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    Education officials from four western states and Alaska sent a letter to President Joe Biden this week to point out that banning oil and gas leases on federal lands not only hurts economies but takes away vital funding for schools. The letter begins by pointing out that while it may seem unusual to hear from school officials over domestic energy production, it is, in fact, vital to educate the president on just how widespread the damage would be if he follows up on his promise to ban oil and gas leasing on federal land. This includes the Department of Interior’s Order 3395, which places a moratorium on new mining, oil, and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands, and Section 208 of the Climate Crisis Executive Order, which puts a “pause” on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters and allows for review and reconsideration...
    McAllen, Texas (CNN)The respite center for migrants in McAllen, Texas, used to be a nightclub. Now it's a shelter run by Catholic Charities. Where there used to be rows of liquor, there's now toiletries and diapers. Small children play on the floor. Colorful drawings hang from the blacked-out windows. This center has become a haven of activity in recent weeks, as more and more families have crossed the Rio Grande River from Mexico seeking asylum in the United States. U.S Customs and Border Protection officials process the migrants and give them a court date, then they drop them off at a bus station in downtown McAllen, just across the street from the respite center. While the numbers are nowhere near the level of families crossing a couple of years ago, the numbers have been steadily increasing since April. The migrants are driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the devastation left by...
    Tens of thousands of immigrants turned away at the southern U.S. border soon could see their denials reinstated under a policy change by President Joe Biden's administration. Arizona officials have told Gov. Doug Ducey they’re concerned over potential increases in COVID-19 infections and crime as a result of the change. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced last week the agency would start the first phase of Biden’s plan to restore processing immigrants who previously had been under investigation. “As President Biden has made clear, the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” Mayorkas said in a news release. “This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.” Specifically, the Biden administration would be reversing the Migrant Protection Protocols, a process initiated by former President Donald Trump that saw...
    President Biden on Thursday made official the most aggressive effort in decades to reform a broken immigration system that was almost completely paralyzed under his predecessor. Democratic lawmakers are ready to introduce legislation that Biden officials promoted on their first day in the White House, officials said – an ambitious bill that would provide a path to citizenship for some 11 million immigrants living in the United States. United without legal status. Given that Democrats have slight control in both houses of Congress, progressives have pressured the Biden administration to be “big, bold and inclusive” on immigration reform, as Rep. Linda T. Sánchez said in a statement Wednesday. (D-Whittier) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), major sponsors of the bill. Republicans, for their part, began to criticize the bill even before it was announced, a potential sign that Biden’s proposal may join the graveyard of Congressional initiatives, as it did...
    A health worker applies a Sinovac's CoronaVac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on an elderly citzen in Sao Goncalo near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil February 18, 2021.Ricardo Moraes | Reuters President Joe Biden is expected to announce Friday that the U.S. will spend $4 billion on international Covid vaccination efforts, White House officials said. Biden, during his first virtual meeting as president with G7 leaders, will also spur other nations to pledge more money toward the global fight against the pandemic, the officials told reporters in a conference call Thursday afternoon. "This pandemic is not going to end unless we end it globally," one official said, while noting that vaccinating Americans remains the administration's "highest priority." "But pandemics travel," the official said, and "the more disease that's out there, the more likely we are to see additional mutations and variants." The funds were appropriated by Congress as part of the Covid...
    Conservative organizations launched a more-than-$2 million ad buy Thursday, arguing that President Joe Biden’s call for “unity” is undercut by his policies and personnel bent on imposing an extreme liberal agenda. A coalition of conservative organizations — led by Judicial Crisis Network, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Public Trust — say, “Biden’s policies and personnel have direct ties to left-wing dark money groups such as Arabella Advisors.” The latter spent millions to get Biden elected. The three ads focus on Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, the number three position at the Department of Justice; Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services; and several dark money groups promoting these appointees and policies. The coalition is attacking Gupta for her clear support of communities moving to defund their police departments, in which she stated “police reform alone” is not enough. She is also highlighted for reducing punishments for violent...
    A group of President Biden’s allies are planning to launch a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting key policies of the new administration, including efforts to combat COVID-19.  The Wall Street Journal first reported the plans Wednesday, adding that senior Biden officials have been involved in discussions with the group, whose working name is “Building Back Together.”  White House officials said they will not directly oversee the organization, though they have been involved in selecting a group made up of former members of the Biden campaign and other allies to establish the nonprofit.  White House senior adviser and top campaign aide Anita Dunn told the Journal that the new organization will not “replicate” or “duplicate” existing advocacy organizations, but seek to build larger coalitions to promote Biden’s policies addressing issues like the pandemic, climate change and the economy. White House deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon said the nonprofit will...
    Prominent conservatives in the House of Representatives accused President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations of downplaying China using its growing political and economic clout in Africa to promote its communist ideology and undermine America’s global push to expand democracy. In a report, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), chaired by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), also linked Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a U.S. State Department employee, to a group that held top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials as clients. “Thomas-Greenfield is former Senior Vice President for the Albright-Stonebridge Group, which has held a number of senior CCP officials as clients including Jin Ligang, a former senior Chinese government official,” it said, adding: Ambassador Greenfield has a history of troubling comments praising and welcoming China’s role in Africa. As Senator Ted Cruz [R-TX] has pointed out, in 2006, Greenfield said she was not concerned about China’s growing influence in Africa, and in...
    A border official checks a passport at the border crossing between Tijuana and the USA.Omar Martinez | picture alliance | Getty Images Democrats in Congress are set to introduce a sweeping immigration bill backed by President Joe Biden Thursday. On a call with reporters Wednesday evening, Biden administration officials previewed the legislation. According the officials, the proposed bill, among other provisions, would: Establish an 8-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. by Jan. 1 Provide expedited green cards to farm workers and undocumented young people who arrived in the U.S. as children with temporary protected status under DACA Replace the word "alien" with "non-citizen" in law Raise the per-country caps on family and employment-based legal immigration numbers Repeal the penalty that prohibits undocumented immigrants who leave the country from returning to the U.S. for between three to ten years Expand transnational anti-drug task forces...
    (CNN)Promotions of several female generals were delayed by Pentagon officials until after the 2020 presidential election out of fear of "turmoil" from President Donald Trump's White House, The New York Times reported Wednesday.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, according to the newspaper, worried that if they mentioned Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, commanding general of US Army North (Fifth Army), and Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command in the Air Force, "the Trump White House would replace them with their own candidates before leaving office." Milley and Esper also feared candidates besides White men nominated to positions normally held by White men "might run into turmoil once their nominations got to the White House," the Times reported. The concerns by both top defense officials led them to delay the generals' nominations until after the November presidential election...
    The Biden administration is sending generators, blankets and other supplies to Texas as the state grapples with widespread power outages amid an extended blast of winter weather. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has supplied generators and is preparing to send diesel fuel to the state "to ensure the continued availability of backup power, which of course is a major issue on the ground, to key critical infrastructure including communications, hospitals and water," White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden balks at K student loan forgiveness plan Biden says goal is to reopen schools five days a week in first 100 days Biden officials mull priorities after coronavirus relief bill MORE said at a Wednesday briefing. "FEMA is also supplying Texas with water and blankets at their request," she added. "We are preparing to quickly process request from other states for emergency assistance… and we urge people in the affected...
