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Biden misspoke twice at White House speech

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US President Joe Biden was embarrassed twice while giving a speech at the White House.

The American leader has made two reservations, speaking about one person. So, announcing a candidate for the post of director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Biden mixed up the abbreviation of this department and said AFT instead of ATF.

Meanwhile, AFT is a completely different organization (American Federation of Teachers) .

Next, the head of state announced the name of the candidate – ex-prosecutor Steve Dettelbach, while managing to make a mistake in his name.

“I am proud to nominate Steve Dettelwood… Dettelbach. Sorry, I mispronounced your last name,” Biden corrected.

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Psaki responded to reports of her departure from the White House

Photo: Frame from video

Presidential press secretary Jen Psaki did not confirm reports that she would soon leave the White House for work in the media. The topic was raised at Friday's briefing for reporters.

She added that rumors of her departure did not prevent her from fulfilling her duties in the White House. Regarding her future, Psaki joked to reporters: “For now, you still won’t be able to get rid of me.”

However, the press secretary told what she would do for the first time after leaving the civil service – to sleep off and spend time with children . Earlier, Axios learned that Psaki could go to work at MSNBC this spring.

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Axios: Psaki to step down as White House press secretary

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

US White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki intends to leave her post. As early as this spring, she wants to move to work on MSNBC.

Axios reports that she could start working in a new place as early as May. While Psaki is negotiating with representatives of the White House about his departure.

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White House asks US Congress to allocate $6.4 billion to Ukraine

Of these, according to the agency, $ 2.9 billion will go to defense needs and assistance to neighboring states in Eastern Europe, another $ 3.5 billion will go to the Pentagon. The funds may be in addition to the $600 million that the United States has already allocated to Ukraine

The White House has asked the US Congress to provide $6.4 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine, Bloomberg reports, citing a representative of the presidential administration.

Funds will be directed to the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. Also, money is needed to help neighboring states in Eastern Europe and support the Pentagon. Of these, $2.9 billion will go to humanitarian needs and ensuring the security of Ukraine, Poland and other neighboring countries. The US Department of Defense will receive another $3.5 billion to effectively respond to the crisis.

According to the agency, last year the United States provided Kiev with $650 million in security funds, and humanitarian aid— for $52 million

Earlier, US President Joe Biden instructed to allocate $600 million to Ukraine, of which $350 million should be spent on defense, Washington promised to provide the remaining $250 million free of charge. To do this, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken must determine whether such gratuitous assistance met the interests of the country's security.

Ukraine, in connection with the Russian military operation on its territory, applied to the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan. On February 23, Great Britain announced its readiness to provide a loan in the amount of $500. London promised to give Kiev money to “mitigate the economic consequences of Russian aggression.”

The Russian military operation in Ukraine began on February 24 after a speech by President Vladimir Putin. The head of state emphasized that Moscow did not intend to occupy Ukrainian territory, and that its real goal— denazification and demilitarization of this country. Putin called the current Ukrainian leadership “a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis” and urged military personnel to take power into their own hands. According to him, it will be “easier for Russia to come to an agreement” with them.

In Ukraine, they believe that Moscow has unleashed a war against it. Kyiv has already offered Russia to start peace negotiations on a neutral status, in response, Putin agreed to send a delegation to Minsk for this. Press Secretary of the Ukrainian President Sergei Nikiforov said that Ukraine is ready for negotiations and is discussing the venue.

Western countries condemned the operation and imposed sanctions against Putin, Foreign and Defense Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, Washington has tightened restrictions on the export of microelectronics to Russia, and the EU has imposed sanctions against the banking sector. Australia and Japan are also studying the possibility of restrictions.

Источник rbc.ru

White House announces Biden’s decree on sanctions against Russia

U.S. President Joe Biden, during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Washington strongly condemns Russia's decision to recognize the sovereignty of Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

Commenting on this conversation, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken added that Biden would sign a decree imposing additional sanctions on February 22.

The new sanctions, Blinken specified, are designed to prevent Moscow from extracting benefit from the recognition of the DNR and LNR. He also stressed that the US sanctions in the context of the DPR and LPR are not directed against the people of Ukraine and will allow the continuation of humanitarian assistance.

“Recognition by the Russian side of the so-called DPR and LPR as “independent” requires a firm response, and The US will take appropriate action in coordination with Western partners,” Blinken tweeted.

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White House abandons plans to disconnect Russia from SWIFT

The White House admitted that the shutdown of SWIFT will not be included in the package of sanctions against Russia The measures will also not affect energy exports, said the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security. However, he promised, Russia would face “enormous consequences” for the economy if it invaded Ukraine

Duleep Singh

The package of US sanctions that would be imposed on Russia in the event of its invasion of Ukraine will most likely not include disconnecting the country from the SWIFT interbank information exchange system. This was stated at a briefing by Deputy Assistant to the US President for National Security Duleep Singh, Reuters reports.

According to him, the measures will also not be aimed at limiting Russian energy supplies to other countries.

However, Singh said that if Ukraine were attacked, Russia would face “tremendous consequences”; both for its economy and for its strategic position in the world. The financial sanctions that the United States has developed will have negative consequences for the largest Russian financial institutions and state-owned enterprises, he promised.

Singh said that the United States coordinated with allies and partners in developing sanctions. The measures will be applied “taking into account how Putin reacts”— depending on further escalation or de-escalation. According to Singh, they will not affect the citizens of Russia, and will not entail undesirable consequences for the American and global economy.

The fact that the US and the EU are no longer considering disconnecting Russia from SWIFT was previously reported by Reuters, citing US and European officials. According to them, European countries opposed such a move. The newspaper Das Handelsblatt, in turn, wrote that instead of this measure, the EU and the US decided to impose sanctions against the largest Russian banks in the event of an invasion.

The Wall Street Journal also wrote that in addition to abandoning plans to disconnect from SWIFT, the White House has not yet decided to impose restrictions on the export of Russian oil and gas.

The day before, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Washington, together with the Europeans, is developing measures which could affect Russian individuals and companies in the event of an invasion and include export controls, these restrictions “would have serious consequences for the Russian economy.” However, she acknowledged concerns about the possible impact of sanctions on energy markets. Yellen said that the United States and the EU are working to provide Europe with oil and gas supplies.

On February 18, the heads of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR announced the beginning of the evacuation of the population to Russia, explaining this as a threat from Kiev. The day before, the unrecognized republics and Ukraine accused each other of escalation and shelling. The Ukrainian authorities stated that they did not plan to attack the Donbass, and also said that they were trying to provoke Kiev into hostilities.

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White House allowed Russian invasion of Ukraine “at any time”

White House: Russia could invade Ukraine at any time, including this week U.S. administration deputy spokeswoman stressed that the situation can still be resolved through diplomacy

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Russia could invade Ukraine “as early as this week,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing.

“As we said, we are in a 'window' and an invasion could happen at any time,”— she said, noting that she would not reveal “details of intelligence information.”

“The path of diplomacy remains open,” — she emphasized. According to Jean-Pierre, the United States still does not know exactly “which road Russia will take.”

Earlier, some media wrote that the proposed invasion could begin as early as February 16, moreover, according to Politico, US President Joe Biden mentioned this date in a conversation with European partners. Bloomberg called February 15 as a possible date for the start of hostilities.

Presidential aide Jake Sullivan said that Washington could not give a specific date for the attack, but that it could begin “any day.” and “very soon.” According to him, the “window” for the invasion includes the period until the end of the Beijing Olympics (February 20). At the same time, Sullivan noted that Russia could also choose the path of diplomacy.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke about the possibility of an invasion during the Olympic Games.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a conversation with the head of the European Council On February 13, Charles Michel said that Kiev was ready “to develop any scenario,” but he called panic the main enemy of the country.

On February 12, a telephone conversation took place between the presidents of Russia and the United States. Joe Biden threatened Vladimir Putin with serious consequences in the event of an escalation in Ukraine, but pointed to Washington's readiness for a diplomatic solution to the situation.

The Russian side has repeatedly denied preparations for an invasion.

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The construction of a wall around the White House puzzled the Americans

The network is discussing a possible assault

The wound on the body of American statehood after the storming of the Capitol has not yet healed, as even more ominous news is coming from the States. In the unofficial US media, news began to appear about the construction of a concrete fence around the White House. Judging by the date of publication of the earliest video that could be found, work began on January 11.

Photo: Frame from video

The authors of the materials refer to videos from Yotube and a post by a Twitter user under the nickname Glen Lettenmaier dated January 12. ​​​​​​

In the earliest video, concrete panels in the shape of an inverted “U” can be seen being placed around the fountain on the lawn. It is logical to assume that armed people will have to stand in the gaps.

Glen's post contains a couple of screenshots from the video, where you can see two rows of walls. They are located on the North Lawn of the White House. However, here the voids in the blocks are covered with something similar to plywood. Perhaps they will also be filled with concrete.

The message is accompanied by the author's comment: “We are in trouble … right now they are putting a fence of factory-made concrete panels around the White House. I think it's suggestive… especially in light of the media's silence.”

Suggestions as to why the wall is being built range from riots to invasions of little green men. The last joke, but the most reasonable versions seem to be about the prospect of chaos in the city or about some event that will take place on the lawn.

It is noteworthy that on January 12 in Bulgaria, protesters against coronavirus restrictions broke into the Parliament building. As a result, they secured a promise to create a working group that will deal with questions about vaccinations and restrictions. But in the US, the situation is also not very good: the number of cases is growing, inflation is breaking records, people are buying less, there are interruptions in food supplies. Who knows, maybe they decided to play it safe in order to avoid such a development of events?

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Political scientists predicted adversity-2022: coronavirus, White House and rising prices

Next year, foreign policy will largely determine domestic policy

At the beginning of the New Year, 2022, we decided to find out how political scientists see it. It is clear that none of them traditionally wants to act as oracles, and therefore we asked them not what would happen, but which of the quite obvious events or trends could become decisive for domestic politics and the political situation around Russia next year.

Photo: pixabay.com

-The most important thing is negotiations with the US and NATO, which are related to foreign policy, but will certainly influence domestic policy too: this will concern Ukraine , security guarantees (for Russia – auth .), etc.

The second important event, it now determines everything, is the question of ending the pandemic: is Omicron a new wave of the pandemic, or is it its final act, what will be the mortality rate, will there be a need for more tightening (antikoid measures – auth .), etc. For a long time this issue did not play a big role in the domestic policy of Russia, but at Putin's press conference at the end of last year it became clear that this had already reached the highest level: protests of some part of the population, political forces, including against restrictive measures related to the pandemic.

The third is the issue of inflation, price increases, world price conditions, primarily for food. The fourth question is, of course, energy prices, the entire energy situation.

And there is no getting away from this, much will depend on what is happening in the United States. Therefore, the most important topic for all countries, and Russia in particular, is what will happen in November at the midterm elections, and whether they will be the threshold of some serious civil confrontation in the United States, as a result of which events that are important for all countries, without exception, may occur. This, of course, is the question of the dollar, the need to create some new reserve currencies, at least in the context of the crisis in the United States, and the general situation in the world, due to the fact that the question of power in the United States is suspended – in relation to 24- m year, and this will already be indicated in the 22nd.

It is difficult to say about other important circumstances. It is obvious that party life has come to a standstill a little (in Russia – auth .). It is there, but … “New people” only reveal their own face. It is clear that mainstream political life does not concern parties.

-The Geneva Treaty is designated as a starting point. Although I do not hope that there will be some kind of reset in relations with the United States and NATO. Given what has been said, it is clear that in relations with the United States and the collective West, much is determined by their reaction to Russia's demands for security guarantees. But since this story is unlikely to end with some kind of breakthrough, we will expect the concept of a besieged fortress, in which we all find ourselves, which means that we cannot expect some kind of democratization in the country, or neutralization.

Moreover, it is quite obvious that since the president's press conference was criticized against the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, related to the party's position on vaccination and quar-coding, it is clear that the Communist Party will remain under pressure.

There will be few elections this year. Probably the key and most noticeable ones are municipal in Moscow. But here pressure on the Communist Party of the Russian Federation can backfire, strengthen the position of the Communist Party, it can become a beneficiary, because here it looks like the main opposition party and the beneficiary of the protest vote.

From the point of view of the economy, the main question that may be asked this year is whether it will be possible to keep the price level and what will happen with the growth of incomes of the population. At the press conference, it was sounded that a stake is being made on three development tools: digitalization – I completely agree, increasing labor productivity – who is against it, and infrastructure projects. But they are troubling because these projects often do not create jobs for Russians. The infrastructure is being built by guest workers, who eventually transfer money abroad. That is, the allocation of money for infrastructure projects does not mean that there will be an increase in the income of the population. And the sounded positive assessment of the Central Bank's policy says that tough monetary policy is considered correct. This means that we are talking about curbing the growth of incomes or pensions, so as not to unwind inflation. I wish there was a middle ground.

