Joe Biden inauguration LIVE: Biden signs 17 orders to undo Trump's legacy

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. Photo: Reuters
US President Joe Biden inauguration LIVE updates: Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday at a historic inaugural ceremony, pledging to unite the country and calling on Americans to end the "uncivil war" that has fractured the deeply polarised nation. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as America's first woman Vice President

In his first speech as president, Biden addressed his "fellow Americans" who may view the future with fear and trepidation -- but called on them not to turn inwards in difficult times.

"We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus -- rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal," the 78-year-old Democrat said after becoming the oldest US president.

"We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we are willing to stand in the other person's shoes," he said.

Biden also pledged to repair America's global alliances, which suffered during his predecessor Trump's four-year regime.

This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve, he said.

Stay tuned for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris inauguration LIVE updates


US President Joe Biden puts forth virus strategy, requires mask use to travel

As the US enters what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus, President Joe Biden is putting forth a national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks - including a requirement that they be worn for travel. Biden also will address inequities in hard-hit minority communities as he signs 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office.
We need to ask average Americans to do their part," said Jeff Zients, the White House official directing the national response. Defeating the virus requires a coordinated nationwide effort."
But Biden officials say they're hampered by lack of cooperation from the Trump administration during the transition. They say they don't have a complete understanding of their predecessors' actions on vaccine distribution. READ ON...

Global shares mostly up on optimism for stimulus from Joe Biden

Global shares mostly rose on Thursday on optimism over the new US administration that earlier set off a rally on Wall Street. Hopes are high that President Joe Biden's administration will mean more support for the struggling US economy, starting a recovery that's crucial for the export-driven Asian region and the rest of the world.
France's CAC 40 gained 0.4% in early trading to 5,648.29, while Germany's DAX rose 0.6% to 14,003.82. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up nearly 0.2% to 6,753.08. US shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up nearly 0.1% at 31,116.5.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to finish at 28,756.86, while South Korea's Kospi edged up 1.5% to 3,160.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 29,927.76, while the Shanghai Composite added 1.1% to 3,621.26.
Data released by the Japanese Finance Ministry showed the world's third largest economy may be crawling toward a recovery, as exports for December rose for the first time in two years, by 2% from the same month the previous year. Imports declined 11.6%, marking the 20th straight month of declines.

China warms up to Biden, asks him to bring bilateral ties back on right track

A visibly relieved China on Thursday warmly congratulated new US President Joe Biden and urged him to heal and rebuild the severely damaged bilateral ties by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, known for fiery retorts against the US, welcomed Biden's first moves to join the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organisation (WHO) which was trashed by Trump as a puppet of China over its conduct to deal with the COVID-19.
"We express congratulations on the inauguration of President Biden. I noted many US media say this is a new day in AmericaAfter travelling an extraordinary period, we believe our two peoples deserve to embrace a better future. We hope Biden will be successful in governance," she said.
"I noticed the word unity has been mentioned several times in his inaugural speech. This is what is urgently needed in our bilateral relations," she said, adding that over the past four years "a handful of US politicians made so many lies and incited so much hatred and division".

Joe Biden to direct agencies to use Defense Production Act in Covid-19 fight

US President Joe Biden will issue an executive order on Thursday directing agencies to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) and other powers to speed up the manufacturing of testing and vaccine supplies and other items needed to fight COVID-19 in the country.
According to The Hill, the Biden administration officials signalled they would be "more aggressive" than former President Donald Trump's administration in invoking the DPA, which allows the federal government to force companies to increase the production of critical supplies during national emergencies.
"Where we can produce more, we will. Where we need to use the Defense Production Act to help more be made, we'll do that too," said Tim Manning, Biden's COVID-19 supply coordinator, in a call with reporters on Wednesday as quoted by The Hill.

Swearing in of three new Democratic senators

Clinton, Bush and Obama record rare joint video wishing Biden success

Former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama have recorded a rare joint video through which they sent their wishes to President Joe Biden while rooting for his success in leading the country out of the challenges faced by it.
In the video, which was aired on Wednesday night, the three former commanders-in-chief talk about the peaceful transition of power while standing in the amphitheatre at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia where they accompanied the newly installed 46th President of the United States to a ceremony where he paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It is a "free-flowing conversation," focusing on "the majesty of the passage of power, importance of upholding democracy and staying civically engaged, according to NBC News.

Twitter makes Joe Biden's account start with zero followers

The micro-blogging site, Twitter cleared out all followers from the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts after US President Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, rather than moving the accounts' current followers over to the new administration. According to The Verge, Twitter had said in December that the accounts for @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca would also have their followers wiped.
Meanwhile, the @POTUS, @VP and @WhiteHouse accounts are rapidly gathering new followers. Initially, there was a conflict between the Biden camp and Twitter about whether adherents would move over.
This is a reversal from what Twitter did in 2017 when the Trump administration took over records from the Obama administration. Back then, Twitter basically copied the current accounts, making a chronicle of Obama-time tweets and followers and building another arrangement of accounts for the approaching organization that held all those followers without any of the tweets.

