United States Congress

Politics • American
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Credit: Twitter via Brian Higgins

The Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has been addressed by 29 bipartisan members of the United States Congress in a call to plan the re-opening of the US-Canadian border.

In the letter, the members of Congress ask "that the United States and Canada immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border based on objective metrics and accounting for the varied circumstances across border regions" stating that they "understand the importance of prioritizing the safety of our communities as we all navigate the complex calculation of minimizing public health risks and resuming economic activity. However, the social and economic partnership between our two nations necessitates a clear pathway forward".

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has responded with a statement that the "absolute priority" is the health and safety of Canadians adding that "Decisions about Canada's border are made by Canadians, for Canadians".

The current closure and measures are set to expire on July 21st.

Politics • American • US
Roger Stone commuted by Trump, no prison time
Roger Stone
Roger Stone Credit: Victoria Pickering (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The president of the United States Donald Trump has commuted his long time ally Roger Stone days before he was scheduled to go to prison.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has stated that "Roger Stone is now a free man" adding that there allegedly was "never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia". Stone was sentenced to prison as a part of the investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign over lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

Politics • American • US
Senator announces that United States have officially withdrawn from World Health Organization

The United States Senator Bob Menendez has announced via his Twitter account that the United States Congress has been informed that the President of the United States Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the United States from the World Health Organization.

Politics • American • US
Anthony Fauci warns of severe rise in Covid-19 cases if country doesn't take action
Anthony Fauci warns of severe rise in Covid-19 cases if country doesn't take action
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC (Public Domain)

Dr Anthony Fauci warned Congress on Tuesday that, if the country doesn't take any action quickly against the current rise of Covid-19, the situation in the United States "could get very bad."

"We're going in the wrong direction," so Fauci. "We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around."

Fauci attributes the surge in new cases to people not following guidelines as well as lifting restrictions too soon and too quickly. He further urges younger people to not think that they are "invulnerable" to the disease.

Politics • American • US
Nancy Pelosi demands answers for "congress and the country" on Russian bounty operation
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019 Credit: Senate Democrats / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Monday, Nancy Pelosi has asked the Trump administration to brief all members of the House on recent reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump has denied he had any knowledge of the Russian bounty operation.

In her letter, Pelosi wrote that both "Congress and the country need answers now" and that "Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable."

According to Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, members of the congress will be briefed on Monda,y but it's uncertain whether the brief would be open to all members.

Politics • American • US
United States congressman launches investigation on why Nigel Farage was at Trump rally despite Covid-19 travel ban
Screenshot of Nigel Farage's Tweet, announcing his arrival in the United States
Screenshot of Nigel Farage's Tweet, announcing his arrival in the United States Credit: @nigel_farage via Twitter

The former member of the European Parliament and former leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage has attended the Donald Trump Rally in Tulsa. United States congressman Bennie G Thompson who chairs the committee on homeland security has now requested all documents and information on why the politician has been allowed to travel to the United States despite the ban on all travel from the United Kingdom due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Farage had gotten an exception under the "national interest" clause.

Technology • Internet & Web
IBM announces that it will stop working on facial recognition technology

The IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced in a letter to the US Congress that IBM will no longer offer software for general-purpose facial recognition and analysis. In addition to not selling the software, IBM will stop developing or researching such technology. In the letter, Krishna stated that "IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency"

Politics • American • US
Fires near White House in third night of D.C. protests
George Floyd protests in Washington DC, Lafayette Square on May 30
George Floyd protests in Washington DC, Lafayette Square on May 30 Credit: Rosa Pineda / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

As the protests in Washington, D.C. entered into the third night, multiple fires were set near the White House. A fire was started in the lobby of the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and on two locations at Lafayette Square. Police have also responded to further fires across the city. Earlier D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced a citywide curfew. Protestors have also damaged buildings and cars. 

In response to the ongoing nearby protests, the White House turned off its external lights. 

Politics • American • US
Rick Bright to testify before Congress, warning of "darkest winter" in modern US history
Joint Session of Congress, 2009
Joint Session of Congress, 2009 Credit: whitehouse.gov via wikimedia / Lawrence Jackson (Public Domain) (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Doctor Rick Bright – immunologist, public health official former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – is about to testify before Congress, stating the US government and the Trump administration were ill-prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic. Bright stated in his written testimony that the US “missed early warning signals” and that he "faced hostility and marginalization from HHS officials" when warning the administration about shortages of medical supplies.

Bright also stated that "without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history".

Bright filed a whistleblower complaint after being removed from his position for criticising Trump's promotion of the drug chloroquine.

Politics • American • US
Members of Congress got briefed by US intelligence that Russia was trying to interfere in 2020 elections

The members of the US Congress reportedly have been warned by US intelligence officials that Russia was trying to interfere in the 2020 election campaign. The interference was directed to favor Republican President Donald Trump.