With regard to politics. It is clear that it is important to implement the law on a unified system of organizing power. It is very interesting how effectively the new system will be built, how the regions will react to it, because the country is diverse, it is difficult to sew everyone using the same patterns or to heal according to the same recipes. In fact, we have completed the transition from federalism to a centralized unitary state. Now the federal authorities are responsible for everything. Relatively speaking, a power vertical has been built in which it is impossible to push everything onto bad mayors or bad governors, it is impossible to appoint switchmen, because this is a unified system of public power. At the head is the president. How this will affect the work of the authorities is an interesting question.

An equally interesting question is whether political competition will develop in our country. Or criticism of the Communist Party, etc. says that it is coming to an end, because it is not the time to compete with each other, when it is necessary to unite and unite in the face of pressure on Russia from outside. In addition, the regions were given the opportunity to abandon the proportional-majority system in favor of the majority system, and to reduce the proportion of party lists, or even abandon them altogether. That is, will it not finally finish off the party system of Russia.

Well, as for the long-term planning, which the president spoke about. It seems to me that there is a big problem with the image of the future. And the next year could be devoted to finding or promoting an image of a real future that can be trusted, which will return people to the optimism lost during the pandemic.

And again, I would like to believe that the pandemic will end this year, because it affects literally everything. After all, for example, the pandemic was the reason for the introduction of three-day and electronic voting. At the same time, it is important to understand that people no longer believe so much in the value of stability, since some already have nothing to lose, and the demand for change, one way or another, is growing. The question is how the government will respond to this request. The nightingale is not fed with fables. How much money has been invested in raising wealth is interesting, but people are interested in how much money is in their wallets and what prices are in stores.

– Decisive actions by Russia to ensure its security in the direction of Ukraine. This will be the main event that will largely determine the future fate. This is an event on the scale of the one that happened in 2014. It is most likely that Russia will recognize the DPR and LPR, and will deploy its troops there as a guarantee of security. Will it recognize the DPR and LPR according to the version of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, or according to the version of Crimea – that is, recognition, and in a few days acceptance into Russia, will it recognize them within the current borders, or within the boundaries of the current Donetsk and Luhansk regions? But for this it will be necessary to defeat the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But these are completely different events.

Either it will be only the DPR and LPR, or the North Crimean Canal will also be unblocked, which is quite logical: if the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is defeated, why not carry out the unblocking of Crimea. If control is taken not only over Mariupol, but also over Kherson, then the question arises why not take control over the entire coast (Ukrainian – auth .) Of the Black Sea and go to Transnistria in order to resolve this problem. And that means that Odessa goes to Russia one way or another. And if Odessa leaves, then why leave Kharkov? In which, if there is a free referendum, 80% will vote for reunification with Russia.

How much the armed forces will be used, how much the West will be included, how strong the sanctions will be, these are the main events that will determine the future fate of Russia. The lack of tough action, after such an ultimatum, which Putin presented, will also have serious consequences.

The influence of elections and party processes is 2-3 orders of magnitude less. The modern Russian party system functions normally, a small part of the opposition is fixed within the framework of the completely non-radical parties of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the SR, and the Liberal Democratic Party. Events will take place there. First, there is an attack on the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – a conflict has arisen with the leadership of the party. In addition, a new type of party has been created – New People. This is a cyborg party, an artificial education. Now, according to the version of such a cyborg, a combination of digital technologies and living people, they will try to reformat other parties as well. Now the reformatting of the SR is clearly taking place, a new group has been introduced there, mainly political strategists, with the help of which this will be done. The same is the Liberal Democratic Party, with Lebedev's departure they will try to seize the moment. Plus the Communist Party of the Russian Federation will also be reformatted. These processes will be very active. To what extent it will be possible, I do not know.

The influence of covid as a factor will increase. This is due to the fact that the antwaxers managed to defeat the authorities, they were forced to yield. Maria Shukshina has more subscribers than Margarita Simonyan, and almost like Vladimir Solovyov. The authorities wanted to introduce quar codes on transport, but there was such a powerful attack on the deputies that they broke down: spare us, this is another decision, like raising the retirement age, we will not be forgiven. I don’t know what they will do. Maybe the decoy Cossacks will lead the anti-Vasser movement, or maybe they will be banned, or they will establish a dialogue with them, create places for them in the Public Chambers. This is perhaps the first time that some social groups have been able to defeat the authorities in recent years. People are tired, the problem will be very difficult to solve.

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Swearing with the President: How the White House’s Journalism Pool Works

American freedom of speech

It hasn't been long since the White House press briefings resembled a real war between US President Trump and journalists. The head of state called the reporters “enemies of the people” and creators of fake news. In response, he was called a “liar.” However, the relations of the US presidents with the media have never been smooth. How the White House presidential pool is structured, what “pitfalls” accompany the work of journalists covering the activities of the head of the United States – this is our material.

Photo: Press Service of the White House

From the gates of the White House to the press center

Even people far from political spheres know that the White House has a press corps, a group of journalists and media representatives whose tasks include covering the activities of the US president, events at the presidential residence and information briefings. Hardly any film about big American politics today is complete without scenes of journalists asking uncomfortable questions to the president or his press secretary. But it wasn't always this way.

Historically, for much of the 19th century, newspaper reporters focused primarily on the work of Congress. Of course, sometimes American presidents gave interviews, or more often their secretaries could talk to journalists. For example, under President Grover Cleveland, William “Fatty” Price became the first reporter to visit the White House regularly for information – though he stood outside the gate and waited to ask outgoing visitors about the news.

In short, special there was no press group to cover what was happening in the White House.

The White House Press Service took up its first duties at the presidential residence in the early 1900s. Legend has it that President Theodore Roosevelt noticed a group of correspondents looking for commentators in the rain and invited them to the White House.

Since then, over the years, representatives of the press have expanded their presence and influence in the residence of the American head of state.

Teddy Roosevelt's main innovation in relations between the press and the president is believed to be that he often met with correspondents directly ( in addition to his secretary's daily briefings). Reporters gathered around him, and the President spoke to them – he said something not for recording, but something for publication.

These meetings were not like press conferences: the president “courted” specific reporters and played up their vanity by meeting small groups of journalists in an attempt to generate favorable press coverage for himself. And if the result was unacceptable for the president, then Roosevelt refused to give correspondents access. But time passed – and the press gradually won positions in the presidential residence.

Under another Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, a new room was allocated for reporters in the White House, equipped with desks, typewriters, direct dial telephone with offices of telegraph agencies, and also card and chess tables.

Today, press- the White House secretary or deputy usually gives a briefing to journalists on weekdays in the James S. Brady Hall, which seats about fifty reporters. Each seat there is assigned to a specific media outlet, with the most famous organizations occupying the first two rows. Reporters who are not assigned a specific seat may stand up to attend the briefing.

And the first presidential press conference was held in March 1913 in the Oval Office under Woodrow Wilson. Subsequently, until 1969, media communications with the head of the United States and general press conferences took place in various locations, including the State Department Hall and the East Hall of the White House.

More than a hundred years ago, in 1914 – after rumors began to circulate among reporters that a committee of the United States Congress would select journalists who might attend Wilson's press conferences – the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) was formed. This organization operates independently of the White House. Among the most important issues she deals with are the grading process, access to the president, and physical conditions in the White House press briefing rooms.

The most high-profile event of the Association is considered the annual dinner of the White House correspondents, which is traditionally attended by the president, which is widely covered in the media. Curiously, until 1962, this dinner was open to men only, although the WHCA included women. At the insistence of the famous journalist Helen Thomas, President Kennedy refused to attend the dinner unless the ban on women was lifted.

But Donald Trump, who fought with the press, not only skimped on participating in the White House Correspondents Association dinners, but even in April 2019, he ordered that no one from the administration should go there.

When a new US president is elected, some news organizations change their correspondents, most often for a reporter tasked with covering the new president during the election campaign. For example, after the 2008 presidential campaign, ABC News moved Jake Tupper, who had followed Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, to the position of White House correspondent.

And another interesting point: any person engaged in lobbying or PR activities is subject to exclusion from the Association. The same applies to those who have been hired directly or indirectly by any stock exchange, trading council or similar organization to buy or sell any securities or commodities.

The pool is a pool

When talking about journalists covering the activities of the President of the United States, the expression” press pool “is often used.

So, the pool (that is, translated into Russian “pool”) of the White House journalists got its name from the premises that used to be a swimming pool, built in the thirties for Franklin Roosevelt.

Under President Richard Nixon, due to the growing number of representatives of the media, the pool room was converted into a briefing room. This was seen as an acknowledgment of the essential role that the media play in the presidency of the United States.

In 2000, the facility was renamed the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in honor of a White House press secretary who was wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

And in December 2005, the White House announced its intention to renovate an inadequate briefing room and cramped press office premises. The journalists have concerns about this: whether they will be allowed to work in the presidential residence. But the White House convention center was used as a temporary venue for press conferences. As early as July 2007, President Bush Jr. reopened the refurbished hall and held his first official press conference in the new briefing hall the day after the release of the Iraqi situation report.

Photo: Press Service of the White House

The cost of modernizing the premises was about $ 8.5 million. Each reporter's place was estimated at $ 1,500. As for President Roosevelt's own former swimming pool, after renovation it was given over to a computer server room …

Reporters go through an approval process to enter the presidential briefing room. First of all, the reporter must be approved by the Standing Committee of Correspondents, the association of reporters that approves the press to enter Congress. Journalists must also certify the credibility of the media for which they work and be verified by the Secret Service. Once a reporter receives a pass, he can renew it every year without going through the approval process again.

White House journalists include a narrower group of reporters who travel wherever the president goes, relaying information on behalf of a wider media group This narrow pool of defenses must always be with the president to protect (as the name suggests) The media from missing unexpected important information about the president.

This pool typically includes two print reporters, one television producer, one radio reporter, three news agency reporters, a cameraman with a video camera, and several photographers. Journalists on duty in the “protective pool” report in turns and share their stories with other members of the broader pool. For example, a TV producer from ABC News, who is in the pool that day, sends reports and videos to all five TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News).

The fact is that due to for problems with a place or for security reasons, not all journalists who want to cover the president's activities can always do this. In addition, constant coverage of the president would be too costly for some media outlets.

As stated in Helen Thomas's book The Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press and How It Failed the Public ”, such a press pool was created under President Eisenhower by White House Press Secretary James Hagerty. And the sense in the work of such a group of journalists, who always accompany the president, is great. For example, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, it was the members of the “protective pool” who were able to quickly report the tragedy in Dallas. Reporters from this pool witnessed the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981. And on September 11, 2001, the “protective pool” located next to George W. Bush was able to report on the president's reaction to the terrorist attack and the measures taken for his safety.

So when the US president goes on a trip, he is accompanied diverse “entourage”, which includes a group of his senior assistants, advisers, speechwriters and others. However, 13 members of the media, known as the “defensive press pool,” also occupy seats on the presidential board of Air Force One, representing the world of news agencies, print newspapers, news sites, broadcast television and radio, and photographers.

These journalists should send out a series of short, meaningful reports throughout the trip to those not involved. The White House Correspondents Association manages the rotation of news organizations that travel at their own expense. It is, however, clearly understood that pool members should share all the material they collect, without saving anything they saw or heard for their exclusive material. Competition by competition – but in this case, debt is above all.

Haste, stress and force majeure

Members of a narrow pool of journalists traveling with the President of the United States are expected to send their reports promptly from the scene (usually via iPhone) – and the accuracy of quotes and descriptions in these posts is of utmost importance.

“And it's often done in very difficult circumstances,” Mark Landler, who has been the White House correspondent since 2011, told The New York Times. “Get in and out of the motorcade, sometimes get in and out of helicopters, and rush to finish your message before being on board Air Force One.”

Photo: Press Service of the White House

In general, trips abroad with the President of the United States are only seemingly “an amazing privilege.” They often mean fatigue and a grueling struggle for correspondents to get information. Reporters – some with heavy equipment – sometimes have to rush from place to place to capture minutes, sometimes seconds of presidential meetings. Moreover, in order to gain access to presidential events, journalists have to compete with the foreign press and representatives of local authorities.

Mary Bruce of ABC spoke about the presidential pool experience during Barack Obama's trip to Panama. Not only did the American journalists who came to cover the president's visit had to elbow their elbows through aggressive media competitors, at some point they entered into a fierce clash with the Panamanian authorities. Pool journalists had just jumped out of the press vans at the end of the president’s long motorcade to the side door of the hotel where the president was about to deliver his civil society speech, and found the door slammed in front of us. Representatives of the American delegation shouted to the Panamanian colleagues inside to open the entrance – but to no avail. It was only after several phone calls that the correspondents from the pool were finally allowed in so that they could capture the last few minutes of Obama's speech.

Despite the fact that most of the day during the travels of the President of the United States for the members of the pool is a crazy rush and a rush, journalists also have to be patient and be able to wait until they launch to this or that event. And it also happens that the reporters who are hungry for the day are just getting ready to eat, as the team should rush back to the buses. You have to grab your equipment and run.

Such work itself is fraught with stress, and it happens that unforeseen circumstances arise “from above”.

During President Trump's trip to Paris in the summer of 2017, The New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman worked in the “defensive pool”. She sent 20 emails to the rest of the print media during the day and a half she spent with the president on the plane and in France.

