Unlike other projects fast-tracked in Donald Trump's final days, lithium production could bolster President Biden's plans to transition the economy away from fossil fuels.Early test for Biden's Interior Department »
In our series of letters from African journalists, Waihiga Mwaura looks at what the continent could expect from new US President Joe Biden. The red carpet was unrolled, the hall was packed, security was tight and Joe Biden took to the stage. This was Nairobi in 2010 and Kenyans had come to listen to the-then US vice-president.
A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote "freedom of the seas", the U.S. military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defence identification zone in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.
A Section 30 order - part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster - was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum. Mr Russell says the UK Government could either agree that Holyrood already has the power to hold a second referendum or agree to a Section 30 order - something he said would put the question of legality "beyond any doubt". Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated his opposition to a second independence referendum.
More recently he played a key role in the seminary presidents' repudiation of critical race theory — a broad term used in academic and activist circles to describe critiques of systemic racism The presidents later apologized for not consulting Black pastors before issuing that repudiation, but Mohler told The Associated Press the presidents would likely have reached the same decision in any case. The seminary leaders' stance on critical race theory, as well as Mohler's public support for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, “should disqualify him from being SBC president,” said McKissic, who has become one of the SBC's most prominent Black pastors since founding the Cornerstone Baptist Church ...
A prominent U.S. Senate Republican warned on Saturday that former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake the chamber in two years. "If it is a good idea to impeach and try former Presidents, what about former Democratic Presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022? Think about it and let's do what is best for the country," Senator John Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate, said in a Twitter post directed at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Israel has started vaccinating teenagers as it expanded its world-leading Covid-19 vaccination campaign to 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter exams on schedule. At least one dose has been administered to over 25 per cent of Israel's 9.25 million population, with just over 10.5 per cent having received a second dose. Working its way down its priority list, the vaccine in Israel is now available to anyone over 40 or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18.
Russia is ready to set up a dialogue with the new Biden administration in which differences are expected to be aired, a Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday, adding that President Vladimir Putin would respond in kind to U.S. willingness to talk. Relations between Moscow and Washington have been at their lowest since the end of the Cold War, with the two sides at odds over Russia's role in Ukraine and allegations of its meddling in U.S. elections, which it denies, among other issues. The United States on Saturday also called on Russian authorities to release protesters and journalists detained at demonstrations supporting detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and condemned what it called "harsh tactics" used against them.
Biden reportedly wasn't greeted by White House staff on Inauguration Day because Trump sent them home. Trump reportedly sent the butlers home so "there would be no-one to help the Bidens when they arrived." Chief usher Timothy Harleth left his role before the Bidens arrived at the White House.
Pirates off Nigeria's coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual. One sailor was killed in the raid, an Azerbaijani citizen, while those kidnapped are from Turkey, according to the respective governments and a crew list obtained by Reuters. Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack on Saturday in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.
The Biden administration has already set itself on a collision course with Saudi Arabia after its director of National Intelligence vowed to declassify a report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The push to release the intelligence community's assessment of the murder of the dissident journalist, which is believed to implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has the potential to trigger a major fallout with the kingdom. Avril Haines, who was confirmed in her new role on Thursday, told Congress “we will follow the law” regarding the report, referring to the Trump administration's refusal to release the full version for US House representatives.
The U.S. has reaffirmed its support for Taiwan following China's dispatch of warplanes near the island in an apparent attempt to intimidate its democratic government and test the resolve of the new American presidential administration. The U.S. State Department on Saturday said it was concerned by China's "pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan.” “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected representatives," Ned Price, a spokesman for the department, said in the statement.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
Support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has overseen the world's second deadliest coronavirus outbreak, has fallen sharply, a Datafolha poll shows, as a brutal second wave and a lack of vaccines sour views of his far-right government. However, despite his declining support, a majority of Brazilians are now against him being impeached, a second Datafolha poll found. According to one of the polls, Bolsonaro's administration was rated as bad or terrible by 40% of respondents, compared with 32% in an early-December survey.