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investing $200 million in a new genome-sequencing pilot program to ramp up surveillance of COVID-19 variants, the administration announced Wednesday. The initiative will be run out of and overseen by the federal agency, but will rely on partnerships from other academic and scientific institutions, officials said. National Testing Coordinator Carol Johnson said the program will attempt to scale the agency’s existing sequencing from 7,000 samples per week to about 25,000 a week, stressing the $200 million would kickstart a “pilot” program but was not enough to support sequencing efforts long term. More funding is needed through the president’s American Rescue Plan, she said. “We remain in the midst of a very serious pandemic. The continued spread of variants… could jeopardize the progress we have made in the past month,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters Wednesday, adding that it is unclear how...
    The Biden administration is urging officials to use the word “noncitizen” instead of “alien” as well as other, more inclusive language choices in a new memorandum, The Post has learned, as the White House maintains that President Biden himself “believes in the rights” of illegal immigrants to be in the country. In a missive sent to administration staffers Tuesday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Tracy Renaud informed her federal government colleagues of the administration’s preferred terminology for key immigration topics. Other terms being replaced include “illegal alien,” which will be replaced with “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual,” and “assimilation,” which will be replaced with “integration” or “civic integration.” In the memo, first reported by Axios Tuesday, Renaud encouraged “more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.” She signed the memo on Friday, USCIS told The...
    More On: immigration Please don’t rush the border, White House asks, as ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy ends Biden administration bringing immigration reform bill to Congress this week ICE nearly released sex abuse convicts despite Biden memo Biden admin to begin admitting migrants, reversing ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy The Biden administration is urging officials to use the word “noncitizen” instead of “alien” as well as other, more inclusive language choices in a new memorandum, The Post has learned, as the White House maintains that President Biden himself “believes in the rights” of illegal immigrants to be in the country. In a missive sent to administration staffers Tuesday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Tracy Renaud informed her federal government colleagues of the administration’s preferred terminology for key immigration topics. Other terms being replaced include “illegal alien,” which will be replaced with “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual,” and “assimilation,” which...
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be using his first ministerial meeting with NATO allies Wednesday to try to repair the frayed relationship, acknowledging that long-standing ties were, at times, strained under former U.S. President Donald Trump. The change in tone and approach, as senior U.S. defense officials described it Tuesday, comes as the United States and NATO are staring down major decisions on force levels in Afghanistan and on how to best confront powers like Russia and China, which remain set on bending international norms in their favor. But the officials said the Biden administration believes the ability to make progress on any of the pressing issues facing the alliance depends on putting the relationship back on solid footing. "It is fair to say that over the last four years, the public perception of the U.S. commitment and our intent have been a little bit unclear," a senior U.S....
    President BidenJoe BidenMcConnell doesn't rule out getting involved in Republican primaries Perdue files paperwork to explore 2022 Senate run Hillicon Valley: Parler announces official relaunch | Google strikes news pay deal with major Australian media company | China central to GOP efforts to push back on Biden MORE has yet to see his first major legislative proposal pass Congress as negotiations over an economic relief package are ongoing, but the White House is already eyeing how to prioritize its next round of policy pushes. Much of the attention has been on Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which is expected to pass through the budget reconciliation process in the coming weeks. While talks have progressed during Biden’s first month in office on that bill, White House officials have been carefully laying the foundation for three potential policy areas where they could turn next: guns, immigration and infrastructure. The president and his team...
    The Biden administration is urging officials at the Department of Homeland Security to stop using phrases like "illegal alien" in favor of what it says are more "inclusive" terms -- part of a broader effort by the administration to change language use on immigration. Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Director Tracy Renaud recently signed a memo that a USCIS spokesman said "aligns our language practices with the administration’s guidance on the federal government’s use of immigration terminology." BIDEN IMMIGRATION BILL CHANGES 'ALIEN' TO 'NONCITIZEN' AS PART OF OVERHAUL Axios first reported that the Feb. 12 memo urges officials to stop referring to people as "alien," in favor of "noncitizen." It also tells officials to refer to "undocumented individual" or "undocumented noncitizen" rather than "illegal alien." It also recommends "integration" rather than "assimilation."  "This change is designed to encourage more inclusive language in the agency’s outreach efforts, internal documents and...
    The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday moved to scrap a contract signed at the tail end of the Trump administration that could have allowed a union of deportation officers to stall the implementation of certain immigration policy changes. The agreement, signed the day before President Biden's inauguration by Ken Cuccinelli, the second-in-command at DHS at the time, gave a union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers the ability to "indefinitely delay" the implementation of agency policies, according to a whistle-blower complaint filed by the Government Accountability Project. The complaint, filed earlier this month, said the contract would effectively grant AFGE National ICE Council 118, a 7,500-member organization that twice endorsed former President Donald Trump, "veto authority" over certain policy-making at ICE. "The agreements grant NIC 118 extraordinary power and benefits — far more than what DHS agreed upon with its other employee unions which did not...
    Joe Biden is implementing a new initiative to stop administration workers from using terms like 'alien' and 'illegal' when referencing immigrants in official communications. Instead, they are being asked to use the term 'noncitizen' to describe immigrants. Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Tracy Renaud recently signed a memo to workers, according to a review by Axios, where she encouraged the 'more inclusive language in the agency's outreach efforts, internal documents and in overall communication with stakeholders, partners and the general public.' The new language is a sharp turn from Donald Trump's hard-line policies and harsh criticism toward those crossing into the U.S. from the southern border. The former president and his team often referred to undocumented immigrants as 'illegal aliens' and classified border crossing as an 'invasion.' Other changes in jargon include using 'undocumented noncitizen' or 'undocumented individual' and using 'integration or civic integration' instead of 'assimilation.'...
    The Biden administration has issued an ultimatum saying that if American planes are not allowed to fly emergency planes to Israel, Israeli planes will not be allowed to land in the U.S., Israel’s Channel 12 news reported Saturday. Israel’s Ben Gurion airport has been shuttered for the past three weeks and the only planes permitted to land belong to the country’s El Al flagship carrier bringing stranded Israelis home. The U.S. Department of Transportation warned that by doing so Israel is violating the open skies agreement between the two countries, the report said. The report cited White House officials as telling Israel: “Why do you need a crisis with the new administration? Allow our planes to fly to Israel.” Israel fears that other countries, including the UK, will issue a similar ultimatum, the report outlines. According to a separate report by Channel 13, Health Ministry officials have recommended the airport remain...
    At his regular press conference, the Mexican president told reporters that he supports Biden’s decision, adding that US presidents of both parties have worked on the border wall in the past. “Almost everyone has built parts of their wall, and now President Biden has decided not to build a wall on the border anymore. Therefore, it is a historic act,” Obrador said, according to Voice of America (VOA). We recommend He called on US-based immigrants to avoid attempts to cross the US-Mexican border illegally, and now there is a new US administration. The Voice of America reports that one of Biden’s first orders was to stop work on the wall, one of former President Donald Trump’s pre – election promises. During his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly said that Mexico would pay for it, but then he asked the US Congress for funding for the project. The Biden administration also announced...