As reported by The New York Times, during the air flight, the American president sometimes goes to the seated in the back parts of the plane to the press to chat with reporters. According to custom, such communication is usually carried out in the “off-record” mode and is mainly reduced to jokes, lasting no more than half an hour.

But on the way to Paris, Trump stayed with reporters much longer than expected, spending more than an hour talking to reporters before returning to his private office. The next day, during the first bilateral talks with French President Macron, Maggie Haberman tried to ask a question. In response, Trump asked the journalist why she did not use what he said the night before. Haberman explained that it was not for the record – to which the president said, “No, you can use it.”

Thinking that the president was speaking “off the record,” Maggie Haberman and her fellow pooling colleagues did not prepare reports on what Trump said. The White House, which had a stenographer on the plane, provided the pool with a transcript of the conversation with the president, but two important quotes were missing. After asking the White House to amend the transcript to include the missing comments, Haberman supplemented the news with her own notes. In general, the journalists of the pool cannot avoid force majeure circumstances.

“Rude, terrible person”

In general, as you know, President Trump did not have the best relations with the press. Moreover, this became obvious even before he came to the White House, during the election campaign.

“At first it was an open question how this would all work, because the Trump campaign had such an antagonistic relationship with the press,” White House reporter Mark Landler told The New York Times. “The press corps has been concerned about everything from the beginning: the weekly briefing, setting up the briefing room, the workspace we have in the White House, and the swap pool system. All these things were originally in the air. ”

The Trump administration was subject to more stringent conditions under the Trump administration than under his predecessors. For example, the president's frequent golf trips on weekends have become a problem for reporters. “The White House almost never tells the pool what it’s doing when you’re sitting four and a half hours in its own golf club, and they never publish a list of the people it plays golf with,” says Mark Landler. By contrast, the Barack Obama administration usually confirmed that the president was playing golf, and usually provided a list of his partners.

By the way, about golf and Trump. As USA Today wrote about the press covering the life of the head of state in 2018, “when you are on duty at the pool in Florida as part of the White House pool in Florida, most of the daily reports on the president's activities are connected with waiting in vans while President Trump moves between Mar-a- Lago and its own golf course.

One such day, a variety was introduced into the boring life of reporters – the driver of the Poole bus had a weapon. What he, however, himself informed the agents of the Secret Service, discovering that he had forgotten to leave the firearm in his private car. Although the driver legally owned a firearm, all the drivers were replaced – and a White House employee drove the car with the journalists.

But this is still nonsense. Fighting broke out between Trump and the media he did not like. The victim of this “war” was, for example, CNN's chief correspondent in the White House, Jim Acosta, who staged a fierce polemic with the head of state. The journalist first began to criticize Trump's use of the word “invasion” to describe a caravan of migrants heading to the United States from Central America. And when Acosta tried to ask a question about the investigation into alleged Russian “interference” in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump tried to stop the correspondent by telling him several times “enough” and “put down the microphone.”

It was reported that the employee of Bely At home, she tried to snatch the microphone from the journalist's hands. Acosta refused to give it away, telling her at some point: “Forgive me, ma'am.”

Trump stepped down from the podium and then came back to say, “CNN should be ashamed that you work for them. You are a rude, awful person. ” When one of the journalists tried to defend Acosta, calling him a “diligent reporter,” Trump responded to the audience laughing: “Well, I'm not a big fan either.”

Hours after the press conference, the Trump administration suspended Acosta's access to the presidential residence. Press secretary Sarah Huckerby Sanders said access was denied because he “raised his hand against a young woman just trying to do her job.” The journalist himself called this statement a “lie.” Later, the Secret Service did not allow the journalist to enter the White House …

And in February 2017, Donald Trump staged a demarche by holding a closed press briefing, but did not invite representatives of the media that particularly annoyed him (CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed and Politico).

In fairness, it is worth noting that there were conflicts between American presidents and the press before Trump. For example, Richard Nixon banned Washington Post journalists from entering the White House after the newspaper initiated the Watergate scandal. Nixon is said to have even threatened to fire his spokesman, Ron Ziegler, if he ever allowed a Washington Post reporter to attend a presidential briefing.

For a more recent example, in 2008, Barack Obama kicked three conservative newspaper reporters from his plane during the election campaign. Formally, this was motivated by the fact that there were a limited number of seats on board for representatives of the press, who were supposed to monitor the last four days of the politician's presidential campaign. True, at the same time, they were allowed to remain non-political media, such as Glamor magazine. In response to criticism from bypassed publications, the Obama team said they allowed other media outlets like Fox News and The Wall Street Journal to stay, even though they criticized Obama.

The rise to power of Trump's antagonist Democrat Biden has become a “healing balm” for many White House journalists. But he also did not provide an idyll. In early December 2021, the Washington Post published an article by columnist Dana Milbank entitled: “The media treat Biden just as badly, and even worse than Trump.” The author of the sensational column wrote: “My colleagues in the media are accomplices in the murder of democracy.”

In the White House, Milbank's article was met with approval at the highest level, writes the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, a few days later, it was revealed that the White House had dispatched a team of three officials to speak to the press and contribute to better coverage of the Biden administration. The work was prompted by concerns that Biden was being treated unfairly, CNN correspondent Oliver Darcy told CNN. The main argument that was put forward: the country's economy is in much better condition than last year. ”

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White House: telephone conversation between Putin and Biden lasted 50 minutes

The telephone conversation between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin has ended, AFP reports citing the White House.

It is noted that the conversation between the presidents of the United States and Russia lasted 50 minutes.

Earlier, the press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov said that the telephone conversation began on time.

As previously reported, the beginning of the conversation was scheduled at 23:30 on December 30.

Источник www.mk.ru

White House reveals details of new talks between Putin and Biden

The conversation between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, which was announced on December 29, will take place at the request of the former, the United States is concerned about the presence of Russian forces near Ukraine, the presidents may also discuss Iran's nuclear program, Reuters reported, citing the official in the Biden administration.

The material is being supplemented.

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“The dead no longer resist”: how Russia gained freedom of speech

Mikhail Fedotov: “I would liken the law” On Mass Media “to a broken in many places and badly burnt banner on an undefeated barricade”

“Censorship of the mass media … as well as the imposition of a ban on the dissemination of messages and materials … is not allowed …” 30 years ago, on December 27, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted – and the President immediately signed – the law “On the Mass Media “. One of the authors of the law, ex-head of the HRC Mikhail Fedotov, tells in an interview with MK about how difficult the process of his birth was, what tests is being subjected to freedom of speech today.

Photo: Alexey Merinov

Fedotov Mikhail Alexandrovich, was born in 1949 in Moscow. In 1972 he graduated from the law faculty of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov. In 1976-1990, he taught at the All-Union Correspondence Law Institute (now the OE Kutafin Moscow State Law University).

In September 1990, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Press and Information of Russia. From December 1992 to August 1993 – Minister of Press and Information of the Russian Federation. 1993-1998 – Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. 2010–2019 – Chairman of the Council under the President of the Russian Federation for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation.

From 1998 to the present – Secretary of the Union of Journalists of Russia. Doctor of Law, Honored Lawyer of Russia.

Photo: ru.wikipedia.org

” With this project, you will be kicked out of your job at best, and jailed at worst. “

– Alive! For one simple reason: the dead no longer resist. And alive still resists. I would liken the Law on Mass Media to a broken banner in many places and a badly burnt banner on an undefeated barricade. This barricade is freedom of the media. No matter how they squeeze it, no matter how they try to cut it, it continues to resist.

– Resistance is expressed in the fact that there are different-minded media. All attempts to destroy free media only end in more and more of them. As with a puddle, which they try to trample with boots: it splashes, and many small puddles turn out.

– Let's say right away that the Russian Law on Mass Media is a direct descendant of the USSR Law “On the Press and Other Mass Media”. A descendant who has surpassed his parent. Well, the authors of both laws are the same. All the same “three heroes” or a company “for three”: Yuri Baturin, Mikhail Fedotov, Vladimir Entin. This was our personal initiative. And the reason, as often happens in our life, was the barbecue.

It was the spring of 1988. Yura Baturin and I decided to make a barbecue at the dacha. And while cutting firewood, I say: “Yura, have you heard that a plan of legislative work has recently been approved and there is a line like this:“ The USSR Law “On the Press and Other Mass Media”?

He says, “Yes, I know. Moreover, I even wrote a review of the official draft of this law ”. “Well, how,” I ask, “do you have an official project?” – “Nightmare!”. I say: “I see. Maybe we'll write our own project? ” He says: “Let's try!” project. My wife warned: “With this project, at best, you will be kicked out of your job, and at worst, they will be jailed.” But, thank God, neither one nor the other happened.

Two years later, on June 12, 1990, our project became the USSR Law “On the Press and Other Mass Media”. And after another one and a half, the law of the Russian Federation “On the Mass Media” was adopted.

Russian law, of course, is much more democratic than the union one. And it is much more technologically advanced. Allied was to a large extent a declaration. When it was adopted, the power of the Communist Party was still preserved in all its might. There were both the KGB and Glavlit, the main Soviet censorship agency.

Now there is none of this – neither the CPSU, nor the Glavlit, nor the Soviet Union. And the law “On Mass Media” exists. And I think this is a very important bridgehead that we must defend. As Yuri Baturin rightly noted, speaking at the HSE at a conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the law “On Mass Media”, freedom of the media is the most important freedom. If it is not there, then we will not even know about the infringement of other freedoms.

– In a sense, yes. I began to deal with this problem in my second year of the Faculty of Law of Moscow State University. Right from the middle of the second year I was kicked out of the day department for “standing near the building” of the Moscow City Court, where our fellow dissidents – Alik Ginzburg, Yuri Galansky, Alexei Dobrovolsky and Vera Lashkova were tried. It was the beginning of 1968.

I managed to get hooked on the evening department. But to study in the evening, you had to work. I was lucky: they hired me as a reporter for the information department in the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva. Then I wrote a term paper on the topic: “Lenin on freedom of the press.” Then – “Lenin and the KPSS on freedom of the press”, then – “Actual problems of freedom of the press in the USSR.”

In 1976 I defended my Ph.D. thesis: “Freedom of the press – the constitutional right of Soviet citizens.” And in 1989 – his doctoral dissertation: “The Mass Media as an Institution of Socialist Democracy.” You can say that I am a singer of one song.

The interest of Baturin and Entin was also far from accidental. Both then worked at the Institute of State and Law. Yura dealt with, among other things, the history of tsarist censorship, Volodya specialized in legal regulation of the media in capitalist countries.

So the Law on Mass Media was written not by some profane, but by experts. We were – and still are – professionals in this area.

“We brought up to 50 brochures to the convention at one time”

– The miracle, firstly, was that such a law appeared for the first time in the history of Russia. Throughout our thousand-year history, there has been no law that would guarantee freedom of the media. I would not just proclaim – there were such declarations – but contained a mechanism for implementation: clearly explained how mass media are created, who journalists are, what their rights and obligations are, and so on.

It was also a miracle that the law was a draft written by three unknown jurists. Because the Central Committee of the CPSU prepared a completely different draft law of the USSR “On the press and other mass media”.

Another miracle is that we were able to publish our project as a separate brochure. We were lucky because it was at this time that Soviet publishing houses were allowed to publish books and brochures at the expense of the authors. Well, first of all, I meant literary works, of course. It never occurred to anyone that some crazy people would decide to publish the author's bill.

Glavlit was, of course, categorically against the publication of our project, but with the assistance of people who were good about our initiative – in particular, an assistant President of the USSR Shakhnazarov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Shevardnadze – managed to ensure that the censorship surrendered.

We were allowed to publish a brochure with a circulation of five thousand copies. Then such a circulation seemed scanty. And, as I understand it, our opponents thought: “Well, okay. Let them amuse their pride. ”

And we were not going to amuse our pride. We had a different, very specific goal. Yura and I had passes to the First Congress of People's Deputies (held from May 25 to June 9, 1989 in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. – “MK” ). It was forbidden to carry any briefcases or bags there, but no one was searched. Therefore, my wife sewed additional inner pockets into our jackets. We carried up to 50 brochures at a time. And they handed out, handed out …

However, at that time it was impossible to name our project unknown to anyone. It has already been printed by many youth newspapers. It all started in October 1988 – with the Estonian newspaper Spordileht, “Sports News”.

– Yes, in Estonian. Spordileht belonged to the Union of Journalists of the Estonian USSR, and with these guys I had good, friendly relations. They immediately agreed to publish our project, explaining that censorship in relation to publications in national languages ​​is not so strict. And then the principle worked: that once Glavlit passed, other newspapers could easily reprint. Censorship permission was no longer required in this case.

– Quite right.

– We had many allies: Boris Yeltsin, Andrei Sakharov, Gennady Burbulis, Yuri Afanasyev, Mikhail Poltoranin … I name only those to whom we handed over our project from hand to hand. Nikolai Fedorov, whom we knew very well from graduate school, was appointed chairman of the working group on the law on the press. We were invited to join the working group – and things went well.