Indian-Americans celebrate Biden, Harris inaugurations

Indian-Americans are celebrating the commencement of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' administration, terming it a "historic moment" and an affirmation that America at its best is a land of "limitless" opportunities. Harris, 56, made history on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female, first Black and first Asian-American US vice-president. The former senator was sworn in just before Biden, 78, took the oath of office to become the 46th President of the United States.
"This is a historic moment for many reasons: First-ever woman and woman of colour having Indian heritage," Indiana-based community leader and entrepreneur Gurinder Singh Khalsa said on Wednesday.
A traditional Republican, Khalsa said that the defeat of Donald Trump in the November presidential election signals the beginning of the end of populist governments around the globe.
"Democracy prevailed. It will be a very very long time before we will elect a president like Donald Trump. Americans will never repeat that mistake, he said.

Fauci lays out Joe Biden's support for WHO after Donald Trump criticism

President Joe Biden's top medical adviser on COVID-19, Dr Anthony Fauci, on Thursday announced renewed US support for the World Health Organisation after it faced blistering criticism from the Trump administration, laying out new commitments to tackle the coronavirus and other global health issues, AP reported.
Fauci, speaking by videoconference from pre-dawn United States to WHO's executive board, said the US will join the UN health agency's efforts to bring vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to people in need, whether in rich or poor countries. He said the US will also resume full funding and staffing support for WHO.
Fauci's quick commitment to WHO -- whose response to the coronavirus outbreak was repeatedly berated by the Trump administration -- marks a dramatic and vocal shift toward a multilateral approach to fighting the pandemic.
"I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organisation, Fauci said.

US President Biden signs half a dozen executive orders to reverse several hardline immigration policies

World leaders laud US President Joe Biden's decision to re-join Paris Accord

US President Joe Biden's decision to re-join the Paris Agreement has been welcomed worldwide including by the United Kingdom, France and Japan. Lauding Biden's decision, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said in a tweet, "President @JoeBiden rejoining the Paris Agreement is hugely positive news. In the year we host @COP26 in Glasgow, I look forward to working with our US partners to do all we can to safeguard our planet."
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Biden and said, "To @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris [US Vice President]. Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people! We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement."
Similarly, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has welcomed Biden's decision.

Joe Biden's first foreign leader call to be with Canadian PM Juntin Trudeau

In a first phone call with a foreign leader since his inauguration as the 46th President of the US, Joe Biden will speak to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the White House.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday shortly after Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: "I expect they will certainly discuss the important relationship with Canada as well as (Biden's) decision on the Keystone pipeline that he announced today."
The call will take place two days after Biden signed an executive order to revoke the existing presidential permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil from Canada to the American Gulf Coast.
In response, Prime Minister Trudeau said that "we are disappointed but acknowledge the President's decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL", but "I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight Covid-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone".

US President Joe Biden sends comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress on day one in White House

US President Joe Biden on the day one of his presidency sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress which proposes major overhauls to the system, including granting legal status and a path to citizenship to tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants and other groups and reduce the time that family members must wait outside the US for green cards, PTI reported.
Called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, the legislation modernises the immigration system, and also proposes to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.
Today President Biden sent an immigration bill to Congress. The US Citizenship Act modernises our immigration system. It provides hard-working people who have enriched our communities and lived here for decades an opportunity to earn citizenship, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference.
The president's priority reflected in the bill are to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from Central America and ensure that America can remain a refuge for those fleeing prosecution, Psaki said.
The bill will stimulate America's economy while ensuring that every worker is protected. The bill creates an earned path to citizenship for immigrant neighbours, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities, the White House said.

World leaders looking forward to working with US President Joe Biden

World leaders said they were looking forward to working with Joe Biden, as they welcomed the 46th President of the United States with praise and took parting shots at his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden on Wednesday vowed to repair America's alliances and engage with the world once again.
In his inaugural speech after being sworn in as the President in a historic but scaled down ceremony, the 78-year-old veteran Democratic leader said: We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security. Read on...

I’m here today because of the women who came before me: Kamala Harris

US: NASA administrator departs, Joe Biden may pick a woman to lead

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has officially stepped down from his role as the administrator of the US space agency, as Joe Biden takes the presidents office.
President Biden is expected to pick a woman to fill the NASA administrator role, which has only been occupied by men since the agency's founding in 1958.
A Trump appointee and a Republican himself, Bridenstine, spent his final days as administrator making last push for the ambitious Artemis programme, that will land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024.
"It has been my great honour to serve as your @NASA Administrator. I will miss the amazing NASA family and will forever be grateful for my time at this incredible agency. Ad astra," Bridenstine said in a tweet on Wednesday. Read on...

