United States

Regional News • Americas • United States
McConnell says he'd support Trump if he got 2024 Republican nomination
Trump and McConnell in 2019
Trump and McConnell in 2019 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News' Bret Baier on Thursday that he would "absolutely" support Donald Trump if he became the "nominee of the party" in 2024. McConnell recently criticised the former President, saying his actions around the Capitol insurgence were "a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty." Trump responded by calling McConnell "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack."

"I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination," Utah Sen. Mitt Romney told The New York TimesTuesday. "I look at the polls and the polls show that, among the names being floated as potential contenders in 2024, if you put President Trump in there among Republicans, he wins in a landslide."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden's $1.9T Covid-19 relief package passed in House
Biden's $1.9T Covid-19 relief package passed in House
Credit: Nancy Pelosi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The United States House of Representatives has passed Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package in a 219 to 212 vote on Saturday. The legislation is now sent to the US Senate and Democrats are trying to finish before federal unemployment assistance is expiring on March 14.

“The numbers speak volumes. 18 million Americans on unemployment. 24 million people are going hungry,” so Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The time for decisive action is long overdue.”

Regional News • Americas • United States
Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation says US Intelligence report
Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation says US Intelligence report
Credit: POMED (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A US intelligence declassified version of a top-secret assessment found Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report's executive summary states.

Recognition of the prince's involvement could cast a huge shadow over relations between the US and its most significant ally in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia. Relations between the two had flourished under Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Former USA gymnastics coach John Geddert dead after sex assault charges
Former USA gymnastics coach John Geddert dead after sex assault charges
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

The gymnastics coach John Geddert died by suicide Thursday after human trafficking and sexual assault charges were announced against him. Geddert, who led the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team to win gold, was charged with 24 felonies Thursday in Eaton County, Michigan.

"My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel later said in a statement.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump Jr deposed in D.C. Attorney General probe of 2017 inauguration funds
Donald Trump Jr
Donald Trump Jr Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On February 11, Donald Trump Jr. was deposed as part of a lawsuit alleging the misuse of inaugural funds for former President Donald Trump, two months after former White House advisor Ivanka Trump was deposed in the same case. Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine sued the Trump Inaugural Committee and the Trump Organization in January 2020 for abusing over $1 million nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family.

Court filings show that AG Racine's office, that Trump Jr.'s testimony "raised further questions about the nature of" an invoice related to the inauguration and "revealed evidence that Defendants had not yet produced to the District."

Regional News • Americas • United States
US government to release the declassified report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
US government to release the declassified report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Credit: POMED (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The report, expected to be released later on Thursday, will say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved "and likely ordered" Khashoggi's killing, four US officials told Reuters news agency.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that Mr Biden would communicate with King Salman, and not directly with the crown prince, who is his son and is considered the de facto ruler in Saudi Arabia. Also, Psaki said, "We've made clear from the beginning that we are going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia."

Regional News • Americas • United States
ERCOT board members resign, following disasters power outages in the State of Texas
ERCOT logo
ERCOT logo Credit: ERCOT

Following heavy criticism and public outrage over last week's mass power outage in Texas, six board members of ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) will hand in their resignations after receiving relentless harassment and criticisms from victims of the outage.

The outrage was made worse when last week, it was reported that a portion of the board of directors for ERCOT lived outside of the state of Texas.

ERCOT officials have since removed personal information about the directors who did not live in Texas due to the growing harassment.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine provides protection against severe infections
Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine provides protection against severe infections

The United States Food and Drug Administration could grant emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine as early as Saturday, bringing a third vaccine manufacturer to the United States. J&J submitted Covid vaccine data shows a 66% effectiveness overall (72% in the United States and 64% in South Africa) and prevents 100% of hospitalizations and deaths.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump allegedly offered Kim Jong Un a ride on Air Force One following Vietnam summit
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019 Credit: White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

According to a former senior administration official, former President Donald Trump offered orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un a ride home on Air Force One following a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019.

"President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: 'I can get you home in two hours if you want.' Kim declined," Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia expert on Trump's National Security Council, told the BBC.

Regional News • Americas • United States
USA counts over 500,000 Covid-19 deaths
USA counts over 500,000 Covid-19 deaths
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

On Monday, the USA crossed the sad threshold of half a million Covid-19 deaths. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there were 500,071 deaths after infection - more than in any other country in the world.

