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John Kerry apologises for Donald Trump’s stance on climate change

The White House has warned Russia that “there will be consequences” if Alexei Navalny, a Putin critic, dies in prison, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.

This comes after President Joe Biden gave a speech on Thursday about Russia where he failed to mention the imprisoned Russian opposition leader, which angered critics. But Mr Sullivan said the White House aims to deal with the issue “privately and through diplomatic channels.”

John Kerry has also apologised for former President Donald Trump’s “non-leadership” on the effort to address the climate crisis during his four years as US leader.

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Kerry, the Biden administration’s climate envoy, said the government was “very sorry for the last four years with a president who didn’t care about science”.

Meanwhile, a number of defendants accused of storming the US Capitol Building in the 6 January insurrection are claiming to have been acting as “journalists” during the incident.

According to The Associated Press, at least eight people accused of attacking the Capitol have claimed that they were only there to record history as journalists or filmmakers – not to help incite a deadly insurrection.

The finding comes following an AP review of court records in nearly 400 cases.

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President Bush calls on Congress to tone down immigration rhetoric

President George W Bush has called on members of Congress to tone down the “harsh rhetoric” on immigration.

“I do want to say to Congress, please put aside all of the harsh rhetoric about immigration, please put aside trying to score political points on either side. I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system,” Mr Bush told Norah O’Donnell on CBS Sunday Morning.

The plea comes as a heated debate within Congress has launched over immigration reform while the country experiences an influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

Mr Bush expressed regret during the interview that he didn’t pass more measures related to immigration refore when he was president, but he was now hoping the Republican Party would prioritise creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“I am right now,” Mr Bush said about currently lobbying members of his party on the issue. “Whether my own party listens to me or not is another question.”

President Joe Biden has issued several executive orders to address immigration, but Congress has yet to pass any legislation that would address the problem.

“All that means is that Congress isn’t doing its job,” Mr Bush said.

Danielle Zoellner18 April 2021 18:20

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Pro-Trump rioters now claim they were acting as ‘journalists’ during deadly violence at US Capitol

The Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol in January created a trove of self-incriminating evidence, thoroughly documenting their actions and words in videos and social media posts. Now some of the camera-toting people in the crowd are claiming they were only there to record history as journalists, not to join a deadly insurrection.

It’s unlikely that any of the self-proclaimed journalists can mount a viable defense on the First Amendment’s free speech grounds, experts say. They face long odds if video captured them acting more like rioters than impartial observers. But as the internet has broadened and blurred the definition of a journalist, some appear intent on trying. 

At least eight defendants charged in the Jan. 6 riot have identified themselves as a journalist or a documentary filmmaker, including three people arrested this month, according to an Associated Press review of court records in nearly 400 federal cases.

Full report from the Associated Press here:

Danielle Zoellner18 April 2021 17:46

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Marjorie Taylor Greene does U-turn on ‘America First’ caucus after GOP blowback

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has called off plans to launch her “America First Caucus” after she experienced significant backlash from lawmakers within the GOP.

“The Congresswoman wants to make clear that she is not launching anything. This was an early planning proposal and nothing was agreed to or approved,” a spokesperson told CNN.

On Friday Punchbowl News obtained a document detailing the “America First Caucus”, which would be led by Rep. Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar. The language in the document involved recruiting people with “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and a return to architectural style that “befits the progeny of European architecture”.

Danielle Zoellner18 April 2021 17:22

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Nearly half of American adults have received Covid vaccine

In total, 49.7 per cent of those 18 years and older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This milestone comes after President Joe Biden pushed states to open up vaccine eligibility to everyone in April.

Mr Biden set the date of 19 April for when all adults across America should be able to access one of the vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Danielle Zoellner18 April 2021 16:57

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Eight in 10 Americans want US to be part of climate crisis response

Eight in 10 Americans want the US to be part of the international response to addressing the climate crisis, a new CBS News poll has found.

According to the poll, which saw 2,003 US residents surveyed between 13 and 16 April, almost half of those interviewed said they would also go further to say they would want the US to be a leader on such an effort.