– The Union law passed with very great difficulties. In the working group, our opponents were representatives of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Glavlit, GLAVPUR (Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and the Navy of the USSR. – “MK” ), The KGB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs … All these were people for whom the word “democracy” was not, to put it mildly, unambiguously positive. Therefore, each position had to be defended with battle.

There were often situations when we got together, looked at the text that was discussed at the last meeting of the working group, and saw there norms that were not agreed upon. We say: “Wait a minute, we agreed on something else.” – “Oh yes? Well, it must have been confused by the typists. ” This is how we learned that “politically literate typists” were working behind our back.

And when the law passed the first reading, the deputies were given a different version altogether. It was pure forgery. The text repeated our project verbatim, with the exception of a few subtle amendments. But they changed the meaning of the bill 180 degrees.

I remember they asked me: “Does this project look like yours?” I replied: “Of course, like a dead person – to a living one.” For example, in our project it was said that the founders of the media, in addition to parties and public associations, can be “citizens of the USSR.” In the revised version, all the words were the same, but without the word “citizens.”

– No! There was a big scandal at the meeting of the Supreme Soviet. And as a result, the option was voted with a citizen as the founder of the media. There were many other intrigues, and petty scams, and funny stories … In fact, how this law was adopted is a good plot for a television series. And the fact that it all ended in the end with the victory of freedom over censorship was, of course, a real miracle.

Mikhail Fedotov, Vladimir Entin, Yuri Baturin, 1989. PHOTO: Journalist magazine, 1989, # 3

“When I rushed to the White House, half of the amendments had already been adopted”

– Yes, there were much fewer problems with him. We already had the “small land” we had conquered – the Union law. It was much easier to launch an offensive from this bridgehead. In addition, we wrote the Russian draft not on the balcony, but in my office at the Ministry of Press of Russia – I was then Deputy Minister.

That is, our initiative author's draft was almost official. No other simply existed. Therefore, we wrote it with great pleasure, realizing that we can count on the support of the parliament and the president.

The first reading of the law generally passed without a hitch, without a hitch. But when it was accepted in the second, final reading, problems still arose. The discussion was scheduled for December 19, at 4 pm. It was by this time that I planned to come to the White House for a plenary session of parliament.

However, Khasbulatov changed the agenda. Somewhere around noon, an alarmed Igor Eremin, chairman of the parliamentary committee on mass media, phoned me: “Come soon, there is a discussion of the draft law“ On mass media ”. I already spoke. We started voting on the amendments. ”

When I rushed to the White House, half of the amendments had already been adopted. And including very dangerous amendments. When the law passed through the parliamentary media committee, they were all rejected. And then suddenly they began to pass.

For example, the amendment introduced by the Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov. According to our project, the journalist and the editorial office are obliged to keep the source of information secret – except for cases when the request to disclose the source came from the court. In the amendment, the court was supplemented by the prosecutor, the investigator and the person conducting the inquiry.

That is, the question was relegated practically to the level of a precinct. Imagine, a district police officer comes to the editorial office and says: “Well, quickly answer, where did you get this information from? Who gave it to you? ” Well, what then is the price of the secrecy of the source of information? A penny!

The second dangerous amendment concerned hidden audio and video recordings. We had an article that said under what conditions it is possible to distribute materials made with a hidden camera. There were certain requirements that had to be met.

But the deputy Viktor Veremchuk introduced an amendment, the meaning of which was reduced to the fact that the hidden recording is prohibited. Any. Video, audio, photo – you can't do anything. Forbidden – that's all. And this amendment also passed.

We, naturally, were outraged by these amendments. We published an open letter to the deputies and asked Yeltsin to veto the law. We were supported not only by the democratic community, but also by practically all our fellow journalists. It was that rare case when corporate solidarity worked.

Yeltsin then publicly stated that if the Supreme Soviet did not return the law to its original state, he would not sign it. Under this pressure, the Russian parliament returned to considering the law and removed these two amendments.

There were also amendments that were not dangerous, but rather stupid. For example, the one according to which erotic publications must be sold in sealed bags. This amendment was also adopted. But I managed to get the deputies to return to it and clarify: in transparent packages.

If it were not for the word “transparent”, a loophole would be created for fraudsters. You buy a Playboy magazine at a newsstand, get a sealed envelope, bring it home, open it, and there – the Pravda newspaper.

– Then there were also many guardians of morality. But society is diverse, people have different interests. Some people like Playboy magazine, some don't. If you don't like it, buy the Pravda newspaper and other publications. The choice should be free.

Parliament returned to discussing the media law on the last day of its autumn session, December 27, 1991. The agenda was huge, and the turn came to the law “On Mass Media” at about half past nine in the evening. The deputies were exhausted, everyone was in a suitcase New Year's mood … And this saved the freedom of the Russian press.

Mikhail Fedotov, Vladimir Entin, Yuri Baturin, 2019. A PHOTO from the personal archive of Mikhail Fedotov

“No one can be sure that they will not be recognized as a foreign agent”

– Let me remind you that, answering your first question, I compared the law “On Mass Media” with a flag pierced in several places. So, the rule about foreign agents is just one of these holes. Initially, there was nothing of the kind in the law. This amendment, which was introduced in 2017 and amended in 2019, shows that its authors were completely unaware of the law they amended.

– No, I have no information. But at our conference at the Higher School of Economics (dedicated to the anniversary of the law “On the Media.” >Generic concept here: “mass media”. Species – “foreign media”. What is “foreign media”? This is written in the law – however, it applies to print media. This is a periodical printed publication that is not registered in Russia and which is either financed from abroad, or the editorial office is located abroad.

Further: you take the concept of a foreign media and add a criterion there that allows you to single out from the whole multitude of foreign media those that we want to stigmatize. It is easy to do this, guided by Article 55 of the Law “On Mass Media”. It says here that if in some country discriminatory rules are applied against Russian journalists, then the Russian government has the right to impose retaliatory restrictions.

Let's remember how the history of foreign media agents began. It all started with the unfriendly actions of the American administration, which forced Russia Today to register as a foreign agent. In principle, in order to respond to this step, it was not even necessary to change the law “On Mass Media”. You could get off with a government decree or presidential decree.

And it was possible to make amendments and determine that a foreign media outlet will be recognized as performing the functions of a foreign agent if it is financed by a foreign state, on whose territory the Russian media are discriminated against.

That's all. It's very simple: they discriminate against the Russian media in the United States – we are retaliating against the American media funded from the state budget.

– No, this is the sphere of international relations. The principle of reciprocity is at work here. You expelled two diplomats from us – we expelled two diplomats from you. This principle has been established for millennia, no one has canceled it. You can use it, you can – not use it. Sometimes it is better not to use it. We can recall the story of Russian diplomats who were expelled from America by Obama. Putin reacted in a non-standard way: he invited the children of American diplomats to the Kremlin for the New Year tree. This is much more elegant than a mirrored answer.

– Yes, with the media it turned out not at all elegant. The norms on foreign media-foreign agents are vague, contradictory, legally illiterate. Among other things, the principle of administrative discretion applies here, that is, administrative discretion: whoever they want is recognized as a foreign media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent. This is the very same legal uncertainty that has been repeatedly condemned by the Constitutional Court.

The muse of legislation requires mathematical precision and does not tolerate fuss. Here everything is subject to the logic of law. If you construct a rule from vague or inappropriate legal concepts, then it will not work properly. In this case, our entire institution of foreign agents – and even more so foreign media-foreign agents – is a legal gibberish.

I know how the head of state understands the task of this institution: to prevent foreign interference in internal affairs. But the execution turned out to be inadequate to the goal. As a result, no one can be sure that they will not be recognized by the foreign media performing the functions of a foreign agent. And this is lawlessness, arbitrariness.

– For, in my opinion, a whole year, if not more, these norms were applied adequately, as planned, in relation to the American media, financed from the state budget: Voice of America, Radio Liberty and all its projects … Everything is clear and logical here, including from the point of view of Article 55 of the Law on Mass Media. But then the dimensionlessness of the norm affected, and the circle of foreign media-foreign agents began to expand and expand … Why, where?

– Absurd, of course. Could it have been done normally, competently? Can. I have already named one of the options. It is also important to note that neither a legal entity nor an individual can be recognized as a foreign media-inotent, since the media, according to the law, is a form of periodic dissemination of mass information.

For example, Lev Ponomarev (recognized as a foreign media, acting as a foreign agent. – “MK” ) well, it cannot be a form of dissemination of mass information. He is an individual, he is a subject of law, and form is always an object. For a qualified lawyer, these are elementary things.

If all this is observed, you can make a completely worthy law. The same applies to the institution of NPOs performing the functions of a foreign agent. Here, too, everything can be done reasonably. Take the Civil Code – those rules that describe agency relationships, which define what an agent is, what a principal is. Link this with political activity – and you will get a completely operational concept in which there will be no uncertainty.

When individuals or organizations lobby for the interests of a foreign state, receiving monetary reward for this, they are certainly agents of this the state. And when, for example, an organization defends the rights of Russian prisoners who are beaten and raped in colonies, then, even if it receives foreign funding, what kind of a foreign agent is it?

Is it acting in the interests of a foreign power? No, she acts in the interests of the citizens of our country. Albeit with foreign money. Let's say thanks to those who give this money.

– Of course. Everything should be built in a single legal logic. And now all this is absolute legal nonsense.

Cover of the brochure with the text of the draft law, published by its authors in 1989.

“No country should be proud of the destruction of freedom of the media”

– A lot, that's right. But besides that, there is also preliminary censorship. For example, videos posted on YouTube video hosting are checked for copyright compliance, for compliance with community rules, that is, the internal rules of the Network. If the resource algorithm concludes that you have violated these rules, your video will be blocked.

I can tell you that I myself suffered from this. I wanted to post a video on my YouTube account of how the whole family bathed our newborn grandson. The first bath is a very important thing in the life of every person. But YouTube blocked this video.

– As they say, there are two big differences. A social network is not a newspaper, but a fence on which we hang our ads, posters, pictures, notes. Yes, the owner of the fence may require that they do not write on it with obscenities. But as for everything else, he cannot interfere. In any case, it shouldn't.

Answering your question, I will say that the concept of censorship, which is given in the Law on Mass Media, certainly needs to be adjusted. But I ask our deputies not to rush into this. I can guess how they will clarify. No, if so, then you better not.

– You know, here is the same story about which Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy wrote in his novel “Anna Karenina”: “All happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” All unhappy media are unhappy in their own way. Everyone has their own problems, their own Achilles' heels, their own scores with the authorities. I don't see any universal solution to this problem.

But the fact that the state is objectively interested in protecting independent media is quite obvious to me. Therefore, I would very much like the respected Roskomnadzor in his annual public reports to talk about how it protects freedom of the media in our country, how it defends the rights of journalists, how it helps independent media.

Today, to Unfortunately, nothing is written about it there. But the predecessor of Roskomnadzor was called the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Freedom of the Press and Mass Media.

– Well, if we allow our legislator to further worsen the law “On Mass Media”, he will do it. And if we force him to act in the opposite direction, then maybe we will succeed. In any case, I remember the behest of Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava: “Do not give up your efforts, maestro.” I don’t know if we are a maestro or not, but we don’t give up our efforts.

I don’t remember the Turkmen law right away, but I remember the Belarusian one quite well: there are much fewer guarantees of freedom of the media than in the Russian one. Unfortunately, almost nothing is left of freedom of the media in Belarus. And it was destroyed, including on the basis of this law. Russian law is much more liberal.

– Yes, despite all the “holes”. By the way, I would like to recall the words of Putin, said by him in the mid-2000s. He then proudly said that the Russian law “On Mass Media” is considered one of the most liberal in the world. I would very much like our law to regain this status. To be proud of democratic institutions is a legitimate pride. No country should be proud of the destruction of freedom of the media, especially a country that calls itself in the Constitution a democratic rule-of-law state.

Источник www.mk.ru

White House approves sale of Javelin ATGM system to Lithuania

The US authorities have approved a contract for the supply of Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Lithuania in the amount of $ 125 million. As specified in the agency for cooperation in the field of defense and security (part of the Pentagon), Vilnius sent additional requests for these systems, in total the country will receive 341 FGM-148F missiles and 30 Javelin ATGM command and launch units.

It is specified that the package will also include battery charging units, simulators and technical materials.

Javelin is an American portable anti-tank missile system (ATGM). Designed to destroy armored vehicles and low-flying low-speed targets (helicopters, UAVs, propeller-driven aircraft approaching landing).

Источник www.mk.ru

White House confirms Biden’s next term plans with Harris

White House: US President Joe Biden plans to run with Kamala Harris in 2024 By the 2024 elections, Biden will be 81 years old, but he does not intend to give up his intention to be re-elected

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

President of the United States Joe Biden still intends to run for the next presidential term, paired with Vice President Kamala Harris. According to CNN, this was stated by Deputy Press Secretary of the White House Karin Jean-Pierre.

“ I can't talk about the kind of conversations the vice president and the president have, I can only say & lt; … & gt; about what the president himself said: that he plans to participate in the presidential elections in 2024. I have nothing more to add to this', & mdash; said a spokesman for the presidential administration.

