June 4, 2023

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Biden warns Americans ‘this is not the time to relax’ as vaccinations ramp up – live

US taxpayers should not be “forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America”, Bernie Sanders told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

As Congress debates the first rise in the minimum wage in over a decade, the Vermont senator said he had “talked to too many workers in this country who, with tears in their eyes, tell me the struggles they have to provide for their kids on starvation wages” even as the chief executives of companies including McDonald’s, Walmart and others take home multi-million dollar pay packages.

Executives from Walmart and McDonald’s were invited to the hearing, titled Should Taxpayers Subsidize Poverty Wages at Large Profitable Corporations?They declined to appear.

The senators heard from low-wage workers from McDonald’s and Walmart. Terence Wise, a McDonald’s employee from Kansas City, Missouri, said his low pay had led to his family becoming homeless.

“My family has been homeless despite two incomes. We’ve endured freezing temperatures in our purple minivan. I’d see my daughter’s eyes wide open, tossing and turning, in the back seat. Try waking up in the morning and getting ready for work and school in a parking lot with your family of five,” said Wise.

“That’s something a parent can never forget and a memory you can never take away from your children. You should never have multiple jobs in the United States and nowhere to sleep.”

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Dr Rachel Levine, a pediatrician and health official from Pennsylvania, faced a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday as Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant health secretary. The process could see her become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate.

If confirmed, Levine, 63, would make history and break several glass ceilings. In a country which still only has a handful of openly trans public officials, she would be the most high-profile, occupying a senior position in the Biden administration with major responsibilities in the pandemic response.

Announcing her nomination last month, Biden said Levine would bring “steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get through this pandemic … She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

As the confirmation hearing got under way on Thursday Levine faced hostile questioning from some of the Republican members of the Senate. Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky, compared transgender surgery misleadingly to genital mutilation and accused Levine of supporting “surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia”.

Levine replied by saying that transgender medicine was very complex. “If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will look forward to working with you and your office on the standards of care” in this field, she said.

Paul was rebuked by the chair of the committee, Patty Murray, for his “harmful misrepresentations”.

The office of New York’s Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, has confirmed that the prosecutor is indeed in possession of Donald Trump’s relevant tax and financial records.

Reuters reports:

After a lengthy court battle, the Manhattan DA is in possession of Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation into the former president and his family-run Trump Organization, a spokesman for the office confirmed today.

The New York prosecutor’s office obtained the voluminous records on Monday, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Trump’s latest attempt to keep his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, from turning over the records.

Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, confirmed the office’s receipt of the documents, which came some 18 months after a subpoena was issued for them.

The records, which include eight years of tax returns, could boost the district attorney*s investigation into the Trump Organization.

A spokesman for Mazars USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Monday, after the Supreme Court ruling, Trump issued a statement calling Vance’s investigation part of “the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country.”

Vance’s investigation initially focused on hush money paid by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen before the 2016 election to adult-film actor and producer Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who have said they had affairs with Trump in the past.

Vance later suggested the probe had broadened and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

House Democrats yesterday reintroduced policing legislation, named after George Floyd, the Black American man whose killing by police in Minneapolis last May sparked a tidal wave of new civil rights protests across the US and beyond.

Joe Biden has expressed his support for the legislation and will sign if it gets through the Senate and arrives at his desk at the White House.

President Biden

I am pleased that the House will vote next week on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I encourage the House to pass it. Following Senate consideration, I hope to be able to sign into law a landmark police reform bill.

February 25, 2021

CNN further reported that:

The bill – titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 – has provisions to overhaul qualified immunity for law enforcement, prohibitions on racial profiling on the part of law enforcement and a ban on no-knock warrants in federal drug cases.

It would also ban chokeholds at the federal level and classify them as a civil rights violation and would establish a national registry of police misconduct maintained by the Department of Justice.

The House could vote on this proposal as soon as next week, congressional aides told CNN.

“This legislation addresses police misconduct and excessive force, while creating greater transparency within law enforcement, and grants victims more direct avenues for redress.

“With this legislation, the federal government demonstrates its commitment to fully reexamining law enforcement practices and building better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.

“While the issue of policing can’t be solved by Congress alone, the federal government has a responsibility to address this issue. I look forward to working with my colleagues, across the aisle and in both chambers, to ensure this bill becomes law.”

Incidentally, the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd begged for his life, goes on trial for murder next month, beginning with jury selection on March 8.

The release of the report by the US intelligence services into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 has been delayed until after Joe Biden speaks with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

Cindy Saine

#BreakingNews @CNN is reporting the release of the #Khashoggi report has been delayed until after @POTUS speaks with #SaudiArabia‘s King Salman – no word on when that will happen.

February 25, 2021

The report had been expected as early as today. and the White House said in its press briefing moments ago that the US president’s phone call with the king should take place “very soon.”

But there is no definitive word on when the two will speak or when the US report will be released or if it has indeed been delayed.

It’s believed that the US intel report will single out Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for approving Khashoggi’s death.

Here’s more from the Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner:

Original News : https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2021/feb/25/joe-biden-kamala-harris-covid-coronavirus-vaccine-donald-trump-cpac-live-updates

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