In response to Biden re-entering the US into the Paris climate agreement, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has launched a "Pittsburgh over Paris" campaign. Cruz says that Biden rejoining the Paris agreement will cost the citizens of Pittsburgh jobs, but the idea makes no sense and is just another bad faith attempt at scoring political points. This is the norm for Republicans, and a sign of what's to come.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, provides insight into Trump's impeachment trial on 'Fox News Sunday.
The Biden administration has fired the heads of three US-funded international broadcasters that were appointed by Donald Trump. The acting chief of the US Agency for Global Media dismissed the directors of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, reports say. Mr Biden had also forced Mr Trump's pick to run the USAGM to resign with hours of stepping foot in the White House.
Four Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers have died of COVID-19, three within the past two weeks, highlighting a resurgence of the disease that is sweeping through this southern African country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the coronavirus is reaping a “grim harvest” in the country. Then came the death of the transport minister.
British families returning from foreign holidays will have to pay for an extra 10 days in an airport hotel under heavy guard, in plans backed by the Home Office. Senior Cabinet ministers are likely to approve a plan to force people returning from overseas to quarantine in a hotel to ensure that they cannot bring variants of Covid-19 back into the UK. The chief dispute at Cabinet level is whether the hotel quarantine rules apply to all visitors or just to those returning from coronavirus hotspots.
India said it will administer homegrown coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN in seven more states from Monday as it seeks to inoculate 30 million healthcare workers across the country. The government this month gave emergency-use approval to the vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech International Ltd and state-run Indian Council of Medical Research, and another licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca PLC that is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The expansion from the 12 states now administering COVAXIN includes the southern state of Kerala, which has a high COVID-19 caseload, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, the government said late on Saturday.
President Joe Biden called the National Guard's chief on Friday to issue an apology. National Guard members were forced to vacate the Capitol on Thursday, according to Politico. President Joe Biden has called the chief of the National Guard Bureau to apologize after images circulated online of troops sleeping in a parking garage.
The pattern change comes after a summer that featured record heat, the worst fire season in California history and a dry fall and early winter raked by Santa Ana winds. Though the Pacific Northwest and northern Intermountain West have enjoyed heavy precipitation from a series of North Pacific storms, the central and southern parts of the West are in drought that's about as bad as it can get. With areas already classified as being in extreme and exceptional drought, "not much deterioration can be introduced," the U.S. Drought Monitor reported on Thursday.
Wielding a sword and wearing a turban in the colors of his regiment, Indian army Maj. Piyush Sharma thundered, "Troops, prepare to march." On his order, the camel-mounted regiment — its mustachioed riders led by shiny brass bands with glimmering tubas — swiftly moved down a boulevard in the Indian capital on Friday in a rehearsal for the annual Republic Day parade. Republic Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the country's constitution on Jan. 26, 1950.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is opening up about his experiences as a scientist under the Donald Trump administration, calling the president's pressure campaigns "chilling." Dr Fauci appeared on MSNBC's 'The Rachel Maddow Show' and recalled scientists working with the White House who felt they could not tell the truth because Mr Trump and his officials wanted to project an image of the pandemic that suggested everything was under control and improving. “I didn't want to be at odds with the president because I have a lot of respect for the office of the presidency, but there was conflict at different levels with different people and different organizations and a lot of pressure being put on to do things that just are not compatible with the science,” Dr Fauci said.
Hospitals have funneled precious shots to their benefactors, then overbooked appointments for everyday people and abruptly crushed the hopes of seniors so vulnerable to the disease and so desperate for the vaccine. Insiders whisper in friends' ears: “Pssst, we've got some open slots over here . It shouldn't be this way.
“By encouraging this act of terror on our capital, Trump’s legacy is destroyed.”
“Both backers and critics of Trump agreed that he remade the federal judiciary — a change that will impact America for decades.”
“He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die.”
“I do know what the future should hold for this country. That is to say, a policy of Trumpism without Trump.”
“It will be decades before the consequences of his tenure are fully known.”