Colombian businessman wanted by US had Maduro-Iran letter | Crime News

A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran’s supreme leader when he was arrested on a US warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions between the United States and the South American nation. Lawyers for Alex … Read more

Canada considering quarantining travellers in hotels | Coronavirus pandemic News

Canada already requires those entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days and to present a negative COVID-19 test Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Friday his government could impose stricter restrictions on travellers at any moment in response to new, likely more contagious variants of the coronavirus – possibly making it mandatory to quarantine in … Read more

Biden orders threat assessment of violent domestic groups | Joe Biden News

Top law enforcement and intelligence officials will look into the threats weeks after a riot at the US Capitol. Weeks after a violent pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, President Joe Biden is directing law enforcement and intelligence officials to conduct a full assessment of the threat of domestic violent ideologies in the United … Read more

What legal woes does Trump face as he begins civilian life? | Courts News

Former US President Donald Trump could face serious legal challenges as his return to civilian life strips him of numerous legal protections after his electoral loss and the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday. A norm in US law holds that sitting presidents are immune from indictment. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel … Read more

US baseball legend and civil rights icon Hank Aaron dies | Baseball News

Aaron, one of the few Black baseball players at the time, beat Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974. Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and gracefully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest all-around players, has died. He was 86. The … Read more

QAnon in disarray as reality of Biden presidency settles | Donald Trump News

As adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory face the reality of Joe Biden’s presidency – something they believed could never happen – the movement appears to be searching for a way forward as some cast aside their beliefs, according to researchers. QAnon is a loose set of unfounded beliefs based on the refuted notion that … Read more

US Congress removes hurdle for Biden’s defence secretary pick | US & Canada News

The United States Congress is moving swiftly to approve President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of defense, retired Army General Lloyd Austin. The House of Representatives voted 326-78 on Thursday to provide a legal waiver allowing General Austin to become the top US government official overseeing the US military. The Senate approved the waiver shortly … Read more

Pakistan tells Biden to ‘push forward’ Afghan peace talks | Pakistan News

Karachi, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said his country has hopes for greater engagement with the new US government and called on Joe Biden to follow up on the ongoing Afghan peace process and US troops withdrawal from the country. Direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, against whom … Read more

US jobless claims fall slightly but still remain high at 900,000 | Coronavirus pandemic News

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 900,000, still a historically high level that points to ongoing job cuts in a raging coronavirus pandemic. The United States Department of Labor’s report on Thursday underscored that President Joe Biden has inherited an economy that faltered this winter as virus cases spiked, … Read more

Biden galvanises COVID fight with US mask mandate, WHO ties | Coronavirus pandemic News

President Joe Biden attempted to jump-start the US government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on his first day in office on Wednesday, signing a string of executive orders intended to lead a country reeling from its worst public health crisis in more than a century. Biden took office a day after the United States marked … Read more

Chinese telecoms firms seek review of US delisting move | Regulation News

New York Stock Exchange had removed three China telecoms firms after former US President Trump’s executive order barring investments in military-linked companies. China’s three biggest telecommunications firms said they requested a review of the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to delist their shares more than a week ago, a move triggered by an executive order … Read more

Biden signs orders to end ‘Muslim ban’, rejoin Paris climate deal | Joe Biden News

United States President Joe Biden has signed a string of executive orders, memorandums and directives that will reverse some of his predecessor Donald Trump’s most divisive policies, including rescinding the so-called “Muslim ban” and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Just hours after his inauguration at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden signed 15 executive actions … Read more

‘Vindication’: Keystone critics welcome Biden nixing pipeline | Environment News

Montreal, Canada – Opponents of the contentious Keystone XL pipeline are welcoming United States President Joe Biden’s decision to nix the multi-billion-dollar project, saying the move provides a “sense of vindication” in their years-long fight. Matthew Campbell, a staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund, which has represented Indigenous groups in lawsuits against the … Read more

Amazon offers to help Biden speed delivery of COVID vaccines | Coronavirus pandemic News

The incoming CEO of Amazon’s retail unit wrote that the company is ‘prepared to leverage our operations, information technology and communications capabilities and expertise’ in vaccinating people. Amazon.com Inc. is offering to help the Biden administration accelerate the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, including to its own employees. In a letter dated Wednesday, Dave Clark, the … Read more

China sanctions Pompeo, other Trump administration officials | Business and Economy News

China’s foreign ministry said the sanctioned US citizens showed no regard for the interests of the people of China and the US. China imposed sanctions on 28 individuals from the United States, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, over “crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs”. A statement from China’s foreign … Read more

Investigators probing Trump finances have some of his tax records | Business and Economy News

Investigators probing outgoing US President Donald Trump’s finances have gotten hold of some of his tax records, allowing them to move ahead even without a Supreme Court order that would give them eight years of his returns, sources tell Bloomberg. Investigators probing President Donald Trump’s finances have gotten hold of some of his tax records, … Read more

President Donald Trump has left the building | Donald Trump News

Capping four years of bucking norms, Trump is the first US president in more than 150 years to skip successor’s inauguration. United States President Donald Trump has left the White House. Trump boarded the presidential helicopter Marine One at 8:20am (13:20 GMT) on Wednesday. He briefly spoke to reporters calling his term the ‘honour of … Read more

US to keep embassy in Jerusalem: Biden’s top diplomat | Jerusalem News

Antony Blinken says Biden’s administration will not reverse Donald Trump’s controversial US embassy move to Jerusalem. The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, his nominee for secretary of state affirmed at his Senate confirmation hearing. “Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and … Read more

Trump pardons Bannon, rapper Lil Wayne: Reports | Donald Trump News

White House officials say former aide – facing swindling charges – among some 100 people expected to be given clemency. US President Donald Trump has granted a pardon to his disgraced former aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations during his final hours in office, White House officials told the … Read more

