Joe Biden bound for global summits as domestic agenda in limbo
President Joe Biden promised to show the world that democracies can work to meet the challenges of the 21st century. As he prepares to push that message at a pair of global summits, his case could hinge on what’s happening in Washington, where he is rushing to finalize a major domestic legislative package. Read full story
The UN’s top human rights official and the United States’ climate envoy have called for countries to step up the fight against global warming, describing it as a matter of survival. Global leaders will convene at a climate summit beginning this weekend
US Senator Kyrsten Sinema cites “significant progress” on Biden social spending bill
US Senator Kyrsten Sinema, one of two moderate Democrats who have held sway over President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, said on Thursday that the White House and Congress have made “significant progress” on the proposed package. “I look forward to getting this done, expanding economic opportunities and helping everyday families get ahead,” Sinema said in a statement.
US House Democrat Takano says infrastructure vote timing unclear
Democratic US Representative Mark Takano said on Thursday that the specific timing for an expected House of Representatives vote on infrastructure legislation remained unclear, but he added that once voting began it would be kept open as long as necessary to pass the bill.
Automakers are struggling to meet US consumer demand amid a persistent chip shortage, a supply-chain challenge that was front-and-center in Thursday’s GDP data
Families of nine victims killed in a racist attack at a Black South Carolina church have reached a settlement with the Justice Department over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used in the 2015 massacre.
Microsoft to work with community colleges to fill 250,000 cyber jobs
Microsoft Corp on Thursday said it plans to work with community colleges across the United States to fill 250,000 cybersecurity jobs over the next four years. Microsoft said it will provide scholarships or assistance to about 25,000 students and will provide training for new and existing teachers at 150 community colleges across the country. The company also said that it will provide curriculum materials for free to all community colleges, as well as four-year schools, in the country.
Washington subway to continue reduced service through at least November 15
The Washington-area subway system said Thursday it will continue sharply reduced subway service through at least Nov. 15 as it works to finalize plans to return most of its railcars to service after an Oct. 12 derailment.The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on Oct. 17 was ordered to indefinitely remove about 60% of the subway system’s railcars following inspections of railcars following the derailment. The subway system, known as the Metro and which serves the US capital and parts of Maryland and Virginia, has urged commuters to take buses or use other transit modes. WMATA said it was working to boost the number of trains available for daily service from 31 to 50 trains.
Merck sees up to $7 billion in sales of Covid-19 drug through end of 2022
Merck & Co Inc on Thursday said its experimental Covid-19 drug could bring in between $5 billion and $7 billion in sales through the end of next year, assuming it gains US authorization in December. Read full story
Solar wing jammed on NASA spacecraft chasing asteroids
NASA is debating whether to try to fix a jammed solar panel on its newly launched Lucy spacecraft, en route to explore an unprecedented number of asteroids. Read full story
US sanctions two Lebanese businessmen and a member of parliament
The US Treasury on Thursday imposed sanctions on two top Lebanese contractors and a lawmaker close to the Hezbollah movement over alleged large-scale corruption that undermined the rule of law in Lebanon. Businessmen Jihad al-Arab and Dany Khoury, close to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Christian politician Gebran Bassil respectively, were sanctioned for alleged corruption related to state contracts. Lawmaker Jamil Sayyed was sanctioned for allegedly seeking to “skirt domestic banking policies and regulations” and transfer $120 million abroad, “presumably to enrich himself and his associates,” a Treasury statement said.
US slap sanctions on Lebanese tycoons, lawmaker over ‘corruption’
Police aided illegal marijuana operation in Maine, feds say
Two sheriff’s deputies accepted new cars and an ownership stake in an operation that illegally sold more than $13 million in pot grown for the state’s medical marijuana program, federal prosecutors said. Two other law enforcement officers and a prosecutor aided the operation by providing intelligence and tipping off participants, prosecutors said. Federal documents unsealed Wednesday when one of the defendants pleaded guilty revealed an elaborate program in which marijuana that was supposedly grown for registered caregivers was sold outside the program with profits being laundered through a corporate structure.
US nuclear power generation capacity offline Thursday falls to 22,032 MW
UN, US officials urge action to avert climate disaster
The UN’s top human rights official and US President Joe Biden’s climate envoy called Thursday for countries to step up the fight against global warming, describing it as an issue of sheer survival for humankind. Read full story
US conducted over 2,000 spying missions on China; increases risk of ‘gunfire’: PLA researcher claims
US warships and planes carried out over 2,000 close spying missions aimed at China this year as the rivalry between the two countries heightened, a PLA researcher has claimed, asserting that the high frequency of such close reconnaissance endangers the country’s sovereign security which will “undoubtedly increase the risk of gunfire”.
Julian Assange lawyer dismisses US promises over extradition
Promises by the US government that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not be subjected to harsh prison conditions if he is extradited to face American justice are not enough to address concerns about his fragile mental health and high risk of suicide, a lawyer defending him argued Thursday. Read full story
US economy slowed to a 2% rate last quarter in face of Covid
Hampered by rising Covid-19 cases and persistent supply shortages, the US economy slowed to a 2% annual rate in the July-September period, the weakest quarterly growth since the recovery from the pandemic recession began last year.
Vatican cancels live broadcast of Biden greeting pope
The Vatican on Thursday abruptly canceled the planned live broadcast of US President Joe Biden meeting Pope Francis, the latest restriction to media coverage of the Holy See.
Biden announces revamped $1.75 trillion social spending package
US President Joe Biden set out details of a revamped $1.75 trillion social spending package Thursday to structure a more equitable economy and tackle climate change, the culmination of weeks of intense negotiation. Read full story