Connect with us

News

Yearender: U.S. braces for end of 2022 with deeper political divide, unresolved problems

FI

Published

on

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — The United States is bracing for the end of 2022, a year marked by a deep political divide alongside an array of unresolved problems.

“Our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan,” U.S. President Joe Biden said from the White House as part of his Christmas remarks this year.

“Too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors; as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans,” Biden said. “We’ve become too divided.”

PARTISAN DISCORD

The U.S. House select committee investigating the Capitol riot released its final report last week, alleging and detailing a “multistep effort” devised and driven by then-President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and block the transfer of power.

The Democratic-led panel accused Trump, a Republican, of inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and obstruction of an official proceeding, and made criminal referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The criminal referrals are not legally binding, and it is up to the DOJ to decide whether to pursue charges. Federal prosecutors are running a separate probe into the Capitol riot in which Trump supporters violently disrupted a congressional proceeding on Jan. 6, 2021, to certify Biden’s White House victory.

The Jan. 6 committee also made 11 recommendations to Congress, including the passage of the Electoral Count Act to clarify the U.S. vice president’s and Congress’ narrow roles in the presidential election and to make it more difficult to overturn the results, and barring Trump from holding any federal or state office in the future.

Trump, who launched a third bid for the White House last month, responded by slamming the House investigators, saying that they “did not produce a single shred of evidence that I in any way intended or wanted violence at our Capitol.”

“The events of Jan. 6 were not an insurrection,” Trump said. “They were a protest that got tragically out of control.” Additionally, he continued to push the unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 election was rigged.

The House select committee is disbanding as Republicans flipped the chamber in this year’s midterm elections and will be the majority over the next two years. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who’s seeking to be the next House speaker, has vowed to look into the panel’s work.

Public trust in Congress has reached an all-time low, with only 7 percent of Americans expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in it, according to a Gallup poll released this summer.

GUN VIOLENCE

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the United States has suffered roughly 640 mass shootings — defined by the nonprofit data collection organization as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter — and lost more than 43,500 lives to gun violence this year.

One of the victims is Justin Powell, a 16-year-old boy who loved basketball and music but unfortunately died in a shootout at an apartment complex in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month. “I can’t live without my baby,” his mother, Natasha Hinton, said while trying to hold back tears. “I don’t know what to do.”

“A week before Christmas, families should be preparing to celebrate,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “Instead, we have parents in Atlanta doing what no parent should ever have to do: laying their children to rest.”

This summer, a gunman broke into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers with an AR-15-style rifle in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Faith Mata, a 21-year-old college student, lost her little sister Tess in the massacre. “Our life has changed forever,” she said during a hearing on Capitol Hill this month. “It has darkened because our light has left.”

“Tess will never get to experience the life we had prayed she would live, she will never graduate high school, never fall in love herself, never be present at my wedding,” Mata continued. “We will never know how scared she was in her last moments in that classroom.”

In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, Biden signed into law what has been described as a gun safety bill before the end of June but critics and gun control advocates have argued the measure is far from enough to diminish America’s gun violence.

Biden has recently renewed a call to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the United States. However, it is unlikely for such a proposal to be approved by Congress with Republicans taking control of the House for the next term and advocating for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

HIGH INFLATION

The annual inflation rate for the United States is 7.1 percent for the 12 months ended November 2022, according to U.S. Labor Department data published earlier this month.

Americans named inflation as the most important issue driving their votes in the midterm elections in November, according to an exit poll, with a large share of voters saying that inflation caused them or their families moderate hardship while 20 percent more said it caused them severe hardship.

Midterm voters also felt pain at the pump. The poll found a majority of voters nationwide — 65 percent — say that the gas prices have been a financial hardship for them recently.

“Voters spoke clearly about their concerns — about raising costs — the rising costs and the need to get inflation down,” Biden acknowledged days after the elections. “There are still a lot of people hurting that are very concerned.”

The Biden administration has attributed inflation in the United States, the highest in decades, to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict without mentioning its own aggressive spending and monetary policies.

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed a mammoth funding package and sent it to the White House despite criticism of high military spending and concern about inflation.

The massive spending measure for fiscal year 2023 includes 772.5 billion U.S. dollars for non-defense, domestic programs, and 858 billion dollars in defense funding, nearly a 10-percent boost over the previous year.

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York was the only House Democrat to vote against the government funding package, citing “the dramatic increase in defense spending” as a reason.

U.S. Senator Rick Scott from Florida was among a group who voted against the sprawling omnibus that will fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2023. “This reckless inflation bomb is a disaster for our economy and a slap in the face to Floridians struggling to make ends meet,” he said.

The U.S. economy is heading into a short and shallow recession over the coming year, according to economists polled by Reuters this month.

IMMIGRATION CRISIS

On the coldest Christmas Eve ever recorded in Washington, D.C., roughly 140 migrants were dropped off outside the residence of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. The arrivals included asylum seekers from a number of Central American and Caribbean countries.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and at least two other Republican governors have sent thousands of migrants from their states to cities led by Democrats since April to protest against the Biden administration’s immigration policies and what they called federal inaction to secure America’s southern border.