Biden’s top cabinet nominees promise break from Trump worldview | US & Canada News

United States President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees to lead the State and Defense departments told Congress on Tuesday they would seek to reassert the nation’s leadership in world affairs and reverse the Trump administration’s policies. Anthony Blinken, who has been nominated to be the next US Secretary of State, promised to restore US leadership in international … Read more

Woman accused of stealing Pelosi’s laptop turns herself in | Crime News

FBI is investigating a former lover’s accusation the woman stole a laptop from House Speaker Pelosi to sell to Russia. Federal authorities have arrested a Pennsylvania woman accused of stealing a laptop computer or hard drive from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the storming of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, … Read more

US Senate to take up Biden’s top cabinet selections | Joe Biden News

US President-elect’s Joe Biden’s nominees for secretary of state and secretary of defence are set to appear on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the Senate begins the process of confirming his cabinet selections. On the eve of Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, longtime aide Antony Blinken will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and retired … Read more

Biden team says US won’t lift COVID travel ban after Trump order | Coronavirus pandemic News

Spokeswoman for president-elect who takes office on January 20 says controls on Europe, Brazil arrivals will remain in place. US President-elect Joe Biden’s spokeswoman quickly dismissed Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday that a COVID-19 ban on travellers arriving from much of Europe and Brazil would be lifted next week, stressing the incoming administration was listening … Read more

Alberta leader asks Biden to ‘show respect’, hold Keystone talks | Energy News

US President-elect Joe Biden plans to nix contentious oil pipeline on his first day in office, Canadian media outlets reported. The premier of Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta is calling on United States President-elect Joe Biden to “show respect for Canada” and negotiate the future of the contentious, multibillion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline project. During a … Read more

FBI probes whether woman stole Pelosi’s laptop to sell to Russia | Crime News

Riley June Williams has been charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct during the US Capitol riot. The FBI is investigating whether a pro-Trump rioter stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop from her office and attempted to sell it to a Russian intelligence service, according to court documents. According to an affidavit from … Read more

Biden picks Chopra, Gensler for financial oversight roles | Joe Biden News

Chopra named to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gensler to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission. President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Rohit Chopra as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tapping a progressive ally of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren to helm the agency whose creation she championed. Chopra, a commissioner … Read more

Martin Luther King, Jr was radical: We must reclaim that legacy | Civil Rights News

I’ll never forget my first organising training course in 2016. We walked through scenarios about arrests, communications, treating pepper spray, and supporting our comrades. And then the instructor, a young Black Chicagoan, slowed his speech, looked at all of us solemnly, and said, “Be prepared for anything. They will drag you. They will knock you … Read more

‘Predictable, tactical’: How Biden will tackle US foreign policy | US Elections 2020 News

Joe Biden’s incoming administration will usher in a distinct shift in the United States’ approach to diplomacy and world affairs, analysts have said, just days before the president-elect is inaugurated. Biden has long supported multilateralism and has promised to restore key political, security and trade alliances when he takes office, while also bolstering the US’s … Read more

Small crowds, heavy security: US braces for pro-Trump violence | Donald Trump News

United States law enforcement officers have been out in force at state capitols across the country and in Washington, DC, in response to planned protests in support of President Donald Trump that on Sunday had drawn only a small number people. More than a dozen states have activated National Guard troops to help secure their … Read more

Biden to reverse Trump’s Muslim ban on inauguration day | Donald Trump News

Memo by Biden’s incoming chief of staff shows president-elect is looking to quickly reverse several Trump policies. On his first day in office, US President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue a number of executive orders, including one rescinding the controversial travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries. According to a memo circulated on Saturday by … Read more

FBI probing Capitol riot link to foreign governments, groups | US Elections 2020 News

The FBI is investigating whether foreign governments, organisations or individuals provided financial support to people who helped plan and execute the January 6 attack on the Capitol, a news report said on Sunday. As part of the investigation, the FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures … Read more

US states brace for potential violence before Biden inauguration | US Elections 2020 News

State officials across the United States are preparing for potentially violent demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump in the days leading up to the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Several states, including California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Florida, had activated their National Guard forces to bolster security as of Saturday. Authorities in … Read more

US slaps more sanctions on Iran in final days of Trump presidency | Middle East News

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says seven companies were targeted for shipping steel to or from Iran. The United States has imposed more sanctions on companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities for conventional arms proliferation. They … Read more

Optimistic US big bank chiefs release $5bn from reserves | Banks News

Banking chiefs are pointing to prospects for a rebound this year after unprecedented action from lawmakers and the United States Federal Reserve staved off a worse crisis. Wall Street’s worst fears about the fallout from Covid-19 are receding. Three of the biggest U.S. lenders — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & … Read more

US CDC warns new COVID variant could be dominant strain by March | Coronavirus pandemic News

A new, more transmissible variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the United Kingdom has been detected in 10 US states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said, warning that it could become the dominant circulating variant in the United States by March. The variant, known as B.1.1.7, is believed to … Read more

Senator apologises to Black Tulsans for election challenge | Donald Trump News

Oklahoma Senator Lankford, conservative ally for Black Tulsans, faces criticism on move to ‘disenfranchise’ Black vote. Republican US Senator James Lankford has apologised in a letter to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black community for failing to recognise that challenging United States electoral results leading to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory during a joint session of Congress could be … Read more

US downsizes its troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 | Military News

The US military has met its goal of reducing the number of soldiers in Afghanistan to about 2,500 by Friday, a withdrawal that appears to violate a last-minute congressional prohibition. President Donald Trump, who ordered the reduction in November last year, said on Thursday that troop levels in Afghanistan had reached a 19-year low, although … Read more