfy scientists and advocates who call the coming decade a crucial, make-or-break moment for slowing climate change, Ms Larsen and other experts said.
The 50 per cent target, which is considered a likely outcome of intense deliberations underway at the White House, would nearly double the nation’s previous commitment and require dramatic changes in the power and transportation sectors, including significant increases in renewable energy such as wind and solar power and steep cuts in emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
The 2030 goal, known as a nationally determined contribution, or NDC, is a key part of the Paris climate agreement, which Mr Biden rejoined on his first day in office. It is also an important marker as the Democrat moves toward his ultimate goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Clearly the science demands at least 50 per cent,” said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert at the Natural Resources Defence Council, a campaign group.
The 50 per cent target “is ambitious, but it is achievable”, he said, adding that it was also a good climate message. “People know what 50 per cent means – it’s half.”
Here’s our latest report on the US’ efforts to combat the climate crisis:
Jon Sharman19 April 2021 07:44