    In the morning hours of Jan. 5 in the remote woods of Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain Park, senior political advisers leading President Donald Trump’s vaccine effort gathered for a colloquium at Camp David. There were just over two weeks left in the administration and the sprawling presidential retreat— where President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill discussed the Allies’ invasion of Europe and where President Dwight Eisenhower met Nikita Krushchev— seemed like the perfect setting to mark the end of their work on Operation Warp Speed, or what attendees described as their “Manhattan Project.” To those who gathered in the woods that day, four of whom spoke to The Daily Beast for this story, Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s effort to fast-track a COVID-19 vaccine within the span of a year, had been a resounding success, their job was nearly done, and any shortfalls on the ground were...
    A majority of likely voters do not believe that public officials should be punished for suggesting that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday found. “Should public figures be punished for saying they believe the 2020 election was stolen?” the survey asked. Fifty-four percent of likely voters said “no,” followed by 35 percent who said “yes” they should be punished and 11 percent who remain unsure. Opinions are sharply divided on party lines. A majority of Democrats, 54 percent, believe public figures who made such claims should be punished, compared to 21 percent of Republicans. Twenty-eight percent of those unaffiliated with either major party agreed. A majority of Republicans and independents, 73 percent and 59 percent, respectively, do not believe that those figures should be punished. The survey comes as House impeachment managers attempt to present a compelling case to...
    By BOB CHRISTIE, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — For months, the four elected Republicans and one Democrat on the board overseeing Arizona's most populous county have been facing threats and harassment for backing election results that saw Democrat Joe Biden win in the state. That fury from some supporters of former President Donald Trump moved on this week to a GOP state senator, who had to change his phone number, flee his house with his wife and young son and get police protection. The focus on Sen. Paul Boyer came after he was the lone Republican who voted against a measure to subject the GOP-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to arrest for refusing to honor a Senate subpoena. It required the county to hand over ballots and vote-counting machines to the Senate so they could triple-check the results. County supervisor Clint Hickman, a Republican who has endured protests outside...
    PHOENIX (AP) — For months, the four elected Republicans and one Democrat on the board overseeing Arizona’s most populous county have been facing threats and harassment for backing election results that saw Democrat Joe Biden win in the state. That fury from some supporters of former President Donald Trump moved on this week to a GOP state senator, who had to change his phone number, flee his house with his wife and young son and get police protection. The focus on Sen. Paul Boyer came after he was the lone Republican who voted against a measure to subject the GOP-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to arrest for refusing to honor a Senate subpoena. It required the county to hand over ballots and vote-counting machines to the Senate so they could triple-check the results. County supervisor Clint Hickman, a Republican who has endured protests outside his house and...
    By COLLIN BINKLEY and MIKE STOBBE | Associated Press The nation’s top public health agency said Friday that in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, but vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its long-awaited road map for getting students back to classrooms in the middle of a pandemic. But its guidance is just that — the agency cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened. Officials said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels. The new guidance includes many of the same measures previously backed by the CDC, but it suggests them more forcefully. It emphasizes that all of the recommendations must be implemented strictly and consistently to...
    The nation’s top public health agency said Friday that in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, but vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its long-awaited road map for getting students back to classrooms in the middle of a pandemic. But its guidance is just that — the agency cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened. Officials said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels. The new guidance includes many of the same measures previously backed by the CDC, but it suggests them more forcefully. It emphasizes that all of the recommendations must be implemented strictly and consistently to keep school safe. It also provides more detailed suggestions...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Amid a heated San Francisco Bay Area debate between school officials, parents and teachers, the nation’s top public health agency said Friday that in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies. While vaccination of teachers is important, while important, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was not a prerequisite for reopening. The CDC released its long-awaited road map for getting students back to classrooms in the middle of a pandemic. But its guidance is just that — the agency cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened. Officials said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels. The new guidance includes many of the same measures previously backed by the CDC, but it suggests them...
    WASHINGTON -- The nation's top public health agency on Friday provided a roadmap for reopening schools in the middle of a pandemic, emphasizing mask wearing and social distancing and saying vaccination of teachers is important but not a prerequisite for reopening.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the long-awaited update, but it cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened.They said there is strong evidence now that in-person schooling can be done safely, especially at lower grade levels, and the guidance is targeted at schools that teach kindergarten up to 12th grade.The agency also emphasized hand washing, disinfection of school facilities, diagnostic testing and contact tracing to find new infections and separate infected people from others in a school.The guidance was issued as President Joe Biden faces increasing pressure to deliver on...
    Iranian researchers have been caught taking another “key step” in their bid to construct nuclear weapons, drawing a harsh rebuke from Washington's leading European allies. “Iran has no credible civilian justification for these activities, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon,” the United Kingdom, France, and Germany said in a joint statement prompted by recent United Nations inspection reports. Iranian officials have made a series of alarming moves toward weapons of mass destruction, explicitly intended to spur President Biden into easing the “maximum pressure” policies imposed by former President Donald Trump, a shift Tehran wants to see before any negotiations about returning to compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and other Western powers. That tactic benefits from European frustration with Trump’s withdrawal from the pact, but excessive nuclear saber-rattling will backfire if it provokes a reaction from...
    Reuters February 12, 2021 0 Comments The U.S. government next week will begin to gradually process asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a controversial program put in place by former President Donald Trump, officials said. The moves are part of a plan by the administration of President Joe Biden to end the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), an effort complicated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and concerns over illegal immigration. The Trump administration launched the program in 2019 as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on the ability to seek asylum in the United States, which Trump officials depicted as rife with fraud and meritless claims. The initiative forced more than 65,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers back across the border to wait for their U.S. court hearings, although far fewer are believed to still be in Mexico. The Biden administration will begin by working to process...
    By Ted Hesson and Mimi Dwyer WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government next week will begin to gradually process asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a controversial program put in place by former President Donald Trump, officials said. The moves are part of a plan by the administration of President Joe Biden to end the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), an effort complicated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and concerns over illegal immigration. The Trump administration launched the program in 2019 as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on the ability to seek asylum in the United States, which Trump officials depicted as rife with fraud and meritless claims. The initiative forced more than 65,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers back across the border to wait for their U.S. court hearings, although far fewer are believed to still be in Mexico. The Biden administration will begin by working...
    New York : In unspecified coordination with the Mexican government, the president’s administration Joe biden will begin processing immigrant asylum requests under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), better known as Stay in Mexico. However, officials of the Biden Administration asked other immigrants outside of that program to avoid trying to enter the United States, in addition to the fact that asylum seekers will be informed through different channels – and in coordination with civil organizations and lawyers – about the processes to follow. The measure, said three officials from the Biden Administration in a call with journalists, is part of the executive orders that the president has signed to modify immigration processes, including asylum requests. The plan will be implemented from February 19, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) start phase one with which it seeks to “restore safe and orderly processing on the southwestern border,” authorities indicated....