"Today I ask all Americans to remember. Remember those we lost and remember those we left behind," President Biden said.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump to make a public appearance at CPAC in Florida
Donald Trump at a previous CPAC edition
Donald Trump at a previous CPAC edition Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Former President Donald Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on February 28th. Trump is set to speak about the future of the Republican party and attack President Biden's migration policies.

The speaking engagement would mark Trump's first public appearance following his departure from the White House last month.

The lineup of speakers at the event so far consists of vocal Trump allies, including Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US agrees to join talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal

The United States has agreed to join talks to revive the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, after former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.

"The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran's nuclear program," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he went to Mexico amidst crisis because he wanted to be "a good dad"
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he went to Mexico amidst crisis because he wanted to be "a good dad"
Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Cruz said in an earlier statement Thursday that he accompanied his family to Cancun a day earlier after his daughters asked to go on a trip with friends, given that school was cancelled for the week.

"Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon," Cruz wrote.

"My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas," he continued. "We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm."

Cruz told reporters Thursday night that he returned to the U.S. because he realized he needed to be in Texas. He said he had originally been scheduled to stay in Mexico through the weekend.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texans struggle for drinking water as power is being restored, hospitals face resource shortages
Geocolor satellite imagery of a large and historic winter storm covering the eastern third of the United States on February 15, 2021.
Geocolor satellite imagery of a large and historic winter storm covering the eastern third of the United States on February 15, 2021. Credit: NOAA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Millions of people in Texas are facing water shortages as the unprecedented cold front caused pipes to burst and water pressure to fall. Those who have running water are advised to boil their tap water before consumption for safety.

Texan hospitals have seen an increase in patients, especially in their emergency rooms, while facing short water supply and some are forced to transfer patients to other facilities.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Rush Limbaugh, conservative media icon, dead at 70
Rush Limbaugh speaking with attendees at the 2019 Student Action Summit
Rush Limbaugh speaking with attendees at the 2019 Student Action Summit Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

Limbaugh, a conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape both the Republican Party and nation's politics, had been diagnosed in February 2020 with advanced lung cancer. He continued to host his show while undergoing treatment, and he told listeners that he remained hopeful he would defeat the disease.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Giuliani "not currently representing President Trump in any legal matters"
Giuliani "not currently representing President Trump in any legal matters"
Credit: @JasonMillerinDC via Twitter

Rudy Giuliani is not representing his long-time client Former President Donald Trump in legal matters at this time, according to Trump's spokesman Jason Miller.

In a tweet, Miller added: "Simply that there are no pending cases where Mayor Giuliani is representing the President. The Mayor remains an ally and a friend."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Winter storms cause power outages for millions in Texas
Snow on Mockingbird Lane approaching Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Snow on Mockingbird Lane approaching Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas, U.S. Credit: Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

An unprecedented winter storm has left roughly 4.3 million Texans without electricity due to a surge in demand, with people not having electricity for over 24 hours. Other states, including Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon, were also affected by the severe weather conditions.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has urged "all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather" and air travellers were warned that they should expect delays or cancellations.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Congress to establish independent commission to investigate Capitol riots
2021 storming of the United States Capitol
2021 storming of the United States Capitol Credit: Tyler Merbler, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

says Congress will establish an "outside, independent" commission to investigate "the facts and causes" of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by Donald Trump's supporters, so US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"As we prepare for the Commission, it is also clear from General Honoré's interim reporting that we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol," Pelosi wrote.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Over 38m Americans received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, but states face supply shortages
Army Cpt. Isaiah Horton, a doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, receives a COVID-19 vaccination
Army Cpt. Isaiah Horton, a doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, receives a COVID-19 vaccination Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Across the United States, 38 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, though many states face vaccination supply shortages.

"The vaccine supply coming to San Francisco's healthcare providers and the Department of Public Health (DPH) is limited, inconsistent, and unpredictable, making vaccine roll out difficult and denying San Franciscans this potentially life-saving intervention," officials reported Sunday. "The City has the capacity to administer more than 10,000 vaccines per day but lack the vaccine supply."

Regional News • Americas • United States
New York to reopen stadiums and arenas at 10% capacity

New York will allow large sports stadiums and entertainment arenas to reopen at 10% capacity this month. Patrons will need to produce a negative Covid-19 test result to enter and mandatory masks and social distancing measures must be enforced.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump's policies

The US could have averted 40% of the deaths from Covid-19, had the country’s death rates corresponded with the rates in other high-income G7 countries, according to a Lancet commission tasked with assessing Donald Trump’s health policy record.

