Inauguration Day 2021 began like no other. A ring of steel and tens of thousands of National Guard troops surround Washington DC for the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, following the insurrection at the US Capitol earlier this month by a pro-Trump mob.
The outgoing president broke with 150 years of tradition and refused to welcome his successor and be present for the peaceful transfer of power at noon. Instead Mr Trump jetted off on Air Force One for his new life in Florida early Wednesday. Here, The Independent follows the day as it unfolds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday discussed Iran and the possible involvement of the Gulf state in establishing a vaccine plant in Israel, the two countries said. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on Sept. 15 in part over shared concerns about Iran, in a deal forged by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, a move praised by Israel which has objected to the accord.
The UK’s top court has unanimously ruled that a British-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State should not be allowed to return.The Supreme Court said on Friday (February 26) Shamima Begum cannot come back to Britain to challenge the government taking away her citizenship because she poses a security risk.She left London in 2015 when she was 15 years old and went to Syria via Turkey with two school friends, where she married an IS fighter. Since that time she gave birth to three children, all of them died.Now aged 21, Begum is being held in a detention camp in Syria.President of the UK Supreme Court Robert Reed said on Friday "The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public".It was stated that Begum can still pursue her appeal against the revoking of her citizenship, but she cannot do that in Britain.This decision overturns a ruling made by the Court of Appeal last year saying she could only have a fair appeal if she were allowed back to the UK.The case has provoked heated debate in Britain, pitting those who say she gave up her right to citizenship by traveling to join IS against those, including Human Rights groups who argue she should not be left stateless but rather face trial in Britain.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday that instantly ratcheted up pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew worldwide outrage. It leaves no doubt that as the prince continues in his powerful role and likely ascends to the throne, Americans will forever associate him with the brutal killing of a journalist who promoted democracy and human rights.
Syria said U.S. air strikes against Iranian-backed militias in the east of the country on Friday were a cowardly act and urged President Joe Biden not to follow "the law of the jungle". An Iraqi militia official close to Iran said the strikes killed one fighter and wounded four. U.S. officials said they were limited in scope to show Biden's administration will act firmly while trying to avoid a big regional escalation.
President Joe Biden’s pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach. Tai dodged questions on two politically sensitive questions — whether the Biden administration would drop President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and whether it would revive former President Barack Obama's Asia-Pacific trade deal that was jettisoned by Trump.
Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, rallying to beat the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series. The Jets rallied after Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rallied in choppy trading on Friday, even as sentiment remained fragile after the index's worst performance in four months the day before as fears of rising inflation kept U.S. bond yields near a one-year high. The S&P 500 ended little changed, while the Dow index closed lower after earlier dropping to a three-week low. The Dow still posted gains of nearly 4% for the month, as investors bought into cyclical companies set to benefit from an economic reopening.