    US President Joe Biden is considering nominating the economist Lisa cook to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Fed), which would make it the first black woman to hold officeUS media reported. If nominated, this historic election would continue Biden’s efforts to put women and minority representatives in key roles. Cook, a former economic adviser to Barack Obama and professor at the University of MichiganHe would fill a vacant seat on the seven-member Fed board and become the fourth black governor of the US central bank. News site Axios cited sources close to the matter as saying that Biden was evaluating Cook for the job, while Bloomberg reported that he has the backing of key White House officials but that a decision is not imminent. Cook has a background in development and has written articles on the racial impact on economic performance, has a Ph.D. in...
    Biden administration officials and senior lawmakers plan to scrutinize U.S. corporations like Amazon that do business with Chinese technology companies, as Beijing’s human rights abuses stoke controversy over partnerships in that sector. At issue is the challenge of economic entanglements between the world’s two largest economies, weighed against outrage over Chinese government efforts to use technology to control the mainland population and steal strategic advantages in an intensifying rivalry with Washington. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team is still developing a plan for managing those challenges, but U.S. lawmakers are growing impatient with American economic titans who disregard China’s atrocities against the Uighur Muslims. “It will be part of the review I mentioned as we determine how best to defend ourselves, but also to promote our interests and to promote our values in the context of that bilateral relationship more broadly,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters...
    Efforts by federal prosecutors in Manhattan to obtain access to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's communications hit a wall among top Justice Department employees in Washington in the last days of the Trump administration, it was revealed this week.  Giuliani, whose investigative efforts on behalf of Trump in Ukraine featured in Trump's first impeachment, has been reported to be under investigation, and two of his former Ukrainian associates have been charged with crimes.  The effect of the decision was to delay action on the request for a warrant, as the matter got kicked over to the new administration. It was top political appointees of President Trump who made the decisions.  High-level Justice Department officials turned down New York prosecutors' requests to get a warrant for Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's communications last summer and right after the November elections. Giuliani's  Prosecutors in New York were conducting a complex investigation into...
    United States President Joe Biden has announced sanctions against the Burmese generals responsible for the coup. Joe Biden’s request One more time, Joe biden demanded last Wednesday the immediate release of d ‘Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady of Rangoon as he said. In the process, the tenant of the White House also announced the sanctions targeting the military junta. He called on those responsible for the coup to immediately release all democratically elected political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi. > Burma: 3rd consecutive day of mobilization against the coup on Monday “Immediately sanction military officials” Word for word, the President of the United States said : “I approved a decree allowing us to immediately sanction the military officials who organized this Rebellion, their financial interests as well as their close families “. We will identify a...
    The US may not reach herd immunity and return to some semblance of normalcy until Thanksgiving at the current pace of COVID-19 vaccinations and speed of variant spread, Biden administration officials told the Daily Beast.  That's far later than the end-of-summer target date by which Dr Anthony Fauci has estimated that American life might get back to normal.  Dr Fauci, however, remains 'cautiously optimistic' that that day could come by fall if the general public starts getting vaccines by 'April, May, June,' but admitted he's concerned that variants could stretch that timeline in an interview with the Daily Beast.  So far, 10.5 percent of the US population has received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.   But if American officials were to follow Israel's model of reopening, restaurants, gyms and stores when 90 percent of over-50s are vaccinated, these businesses could be operational as early as June, a DailyMail.com analysis...
    The Biden administration’s consideration of a travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic is "hypocritical," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said on Thursday. "The day after Donald Trump issued a travel ban on China, Joe Biden said this is no time for xenophobia and that sort of thing," Rubio told "Fox & Friends." Rubio added: "And then a month later, he actually tweeted out that banning travel from anywhere did not work."  BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S CBP REVIVES ‘CATCH AND RELEASE’ POLICY AT BORDER AMID COVID CONCERNS Rubio reacted to the Miami Herald's headline "White House looks at domestic travel restrictions as COVID mutation surges in Florida." "The Biden administration is considering whether to impose domestic travel restrictions, including on Florida, fearful that coronavirus mutations are threatening to reverse hard-fought progress on the pandemic," the Herald reported. VideoAlso, Rubio ripped the Biden administration for considering restricting travel between states within the country. "So...
    Offshore oil exploration can go hand-in-hand with President Joe Biden’s stated goals of reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change, Louisiana officials argued Wednesday. State government and business leaders said they are deeply concerned about the federal government’s current 60-day moratorium on oil production on federal land and water, and about what regulations will be imposed on the industry after the moratorium ends. For Louisiana, the main concerns have to do with offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, a Baton Rouge Republican, was one of several speakers at Wednesday’s joint meeting of the state House and Senate natural resources committees who said offshore oil production in U.S. waters has a small effect on overall carbon emissions compared with other sources, especially oil and gas from other countries with different environmental standards. He said he did not think the Biden administration would attempt to...
    The Biden administration is not allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to return unaccompanied children at the southern border to Mexico despite a court order that allowed it, two people with knowledge of the situation told the Washington Examiner. The Department of Homeland Security "made a policy decision not to," one of the people said. On Jan. 29, just over a week into the Biden administration, a three-member panel of circuit court judges in Washington, D.C., halted a lower court decision that had blocked children from being removed, a practice that had been taking place since March 2020. Despite the panel's decision in favor of CBP, the Department of Homeland Security told immigration and border agencies that they would not be permitted to continue turning back children to Mexico and other countries of origin. Approximately 300 unaccompanied minors have been encountered at the border daily in recent weeks....
    President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday night for the first time since he took office, the White House said. Miami World / telemundo51 The White House said in a statement that Biden raised “fundamental concerns” about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair economic practices, the crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region. even towards Taiwan ”. The statement said the leaders also discussed countering the COVID-19 pandemic and “the shared challenges of global health security, climate change and preventing the proliferation of weapons.” Officials said Biden also planned to express his hope that the two leaders could cooperate on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and climate change. Biden does not plan for now to lift the tariffs on China that were imposed by the Trump administration, senior administration officials said before the call, and is...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President  Xi Jinping spoke by phone late Wednesday, the first call between the two since Biden’s November victory in the U.S. presidential election. Biden “affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people’s security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a readout provided by the White House. The two leaders also discussed the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and the possibility of Washington and Beijing pursuing what the White House described as the possibility of pursuing “practical, results-oriented engagements” on arms control. But officials said Biden also held firm on several key areas of contention. “President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan,” the readout said. The call came just...
    Then-Vice President Joe Biden meets with China’s Xi Jinping in 2012. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press) President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday night for the first time since taking office, beginning the process of reshaping America’s approach in dealing with its most intense economic competitor and strategic rival on the Pacific Rim. Biden “shared his greetings and well wishes with the Chinese people on the occasion of Lunar New Year,” according to a White House readout of the call, but he also “underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan. Addressing topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to arms control, Biden, the White House said, “committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of...
    President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time Wednesday night since taking office, outlining his administration’s "core concerns" with China’s "practices, aggressive activities and abuses," signaling a "clear and consistent subscription to American values," while discussing areas in which the administration believes it could be in the United States’ national interest to work with Beijing, senior administration officials said. In a statement Wednesday night, the White House said Biden "shared his greetings and well wishes with the Chinese people on the occasion of Lunar New Year."  "President Biden affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people’s security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific," the White House said. "President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan."  The White...