Almost 470,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus so far, with the number widely expected to go above half a million in the next few weeks. At the same time some 27 million people in the US have been infected. Both figures are by far the highest in the world.

The commission condemned Trump’s response to Covid, but emphasized that the country entered the pandemic with a degraded public health infrastructure. Between 2002 and 2019, US public health spending fell from 3.21% to 2.45% – approximately half the share of spending in Canada and the UK.

The commission also noted that historical advances usually follow a period of conflict and struggle and included recommendations for healthcare workers to advance progress in the wake of Trump’s presidency.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Leader of Oath Keepers "was awaiting direction from President Trump" to stop the Biden presidency

Jessica Watkins, the leader of American far-right anti-government militia organization Oath Keepers who planned and led the US Capitol siege, "indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump", the Justice Department reports.

The filing states: "As the inauguration grew nearer, Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump. Her concern about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, 'I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it’s not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can’t trust it.'"

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden says US has "purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans", criticises his predecessor for not having a vaccine distribution plan
Biden says US has "purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans", criticises his predecessor for not having a vaccine distribution plan
Credit: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden has announced that the United States "purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans" and his administration was working "to get those vaccines into the arms of millions of people". A total of 200 million vaccine doses will be delivered by Moderna and Pfizer by the end of July, months sooner than initially planned.

"While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor -- I'll be very blunt about it -- did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans. He didn't order enough vaccines. He didn't mobilize enough people to administer the shots. He didn't set up the federal vaccine centers where eligible people can go and get their shots," Biden said. "When I became president three weeks ago, America had no plan to vaccinate most of the country. It was a big mess."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump banned permanently from Twitter, even if he'd run for office again, CFO says
Trump banned permanently from Twitter, even if he'd run for office again, CFO says
Credit: Screenshot via Twitter

Former President Donald Trump is banned permanently from Twitter even if he would run for office again in 2024, according to Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal.

“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform — whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or you are a former or current public official,” said Segal. “Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.”

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Senate declares impeachment proceedings against Trump constitutional
US Senate declares impeachment proceedings against Trump constitutional
Credit: Martin Falbisoner / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

US senators have declared the impeachment process against former President Donald Trump constitutional. In a vote on Tuesday, 44 senators voted against continuing the process. Fifty-six senators declared the process constitutional in the vote. This means that debate on impeachment can begin on Wednesday, which is expected to drag on for several days.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Republican US congressman Ron Wright dies after Covid-19 infection
Republican US congressman Ron Wright dies after Covid-19 infection
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

A member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Ron Wright, has died after being infected with the coronavirus. This was announced by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. The 67-year-old congressman from the state of Texas had declared on January 21 that a corona test on him had turned out positive. Wright is survived by three children and nine grandchildren, according to Pelosi.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Virginia's Senate votes to end the death penalty
Virginia's Senate votes to end the death penalty
Credit: By Martin Kraft - Own work / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Virginia is one of the US states with the most executions, but that could soon come to an end. The Virginia Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would end the death penalty.

Twenty-one senators voted in favor of the bill, 17 senators against, which is in line with the majority of the Democrat-controlled Senate. Now the House of Representatives is also expected to confirm the bill, where the Democrats also have a majority over the Republicans. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has also said he supports the bill.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Nevada governor wants to allow tech companies to create local governments
Nevada governor wants to allow tech companies to create local governments
Credit: unsplash.com / Sander Crombach

According to a draft of the proposed legislation, obtained by the Review-Journal but not yet introduced in the Legislature, Innovation Zones would allow tech companies like Blockchains, LLC to effectively form separate local governments in Nevada, governments that would carry the same authority as a county, including the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and justice courts and provide government services, to name a few duties.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Senate passes budget resolution to pass Covid-19 relief package with VP Harris breaking the tie
Senate passes budget resolution to pass Covid-19 relief package with VP Harris breaking the tie
Credit: Senate TV

The US Senate approved a budget resolution on Friday, that sets up the ability to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill without the threat of a filibuster from Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden halts planned troop withdrawal from Germany
Biden halts planned troop withdrawal from Germany
Credit: William King (Public Domain)

The U.S. will not withdraw troops from Germany for now. In a keynote speech to diplomats Thursday, new U.S. President Joe Biden said he had halted his predecessor Donald Trump's plans for such a withdrawal. First, he said, the Pentagon should review the deployment of American troops worldwide. This must be consistent with Washington's foreign policy and strategic priorities, Biden said.