Taiwan invited to US inauguration for the first time since 1979

Hsiao Bi-khim, Taipei's envoy, posted a video of herself at the inauguration saying she was "honoured to represent the people and government of Taiwan here at the inauguration..."

US: Immigrants cheered by possible citizenship path under Joe Biden

Immigrants cheered President Joe Biden's plan to provide a path to US citizenship for about 11 million people without legal status, mixing hope with guarded optimism amid a seismic shift in how the American government views and treats them.
The newly inaugurated president moved to reverse four years of harsh restrictions and mass deportation with a plan for sweeping legislation on citizenship.
Biden also issued executive orders reversing some of former President Donald Trump's immigration policies, such as halting work on a US-Mexico border wall and lifting a travel ban on people from several predominantly Muslim countries. Read on...

US: Joe Biden plans temporary halt of oil activity in Arctic refuge

President Joe Biden's administration announced plans Wednesday for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich'in.
The plans, along with other executive actions, were announced by press secretary Jen Psaki.
Issuing leases had been a priority of the Trump administration following a 2017 law calling for lease sales, said Lesli Ellis-Wouters, a spokesperson for the US Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. Read on...

Springsteen, Katy Perry lead a star-studded night of socially distanced music celebrating USA's new President

Springsteen, Katy Perry lead a star-studded night of socially distanced music celebrating America's new President Joe Biden

Hours after taking charge, Joe Biden reverses US withdrawal from WHO

US President Joe Biden has reversed the US process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Hours after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order ceasing a withdrawal process that his predecessor Donald Trump initiated last year, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage," Biden tweeted in July when the former administration notified the United Nations of withdrawal from the WHO. Read on...

Amazon offers to help US with vaccine efforts in letter to President Biden Inc on Wednesday offered to help with the United States' efforts involving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, seen by Reuters.
The world's largest online retailer has an agreement with a healthcare provider to administer vaccines at its facilities and will move forward once doses are available, Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, said in the letter.
Beyond offering the vaccine to Amazon employees, Clark added, "We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts." Read on...

Mexico welcomes Biden order to halt border wall construction

Mexico welcomes Biden order to halt border wall construction

UN chief Antonio Guterres welcomes US re-entry into Paris Agreement

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the announcement of the new US administration to re-enter the Paris Agreement on climate change.
"I warmly welcome President (Joe) Biden's steps to re-enter the Paris Agreement on climate change and join the growing coalition of governments, cities, states, businesses and people taking ambitious action to confront the climate crisis," said Guterres in a statement on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported. Read on...

People around the world, from Mexico to India, tune in to watch US President Joe Biden's inauguration

LIVE: Joe Biden halts US withdrawal from WHO; rejoins Paris Climate deal

Joe Biden halts US withdrawal from WHO; rejoins Paris Climate deal

‘Bruised, but whole’: Amanda Gorman recited her work at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden

‘Bruised, but whole’: Amanda Gorman, the youngest-ever inauguration poet at age 22, recited her work at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

In pictures: Joe Biden's inauguration

The inaugural parade is seen as U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris head to the White House, in Washington

The inaugural parade is seen as U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris head to the White House, in Washington

The inaugural parade is seen as U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris head to the White House, in Washington

The inaugural parade is seen as U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris head to the White House, in Washington

Members of the military march on 15th Street towards the White House during a Presidential Escort to the White House, in Washington

Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a pair of bibles, including one which had belonged to the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall

A military vehicle blocks a road near the secured zone set up for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, near Black Lives Matter Plaza, in Washington

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave at the crowd as they head to the White House after the 2021 inauguration, in Washington


Asian stocks set for strong start after day of gains on Wall Street

Asian markets were set to rise on Thursday after US stocks closed at record highs on hopes that newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden would put in place further economic stimulus to offset damage wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Asian stocks are primed to follow their US peers higher on optimism that US federal spending will revive growth and corporate earnings," said Ryan Felsman, a senior economist at CommSec in Sydney. "That's all pointing to a positive day in Asia."
The Biden administration is expected to push through a nearly $2 trillion US fiscal stimulus plan.
Felsman said tech stocks in Asia may also rise in response to positive news from Netflix Inc, whose shares surged 16.85% after the company said it would no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.07%.
Australia's ASX 200 jumped more than 0.80% in early trade Thursday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures rose 0.23%.
The Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.38% on Wednesday, and the futures contract is up 0.74% from that close.
Along with Netflix, the rest of the FAANG group, scheduled to report results in the coming weeks, jumped. Google parent Alphabet Inc rose 5.36%.
The dollar fell against most currencies on Wednesday, as investors' risk appetite held up.
Oil prices rose on the hopes that Biden delivers on the economic stimulus, a move that will increase demand for oil.
US Treasuries did not move much on Wednesday, with the market looking past the inauguration at this point.