    President Biden sidestepped a question Wednesday on whether his administration would attempt to take action against China over its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden unveiled plans to review U.S. policy toward Beijing after meeting with Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin and other top military officials at the Pentagon. After a short press conference, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden whether he had any interest in punishing for failing to disclose critical information related to the pandemic’s severity. "I’m interested in getting all the facts," Biden said in response to the question. VideoBiden has pledged to take a hard stance toward China following years of tense relations between Washington and Beijing. Former President Donald Trump repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" during his term in office and accused the country of withholding evidence regarding the outbreak. Biden planned to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the...
    Border agents will continue to turn away migrants at the southern border, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, appearing to confirm that the Biden administration plans to keep in place for now a Trump-era health order giving authorities the power to immediately expel people found illegally crossing the border. [ READ Biden Immigration Orders Review – Not Undo – Controversial Trump Policies ]Advocates have pushed the administration to rescind the border order, but Psaki's comments Wednesday are perhaps the clearest indication so far that the administration has no intention of doing so in the near future. Biden ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week to review the policy but left it in place. Biden administration officials have repeatedly called on migrants not to travel to the border. "Due to the pandemic and the fact that we have not had the time as an administration to put...
    Prosecutors are facing significant hurdles in filing homicide charges in the death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., particularly since a suspect has yet to be arrested almost a month after the deadly siege, multiple sources told Fox News.  CAPITOL RIOT'S 'QANON SHAMAN' SAYS IN STATEMENT: 'I WAS WRONG' Sicknick, 42, was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher while "physically engaging" with rioters at the Capitol, authorities said. He collapsed once he returned to his division and died at the hospital the next day.  No cause of death has been given and it is unclear if the blow to Sicknick's head, exposure to chemical irritants during the melee, or something else ultimately contributed to his death.  Sicknick’s remains were cremated before he laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda last week, as dozens of law enforcement officials, congressional leaders, President Biden and...
    (CNN)New York federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani's activities in Ukraine raised the prospect of seeking a search warrant late last year for the lawyer's communications but were met with resistance from Justice Department officials in Washington over the strength of their evidence, people familiar with the discussions said. Justice Department officials in Washington said a search warrant would be an extraordinary step to take against a lawyer -- who is also a key adviser to a president -- in an investigation into the possible violation of foreign lobbying laws. The matter remains open, and any decision rests with the Biden administration. The issue got the attention of officials as high as Jeffrey Rosen, deputy attorney general, who along with other officials at Justice headquarters and the US attorney's office in Manhattan decided not to make a final decision, these people say, in part because there would soon be a change...
    Members of President Biden’s foreign policy brain trust are shifting back into the highest levels of government after spending the Trump era working together in many of the same powerful policy groups and lucrative business ventures. Why it matters: The overlap points to a more coherent ideological approach to foreign policy than was evident in President Trump’s notoriously fractious State Department. But there are some notable liabilities as well. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. Think tanks that have employed senior Biden officials such as the Center for New American Security and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace accept large contributions from foreign governments and multinational companies that will undoubtedly be affected by Biden administration policy. And firms that have employed some of those officials, like business consultancies WestExec Advisors and the Albright Stonebridge...
    MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration turned down a meeting request with El Salvador’s president on an unannounced trip to Washington last week, as criticism of the Central American leader mounts among Democrats, three people with knowledge of the decision said Monday. The trip by Nayib Bukele, which has not been previously reported, came after a senior White House official warned in an interview with a Salvadoran news outlet highly critical of Bukele that the Biden administration expected to have “differences” with him. Bukele was quick to embrace former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies restricting asylum requests, which won him a great deal of U.S. support for his tough governing style in El Salvador, where he is popular. But like other world leaders befriended by Trump, he faces an uphill climb pivoting to the Biden administration, which is seeking to undo those policies and has signaled its relationship with...
    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reportedly canceled a scheduled multi-state raid that would have netted the arrests of charged and convicted illegal alien sex offenders. First detailed in the Washington Post, Operation Talon — a multi-state ICE raid to arrest illegal alien sex offenders — was scheduled for this month after agents spent thousands of hours nailing down the locations of their targets and obtaining warrants. The night before agents were supposed to hit the streets, the raid was canceled, according to a source familiar with the operation’s details. Senior ICE officials claimed in discussions with the Post that President Joe Biden’s administration “had nothing to do with that decision.” Typically, top ICE officials would be responsible for such decisions, often in coordination with senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials who stay in close contact with the White House. The cancelation of the raid comes as the...
    By JOSHUA GOODMAN, Associated Press Writer MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration turned down a meeting request with El Salvador’s president on an unannounced trip to Washington last week, as criticism of the Central American leader mounts among Democrats, three people with knowledge of the decision said Monday. The trip by Nayib Bukele, which has not been previously reported, came after a senior White House official warned in an interview with a Salvadoran news outlet highly critical of Bukele that the Biden administration expected to have “differences” with him. Bukele was quick to embrace former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies restricting asylum requests, which won him a great deal of U.S. support for his tough governing style in El Salvador, where he is popular. But like other world leaders befriended by Trump, he faces an uphill climb pivoting to the Biden administration, which is seeking to undo those policies...
    MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration turned down a meeting request with El Salvador’s president on an unannounced trip to Washington last week, as criticism of the Central American leader mounts among Democrats, three people with knowledge of the decision said Monday. The trip by Nayib Bukele, which has not been previously reported, came after a senior White House official warned in an interview with a Salvadoran news outlet highly critical of Bukele that the Biden administration expected to have “differences” with him. Bukele was quick to embrace former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies restricting asylum requests, which won him a great deal of U.S. support for his tough governing style in El Salvador, where he is popular. But like other world leaders befriended by Trump, he faces an uphill climb pivoting to the Biden administration, which is seeking to undo those policies and has signaled its relationship...
    (CNN)Distrust of Trump-era appointees led the Biden administration to appoint a career Justice Department official as acting attorney general while it waits for the US Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, the President's nominee to lead the department. But dozens of top Trump-appointed prosecutors remain on the job while the new administration works to nominate its own appointees. For now, the department has told the Trump-appointed prosecutors they can stay, and it will be months before some of those jobs are filled with Biden nominees. US drops discrimination lawsuit against Yale This leaves Biden administration officials grappling to determine which of the Trump appointees will remain and for how long, Department of Justice and Biden transition team officials said.Biden administration officials are mindful of political blowback that could come from appearing to interfere with a politically sensitive investigation by removing a Trump appointee overseeing such probes, which include matters related...
    President Biden and Vice President Harris on Monday virtually toured a coronavirus vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. that is receiving help from the federal government. Cara Christ, director of Arizona's Department Health Services, led the virtual tour, telling officials that roughly 8,000 to 9,000 Arizonans are vaccinated daily at the testing site, which is open 24 hours, seven days a week. More than 160,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered since the site opened. The stadium is normally home to the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, but has been repurposed as a vaccination site during the pandemic.  Biden said during the tour that officials expect to exceed their goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his administration, with the help of testing sites like the one in Glendale. Biden and Harris received a video walk through of the outdoor testing site, where individuals...