Abbott said last month that the Texas state government is “taking aggressive action to aid border communities,” including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan pointed a finger at the Abbott administration, calling the busing of migrants “a cruel, dangerous, and shameful stunt” that will “accomplish nothing and only put lives in danger.”

Abbott penned a letter to Biden recently, demanding that his administration “immediately deploy federal assets to address the dire border crisis,” particularly in El Paso, a border city with Mexico.

“These communities and the state are ill-equipped to do the job assigned to the federal government — house the thousands of migrants flooding into the country every day,” the letter read.

“The need to address this crisis is not the job of border states like Texas,” Abbott wrote. “Instead, the U.S. Constitution dictates that it is your job, Mr. President, to defend the borders of our country, regulate our nation’s immigration, and manage those who seek refuge here.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is tasked with protecting the country’s borders, said in a statement on Saturday that it “continues to fully enforce our immigration and public health laws at the border.”

“Individuals and families attempting to enter without authorization are being expelled, as required by court order under the Title 42 public health authority, or placed into removal proceedings,” the DHS warned, referring to a policy that allows U.S. border officials to swiftly expel migrants and asylum-seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted the expiration of Title 42. Abbott’s office said thousands of individuals illegally cross into Texas every day and those numbers are expected to increase if Title 42 expulsions end.

Source(s): Xinhua

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

President calls for SIDS to lead with resilience and innovation

FI

Published

on

By

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has urged Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to become beacons of resilience and innovation. He made the statement in his national statement at the Plenary of the Fourth International Conference on SIDS.

President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of SIDS believing in their ability to navigate developmental challenges, stating, the vulnerabilities should not be the downfall; they should be our armor and the rallying call. He proposed three key ways in which SIDS can seek support from the international community.

As such, the president stressed that the international community must lower borrowing costs and provide SIDS with access to credit enhancement measures. In addition, president called on bilateral partners to employ more creative financial solutions, such as retractable financing, to better support SIDS. The president highlighted the need for a coordinated and cooperative approach involving the United Nations (UN) system, international development organisations, and private sector financiers. He also urged SIDS to strengthen their institutions and collaborate with the private sector.

The International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a UN conference held every four years. President Dr. Muizzu is currently in Antigua and Barbuda for the summit, where he will deliver key remarks at several events and engage with other leaders of SIDS.

Source(s): PsmNews

Continue Reading

News

President discusses climate infrastructure funding with EIB

FI

Published

on

By

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has held discussions with Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Ambroise Fayolle, on the sidelines of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda.

In their discussions, President Dr. Muizzu conveyed his deep appreciation for the EIB’s longstanding support and reiterated his administration’s commitment to further strengthening these valuable ties.

The meeting centered on exploring collaborative opportunities to fund climate-resilient infrastructure projects. President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of initiatives such as seawalls, shore protection, water management systems, and renewable energy projects to effectively combat the impacts of climate change.

Concluding the meeting, both leaders exchanged insights on renewable energy, climate mitigation, and adaptation strategies, underscoring their shared dedication to addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

Source(s): PsmNews

Continue Reading

World

WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

FI

Published

on

By

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on the 77th WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

On May 27, the General Committee and the Plenary Session of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) respectively decided to reject the so-called proposal of “inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer” submitted by certain countries. This has been the eighth year in a row that the WHA has rejected the so-called proposal concerning Taiwan. China’s position on Taiwan-related issues at the WHA is widely understood and supported by the international community. Over 100 countries explicitly expressed support for China’s position by writing to the WHO Director-General and through other means. This fully demonstrates that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends, and must not be challenged.

The Chinese central government attaches great importance to the health and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan. Taiwan’s medical and health experts can participate in WHO technical meetings under the prerequisite that the one-China principle is upheld. Over the past year alone, medical and technical experts from China’s Taiwan region took part in WHO technical activities 21 times, which involved 24 participants, and all the applications were approved by the central government. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to promptly access and report to the WHO concerning information related to health emergencies. The Taiwan region has sufficient and unimpeded channels to participate in the technical communication and cooperation in the WHO. There is no such thing as a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts. Compared with a handful of countries’ political manipulation that trumpets Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, the central government’s proper arrangement and concrete actions demonstrate real meaning and sincerity for the livelihood and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan.

Once again we would like to make it clear to the DPP authorities: the abiding commitment of the international community to the one-China principle is unshakable and the trend that China will be reunified is not to be reversed. “Taiwan independence” runs contrary to the interests of our compatriots in Taiwan, and any attempt to seek “Taiwan independence” by relying on external forces leads nowhere. Meanwhile, we urge certain countries to stop distorting and challenging UNGA Resolution 2758, stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle, stop politicizing health issues, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs by exploiting the Taiwan question. Using Taiwan to contain China will only end in failure.

Source(s): Chinese Foreign Ministry

Continue Reading

Trending