Joe Biden

Eight killed in mass shooting at Indianapolis FedEx facility

At least eight people were dead after a shooting at the FedEx Ground Plainfield Operations Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana, late on Thursday, according to police. The gunman reportedly took his own life after firing indiscriminately. Eight of those who were shot died on the scene, while some others were hospitalised with injuries, according to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) spokesperson Genae Cook. She told reporters that the motive for the killing was unclear, and that IMPD would work with the Indiana State Police to investigate the shooting. IMPD homicide detectives responded to the scene and began their investigation. A FedEx statement indicated that staff members were among the victims. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following th...

Kim Jong Un: North Korea facing its ‘worst-ever situation’

Kim Jong Un says North Korea is facing its “worst-ever situation” and called on “grassroots” members of the ruling Workers’ Party to be more proactive and responsible in carrying out the country’s new five-year economic plan. The comments, reported by state media on Wednesday, came as experts warn Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade in rule, with North Korea’s coronavirus lockdown unleashing further shock on its sanctions-battered economy. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim made the comments during an opening speech at a meeting of the Workers’ Party’s cell secretaries on Tuesday. “Improving the people’s living standards … even in the worst-ever situation in which we have to overcome unprecedentedly numerous challenges depends on the ...

Report: US says ex-Egypt premier had diplomatic immunity from lawsuit

The Biden administration has said a lawsuit seeking to hold former Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi accountable for alleged involvement in torture against an Egyptian-American activist should be thrown out because he held diplomatic immunity, the Washington Post reported on Monday. In a submission to the US District Court in Washington, DC, shared by the Post, lawyers for the US Justice Department said “El Beblawi held diplomatic status at the time when the suit was commenced” and the court should dismiss “claims falling with the scope of his immunity”. El-Beblawi had served as Egypt’s representative to the International Monetary Fund, but quit and left the US in late October, the Post reported. The department said in its court filing that it was not making any judgements on the me...

Wisconsin governor: Donald Trump must pay for ‘haphazard’ voting lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the state’s 3.3 million voters was so weak and time-consuming that he and his lawyers should be punished for squandering taxpayer resources, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a federal court filing. Donald Trump should be ordered to pay Wisconsin $145,000 to cover the legal expenses the state racked up defending against the former president’s “haphazard” election-fraud lawsuit, the state told a judge. Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the state’s 3.3 million voters was so weak and time-consuming that he and his lawyers should both be punished for squandering taxpayer resources, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a filing Wednesday in federal court in Milwaukee. “There is no reason for Wisconsin taxpayers to bear t...

U.S. Senate confirms Wally Adeyemo as deputy treasury secretary

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Adewale Wally Adeyemo as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, making him the first Nigerian-American to hold the powerful job. Adeyemo, 39, has struck a hardline tone on China, vowing to fight what he called Beijing’s “unfair economic practices” and hold China accountable to international rules. He is expected to play a key role in shaping U.S. economic policy on issues ranging from financial regulation to relief for everyday Americans and U.S. sanctions on foreign governments. A former senior adviser at asset manager BlackRock Inc and the child of Nigerian immigrants, Adeyemo served as a top national security and economic adviser to Democratic former President Barack Obama and held senior jobs at the Treasury. The Senate on Thursday confirmed Adeyemo on a voice ...

Russia hopes for progress as U.S. joins Afghan peace talks in Moscow

Russia said it hoped international talks in Moscow on Thursday would breathe new life into the Afghan peace process, after a high-level U.S. official joined the Russian-hosted talks for the first time. The talks, which also include representatives of Pakistan and China, are designed to give a boost to negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha, stalled lately by government accusations that the insurgents have done too little to halt violence. “We regret that so far the efforts to launch a political process in Doha have yet to yield a positive result,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his opening remarks at the talks. “We hope today’s talks will facilitate the creation of conditions to achieve progress in intra-Afghan negotiations.” U.S. envoy Z...

WTO chief: ‘Safe Schools Initiative’ to stop abduction of students

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday expressed hope that the ‘Safe Schools Initiative’ will help stop the incessant abduction of students across Nigeria. Nigerian women on Wednesday came out en masse to welcome Okonjo-Iweala in her first homecoming since she became the director-general of WTO, during a visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja. Addressing the crowd which included Senators and members of the National Assembly, former Ministers, wives of former governors, women in the Armed Forces, women societies, female political aspirants, Civil Society Organisations, as well as students, Okonjo-Iweala expressed deep concern about the incessant abduction of girls and boys in schools. The WTO boss who noted that it is shamef...

Russia calls U.S. allegations over Putin-directed election meddling ‘baseless’

Russia on Wednesday described U.S. intelligence allegations that President Vladimir Putin had likely directed efforts to try to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump as baseless. A 15-page American intelligence report, released on Tuesday, added heft to longstanding allegations that some of Trump’s top lieutenants were playing into Moscow’s hands by amplifying claims made against then-candidate Joe Biden by Russian-linked Ukrainian figures in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election. “The document prepared by the U.S. intelligence community is another set of baseless accusations against our country for interfering in American domestic political processes,” Russia’s embassy in the United States said in a statement on Facebook. “The conclusions of the report on Russia conducting...

US state bans transgender athletes from women’s sports

Mississippi became the first US state on Thursday to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams, a move denounced as discriminatory by LGBTQ groups and likely to face legal challenges. Governor Tate Reeves said the “Mississippi Fairness Act” would “ensure young girls are not forced to compete against biological males.” The bill requires public schools in the conservative southern state to designate sports teams based on biological sex as for “Males,” “Females” or “Coed.” “Athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women,’ or ‘girls,’ shall not be open to students of the male sex,” it states. Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a group which defends LGBTQ rights, described the bill as “discriminatory anti-transgender legislation” and said it would be challeng...

Lobbyist says Myanmar junta wants to improve relations with the West, spurn China

An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar’s junta said on Saturday that the generals are keen to leave politics after their coup and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China. Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s military rulers, said Myanmar’s generals also want to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations says more than 50 demonstrators have been killed since the Feb. 1 coup when the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won polls in November by a landslide. On Friday, a U.N. special envoy urged the Security Council to take action against t...

Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Iran, possible vaccine plant

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday discussed Iran and the possible involvement of the Gulf state in establishing a vaccine plant in Israel, the two countries said. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on Sept. 15 in part over shared concerns about Iran, in a deal forged by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, a move praised by Israel which has objected to the accord. His successor, President Joe Biden, wants to rejoin the deal. But in the week since Washington offered to talk with Tehran about reviving the nuclear deal, Iran has curbed U.N. monitoring and threatened to boost its uranium enrichment. Tehran denies...