    (CNN)House Democrats on Monday asked the Biden administration to hand over long-sought documents from the Trump administration regarding its response to the coronavirus pandemic, renewing an investigation into what role alleged political interference by former officials may have played in the virus' threat. In letters obtained by CNN to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and acting head of Health and Human Services Norris Cochran, House Majority Whip James Clyburn alleges the Trump administration "refused to cooperate" with inquiries from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis; that HHS blocked documents and witnesses related to the response to the virus; and that Trump officials "failed to fully comply with two subpoenas and at least 20 document requests" by the committee. Arguing that the committee needs the documents to continue its investigation, the South Carolina Democratic congressman also alleged that new documents obtained by the committee show the Trump administration...
    President Biden’s Secretary of State Tony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan believe that China poses the "greatest long-term national security threat to the United States," Republican Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News after speaking with the officials, but McCaul said they will have a "different approach" to China than the Trump administration. McCaul, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during an exclusive interview with Fox News, described his conversations with Blinken and Sullivan. BIDEN 'PRIORITY IS DEALING WITH CHINA'S TRADE ABUSES' THAT HARM AMERICAN WORKERS, SULLIVAN SAYS "When I spoke to Secretary of State Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, they both told me that they believe China poses the greatest long-term national security threat to the United States," McCaul said. "So it was good to get their assurances on that." VideoNational Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne told Fox News that Sullivan "has made...
    (CNN)Fully ensconced in the depths of the coronavirus crisis, the Biden administration says it is seeing the first signs of improvement -- though officials say they're far from celebrating.President Joe Biden is beginning his third full week in office with the pace of vaccinations accelerating, the rate of new coronavirus cases dropping and mass vaccination sites popping up from New York to Las Vegas. For the new administration, plenty has gone right. They've inked new deals with existing vaccine suppliers, with promising new vaccine candidates still on the horizon. They've managed in weeks what the Trump administration didn't for months: giving states a clear estimate of how many vaccine doses they'll receive. And they've thrown federal resources behind setting up large-scale vaccination sites. But officials are aware they're in a critical period. "It is a daunting challenge. I think it feels like we're making progress every day," Andy Slavitt, senior...
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    WASHINGTON (AP) — US officials: Biden administration moves to rejoin UN Human Rights Council in another reversal of Trump foreign policies. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The White House on Saturday clarified that intelligence officials will decide if former President Trump will continue to receive customary intelligence briefings given to ex-presidents, according to reports. Fast Facts Biden said in a CBS interview excerpt that aired Friday he thinks "there’s no need for [Trump] to have intelligence briefings." While Biden has the authority to make the decision himself, he will leave it to the intelligence community, his aides said. While Biden has the authority to make the decision himself, he will leave it to the intelligence community, his aides said. A day earlier, President Biden said in an interview excerpt aired on CBS he thinks "there’s no need for him to have intelligence briefings." "What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?" Biden told interviewer Norah O'Donnell.  While Biden has the authority to make the...
    ‘There’s a considerable Irish American constituency here’ Joe Biden doesn’t want to get “mixed up” in Brexit over the Northern Ireland border row, an ally of the president has told the Sunday Telegraph, The source said the new White House administration is monitoring the situation carefully but is loathe to intervene, marking a significant departure from Donald Trump’s foreign policy style. The European Union’s recent blunder triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol in a row over vaccines, threatening to effectively create a border on the island of Ireland, set off alarm bells in Washington DC. There was no public comment on the issue at the time from Mr Biden, who has made statements on the subject in the past and is deeply personally committed to the Good Friday Agreement, or from his administration. But it was considered the latest in a series of troubling diplomatic faux pas...
    Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden presented a sweeping vision of the global challenges facing the US in a Thursday speech that touched on Russia's attacks on US democracy, China's corrosive human rights record and the Burmese military's authoritarian putsch but had one notable omission: The President made no mention of Iran. In a striking counterpoint to Biden's public silence on Tehran, his administration has launched intense behind-the-scenes efforts, reflecting an urgency that administration officials say is needed to address the country's nuclear program, missiles and regional activity, and to resolve the question of how and whether to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. The President's new Iran envoy, Robert Malley, is building a team with varying viewpoints on Tehran and reaching out to lawmakers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, one of several senior US officials conducting outreach on Iran, spoke to European allies Friday, while the National Security Council convened a high-level...
    ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Preliminary discussions have begun between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arlington Fire Department to possibly turn AT&T Stadium into a large COVID-19 vaccination hub, according to a spokesperson for the department. In a letter obtained by CNN, Commissioner Roger Goodell told President Joe Biden that every NFL team’s stadium is available to become mass vaccination sites. When asked about this, the Arlington Fire Department confirmed it was in talks with the Cowboys and also the Texas Rangers about these initial plans. “Both the Cowboys and Rangers have committed their support to us and the citizens to accommodate mass vaccinations. Preliminary planning conversations have already occurred with both teams. Actual implementation of those plans will not occur quite yet,” Arlington Fire spokesperson Lt. Fegan told CBS 11 News. According to Goodell’s letter, seven NFL teams are already using their stadiums as vaccination sites. MORE FROM CBSDFW ...
    The New York Times The Biden government faces a backwardness of 380,000 people waiting to immigrate When, due to the pandemic, their children’s school and daycare had to close, Luwam Beyene began working nights so that he could be home during the day. As soon as you get home, you make breakfast and get your child ready for his online classes. Beyene cares for her children until she goes back to work at night. “I don’t even take a nap,” said Beyene, 29, who works as a caregiver in San Francisco. “My life is falling apart. My only hope is that my husband can come ”. Beyene’s husband is an Ethiopian who is waiting to be granted his immigrant visa, a process that even before the coronavirus pandemic often took up to more than two years in the case of the spouse of a permanent US resident. He was almost...
    Taxpayer-funded contractors, responsible for resettling refugees across the United States, are celebrating President Joe Biden’s executive order that will increase refugee resettlement by nearly 960 percent this year. On Thursday, Biden signed an order that will set the maximum number of refugees resettled in the U.S. at 125,000 for Fiscal Year 2021. The refugee cap is simply a numerical limit and not a goal for federal officials to reach. In Fiscal Year 2020, the Trump administration admitted less than 12,000 refugees as the program was largely halted to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus and only emergency cases were processed. Biden’s increase means that the U.S. will likely see a nearly 960 percent increase in refugee resettlement this year, despite the ongoing crisis. Nine refugee contractors — who have a vested interest in ensuring as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. as possible because their annual federally-funded budgets...
            by Andrew Kerr  President Joe Biden’s commitment to ethics will be put to the test in how his Justice Department handles the connection one of its top officials shares with Hunter Biden’s lawyer, a government ethics expert told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Chris Clark, a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins, is assisting Hunter Biden with the federal criminal investigation into his foreign business dealings. Clark had worked closely at the law firm with Nicholas McQuaid until the latter’s departure from the firm on Jan. 20 to lead the Justice Department criminal division, which is reportedly involved with the Hunter Biden investigation. There’s no evidence suggesting that McQuaid had any involvement with the Hunter Biden matter while working at Latham & Watkins, but he and Clark were jointly representing at least one client, not Hunter Biden, before he left the firm, according to Axios. “This...