Jean-Pierre commented on an interview with Harris The Wall Street Journal, in which the Vice President of the United States said that she and Biden had not yet discussed whether he planned to run again. Harris explained that it is too early to think about it now, since only the first year of Biden's tenure in power is nearing the end. When asked, she suggested that Biden would run again, she replied, “I’ll be very honest: I don’t think about it, and we didn’t talk about it.”

Biden, 78, won the fall 2020 election, paired with Kamala Harris, a former California senator. Biden announced his plans to run for a second term back in March. By the 2024 elections, Biden will be 81. If he takes part in them and wins, he will renew his record, becoming the oldest US president in history for the second time. The Washington Post noted that not everyone in the Democratic Party supports Biden's new nomination due to a noticeable decrease in his rating, as well as his age.

Former President Donald Trump may become his potential rival in the 2024 elections. He has not yet stated unequivocally that he intends to again participate in the elections as a candidate for the highest office, but he said that he did not exclude such a possibility. In July, Trump, speaking about whether he plans to participate in the new presidential elections, said that he had already decided, but he would not disclose his decision yet. “ I know the answer, but I am not yet able to disclose it as it may affect campaign funding and other things. But I definitely know my answer, & raquo;, & mdash; said the ex-president then.

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Academician Rogov explained the results of the meeting between Putin and Biden: the tension will subside

Research Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada assessed the results of the Russian-American online summit

The first online summit in the history of Russian-American relations, talks between Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden via videoconference, completed. Initially, they did not expect a breakthrough from them, but they expected that this conversation would at least slightly defuse the current tense international situation to the limit – especially, of course, the situation around Ukraine. To what extent has this hope been justified? The scientific director of the Institute of the USA and Canada, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergey Rogov answers the questions of “MK”.

photo Council.gov.ru commons.wikimedia.org

The first information about the course and results of the meeting came from Washington. “President Biden expressed deep concern of the United States and our European allies about Russia's escalation of forces around Ukraine and made it clear that the United States and our allies will respond with decisive economic and other measures in the event of a military escalation,” the White House said in a statement. “President Biden reiterated his support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy. The two presidents instructed their teams to take follow-up action in this direction, the United States will do so in close coordination with allies and partners.

“The President of Russia, with specific examples, illustrated the destructive line of Kiev, aimed at the complete dismantling of the Minsk agreements and agreements reached in the” Normandy format “, expressed serious concern about Kiev's provocative actions against Donbass, – the Kremlin press service reported in turn. – Vladimir Putin … stressed that the responsibility should not be shifted onto the shoulders of Russia, since it is NATO that is making dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory and is building up its military potential at our borders. “

Sergei Mikhailovich, according to your feelings , did the Doomsday clock hand swing back today? Are there any reasons for optimism?

– Well, maybe not for optimism, but there is reason to conclude that there will probably be no further escalation of military tension. True, the wording regarding the instructions given by the two presidents to their subordinates is not very clear. What question? Here you can guess.

Speech, as far as one can judge, is one way or another about the Ukrainian crisis.

– But what exactly? About the Minsk Agreements, which Kiev refuses to fulfill? Is the US taking on the responsibility of pushing Kiev to implement these agreements? If so, then what do the Americans want in return? Well, maybe the withdrawal of part of the Russian troops. There is not yet enough information to understand what is hidden behind these phrases. But this kind of negotiations, when two leaders conduct a one-on-one conversation, do not always end with the disclosure of their content. It was hard to expect another option.

However, the very fact that instructions have been given to the teams is a positive sign. This means that the presidents did not quarrel, did not disperse like ships at sea, but decided to launch some kind of negotiation process. It is not a fact, of course, that this process will necessarily end successfully and will lead to the signing of some agreements. But this is in any case better than quarreling with each other.

Well, does the duration of the negotiations – more than two hours – say something? Or is he not talking about anything?

– Well, if the conversation was short, less than an hour, it would mean that there was nothing to talk about, that they were not going to discuss specific details. In two hours, you can talk about specifics. This is a good sign.

It is somewhat surprising that the Kremlin was in no hurry with its interpretation of the negotiations – unlike the White House, which spoke out almost instantly. Could it indicate that the conversation, shall we say, did not completely satisfy the Russian side?

– I don’t know. In principle, from an informational point of view, we generally tend to take our time. And sometimes we are just late. But I understand why Biden's team was in a hurry. This is geared towards an American audience. They were faced with the prospect of leaks that could lead to a scandal, to accuse Biden of retreating, capitulating, “blinking”. Consider, for example, what happened after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki. Then Trump his opponents almost gobbled up with bones. Apparently, given the bitter experience, Biden's entourage decided to forestall the “roll-forward”.

Источник www.mk.ru

White House responds to Putin’s demand for guarantees of non-expansion of NATO

Earlier, the Russian President made a proposal to start substantive negotiations on achieving legal guarantees of NATO's eastward expansion

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki not Russia. This was stated by the press secretary of the White House, Jen Psaki, reports The Washington Post.

“ Only NATO countries can decide who is a member of the alliance, not Russia. It is important to remember who is the provocateur in this situation, and it is not the United States or Ukraine, '' & mdash; she answered a journalist's question about Russia's demand for guarantees of non-expansion of the alliance.

She also added that the United States is actively consulting with its European partners and the US Congress on the build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders. “We know what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has done in the past. We see him facing difficulties in ordering the invasion [of Ukraine] in a short time, '', & mdash; she added.

On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed starting substantive negotiations on achieving legal guarantees of NATO's eastward expansion. According to him, Russia intends to seek “ reliable and long-term security guarantees '' and in negotiations with the United States and its allies will “ insist on the development of specific agreements. ''

In early December, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the decision on the degree of Ukraine's readiness to join NATO would be made by the members of the alliance, and Russia does not have the right to veto on this issue. Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine will be costly and entail serious political and economic consequences for Moscow, he said. In November, Stoltenberg also admitted that American nuclear weapons stationed in Europe could end up in Eastern European countries if Germany refuses to deploy them.

In early November, the Washington Post and Politico reported citing on its own sources and data from satellite images that Russia is building up troops on the border with Ukraine. Kiev initially denied the threat, but later Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported 100,000 Russian troops concentrated on the eastern borders.

In response, Putin said that the topic of the “ invasion '' Russian troops were raised in Ukraine at the beginning of the year, but the invasion itself has not happened yet. He also noted that he sees threats to those who live in the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR due to the movement of the Ukrainian armed forces near their territories.

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Источник rbc.ru

US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White House

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White HouseThe WorldNovember 18, 2021 · 10:45 AM EST

President Joe Biden waves towards the White House balcony in Washington, Nov. 17, 2021.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-Canada-Mexico
US President Joe Biden will host trilateral talks with Canada and Mexico on Thursday at the White House. While the neighboring allies have to discuss their significant differences on migration, climate and trade issues, the summit will have a strong focus on furthering economic cooperation. The US is a top trade partner for Mexico and Canada and both countries are concerned by the US’ “Buy American” provision, central to the US president’s agenda, and a proposed tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles in the US that will favor US-based car makers. Protectionist policies could keep Canadian and Mexican companies from lucrative contracts and the countries plan to argue for a level playing field to lure EV supply chain manufacturers.

Greece
A trial for a group of 24 volunteers who took part in search-and-rescue operations of migrants at sea on the Greek island of Lesbos has been adjourned shortly after opening, after a judge ruled that the local court was not competent to hear the case. The defendants, made up of Greek and foreign nationals, including Syrian competitive swimmer Sara Mardini, are facing a myriad of charges ranging from espionage and assisting criminal activity. Aid groups and human rights organizations have criticized the trial as being politically motivated and have called for all charges to be dropped.

Belarus
Hundreds of Iraqis have flown home from Belarus after nearly two weeks of tensions at the Poland-Belarus border. Some 2,000 people, mainly of Middle Eastern origin, were stranded at the border with security forces of both nations facing off. Belarusian state media reported that there were no more migrants at the makeshift camp along the border. At least 12 people died in the area. There were 430 Iraqis who registered for the repatriation flights, according to Iraq’s Consulate in Russia.

From The WorldMeet the 11-year-old on a mission to clean up the Seine

Alexandre de Fages de Latour and his son, Raphael, 10, are pictured near the Seine in Paris, where they fish out treasures — and junk.

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Raphael has dedicated his free time to fishing waste out of the Seine in Paris using a magnetic rod. He's already managed to pull out 7 tons of waste including electric bikes, scooters, scrap metal and cellphones.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Double Take

You've heard of online colleges, but what about an embassy on the metaverse?

Barbados says it will be the world's first country to establish a digital embassy in a 3D digital world hosted by Decentraland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade struck the deal for the virtual embassy set to open in January 2022. 

In case you missed itListen: New Delhi struggles with smothering smog

Morning haze and smog envelops the skyline after air quality fell to hazardous levels in New Delhi, India, Nov. 5, 2021.

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP

Soaring pollution levels in New Delhi, India, have prompted officials to indefinitely close schools and some coal-based power plants. We hear from a climate analyst about the health implications and causes of the smothering smog. And, the Biden administration has announced a major new investment in vaccine manufacturing, with an aim to help address global inequalities. But critics say it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Plus, since the 1950s, Mexican painter and intellectual Frida Kahlo has been revered as a feminist icon. One of her famous self-portraits just sold for nearly $35 million — more than any other work of art from Latin America.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Macklemore – Trump’s Over Freestyle Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro]
(Ha, ha, that’s enough, that’s enough, that’s enough!)
Fifty grand I get this all in one take, ayy
(Turn it up!)

[Verse 1]
Now, all you high-fiving MAGA white boys drinking White Claws
Care about your taxes more than human rights, sign off
You no mask-wearing, big truck-driving
“Blue lives matter,” talking shit about the riots
Double standard once the white folks went and tried it
“They’re patriots,” no, those are terrorists, Brian
And all you liberals out there being silent
While Black people dying at the hands of police violence
That care more about animal rights and recycling
And bicycling and the climate and toothpaste with iron
You, too, are complicit, you, too, getting brought up
I’ll give it to you pro bono, you, too, are the problem
I’m white there with ya, silence on all us
Comfy in my privilege like, “Should I risk all this?”
Yes, and if you think I care to lose you as a fan
Peace out, bitch, you know exactly where I stand

[Chorus]
Trump’s over, he lost (He lost)
Social media kicked him off, he gone (He gone)
Throw a party on the White House lawn, retire the liar
Impeach that orange ho, so long (You’re fired)
Trump’s over, he lost (He lost)
Social media kicked him off, he gone (Yeah)
Throw a party on the White House lawn, retire the liar
Impeach that orange ho, so long

[Verse 2]
It’s like Trump is just a symptom that we ain’t free from
Just old white supremacy that he would feed us
We celebrating, but to think a new era’s begun
Still half the country feels the same way that he does, so
What the fuck are we gonna do now?
Biden my dog, but he’s close to getting put down
Surprise, another old white guy in the House
Who’s fine, we just hold our breath when he opens his mouth
We thought 2021 was gonna save us
We thought that we were gonna all love our neighbors
We thought COVID was over being contagious
Nope, America still armed, dumb, and dangerous

[Chorus]
Trump’s over, he lost (He lost)
Social media kicked him off, he gone (He gone)
Throw a party on the White House lawn, retire the liar
Impeach that orange ho, so long (You’re fired)
Trump’s over, he lost (He lost)
Social media kicked him off, he gone (Yeah)
Throw a party on the White House lawn, retire the liar
Impeach that orange ho, so long (You’re fired)

[Outro]
Dad, wait one second
Look, I want you to say the rest of the part and then I say
“Donald Trump is gone!
Donald Trump’s gone, sick-a-nin-nin town?
Got that voice, now sick-a-nin-nin lime?”

Trump impeached after Capitol riot; historic second charge

Trump impeached after Capitol riot; historic second charge

President Donald Trump is charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One upon arrival at Valley International Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, after visiting a section of the border wall with Mexico in Alamo, Texas. 

Credit:

Alex Brandon/AP

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President Donald Trump was impeached by the US House for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.

With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the US Capitol, egged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.

Ten Republicans fled Trump, joining Democrats who said he needed to be held accountable and warned ominously of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20.

Trump is the only US president to be twice impeached.

The Capitol insurrection stunned and angered lawmakers, who were sent scrambling for safety as the mob descended, and it revealed the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. The riot also forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.

Related: Fiona Hill: US Capitol attack has ‘elements of a civil conflict’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked Abraham Lincoln and the Bible, imploring lawmakers to uphold their oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign “and domestic.”

She said of Trump: “He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

Holed up at the White House, watching the proceedings on TV, Trump took no responsibility for the bloody riot seen around the world, but issued a statement urging “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” to disrupt Biden’s ascension to the White House.

Related: US Capitol attack exposes depth of America’s problem with white extremism

In the face of the accusations against him and with the FBI warning of more violence, Trump said, “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted in 2020 acquit. He is the first to be impeached twice. None has been convicted by the Senate, but Republicans said Wednesday that could change in the rapidly shifting political environment as officeholders, donors, big business and others peel away from the defeated president.

