Trump and Biden news latest: Live US updates from White House

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Biden falls on steps of Air Force One

Donald Trump’s son posted a mock video of the former president hitting golf balls at Joe Biden after he tripped while boarding Air Force One on Friday.

The president stumbled up the stairs at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland as he prepared to travel to Atlanta in Georgia but recovered and saluted the military officers who had greeted him.

The White House principal deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, later said Mr Biden was “doing 100 per cent fine”.

In Atlanta, Mr Biden met with state legislators and community leaders just days after eight people were killed, most of them Asian American women. “We have to change our hearts,” he said in a later address to the nation. “Hate can have no safe harbor in America.”

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Meet the woman running against Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia

Senior US correspondent Richard Hall spoke to Democrat Holly McCormack about the battle she faces to win against Marjorie Taylor Greene in a deeply conservative district in northwest Georgia.

Chiara Giordano20 March 2021 15:07

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White House staff to leave posts over past marijuana use

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed “five people” have lost their jobs over past marijuana use.

Her comments came in response to a news report in the Daily Beast that said dozens of young staff members had been pushed to resign or had been reassigned to remote work based on their past marijuana use.

Katie Rogers and Zolan Kanno-Youngs explain:

Chiara Giordano20 March 2021 14:37

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Violent attacks against Asian Americans persist in San Francisco Bay Area

In early February, Asian American community leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area organised protests after the killing of an older Thai man and a spate of attacks in Oakland’s Chinatown.

In the weeks that followed, reports of violence against people of Asian descent have multiplied in the Bay Area. In many cases, attacks have come in broad daylight on busy streets.

Thomas Fuller take a closer look in this article:

Chiara Giordano20 March 2021 14:12

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Atlanta shooting suspect’s church decries killings as ‘wicked betrayal’

The Baptist church where the suspect in this week’s Atlanta-area spa killings was a member issued a statement decrying the attack as a wicked betrayal of faith and describing the eight victims, who included six women of Asian descent, as blameless.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with eight counts of homicide in Tuesday’s fatal shooting of four people at two day spas in Atlanta and four others at another spa in Cherokee County, about 40 miles (64 km) north of the state capital.

In a statement, the Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Georgia, said Long’s “extreme and wicked act is nothing less than rebellion against our Holy God and His Word.”

Investigators said Long had admitted carrying out the attacks, claiming he was driven by internal conflict over what he described as a sex addiction, not racial animus toward Asians.

But the rampage has stirred fear among Asian Americans, who see the crimes as a part of a national surge in racially-motivated attacks that has accelerated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chiara Giordano20 March 2021 13:50

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China agrees to look into climate change with US

The Chinese government said it has agreed with the US to look into climate change and a handful of other issues following two days of talks.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that following the talks in Alaska, China and the US had decided to set up a working group on climate change and hold talks “to facilitate activities of…diplomatic and consular missions”, as well as on issues related to journalists.

The two countries feuded over journalist visas and consulates during the Trump administration, but climate change is seen as one area where they may be able to cooperate.

Senior US administration officials held their first face-to-face meeting with their Chinese counterparts in Alaska since Joe Biden took office earlier this year.

The talks opened with tense and extended exchanges over human rights before television cameras, before they retreated behind closed doors.

The Xinhua report did not provide any details on the climate change working group, other than to say both countries were committed to enhancing communication and cooperation in the field.

It also said the the two sides discussed adjusting Covid-19 travel and visa policies and reciprocal arrangements for vaccination of their diplomats.

Chiara Giordano20 March 2021 13:30

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US and China clash at UN meeting on combatting racism

America accused China of committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities, and China accused the US of discrimination, hatred “and even savage murder of people of African and Asian descent” during a clash at the UN on Friday. 

The exchange, at the UN General Assembly’s commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, was sparked by one line in the speech by US Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, who talked about being a descendent of slaves, growing up in the segregated South, and surviving racism including being called “an N-word”.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield was unusually outspoken about US history, saying: “Slavery is the original sin of America.”

“It’s weaved white supremacy and black inferiority into our founding documents and principles,” she said. 

Ms Thomas-Greenfield said slavery has existed in every corner of the globe, “and sadly still exists today”, and so does racism, which “continues to be a daily challenge wherever we are”.

US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield

(AFP via Getty Images)

For millions, she said, it’s even deadly, including in Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims and others “have been oppressed, abused and killed in staggering numbers”.

“Or in China, where the government has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said. 

China’s deputy UN ambassador, Dai Bing, who wasn’t on the original speakers list, took to the floor near the end of the commemoration to reject what he called the politically motivated US allegation, calling it “an act of rumour-mongering through and through, and a bare-faced lie”.

He accused the US of interfering in China’s internal affairs and said that “lies are just lies and truth shall prevail eventually”.

Tom Batchelor20 March 2021 13:11

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Louisiana choosing new US House members in special election

Louisiana voters cast their ballots today for two vacant US House seats in special elections.

The votes aren’t expected to shake up the parties’ balance of power, but could add a woman to the state’s all-male congressional delegation.

Women are among the top contenders in both competitions, including Julia Letlow, a Republican who is vying for the northeast Louisiana-based seat that her husband Luke Letlow won in December but couldn’t fill because of his death from Covid complications.

Julia Letlow is among 12 candidates in the race for the 5th District seat.

She is running in the deep red district with the backing of Donald Trump, the endorsement of the state GOP and more money raised than all her competitors combined – raising speculation about whether she might be able to win outright Saturday without a runoff election.

Tom Batchelor20 March 2021 12:51

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Advocates urge transparency in Biden priest investigation

A prominent victims advocate group has urged Santa Clara University in California to release details about unspecified allegations against its president, a Jesuit priest who presided over an inaugural mass for Joe Biden and is now under investigation.

The university said Rev Kevin O’Brien allegedly “exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries”. He is currently on leave from the Catholic university.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, released a statement on Friday calling on university officials to be more transparent about the accusations “so as to encourage others who may have experienced similar misconduct to come forward”.

Tom Batchelor20 March 2021 12:31

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India and US to expand military ties

Top defense officials from India and the US have pledged to expand their military engagement amid concern over China’s growing influence in the region. 

Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, and India’s defense minister, Rajnath Singh, met in New Delhi on Saturday and agreed to deepen defense cooperation, intelligence sharing and logistics. 

“India is an increasingly important partner in rapidly shifting international dynamics. I reaffirm our commitment to a comprehensive forward-looking defense partnership with India as a central pillar of our approach to the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Austin said. 

The defence secretary is making the first visit to India by a top member of Joe Biden‘s administration.

His visit follows a meeting last week between leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, which together make up the four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad. 

Tom Batchelor20 March 2021 12:11

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Senator Tim Kaine still experiences ‘weird neurological symptoms’ year after contracting Covid

Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat of Virginia, has revealed he was still experiencing lingering Covid-19 symptoms one year after he contracted the virus.

This revelation about the 63-year-old senator’s health came during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, also attended Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky, on Thursday.

“I have these weird, neurological symptoms one year later,” Mr Kaine said during the hearing. “They’re not debilitating, they’re not painful, but they’re weird and they’re 24/7.”

Tom Batchelor20 March 2021 11:51

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