American President Joe Biden

American President Joe Biden signs orders to end ‘Muslim ban’

American President Joe Biden signs orders to end ‘Muslim ban’

US President Joe Biden has begun to undo some of Donald Trump’s key policies, hours after being sworn in.

New 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”, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and ending the process to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Just hours after his inauguration at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden signed 15 executive actions that his team earlier said aimed to “reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration”.

Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that there was “no time to waste”.

“Some of the executive actions I’m going to be signing today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis, we’re going to combat climate change in a way that we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity and support other underserved communities,” he said, as reported by the Reuters news agency.

Biden rescinded the so-called “Muslim ban”, an executive order Trump signed in 2017 that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US. The ban was changed several times amid legal challenges and ultimately upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2018. “The president put an end to the Muslim ban – a policy rooted in religious animus and xenophobia,” Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomed the decision as “an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration”. “It is an important fulfilment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies,” the group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said in a statement.

 

 

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Trump explodes at Nixon comparisons as he prepares to leave office

Trump explodes at Nixon comparisons as he prepares to leave office

(TN) In his final days in office, President Donald Trump has found the parts of the job he loved replaced by cold legal warnings, forced video addresses and a shrinking circle of downtrodden aides, all anxiously wondering what life will be like after noon on January 20. Gone are the clicks of flashing cameras.

Absent is the roar of a cheering crowd. Instead of a commanding final full week of winning, the President is playing the role of victim and not a gracious leader departing office.

Trump has been consumed by the unraveling of his presidency during his last days in office, according to people around him, which included a casual discussion among advisers recently about a possible resignation.

Trump shut the idea down almost immediately. And he has made clear to aides in separate conversations that mere mention of President Richard Nixon, the last president to resign, was banned.

He told one adviser during an expletive-laden conversation recently never to bring up the ex-president ever again.

During the passing mention of resigning this week, Trump told people he couldn’t count on Vice President Mike Pence to pardon him like Gerald Ford did Nixon, anyway.

Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off on Inauguration Day next week, according to people familiar with the matter, before one last presidential flight to Palm Beach.

But the signs of his impending departure are everywhere  including right outside his window. Workers hung bunting Thursday that read “2021 Biden-Harris Inauguration” from temporary stands across from the White House North Portico.

It was visible from his third-story residence. Inside the building, Trump has been weathering a second impeachment and growing isolation from his onetime allies in sullen desolation.

He has grown more and more worried about what legal or financial calamities may await him when he is no longer president, people who have spoken to him said, fueled by warnings from lawyers and advisers.

He is weighing pardons, including for himself and his family, as he attempts to muster a legal team for another impeachment trial. And he is resentful of Republicans who he feels abandoned him in his hour of need, including the GOP leaders of the House and Senate.

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President Trump’s disastrous end to his shocking presidency

President Trump’s disastrous end to his shocking presidency

President Donald Trump is leaving America in a vortex of violence, sickness and death and more internally estranged than it has been for 150 years. News: CNN

The disorientating end to his shocking term has the nation reeling from a Washington insurrection. The FBI warned Monday of armed protests by pro-Trump thugs in 50 states, which raise the awful prospect of a domestic insurgency.

Health officials fear 5,000 Americans could soon be dying every day from the pandemic Trump ignored. Hospitals are swamped and medical workers are shattered amid a faltering rollout of the vaccine supposed to end the crisis.

It took 200 years for the country to rack up its first two presidential impeachments. Trump’s malfeasance has led the country down that awful, divisive path twice in just more than a year.

With House Democrats expected to formally impeach the President for inciting a mob assault on Congress on Wednesday, he will rely on the Republican enablers who refused to rein in his lawlessness to save him from conviction again.

Millions of Americans have bought into the delusional, poisoned fiction that an election Trump lost was stolen, and there are signs that some police and military forces have been radicalized by the grievance he stokes.

The city Trump has called home for four years is being turned into an armed camp incongruous with the mood of joy and renewal that pulsates through most inaugurations. In a symbol of a democracy under siege, the people’s buildings — the White House and the US Capitol — are caged behind ugly iron and cement barriers.

This is the legacy President-elect Joe Biden will inherit in eight days when he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution  an oath that Trump trampled when inciting the Capitol attack last week from behind a bulletproof screen while buckling the cherished US chain of peaceful transfers of power.

With unintended irony, Biden’s team has picked “America United” as the inaugural theme  a motto that is now more apt in defining Biden’s hoped for destination rather than the splintered land he will begin to lead.

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FBI warns- Trump supporters planning armed protests ahead of Biden inauguration

FBI warns- Trump supporters planning armed protests ahead of Biden inauguration

The FBI has warned of possible armed protests being held across the US as Trump supporters and far-right groups call for demonstrations before Joe Biden is sworn in as president. News- BBC

There are reports of armed groups planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC in the run-up to his 20 January inauguration.

Security will be tight for the event after a pro-Trump mob stormed Congress. House Democrats say a vote to impeach the president will happen on Wednesday.

They accuse President Trump of “incitement of insurrection” and say the vote will be held unless Vice-President Mike Pence invokes constitutional powers to remove Mr Trump from office. There is no sign Mr Pence is prepared to do so.

Mr Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Biden team had already urged Americans to avoid travelling to the capital because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a call that is now being repeated by local authorities.

Security officials have said there will be no repeat of the breach seen on 6 January, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters were able to break into the building where members of Congress were voting to certify the election result.

Five people died in the riot, which happened after Mr Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the November vote and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

Since then, calls for Mr Trump’s resignation, removal from office or impeachment have grown among Democrats and some Republicans. Mr Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from several social media platforms – including Twitter – on Friday.

He became the third US president to be impeached in December 2019 over charges of breaking the law by asking Ukraine to investigate his rival in the presidential election. The Senate cleared him.