The soonest Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell would start an impeachment trial is next Tuesday, the day before Trump is already set to leave the White House, McConnell’s office said. The legislation is also intended to prevent Trump from ever running again.

McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses and considers the Democrats’ impeachment drive an opportunity to reduce the divisive, chaotic president’s hold on the GOP, a Republican strategist told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

McConnell told major donors over the weekend that he was through with Trump, said the strategist, who demanded anonymity to describe McConnell’s conversations.

In a note to colleagues Wednesday, McConnell said he had “not made a final decision on how I will vote.”

Unlike his first time, Trump faces this impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.

Even Trump ally Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, shifted his position and said Wednesday the president bears responsibility for the horrifying day at the Capitol.

In making a case for the “high crimes and misdemeanors” demanded in the Constitution, the four-page impeachment resolution approved Wednesday relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a rally near the White House on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

A Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. The riot delayed the tally of Electoral College votes which was the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.

Ten Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, voted to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

Cheney, whose father is the former Republican vice president, said of Trump’s actions summoning the mob that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President” of his office.

Trump was said to be livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney.

With the team around Trump hollowed out and his Twitter account silenced by the social media company, the president was deeply frustrated that he could not hit back, according to White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

From the White House, Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators to resist, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill.

The president’s sturdy popularity with the GOP lawmakers’ constituents still had some sway, and most House Republicans voted not to impeach.

Security was exceptionally tight at the Capitol, with tall fences around the complex. Metal-detector screenings were required for lawmakers entering the House chamber, where a week earlier lawmakers huddled inside as police, guns drawn, barricade the door from rioters.

“We are debating this historic measure at a crime scene,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

During the debate, some Republicans repeated the falsehoods spread by Trump about the election and argued that the president has been treated unfairly by Democrats from the day he took office.

Other Republicans argued the impeachment was a rushed sham and complained about a double standard applied to his supporters but not to the liberal left. Some simply appealed for the nation to move on.

Rep. Tom McClintock of California said, “Every movement has a lunatic fringe.”

Yet Democratic Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. and others recounted the harrowing day as rioters pounded on the chamber door trying to break in. Some called it a “coup” attempt.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., contended that Trump was “capable of starting a civil war.”

Conviction and removal of Trump would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which will be evenly divided. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, Biden is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.

The impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

The House had first tried to persuade Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke their authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Pence declined to do so, but the House passed the resolution anyway.

The impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes.

While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.

With Associated Press

Trump impeached a second time after Capitol siege

Trump impeached a second time after Capitol siege

Updated:

January 13, 2021 · 5:15 PM EST

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In an unprecedented vote in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump was impeached for an unprecedented second time, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results just before they stormed the US Capitol in a deadly siege.

Security was exceptionally tight, beefed up by armed National Guard troops, with secure perimeters set up around the Capitol complex and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend US democracy.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Trump, who became the only US president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.

Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed by hours the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.

The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”

At least five Republican lawmakers, including the third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, were unswayed by the president’s logic. The Republicans announced they would vote to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Cheney’s father was the vice president under President George W. Bush and a Republican leader in the House. “She knows of what she speaks,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic majority leader.

Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is said to be angry at Trump, and it’s unclear how a Senate impeachment trial would play out. The New York Times reported that McConnell thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense and is glad Democrats are moving against him. Citing unidentified people familiar with McConnell’s thinking, the Times reported McConnell believes moving against Trump will help the GOP forge a future independent of the divisive, chaotic president.

The president was said to be livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney, as calls mounted for her ouster. He was also deeply frustrated that he could not hit back with his shuttered Twitter account, the fear of which has kept most Republicans in line for years, according to White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

The team around Trump has hollowed out, without any plan for combating the impeachment effort. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on the Hill.

Yet Trump and his allies believed that the president’s sturdy popularity with the GOP lawmakers’ constituents would prevent most from voting against him. After the riot at the Capitol, most House Republicans did go on that night to vote to overturn the election results.

Trump was expected to watch much of Wednesday’s proceedings on TV from the White House residence and his private dining area off the Oval Office.

In the House, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a top Trump ally, scrambled to suggest a lighter censure instead, but that option crumbled.

Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran; Fred Upton of Michigan; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state had announced they would vote to impeach.

The House tried first to push Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.

Pence made it clear he would not do so, saying in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Debate over the resolution was intense after lawmakers returned the Capitol for the first time since the siege.

While House Republican leaders are allowing rank and file lawmakers to vote their conscience on impeachment, it’s far from clear there would then be the two-thirds vote in the evenly divided Senate needed to convict and remove Trump. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

With just over a week remaining in Trump’s term, the FBI warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert.

New security in place, lawmakers were required to pass through metal detectors to enter the House chamber, not far from where Capitol police, guns drawn, had barricaded the door against the rioters. Some Republican lawmakers complained about the screening.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.

The impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

Like the resolution to invoke the 25th Amendment, the impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes and his White House rally rant to “fight like hell” by heading to the Capitol.

While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.

Trump was impeached in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine but acquitted by the Senate in 2020.

By Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick and Jonathan Lemiere/AP

US Capitol breached as Trump supporters clash with police

US Capitol breached as Trump supporters clash with police

Updated:

January 06, 2021 · 4:45 PM EST

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Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Trump issued a restrained call for peace well after the melee was underway but did not urge supporters to disperse. Earlier he had egged them on to march to Capitol Hill. The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.

Wednesday’s ordinarily mundane procedure of Congress certifying a new president was always going to be extraordinary, with Republican supporters of Trump vowing to protest results of an election that they have baselessly insisted was reversed by fraud. But even the unusual deliberations, which included the Republican vice president and Senate majority leader defying Trump’s demands, were quickly overtaken.

In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls. One person was reported shot at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the situation. That person’s condition was unknown.

The protesters abruptly interrupted the congressional proceedings in an eerie scene that featured official warnings directing people to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda.

With the crowds showing no signs of abating, Trump tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Earlier, at his rally, he had urged supporters to march to the Capitol.

Senators were being evacuated. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.

Demonstrators fought with Capitol Police and then forced their way into the building, not long after a huge rally near the White House during which Trump egged them on to march to Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers had convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results.

Though fellow Republicans were behind the challenge to Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to lower tensions and argued against it. He warned the country “cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes” with “separate facts.”

McConnell declared, “The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken.”

But other Republicans, including House GOP leaders among Trump’s allies were acting out the pleas of supporters at his huge Wednesday rally up Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House to “fight for Trump.”

“We have to fix this,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the GOP whip.

The last-gasp effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the November results. Biden is to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Still, Trump vowed to he would “never concede” and urged the massive crowd to march to the Capitol where hundreds had already gathered under tight security.

“We will never give up,” Trump told his noontime rally.

Vice President Mike Pence was closely watched as he stepped onto the dais to preside over the joint session in the House chamber.

Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud. But he was under growing pressure from Trump to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favor, despite having no legal power to affect the outcome.

“Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

But Pence, in a statement shortly before presiding, defied Trump, saying he could not claim “unilateral authority” to reject the electoral votes that make Biden president.

Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.

Arizona was the first of several states facing objections from the Republicans as Congress took an alphabetical reading of the election results. Then the chaos erupted.

Editors note: This is a breaking story — updates to come.

Mass arrests of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong; Sudan and US sign historic ‘Abraham Accords’; All eyes on Georgia Senate runoffs

Mass arrests of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong; Sudan and US sign historic 'Abraham Accords'; All eyes on Georgia Senate runoffs

Early morning arrests in Hong Kong were the most sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement since the controversial national security law was imposed by Beijing last June.

By
The World staff

Pro-democratic party members shout slogans in response to the mass arrests during a press conference in Hong Kong, Jan. 6, 2021.
 

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

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Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In an early Wednesday morning raid, Hong Kong police arrested at least 53 opposition figures and democracy advocates for allegedly violating the controversial new national security law by participating in last year’s primaries and “subverting state power.” Among them is American human rights lawyer John Clancey, chairman of the Asian Human Rights Commission. 

The mass arrests were the most sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement since the law was imposed by Beijing last June. Hong Kong-based lawyer Antony Dapiran called the move “the largest single attack upon democracy” in Hong Kong yet. Amid international outcry, Beijing defended the round-ups as necessary to defend China’s stability and security

What the world is following

Sudan and Washington strengthened ties Wednesday in a historic signing of the “Abraham Accords,” paving the way for the nation to normalize ties with Israel. During a visit by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the capital Khartoum, the two countries also agreed to settle Sudan’s debt to the World Bank, widely seen as a critical step toward Sudan’s economic recovery after years of crippling sanctions under former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Once designated a pariah state, its recent removal from the US’ terrorism list positions Sudan for better diplomatic relations with the West, and was a key incentive for agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted that the visit came “at a time when our bilateral relations are taking historical leaps towards a better future.” 

And, all eyes are indeed on the state of Georgia, Wednesday, as results roll in from two hotly contested runoff races that could flip the control of the US Senate from majority Republican to Democrat. Democratic candidate Pastor Raphael Warnock made history, winning against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, becoming the first Black senator in his state. And, as we hit send on this newsletter on Wednesday, US Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is claiming victory against Republican David Perdue, thanking Georgians for electing him, though the race is still too close to call.

From The WorldBrazilians flock to the coast during the height of tourist season while coronavirus cases surge

People stand next to offerings during a ceremony in honor of Yemanja, the goddess of the sea, which is part of New Year’s celebrations to plea for relief from the coronavirus pandemic and asks for a better new year at Praia Vermelha beach in Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 31, 2020.

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Bruna Prado/The World 

Brazil is well into its second wave of the coronavirus, with rising numbers of cases and deaths. Last week, there were more than 1,000 deaths three days in a row in Brazil. Nevertheless, tourists flocked to the coast at the end of the year for one of the country’s biggest tourist seasons.

Menace or delicacy? It’s hairy crab season in China.

Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs for sale. 

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Rebecca Kanthor/The World 

The hairy crab is considered an illegal, invasive species in some parts of the world like the UK and the US. But in China, at this time of year, the craving for hairy crabs is strong. The start of hairy crab season in the fall is as eagerly awaited as pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks.

Bright spot

Officials in Italy announced plans to reconstruct the Colosseum’s historic floor. The government is seeking bids to build a new retractable floor in the iconic building complete with trap doors and hidden lifts.

🏟️🏗️🏟️ Design teams wanted to add a retractable floor to the Colosseum – https://t.co/BwoA1XU7h7 (via @dezeen) 🏟️🏗️🏟️ pic.twitter.com/nqOETC37vJ

— Master Prophet (@tomravenscroft) January 6, 2021In case you missed it Listen: India begins ambitious COVID-19 vaccination campaign

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India, Jan. 4, 2021. India on Sunday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines, paving the way for a huge inoculation program.

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Ajit Solanki/AP

Health professionals in India are gearing up to begin the world’s most ambitious vaccination campaign after officials there approved the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines. And, one of the main issues the US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will be dealing with when it enters the White House is the war in Afghanistan. Also, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain have ended their 3-year-old land, air and sea blockade on Qatar.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris listens to questions after the Democratic primary debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art in Miami, June 27, 2019.

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Brynn Anderson/AP

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Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary and making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

Harris joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people in the US, far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused an economic collapse. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality.

Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.

Harris’ record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned off some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of systemic racism in the legal system and police brutality. She tried to strike a balance on these issues, declaring herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms.

Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s.

Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment prosecution of Trump won plaudits, California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention.

A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their party lost in the general election.

The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.

Born in Oakland to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In the role, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy.

She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the US Supreme Court.

As her national profile grew, Harris built a reputation around her work as a prosecutor. After being elected to the Senate in 2016, she quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings. In one memorable moment last year, Harris tripped up Attorney General William Barr when she repeatedly pressed him on whether Trump or other White House officials pressured him to investigate certain people.

Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland.

But the early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Facing fundraising problems, Harris abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast.

One of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.”

The exchange resurfaced recently one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about the debate and that Harris hadn’t expressed regret. The comments attributed to Dodd and first reported by Politico drew condemnation, especially from influential Democratic women who said Harris was being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president.

Some Biden confidants said Harris’ campaign attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California.

But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship.

“Joe has empathy, he has a proven track record of leadership and more than ever before we need a president of the United States who understands who the people are, sees them where they are, and has a genuine desire to help and knows how to fight to get us where we need to be,” Harris said at an event for Biden earlier this summer.

At the same event, she bluntly attacked Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, which has not been proved to be an effective treatment and may even be more harmful. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.”

Harris has taken a tougher stand on policing since Floyd’s killing. She co-sponsored legislation in June that would ban police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set a national use-of-force standard and create a national police misconduct registry, among other things. It would also reform the qualified immunity system that shields officers from liability.

The list included practices Harris did not vocally fight to reform while leading California’s Department of Justice. Although she required DOJ officers to wear body cameras, she did not support legislation mandating it statewide. And while she now wants independent investigations of police shootings, she didn’t support a 2015 California bill that would have required her office to take on such cases.