Another third say they would have the US take part if other countries were to respond too.

The poll’s findings come as President Joe Biden prepares to lead a virtual two-day summit on the bid to tackle the climate crisis.

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 16:30

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Fauci says he expects Johnson & Johnson vaccine to resume

Dr Anthony Fauci has said he expects the US will likely move forward with resuming the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine this week, with the possibility of restrictions after reports of very rare blood clots following receipt of the jab.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Dr Fauci said: “I do think we will get it back in some manner or form.”

“I hope, that we don’t see anything extended beyond Friday,” he said.

However, he said that the US would need to come to a decision “one way or the other”.

He said that it was important to investigate the occurrence of rare blood clots, with one case proving deadly.

However, he said that it would not be “prudent” to delay the rollout of the vaccine for too long.

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 16:06

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Fauci says gun violence is ‘public health issue’

Dr Anthony Fauci has said gun violence in the US should be seen as a “public health issue”.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Dr Fauci was asked whether he believes gun violence represents a public health emergency, with at least 45 mass shootings reportedly taking place over the last month alone.

“When you see people getting killed, I mean, in this last month, it’s just been horrifying what’s happened,” he said.

“How can you say that’s not a public health issue?”

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 15:51

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Biden marks National Park Week with memory of family trip to Yellowstone

President Joe Biden has marked National Park Week by sharing a memory of a family trip to Yellowstone with his two sons, Hunter and Beau, his eldest son who died in 2015.

“I will never forget one of my own such visits, which has long shaped my personal reverence for our national parks,” Mr Biden said in a statement marking the weeklong celebration of national parks.

“In 1972, after my wife and daughter were killed in a car accident, my two young sons, Beau and Hunter, were hospitalized for an extended period,” he said. “As they recovered, they became enamored of the idea of visiting Yellowstone – thanks in large part to a favorite TV show, Yogi Bear, which was set in a fictionalized version of America’s first national park.”

 “In the summer of 1974, my boys and I flew into Salt Lake City, rented a camper, drove up through Dinosaur National Park and arrived for a week at Yellowstone,” Mr Biden recounted.

“Our time there nourished us, filled us with awe, and restored in all of us a sense of the future that had been quieted by our loss,” he said.

The president said the experience reminded him of words environmentalist and author Rachel Carson once wrote in her book Silent Spring: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.  There is something healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 

“As I saw my sons reengage with the world after enduring so much pain, and felt our family begin to heal, I came to understand the truth of Rachel Carson’s words – the power and promise of these extraordinary places to replenish something within us.”

Earlier in his statement, Mr Biden said: “Nowhere is the truth of her observation more evident than in America’s national parks, which are irreplaceable treasures that amaze us, inspire us, fill us with pride, and belong to all of us in equal measure.”

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 15:36

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Blinken says it will be ‘very hard’ for Biden reach refugee admissions goal

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said it will be “very hard” for President Joe Biden to meet a past goal to raise the country’s refugee admissions cap to 62,500.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Mr Blinken said: “It’s going to be very hard to meet the 62,000 [target] this fiscal year”.

In February, Mr Biden had suggested he would be aiming to reach the goal, but earlier this week he revealed that he planned to maintain a Trump-era record low of 15,000 admissions, before walking back on that decision after facing backlash from progressives.

Mr Blinken said the White House would be “revisiting” the issue “over the coming weeks”.

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 15:28

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One America News Network continues to back Trump

One America News Network appears to have continued to fiercely defend former President Donald Trump, months after his departure from the White House.

Pointing out the network’s apparent dedication to the former US leader, The New York Times noted how OAN has continued to broadcast segments questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president,” the newspaper noted OAN correspondent Pearson Sharp had said in a 28 March report.

According to the newspaper, not everyone at OAN is in agreement with network’s coverage.

In interviews with 18 current and past newsroom employees, The Times found that 16 said they felt the network broadcasts misleading, inaccurate or untrue reports.

Chantal Da Silva18 April 2021 15:23

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