    By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge says U.S officials downplayed climate change impacts and other environmental costs from the expansion of a massive coal mine near the Montana-Wyoming border, in a case that could show how far the Biden administration is willing to go to unwind its predecessors' decisions. The lawsuit over Montana's Spring Creek mine hinges in part on an issue central to President Joe Biden's climate change agenda: Making decisions based on the full costs of fossil fuel extraction, including impacts on a warming planet that are being felt across society. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters said that under former President Donald Trump, the Interior Department played up the economic benefits of the 2-square-mile (5-square-kilometer) expansion of Spring Creek, which opened up development of 85 million tons of coal. But Watters said in her ruling Wednesday that officials failed to fully consider how...
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge says U.S officials downplayed climate change impacts and other environmental costs from the expansion of a massive coal mine near the Montana-Wyoming border, in a case that could test how far the Biden administration is willing to go to unwind its predecessors’ decisions. The lawsuit over Montana’s Spring Creek mine hinges in part on an issue central to President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda: Making decisions based on the full costs of fossil fuel extraction, including impacts on a warming planet that are being felt across society. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters said that under former President Donald Trump, the Interior Department played up the economic benefits of the 2-square-mile (5-square-kilometer) expansion of Spring Creek, which opened up development of 85 million tons of coal. But Watters said in her ruling Wednesday that officials failed to fully consider how burning the coal would...
    WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration is reviewing whether it can take steps to provide student debt relief through executive action, even as it continues to call on Congress to pass legislation to help borrowers and their families.A tweet by White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to go further than her comments at a briefing earlier Thursday, when she said President Joe Biden was looking to Congress to act next on student loan relief. Biden has said he supports up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower."The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families," Psaki tweeted. "Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress." The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to...
    By COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer The Biden administration is reviewing whether it can take steps to provide student debt relief through executive action, even as it continues to call on Congress to pass legislation to help borrowers and their families. A tweet by White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to go further than her comments at a briefing earlier Thursday, when she said President Joe Biden was looking to Congress to act next on student loan relief. Biden has said he supports up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower. “The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families,” Psaki tweeted. “Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.” That came hours after a group of Democrats...
    The Biden administration said Thursday it was delaying a rule finalized in former President Donald Trumps last days in office that would have drastically weakened the governments power to enforce a century-old law protecting most wild birds. U.S. wildlife officials have said the rule could mean more birds die, including those that land in oil pits or collide with power lines or other structures. But under Trump, the Interior Department sided with industry groups that had long sought to end criminal prosecutions of accidental but preventable bird deaths. While the new rule had been set to go into effect on Feb. 8, The Associated Press obtained details of the delay ahead of an expected announcement Thursday. Interior Department officials said they were putting off the rule at President Joe Bidens direction and will reopen the issue to public comment. The migratory bird rule was among dozens of Trump-era policies affecting...
    The Biden administration is reviewing whether it can take steps to provide student debt relief through executive action, even as it continues to call on Congress to pass legislation to help borrowers and their families. A tweet by White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to go further than her comments at a briefing earlier Thursday, when she said President Joe Biden was looking to Congress to act next on student loan relief. Biden has said he supports up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower. “The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families,” Psaki tweeted. “Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.” That came hours after a group of Democrats urged Biden to use executive action...
    Texas health officials reportedly sent 10,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Rio Grande Valley in response to the “swelling numbers” of migrants being released into communities in recent days. The migrants are being released by Border Patrol agents without being tested for the Coronavirus. Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) told Border Report that the City of McAllen “sounded the alarm” about migrants being released by Department of Homeland Security officials without being tested for the coronavirus. In response, Texas health officials quickly sent 10,000 COVID-19 test kits to the city. Senator Hinojosa told Border Report the tests have only been requested by McAllen and not other cities in the Rio Grande Valley. He explained that the City of McAllen implemented a “local policy” to test the released migrants. Other communities in the region are “not necessarily” applying the testing policy. In one McAllen facility, the Humanitarian Respite Center of...
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration said Thursday it was delaying a rule finalized in former President Donald Trump’s last days in office that would have drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law protecting most wild birds. U.S. wildlife officials have said the rule could mean more birds die, including those that land in oil pits or collide with power lines or other structures. But under Trump, the Interior Department sided with industry groups that had long sought to end criminal prosecutions of accidental but preventable bird deaths. While the new rule had been set to go into effect on Feb. 8, The Associated Press obtained details of the delay ahead of an expected announcement Thursday. Interior Department officials said they were putting off the rule at Biden’s direction and will open the issue to a 30-day public comment period. “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is...
    President Joe Biden’s commitment to ethics will be put to the test in how his Justice Department handles the connection one of its top officials shares with Hunter Biden’s lawyer, a government ethics expert told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Chris Clark, a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins, is assisting Hunter Biden with the federal criminal investigation into his foreign business dealings. Clark had worked closely at the law firm with Nicholas McQuaid until the latter’s departure from the firm on Jan. 20 to lead the Justice Department criminal division, which is reportedly involved with the Hunter Biden investigation. There’s no evidence suggesting that McQuaid had any involvement with the Hunter Biden matter while working at Latham & Watkins, but he and Clark were jointly representing at least one client, not Hunter Biden, before he left the firm, according to Axios. “This is a great test of...
    A Michigan judge ruled that the state’s election officials must release communications with Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google as part of a lawsuit filed in Antrim County dealing with Dominion Voting Systems machines. Antrim County Circuit Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer told the Bureau of Elections and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to turn over the records after they were requested by Matthew DePerno in one of the last remaining election-related lawsuits after President Biden’s inauguration. Elsenheimer also ordered the officials to turn over any communications with Dominion as part of the ruling. Elsenheimer gave Benson’s office a Tuesday deadline to turn over the records when he filed the order late last month, although he agreed to extend the deadline to this coming Monday. The extent of possible communications with Apple, Amazon, and Google is not clear, nor is what DePerno seeks by requesting the records. Facebook and...
    WASHINGTON (WABC) -- Congressional leaders paid tribute Wednesday to slain U.S. Capitol police officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick in the building he died defending, promising his family and his fellow officers that they will never forget his sacrifice.Sicknick, originally from South River, died after an insurrectionist mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, interrupting the electoral count after then-President Donald Trump urged them to "fight like hell" to overturn his defeat. The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Sicknick, who died the next day, was injured "while physically engaging with protesters," though the cause of his death has not been determined.The arrival of Sicknick's remains at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday was solemn, with dozens of Capitol Police standing at attention as his urn was carried up the Capitol steps.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sicknick was a patriot who will be remembered by lawmakers each day as...
    The White House demanded the speedy release of two Americans held in Russia as President Biden’s new administration makes an early push in seeking the return on U.S. nationals unjustly held abroad. Press secretary Jen Psaki issued her call hours after retired U.S. Marine Trevor Reed launched an appeal in Moscow against a nine-year sentence for attacking two police officers. U.S. officials insist he was convicted on the flimsiest of evidence and compare his case with that of another retired Marine, Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year jail sentence for spying. Psaki urged the Kremlin to demonstrate that it was willing to continue moving forward after extending a crucial nuclear arms control treaty. “We have a secretary of state who's now confirmed, we have a national security adviser, and we have a number of officials in the State Department, but I'll use this as an opportunity to once...