“We made progress, but clearly we are not at the place yet as a country where we need to be and California is no exception,” she told The Associated Press recently. But the national focus on racial injustice now shows “there’s no reason that we have to continue to wait.”

By Alexandra Jaffe, Kathleen Ronayne and Will Weissert/AP

As Election Day nears, it’s not just about winning the ‘Latino vote.’ It’s about making a real connection.

As Election Day nears, it's not just about winning the 'Latino vote.' It's about making a real connection.

A sense of belonging — meaning, how society perceives you — along with feeling respected and valued — can be powerful forces to mobilize or discourage voting.

By
Michelle Garcia

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People attend a bilingual health care town hall sponsored by local organizations that work in Latino voter outreach, disability advocacy and community health at the Ability360 Center in Phoenix, July 5, 2017. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake were invited but declined to attend. 

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To be Latino during an election season can feel like landing on a movie set of a suspenseful, high-stakes drama. It’s a story of contradictions. You are a star of the show — Latinos are projected to become the largest, nonwhite racial or ethnic electorate in 2020 — but it is usually set to a predictable, one-note soundtrack: “immigration, immigration, immigration.” An audience of pundits dissects the “Latino vote,” while advocates recite well-rehearsed lines: “Latinos are not a monolith. Ignoring the Latino vote will cost candidates at the polls.”

And perhaps the only reason the Latino vote narrative captivates political writers, pundits and especially candidates is because they want to know: “How does the story end?”

Related: Getting out the vote for the 2020 election: Lessons from Bernie Sanders’ Latino outreach

Sure, action sequences turn on whether Democrats can rally Latinos or whether an incumbent president, whose political emblem is a border wall, has alienated Latinos who vote for Republicans. But it’s a story that comes down to the question: Will they show up on Election Day?

The answer depends, in part, on whether our stars feel like heroines on camera or specimens under a microscope, and whether they feel they are part of the US electorate or outsiders: “them,” “the other.”

“It matters a great deal, especially for those who are not politicized who have not developed an interest to engage or desire to engage with politics.”

Angela X. Ocampo, author 

“It matters a great deal, especially for those who are not politicized who have not developed an interest to engage or desire to engage with politics,” said Angela X. Ocampo, author of the forthcoming book, “Politics of Inclusion: A Sense of Belonging and Latino Political Participation.”

Before our stars became Latino voters, say researchers and voting rights advocates, daily experiences informed their enthusiasm for casting a ballot. To reach the ballot box, Latinos often must first traverse a battlefield of messages from the political left and right that casts Latinos as the perennial outsider. They will have shielded themselves from media coverage often portrays Latinos as rootless newcomers and asks that all-too-familiar question: “Where are you from?” Which presumes that the answer is: “Not here.” They will have faced a barrage of rejecting encounters, with nearly 38% of Latinos reported to the Pew Research Center in 2018 that they had been told to “go back,” chastised for speaking Spanish, or been on the receiving end of offensive slurs in the previous year. They will have pushed through the psychological impact of violent events, such as the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, which was provoked by racist backlash against Latinos as a growing political force in Texas.

Related: The pandemic upended this Latino teen’s senior year. Now it’s upended his politics.

“After that terrible event, we were left at the mercy of a fear created for us,” writes Ilia Calderón, a national news anchor for Univision, in her new memoir, “My Time to Speak: Reclaiming Ancestry and Confronting Race.” The fear extended far beyond El Paso or Texas, beyond Mexicans and Mexican Americans, reaching Calderón, an Afro Latina thousands of miles away in Miami and but to Latinos across the country.

“We already had to deal with how the color of our skin makes some look at us a certain way when we walk into a store, what it means to be a woman walking around certain areas at certain times, but now we have to add our papers, last names, or nationality to the mix,” Calderón said.

From these experiences, “many Latinos in the U.S. learn that their standing in the U.S. social fabric is limited and below that of others,” writes researcher Ocampo, adding that it holds true for people whose roots run generations deep, or who arrived decades ago and raised their children.

A sense of belonging — meaning, how society perceives you — along with feeling respected and valued — can be powerful forces to mobilize or discourage voting. In his eulogy for the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on July 30, former President Barack Obama said a central strategy to voter suppression is to convince people to “stop believing in your own power.”

Though Latinos possess a strong American identity, researchers have found Latinos register a lower sense of belonging than whites but slightly higher than Blacks. And given the nation’s racist hierarchy, Latinos, who can be of any race, with darker skin have a more tenuous sense of belonging than lighter-skinned Latinos. In 2018, the Pew Research Center found that following the election of Donald Trump, 49% of Latinos had “serious concerns” about the security of their place in the US. The implications can be significant. Ocampo found that a strong belief in belonging to US society can change the probability of voting by up to 10%, translating into tens of thousands of votes.

Demographics, though, seem to have little effect. Even in a state like Texas, where Latinos will soon become the largest demographic, they are underrepresented in nearly all areas of leadership. A forthcoming, statewide study by the Texas Organizing Project about Latinos’ relationship with the electoral system turned up a solid strain of unbelonging, particularly among working-class Latinos in urban areas.

“We are an ‘other.’ We still feel it,” said Crystal Zermeno, director of electoral strategy for the Texas Organizing Project.

That perception becomes a challenge when trying to convince eligible voters that the ballot box belongs to them.

“A lot of times working-class Latinos, they feel like voting is for other people. It’s not where they belong.”

Crystal Zermeno, Texas Organizing Project

“A lot of times working-class Latinos, they feel like voting is for other people. It’s not where they belong.”

Political campaigns may run on promises of better access to health care, tighter border security and help with college tuition. But to get the message across, candidates and parties need to make an authentic connection.

“I needed to make an emotional connection with an old, angry, white, Jewish man from Vermont [Sanders] with a demographic with an average age of 27, to say, ‘I understand your plight,’” said Chuck Rocha, a senior adviser during Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign effort to turn out Latino voters and recently released the book, “Tío Bernie: The Inside Story of How Bernie Sanders Brought Latinos into the Political Revolution.”

Sanders’ immigrant roots may have opened a door. But the connection comes from communicating, “You are part of our community and we’re part of your community,” Rocha said.

Related: Trump, Biden boost efforts to reach Texas Latino voters

Belonging, or at least the semblance of it, is a tool that Republicans use — including President Trump. With Trump’s “build that wall” chant; fixation on border security, and derogatory references to asylum-seekers and other migrants, Trump has drawn clear and powerful boundaries on belonging. Contained within his rhetoric, rallies and campaign videos is a choreography for performing American identity, patriotism and citizenship.

“Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?” Trump asked Steve Cortes, a supporter and Hispanic Advisory Council member, during a 2019 rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. During his 2020 State of the Union Address, Trump momentarily paused his typical vilification of asylum-seekers and other migrants to recognize one Latino: Raul Ortiz, the newly appointed deputy chief of the US Border Patrol  — a servant of surveillance.

“He’s putting forth a clear version of what it means to belong and not to belong and who is a threat and not a threat,” said Geraldo Cadava, author of “The Hispanic Republicans: The shaping of An American Political Identity from Nixon to Trump.”

In the long term, Cadava says, Trump’s strategy is untenable because of the demographic direction of the nation. But in the immediate term, it is meant to rally his base and solidify support among voters in key states. Inviting Robert Unanue, CEO of Goya Foods, a major food brand favored by Latinos, to the White House in July, provoked backlash when the CEO praised the president. Still, for Latino Republican voters, it suggested that the White House is open to them.

This, combined with a weeklong, Hispanic outreach campaign that centered on promises to play up Latino business opportunities, in the eyes of Trump’s supporters, Cadava said, “he looks like a perfectly electable candidate.” It’s an image tailored for an existing base, which stands in contrast to the scene of Trump tossing rolls of paper towels to survivors of Hurricane Maria.

Overtures of belonging can also be seen in a move by Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican of Texas, who is up for reelection, to co-sponsor legislation to fund a National Museum of the American Latino. But advocates warn such messages ring hollow when matched with policies. Cornyn, a Trump supporter and lieutenant to Sen. Mitch McConnell, has aggressively backed repealing the Affordable Care Act even though his state has the highest uninsured rate in the nation — 60% of the uninsured are Latino. With news coverage of Latinos generally centered on border and immigration issues, and 30% of Latinos reported being contacted by a candidate or party, according to a poll by Latino Decisions, the lasting image is likely a photograph of a museum. This may explain why Cornyn is 10 points behind his Democratic challenger. To this, some say Democrats have failed to summon a vision of the nation that includes Latinos.

“We [Latinos] are part of the America, the problem is we haven’t made them part of the public policy and politics of our country because we don’t spend the time to reach out and make the connection to that community.” 

Chuck Rocha, senior adviser during Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign

“We [Latinos] are part of the America, the problem is we haven’t made them part of the public policy and politics of our country because we don’t spend the time to reach out and make the connection to that community,” said Rocha, who led a campaign by Sanders that scored record turnout among Latinos.

Related: This young Afro Latino teacher and voter wants to be a model for his students

Missing in American politics for Latinos is “a showman, somebody who stands up and who isn’t afraid of consequences to stand for our community the way [Trump] stands for racist rednecks. We haven’t seen that.”

Left is a roadmap of patriotism, of citizenship that positions Latinos in a neverending border checkpoint, not located in South Texas or Arizona, but built around the notion of an American.

“There are these tests being administered to see where these people are going to fit in the greater scheme of things if we have to deal with them,” said Antonio Arellano, acting executive director of Jolt Institute, a voter mobilization organization in Texas. “Patriotism can be displayed in many different ways, this administration has tainted nationalism by dipping it into the red cold racist filled paint that has been emblematic of America’s darkest moment in history.”

In a scathing opinion piece for The New York Times, Alejandra Gomez and Tomás Robles Jr., co-founders of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) accused political leaders of deserting Latino Arizonans, leaving them as scapegoats to a right-wing political agenda that was built on excluding and attacking immigrants and Latinos.

“The thing is, people want community. They want to belong to something that helps them make sense of the political world,” they wrote. “But they don’t trust politics or Democrats because both have failed them.” 

While unbelonging may drive some people from the polls, it can also be a mobilizing force.

Following the 1990s’ anti-Latino and anti-immigrant campaign in California, that resulted in policies, such as denying education and housing to undocumented imigrants political groups harnessed the outrage and pain among Latinos in that state. In the 2000s, facing deportation, the young Latinos known as the “Dreamers” transformed their noncitizen status into a political asset and became a reckoning force across the nation. Millennials, in particular, reported to Ocampo their outsider status was a catalyzing force for political participation.

LUCHA and other advocacy groups have provided something candidates and parties have not: belonging. “We are reminding them and they are true leaders in our community, creating spaces to be themselves authentically in the world,” Gomez told me.

These advocacy groups have become a political force in Arizona, backing progressive candidates and galvanizing Latinos, not by stoking party loyalty but as “independent power organizations,” Gomez told me. In a state where Latinos are nearly a quarter of eligible voters, LUCHA and other groups helped roll back anti-immigrant laws and elected community leaders and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to the US Senate by promoting a platform created not by a party, but by their community.

In late summer, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, made belonging a central feature in “The Biden Agenda for the Latino Community.”

“President Trump’s assault on Latino dignity started on the very first day of his campaign. … Trump’s strategy is to sow division — to cast out Latinos as being less than fully American.” 

“The Biden Agenda for the Latino Community”

“President Trump’s assault on Latino dignity started on the very first day of his campaign. … Trump’s strategy is to sow division — to cast out Latinos as being less than fully American,” it says.

Biden’s agenda includes a host of policy offerings including a public option for health care, immigration reform and addressing climate change. It remains to be seen if that’s enough, if the strategy will amount to policies wrapped up in an anti-Trump message. And this brings to mind a critical point that Rocha made about appealing to Latino voters: Latinos changed Sanders himself, by courting them he gained a more complete portrait of the nation. Belonging, after all, is reciprocal.

Come Election Day, whether someone coming off a double shift or mourning family members who died in a pandemic, or a student facing down a deadline for a paper will take a few hours — Latinos stand in lines that are twice as long as whites — a ballot cast will be the end result of a long journey, an epic drama that began long before a campaign season. 

John Bolton: Trump doesn’t understand ‘the gravity of responsibility’

John Bolton: Trump doesn’t understand ‘the gravity of responsibility’

By
The World staff

Producer
Joyce Hackel

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Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.

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US President Donald Trump made controversial remarks Tuesday about the nature of a major explosion in Beirut. The blast has been blamed on several tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse in Beirut’s port.

But Trump indicated the explosion was an attack. 

“I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was not some kind of manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a — it seems to be according to them, they would know better than I would — but they seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

This type of convoluted, often erroneous messaging is detailed in a book by Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, released in June titled, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir.

The volume, published over objections from the White House, provides an insider account of Trump’s “inconsistent, scattershot decision-making process,” according to the publisher. Bolton was fired by Trump last September amid simmering differences on a wide array of foreign policy challenges.

The World’s host Marco Werman spoke with Bolton about Trump’s response to the Beirut crisis; his order to pull 12,000 troops out of Germany, and the geopolitical consequences of Trump’s decision-making style. 

