Trump and Biden news - live: Latest updates as half a million Covid deaths ‘heartbreaking’, says president

Trump and Biden news – live: Latest updates as half a million Covid deaths ‘heartbreaking’, says president


Trump and Biden news – live: Latest updates as half a million Covid deaths ‘heartbreaking’, says president

Trump and Biden news – live: Latest updates as half a million Covid deaths ‘heartbreaking’, says president

Joe Biden marks over 500,000 Covid deaths in the US: ‘We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow’

President Joe Biden led a sombre address to the nation on Monday as the US hit the “heartbreaking” milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths, as Donald Trump’s team dismissed news of a rift with his former vice-president Mike Pence.

Mr Biden observed a minute’s silence outside the White House alongside vice-president Kamala Harris and their partners during a candle-lit vigil and urged Americans to “fight this together as one people.”

He described hitting the 500,000 number as a “truly grim, heartbreaking milestone” and noted that the number of US death’s from the pandemic is now higher than the death toll from World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War combined.

It comes as Mr Trump’s advisers have denied that the former president refused to share a stage with Mike Pence at the conservative annual political conference in Florida and played down talk of a dispute between the pair.

Mr Trump’s senior aide Jason Miller said: “This story is patently false, and these ‘anonymously sourced’ attacks designed to create division are why people distrust the media.”

“No such demand or request was ever made by President Trump, and in fact, President Trump and Vice President Pence had a great call last week!” he added.

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Biden aiming to mend US-Canada ties after tensions of Trump era

Joe Biden is hoping his first meeting with Justin Trudeau will clear the way for strengthening US-Canada ties that were strongly tested under Donald Trump.

The US president, his Canadian counterpart, and their respective cabinets will come together virtually on Tuesday for the first bilateral head of government meeting of Mr Biden’s young presidency, writes The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 12:05

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CPAC ‘America Uncanceled’ cancels speaker after online rant about ‘thieving fake Jews’

An upcoming conservative political conference in the US called “America Uncanceled” has cancelled a speaker for his derogatory remarks about Jewish people.

Young Pharaoh, who identifies as an artist and philosopher, reportedly told his followers that Judaism is a lie, made up for political gain and allegedly also called them “thieving fake Jews.”

He was due to speak at the conservative political action conference (CPAC) in Orlando, starting on Thursday.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 11:40

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Biden attempt to resurrect Iran nuke deal off to bumpy start

The Biden administration’s early efforts to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are getting a chilly early response from Tehran.

Though few expected a breakthrough in the first month of the new administration, Iran’s tough line suggests a difficult road ahead.

Having made several significant overtures to Iran in its first weeks in office, the administration’s outreach has been all but shunned by the Iranians.

They had already rejected Biden‘s opening gambit: a U.S. return to the deal from which President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 if Iran resumes full compliance with its obligations under the accord.

Iran is shaping up to be a major test of the Biden administration’s overall approach to foreign policy, which the president has said will realign itself with the kind of multilateral diplomacy that Trump shunned.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 11:25

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US Supreme Court to hear cases on abortion and immigration

The Supreme Court said it will take up challenges to controversial Trump administration policies affecting family-planning clinics and immigrants.

The justices agreed to hear appeals over the Trump policy that keeps taxpayer-funded clinics from referring women for abortions and the “public charge” rule that could deny permanent residency status to immigrants because of their use of food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers or other public benefits.

Adam Liptak has the latest

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 11:06

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Niagara Falls freezes over as storms continue to engulf US

Parts of Niagara Falls froze over on Monday as brutal winter storms continued to batter areas of the US.

After temperatures fell to -2F (-18C) in Niagara, New York State, last week, tourists gathered to witness the ice which had formed at the top of the famous waterfall over the weekend and on Monday, writes The Independent’s James Crump.

It comes after multiple states have suffered from freezing temperatures and storms over the last few weeks, with Texans particularly badly affected by mass power and water outages.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 10:43

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Biden ‘prepares Russia sanctions’ after Navalny jailing

President Biden is reportedly planning sanctions on Russia in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of Kremlin-critic Alexei Navalny.

The move would be in conjunction with European allies in the coming weeks, but the exact parameters of the response have not yet been revealed.

A senior official told Politico that the Biden administration is “considering available policy options.”

“Suffice it to say, we won’t stand by idly in the face of these human rights abuses,” they added.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 10:24

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Joe Biden’s full speech after the US Covid death toll reached 500,000

President Joe Biden led Americans in a moment of silence to mourn 500,000 COVID-19 deaths from the White House on Monday.

“Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone – 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War combined,” Mr Biden said in emotional remarks.

“But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived. They are people we knew.”

Mr Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff marked a moment of silence around 6:15 p.m (2315 GMT) outdoors at the White House after the president’s comments.

Read the full speech below

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 10:06

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Former Trump lawyer warns tax release could spell end for ex-president

Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has said it was time for Mr Trump to “take responsibility for his own dirty deeds” after the Supreme Court ordered the ex-president to hand over his tax returns to prosecutors in New York.

Namita Singh has all the details

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 09:40

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President Biden set to meet with Canadian PM Trudeau

Joe Biden will hold a virtual meeting with Justin Trudeau this afternoon where a range of issues are expected to be discussed, including the president’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The meeting will be an opportunity for the two leaders to review joint efforts in areas of mutual interest such as the COVID-19 response, climate change, and the economic ties that bind our countries, as well as the deep people-to-people bonds we share,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday.

While Mr Biden has had at-times lengthy calls with several foreign leaders, the meeting with Trudeau will also extend to lower-level meetings between Cabinet ministers.

On his first day in office, Mr Biden signed an executive order revoking the permit for Keystone XL – a pipeline that would carry some 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil each day from fields in Alberta, Canada to the US.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 09:19

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Trump team denies he is refusing to share stage with Pence and insists they have spoken since Capitol riot

Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jason Miller has dismissed reports of the former president refusing to share a stage with Mike Pence at the conservative annual political conference in Florida and played down suggestions of a feud between the pair, writes The Independent’s Shweta Sharma.

“This story is patently false, and these ‘anonymously sourced’ attacks designed to create division are why people distrust the media,” Mr Miller said.

“No such demand or request was ever made by President Trump, and in fact, President Trump and Vice President Pence had a great call last week!” he added.

Joe Middleton23 February 2021 09:01


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