    Secretary of State Tony Blinken has asked newly appointed Iran envoy Rob Malley to form a negotiating team made up of diplomats and experts with a range of views on the path forward with Iran, U.S. officials tell me. Why it matters: Those instructions indicate the Biden administration is attempting to avoid groupthink when drafting its policies on Iran, while also signaling to critics that a diversity of views will be taken into consideration. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. Blinken even asked Malley to bring in people who are “more hawkish” on Iran, according to a source close to the administration. Malley is only beginning to form his new team. Once it’s in place, he’ll start to develop a strategy for re-engagement with Iran. Malley is in touch with his European counterparts as well as officials from Israel and...
    WASHINGTON - A group of Iranian dissidents has urged U.S. President Joe Biden to support their demands for secular democracy and respect for human rights in Iran, issues on which Biden’s administration has been silent early in its term as it focuses on curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.  In an open letter to Biden dated February 1, written in English and shared with VOA Persian, the 38 Iran-based activists wished him success following his January 20 inauguration and appealed to his administration to consider incorporating several of their political goals in its Iran policy. Iranian Dissidents' Feb. 1, 2021 Open Letter to President BidenThose goals include replacing Iran’s theocratic government with a secular democracy in a non-violent process involving a “free and fair” referendum; maintaining “maximum political, diplomatic and financial pressure” on the clerics ruling Iran until they are replaced; and pressing those Islamist rulers to respect human rights by releasing all political prisoners and prisoners of...
    Reuters February 2, 2021 0 Comments U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday will order a review of asylum processing at the U.S.-Mexico border and the immigration system as he seeks to undo some of former President Donald Trump’s hardline policies, two senior administration officials said.  Biden will also create a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by Trump’s 2018 “zero tolerance” border strategy, the officials said on a call with reporters on Monday. Immigration advocates have urged the new Democratic administration to move quickly but Biden aides say they need time to unravel the many layers of immigration restrictions introduced during the Trump era and to put in place new, more migrant-friendly systems.  “Fully remedying the actions will take time and require a full-governance approach,” one of the officials said. The cautious strategy reflects the tightrope Biden is walking to reverse hard-line...
    Reuters February 2, 2021 0 Comments The U.S. State Department will conduct a review of its foreign assistance to Myanmar after determining that the military takeover in the Asian country this week constituted a coup, officials said on Tuesday. President Joe Biden has threatened new sanctions against the generals who seized power in Myanmar and detained elected leaders including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi early on Monday. Washington has not been in direct contact with the coup leaders in Myanmar or the deposed civilian government leaders.  At the request of the White House, the top U.S. military officer, Army General Mark Milley, attempted to call Myanmar’s military following the coup, but he was unable to connect, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. Under U.S. law, the assessment that a coup has taken place automatically puts restrictions on U.S. assistance. The coup is a significant blow for the Biden...
    Chinese officials tried to set new rules for President Biden’s administration by drawing a “red line” around issues such as China’s human rights abuses and Taiwan, but U.S. officials aren’t having it. “We would respond by saying we urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and, instead, engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected leadership,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Tuesday. Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi tried to forestall such rebukes in the regime’s most significant address to the United States since Biden took office. He offered the prospect of cooperating with U.S. officials on “following a new development philosophy” to mitigate climate change but prefaced that gesture with a warning about Beijing’s determination to consolidate power in Taiwan and other areas where it claims sovereignty. “The United States should stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet,...
    President Joe Biden will sign three migration-related Executive Orders on Tuesday, including one directing deputies to consider offering legal entry to illegal immigrants who used their children to cross the border during President Donald Trump’s tenure, say press reports. The Washington Post reported statements made by officials to selected reporters Monday evening: Government officials said they had not settled on a single legal status that would be given to returning parents, adding that families could receive different visas or legal protections depending on their cases. The briefing was used to frame media coverage of the three orders that Biden will sign Tuesday. The New York Times outlined: Officials said that could include providing visas or other legal means of entry to parents who have been deported back to their home countries. Or it could involve sending children who are living in the United States back to those countries to be with...
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government says it won't conduct immigration enforcement arrests at or near coronavirus vaccination sites around the country.In a statement Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said vaccine sites will be considered "sensitive locations" and will not be targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents except in "extraordinary circumstances.""DHS and its Federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants," DHS said. "It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine."DHS says it encourages everyone "regardless of immigration status" to get vaccinated when they are eligible under local rules.ICE has previously included health care facilities as well as churches among the sensitive locations where arrests would generally not be carried out.The department also says they will be working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency...
    The White House Covid-19 Response team is holding a press briefing at 12:15 on Tuesday, February 2nd, which is the first back-to-back briefing for public health officials tasked by President Joe Biden to help abate the spread of Covid-19 and ramp up the delivery of vaccines. The Biden Administration’s stated goal has been to average 1 million vaccines administered each day for the first 100 days. That goal was established before Biden was sworn in, but in the days that preceded the inauguration, there were a few days where that goal had already been met. During a Monday press conference that featured Dr. Anthony Fauci, new CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt announced a new over-the-counter home Covid test that features 95% accuracy and a less invasive nasal swab will be available for consumers this month. The DoD is...
    By Ted Hesson and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday will order a major review of asylum processing at the U.S.-Mexico border and the legal immigration system as he seeks to undo some of former President Donald Trump's hard-line policies, two senior administration officials said on Monday evening. Biden on Tuesday will also create a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by Trump’s 2018 "zero tolerance" border strategy, the officials said on a call with reporters. Overall, Biden will issue three executive orders dealing with regional migration, legal immigration and reunifying families, the officials said. As part of the actions, he will call for a review of a Trump-era rule that made it harder for poorer immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the United States, they said. He will also mandate a review of the Migrant Protection Protocols...
    President Joe Biden threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar on Monday as his administration debates on whether to call a military takeover a 'coup.' Insiders familiar with the back-and-forth described the discussions as 'chaos' as officials fear that the White House calling the military takeover a coup could anger China and force the United States to withdraw foreign aid, Politico reported. Myanmar's army took power of the country early on Monday and declared a state of emergency after detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with members of her party. Myanmar's army has taken control of the country and detained members of its pro-democracy party President Joe Biden has condemned the takeover but has so far refrained from calling it a coup The military, known as the Tatmadaw, has had escalating tensions with the country's civilian government over alleged election irregularities in November when Aung San Suu Kyi...
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will turn away any passengers who try to enter airport terminals, board planes, trains or buses without masks, and those who refuse could face federal fines, the federal authority said Sunday night.  Mask rules on transportation follow the Biden administration's executive order that face coverings be worn on all federal property.  The new rule will go into effect at midnight Monday night and will remain in effect at least until May 11.   Officials at TSA did not specify how much the fine might be.  But documents obtained by CNN reveal that the airlines and airports  will be required to report anyone who refuses to wear a mask and comply with other COVID-19 measures.    Starting February 2, TSA will turn away passengers who refuse to wear masks inn airports, on flights or other forms of transportation under its authority  Passengers who refuse to mask...