Related: Nicholas Burns: Bolton allegations on Trump ‘as damaging as any in modern American history’

Marco Werman: Are you surprised when you hear your former boss make that sort of comment that doesn’t later align with what seem to be the facts on the ground?

John Bolton: I don’t think that the gravity of the responsibility really weighs on him that much. I don’t think he fully understands it. So, it’s perfectly natural that he makes comments like the comment about the destruction in Beirut, or saying that maybe Microsoft should pay a fee to the US Treasury if he allows them to proceed with the purchase of TikTok’s US assets, or what he said this morning in an interview that it could be years before the November election is decided and his earlier comment that maybe the election should be delayed. 

These are incredible things for a president to say. And whether they are motivated by his own personal interest or just an inability to discipline his comments, it’s still very disturbing.

Well, let’s come back to that in a moment, how he functions and behaves. I want to get to the troops in Germany and President Trump’s order to pull 12,000 of them. You said the decision showed “a broad lack of strategic understanding.” What do you think the president does not understand about these troops, about what they represent in that part of the globe?

If anything, we should be increasing our deployments in Europe and in different places because of the threat that Russia poses in Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltics. The president himself gave his reasons for moving these troops, over half of whom will come back to the United States. And it was to penalize Germany for our trade deficit with Germany and for Germany not making progress toward the NATO target of spending 2% of its GDP on defense.

Do you see that as a legitimate move, to pull troops to punish Germany?

Of course, it’s not legitimate, but it’s the way Donald Trump operates. He’s not able to in many, many cases to distinguish his own personal interests and feelings from the national interest. He sees them essentially as the same thing. So for him, it’s legitimate to do. And apparently his advisers were not successful in talking him out of that.

So, if Trump wants to reduce troop numbers, US troop numbers in Germany, where else is he thinking about doing that? In South Korea? There are more than 23,000 troops there.

Well, I think if he wins a second term and is free of the political constraint of having to be elected again or depending on Republican majorities in Congress, really it’s hard to predict what he would do. He has said in recent days that the number of troops in Afghanistan is going to go below even the 8,600 that he announced when he announced the so-called peace deal with the Taliban. I think his number was between 4,000-5,000. And that’s on the way to zero. I think that’s a huge mistake that causes real risk for the United States if Afghanistan returns to its pre-9/11 status under the Taliban as a host for terrorist groups who could strike us or our friends around the world.

This is not anything like a well-thought-out strategy, and it’s not necessarily going to happen all at because he doesn’t think systematically. But it’s indicative of what may happen if he succeeds in winning a second term.

So, just how the White House functions with Trump: Does he see others around him as being the ones responsible for grasping the geopolitical implications of big decisions and just giving him bullet points on his options? Or is it that he can’t grasp them? You wrote that Trump once asked if Finland was part of Russia.

Well, I don’t think he’s very well-informed. And I think that means almost automatically he doesn’t really see the bigger implications. But even more disturbing than that, he’s not especially interested in learning. What you expect from a president is that he will become familiar with the issues and the background in areas that were not part of his own personal experience so that his decisions can be as fully informed as possible. And Trump just shows no interest in that.

It’s, I think, demonstrated by his disdain, almost, for intelligence briefings and his feelings that his gut really is the place where the decisions are made. He sizes people up. He sees decisions in personal terms, doesn’t need extensive briefings, and he gets things quickly and he makes his decision. And, you know, further study really isn’t necessary.

He gets things quickly. Does he always get them right?

Well, no, of course not. And I think it’s dangerous to think that, let’s say, in connection with the nuclear talks now underway with Russia to decide what to do as the New START treaty comes to an expiration point next year, if he’s still in office, what his thoughts are on what the appropriate strategic weapons capability for the United States ought to be because he doesn’t study that either.

Do you view his response to the pandemic as a national security concern?

I do. I think he’s failed. I think he in the early days did not want to hear anything critical of China, even though NSC staffers and the Centers for Disease Control staffers in early January were sounding the alarm because he didn’t want to concede that the pandemic, as it turned out to be, could have a dramatically negative impact on the US economy and therefore his ticket to reelection. I think we’ve all suffered the consequences as a result. And you know, his attitude toward China, his rhetoric, at least now, is very harsh. The administration has taken some tough steps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins a second term. After the election, he’ll be right back on the phone with Xi Jinping talking about the trade deal.

And now the current national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for COVID-19. Does it surprise you that the virus has traveled that close to the Oval Office?

It doesn’t because I think they weren’t taking adequate protections. We have to hope it doesn’t spread further. You don’t want the top decision-makers of the country incapacitated.

Finally, you’ve said on several occasions that Donald Trump is unfit to be president. What do you mean by unfit? And where does that concern take you?

Well, I don’t think he fully understands the office or what it entails. He doesn’t consider the consequences of his decisions. He doesn’t proceed on the basis of philosophy or grand strategy or even consistent policy. And I think in the national security space, that’s very, very dangerous. I think the country can recover from the damage that Trump has done in his first term, actually fairly quickly. But I’m more worried about the corrosive effects of two Trump terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

The makings of modern conservatism in the US

The makings of modern conservatism in the US

By
Sarah Leeson

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A farmer plowing badly eroded fields in the upper Tennessee Valley, in the southeastern United States, in the 1930s. Poor farming techniques had damaged much of the farmland in Southern Appalachia by the time of the Great Depression.

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The Republican Party has a reputation for being the party of small government — of keeping bureaucrats out of our lives, homes, and churches. Indeed, President Donald Trump has spent several weeks advocating for the end of the government-sanctioned quarantine in order to reopen the economy. However, the Republican party didn’t always embrace the idea of a whittled-down state.

According to Kathryn Olmsted, professor of history at the University of California Davis, and author of “Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism,” up until about a century ago, conservative business owners saw themselves as allies with the government. The relationship was symbiotic, and corporations viewed the federal government as beneficial to business.

“Corporate agribusiness was used to relying on the government to help it control its workers,” Olmsted said. “And it was very much in favor of a strong government because it was a strong government that built the dams and irrigation canals and tunnels and roads that it needed.”

Related: ‘Farming While Black’: Cultivating justice in upstate New York

In the 1930s, though, a shift began. As Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal began encouraging the formation of unions, the government suddenly became the enemy.

There was an irony to this: Despite misconceptions in the fields, the federal government did not actually aim to extend union protections to farm workers. Instead, they got a helping hand from somewhere else.

“The more conventional union leaders, the American Federation of Labor, they were not interested in trying to organize the farm workers,” Olmsted said. “So, who was left to organize them? It was the Communist Party, which had an ideological commitment to the idea of organizing the least privileged members of society in hopes of turning them into a revolutionary force.” 

Agribusiness watched their workers go on strike and saw their positive relationship with the government crumble.

Related: How immigrant workers are preparing for automation in agriculture

“The corporate growers in California began to sort of wake up and say, ‘This whole program, which at first we thought was fine because we were getting agricultural subsidies and we were getting more infrastructure projects, we see the government now as a force for evil instead of a force for protecting the markets,’” Olmsted said.

With this realization, California conservatives began to organize against the labor movement to great effect. Some of the tactics that were created in this era are still employed today. There was fake news, a brand-new political consulting firm, and even dark money at play. Olmstead said that conservatives claimed that FDR was a threat to traditional gender and racial hierarchies, that he was “friendly to communistic ideas,” and that he would destroy the family and the church as they knew it.

Despite these new political maneuvers (which did win big elections for conservatives at the time), Olmsted said that modern historians have largely thought the “Old Right” of the 1930s, which championed isolationism and nationalism, had lost. But today, the echoes of the “Old Right” aren’t hard to find in our politics. While there’s been a split in conservatism, where neo-conservatives are largely divorced from the anti-semitic and nationalist roots of the 1930s, there are also paleo-conservatives who stay closer to the original Great-Depression approach. 

Related: US migrant farmworkers deemed essential but lack protections

“The ‘Never Trump’ conservatives, I think, oppose Trump now because they see him as the direct heir of the conservatives that I write about in the 1930s. That he’s more of a paleo-conservative than a neo-conservative, and he’s not a betrayal of the conservative movement; he’s a betrayal of the neo-conservative movement,” Olmsted said.

Today, there are some who see “big-government conservatives” gaining power in the party, but it may be that the current White House shows the impact of the past.

Sarah Leeson is associate producer on Innovation Hub. Find her on Twitter at @sarahbration.

Trump, Poland’s Duda discuss sending some US troops to Poland from Germany

Trump, Poland's Duda discuss sending some US troops to Poland from Germany

US President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden at the White House, June 24, 2020.

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Carlos Barria/Reuters

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Lockdowns in Germany; Trump considering moving US troops from Germany to Poland; The Democratic Republic of Congo declares Ebola outbreak over

Lockdowns in Germany; Trump considering moving US troops from Germany to Poland; The Democratic Republic of Congo declares Ebola outbreak over

By
The World staff

A banner reading “Entering only with a face mask please — only 4 clients are allowed in the pharmacy” is pictured in front of a pharmacy during new outbreak of the coronavirus in downtown Wildeshausen, Germany, June 24, 2020.

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Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Germany’s populous Guetersloh and Warendorf regions became the first in the country to return to strict restrictions against the coronavirus, angering many residents. The lockdown measures enacted yesterday are meant to halt an outbreak in the northwest of Germany after more than 1,500 workers at the Toennies meatpacking plant tested positive for the virus. Another outbreak at a meat-processing factory in Wildeshausen alarmed health authorities with 23 people testing positive. Bavaria announced a ban on the roughly 640,000 residents from Guetersloh and Warendorf from entering the southern German state and Austria has issued a travel warning.

News of the lockdown in Germany comes as US President Donald Trump announced he’s considering moving some of the 9,500 US troops he’s pulling from Germany to Poland. Trump previously blindsided US allies in the region in announcing the withdrawal of troops from Germany. Yesterday’s comments from Trump came during a visit with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House — a meeting with no clear official purpose that appeared aimed at boosting Duda’s chances to win in Poland’s Sunday elections.

What The World is following

The Democratic Republic of Congo said today that the Ebola outbreak in the east of the country is over. The outbreak, which killed 2,280 people over nearly two years, is the second deadliest Ebola outbreak on record. The end of the epidemic there may offer lessons as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, died on June 18 at his home in Rhode Island at the age of 84. The former Soviet rocket scientist moved to the US before the collapse of the Soviet Union to lecture at Brown University and became a naturalized US citizen in 1999. The World spoke to Khrushchev last year about the US-Soviet space race.

And while Germany is facing a new test to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus, France and the UK are starting to loosen restrictions.  The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are set to reopen after lockdown, and pubs in England will open their doors — though likely not to Americans.

Black history is ‘integral part’ of British culture, says Black Curriculum founder

A teacher reads children a story on the grounds of St. Dunstan’s College junior school as some schools reopen following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain, June 1, 2020.

Credit:

Simon Dawson/Reuters

What do students learn in the classroom about race and history? In the UK, an organization called The Black Curriculum has been pushing for Black history to be taught nationwide.

How Russia laid the groundwork for future disinformation campaigns

Russian BMPT armored fighting vehicles drive during the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020. The military parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, was scheduled for May 9, but postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Credit:

Ramil Sitdikov/Reuters

In one chapter of her new book, “How to Lose the Information War,” Nina Jankowicz describes how relocating the Bronze Soldier statue in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, exposed divisions between Russian speakers and Estonians. The Bronze Soldier was a controversial Soviet World War II memorial, which also served as a reminder to many of the 50 years Estonia spent under Soviet occupation. 

Jankowicz spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about how this controversy made Estonia vulnerable to a cyberattack over a decade ago that laid some of the groundwork for Russia’s future disinformation campaigns.

Morning meme

Following the restoration work to Elías García Martínez’s Ecce Homo resulting in the infamous Monkey Jesus at a church in Borja, Spain, the country now has another painting debacle on its hands.

Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain.

Immaculate Conception painting by Murillo reportedly cleaned by furniture restorer. https://t.co/YjtgTSohWB pic.twitter.com/iIkBDsKEkm

— Ticia Verveer (@ticiaverveer) June 23, 2020In case you missed itListen: Trump’s visa ban has technology companies worried

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters before boarding Marine One helicopter from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, June 23, 2020.

Credit:

Tom Brenner/Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order targeting several visa programs for foreign workers, including programs US tech companies rely on to hire highly skilled foreign workers. Experts say changes to the H-1B and other programs will push those workers, and potential innovation, to other parts of the world. And, the Lebanese economy is tanking, which has put tens of thousands of domestic workers in a tough situation. Also, a new exhibit at Spain’s Cervantes Institute looks at some of the most important — but largely ignored — women writers of Spain’s 16th and 17th centuries.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

When reform hasn’t worked: Part II

When reform hasn't worked: Part II

By
Sam Ratner

Police officers in Washington, DC, detain a man as they clear the entire area around Black Lives Matter Plaza during racial inequality protests near the White House in Washington, June 23, 2020. 

Credit:

Leah Millis/Reuters 

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