USA News Live: President Biden to deliver brief remarks about a National Security Initiative – Times of India

Record 60 cargo ships wait to unload at busiest US port complex

A record 60 container vessels are at anchor or adrift in the San Pedro Bay, waiting to be unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach seaports and another 20 are due to arrive in coming days, a port executive said on Wednesday.With the pandemic still raging around the world, US consumers have not fully resumed previous spending on restaurants and travel, yet they continue to splurge on goods ranging from appliances and home exercise equipment to sweatpants and toys.

US natgas jumps 3% to fresh 7-year high on soaring global prices

US natural gas futures climbed over 3% to a fresh seven-year high on Wednesday, forcing some speculators to exit short positions, as soaring global gas prices kept demand for US exports high and Gulf of Mexico production remained slow to return from Hurricane Ida over two weeks ago.

Court overturns ex-Minneapolis officer’s murder conviction in 2017 shooting

Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer who in 2017 killed a woman who had called for help at her home, had his third-degree murder conviction thrown out by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday, an abrupt reversal in a case that drew international attention. Noor, who is serving a 12 1/2-year prison sentence for killing Justine Ruszczyk, will be resentenced on the less severe count of second-degree manslaughter, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison or as little as a fine.

Police in Elijah McClain hometown racially biased: officials

A civil rights investigation begun amid outrage over the death of Elijah McClain has found that the Aurora Police Department has a pattern of racially biased policing, Colorado’s attorney general said Wednesday. Attorney General Phil Weiser said the investigation found the department has long had a culture in which officers treat people of color _ especially Black people _ differently than white people. He said the agency also has a pattern of using unlawful excessive force; frequently escalates encounters with civilians; and fails to properly document police interactions with residents.

President Joe Biden on Child Tax Credit

Today, another round of payments from our expanded Child Tax Credit is heading to working families across the count… https://t.co/WZgJRXSX5h

— President Biden (@POTUS) 1631731734000

Venezuela, Bolivia not doing enough to meet counternarcotics obligations: President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday Venezuela and Bolivia had failed to take measures over the past year to meet their obligations under international agreements to fight drugs. “I hereby designate Bolivia and Venezuela as having failed demonstrably to make substantial efforts during the previous 12 months to … adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements,” Biden said in a memo to Secretary of State Antony Blinken released by the White House.

Priorities at UN meeting also include topics related to human rights and democracy: State dept

US priorities at UN meeting next week include topics related to Covid-19 and Climate: State dept.

The United States will focus next week at the United Nations General Assembly meeting, along with other countries, on an agenda including tackling climate change and countering the Covid-19 pandemic, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a briefing on Wednesday.

Hydrochloric acid plume temporarily halts shipping at Texas port

Hydrochloric acid fumes leaking from a rail car at a Texas chemical plant temporarily halted shipping at the Port of Freeport, Texas, on Wednesday, authorities said. A leaking rail car containing hydrochloric acid sent a plume over Venator Materials Plc’s operations early Wednesday and caused the nearby Port of Freeport to temporarily suspend vessel traffic.

FDA strikes neutral tone ahead of vaccine booster meeting

Influential government advisers will debate Friday if there’s enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective — the first step toward deciding which Americans need one and when. Read full story

Dollar dips as soft US inflation weighs; Fed in focus next week

The dollar slipped against major currencies on Wednesday after softer-than-expected US inflation data released on Tuesday eased short-term expectations about tapering of asset purchases from the Federal Reserve. The dollar index last stood at 92.546, down about 0.1% on the day from Tuesday, when it dropped following the inflation data but recovered on haven demand as stocks slid on Wall Street.

US Gulf has 30% of oil production still shut after Hurricane Ida

Energy companies on Wednesday kept 30% of US Gulf of Mexico crude oil production shut, or 537,193 barrels, according to regulator Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), more than two weeks after Hurricane Ida hit platforms in the region.

US helped 36 more citizens depart Afghanistan since August 31: State dept

Mark Milley defends calls to Chinese as effort to avoid conflict

The top US military officer on Wednesday defended the phone calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the turbulent final months of Donald Trump’s presidency, saying the conversations were intended to convey “reassurance” to the Chinese military and were in line with his responsibilities as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Read full story

Religious exemption requests grow as vaccine mandates rise

About 3,000 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required Covid-19 vaccination. In Washington state, hundreds of state workers are seeking similar exemptions. And an Arkansas hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from employees that it is apparently calling their bluff. Read full story

Gymnasts Biles, Maroney demand justice in botched FBI sex abuse probe

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney on Wednesday told US lawmakers she feels betrayed by FBI agents, after they failed to investigate former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, despite her telling them he had sexually abused her. FBI Director Chris Wray told the Senate panel that the actions of the agents who botched the investigation are inexcusable, and he announced that one of the agents “no longer works for the bureau in any capacity.”

UK PM Johnson to make joint security announcement with US, Australia

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a televised statement at 2100 GMT on Wednesday alongside US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Johnson’s office said. The announcement will be on a strategic national security matter, the statement said.

Unvaccinated children suffering Covid-19 impact, Americas health agency warns

As more adults get their Covid-19 vaccines, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination in most countries are representing a larger percentage of hospitalizations and even deaths, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned on Wednesday. Nine months in to this year, infections among children and adolescents in the Americas have surpassed 1.9 million cases, and they face significant health risks, the regional branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Read full story

Feds OK plan to cut salmon fishing when needed for orcas

Federal officials have approved a plan that calls for cutting nontribal salmon fishing along the West Coast when the fish are needed to help the Northwest’s endangered killer whales. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries adopted the plan Tuesday as recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. It calls for restricting commercial and recreational salmon fishing when chinook salmon numbers are especially low.

President Biden backs top general on calls to China over Trump mental state