We applaud quick action on Covid relief, Paris Climate Accord, and immigration reform: Pichai

Intel chief first Biden nominee to get Senate approval

The time to move forward is now: President Biden

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States

In pictures: Joe Biden's inauguration

President Joe Biden greets Lady Gaga during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol, in Washington

Former President Barack Obama greets Vice President-elect Kamala Harris ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration,

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington
Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists with President-elect Joe Biden after she was sworn in during the inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, right, applauds as President-elect Joe Biden arrives for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington

US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk toward the North Portico of the White House, in Washington

President Biden says Trump wrote him a very generous letter

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump wrote a very generous letter to him.
"The president wrote a very generous letter," Biden told reporters at the White House. "Because it was private, I won't talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous."

With passion and fashion, Lady Gaga delivers powerful anthem

A full-throated, supremely confident Lady Gaga belted out the national anthem at President Joe Biden's inauguration in a very Gaga way — with flamboyance, fashion and passion.
The Grammy winner wore a large dove pin and an impressively billowing red sculpted skirt as she sang into a golden microphone, delivering an emotional and powerful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She was followed at Wednesday's ceremony by Jennifer Lopez, dressed all in white, with a moving medley of “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful,” throwing in a line in Spanish.
And country star Garth Brooks, doffing his black cowboy hat, sang a gospel-tinged, soulful a capella rendition of “Amazing Grace,” his eyes closed for much of the song. He asked the audience to sing a verse with him: “Not just the people here, but the people at home, to work as one united.” Leaving the podium, he donned his cowboy hat again, shook hands and hugged former President Barack Obama.
The three superstars were among a slew of glittery celebrities descending on Washington — virtually or in person — to welcome the new administration of Biden and Kamala Harris, a duo popular in Hollywood, where former President Donald Trump was decidedly not.
But Brooks was careful to call his decision to perform on Wednesday non-political, and in the spirit of unity. Brooks performed during the inaugural celebration of Obama in 2009, but turned down a chance to play for Trump in 2017, citing a scheduling conflict.

Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington


Trump global broadcasting chief quits amid VOA staff

Former President Donald Trump's hand-picked chief of US international broadcasting has quit amid a burgeoning staff revolt and growing calls for his resignation.
Michael Pack resigned as the chief executive office of the US Agency for Global Media just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. The agency runs the Voice of America and sister networks.
Pack had created a furor when he took over the agency last year and fired the boards of all the outlets under his control along with the leadership of the individual broadcast networks.
The actions were criticised as threatening the broadcasters' prized editorial independence.
Biden had been expected to make major changes to the agency's structure and management but Pack's early departure signaled those may be coming sooner rather than later.
Though many presidential appointees resign when a new administration comes in, Pack was not required to so. His position was created by Congress is not limited by the length of a particular administration.
In resigning, Pack cited the incoming administration's desire for new leadership at the agency.

Biden takes sweeping Day One action on energy, climate, immigration

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday began signing 15 executive actions addressing the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and racial inequality, and undoing some policies put in place by his predecessor Donald Trump.
The actions, fulfilling his promise to move quickly on Day One of his presidency, initiate the process of the United States rejoining the Paris climate accord and include the revocation of the presidential permit granted for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The steps Biden is taking will end a travel ban Trump put in place on some majority-Muslim countries. He is also calling upon his administration to strengthen the DACA program for immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The new president is also ordering the wearing of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings and on all federal lands and is ending a national emergency declaration that was the basis for diverting some federal funds to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington


Biden hugs First Lady Jill Biden as they arrive at the White House

Amazon offers to help Biden administration with vaccinations Inc. is offering to help the Biden administration accelerate the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, including to its own employees.
In a letter dated Wednesday, Dave Clark, the incoming chief executive officer of Amazon’s retail unit, offered his congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He reiterated a request Amazon made to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month asking that the company’s more than 800,000 US frontline workers receive vaccines at the “earliest appropriate time.”
Clark said Amazon has a contract with an occupational health provider to administer vaccines at its facilities. “We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available,” he wrote.
Reuters reported on the letter earlier Wednesday.
“Additionally, we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology and communications capabilities and exerptise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” Clark went on. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately” in the fight against the disease, he wrote.

'We must end this uncivil war,' Biden says, taking over a US in crisis

Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday, offering a message of unity and restoration to a deeply divided country reeling from a battered economy and a raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.
Standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building, Biden called for a return to civic decency in an inaugural address marking the end of Trump's tempestuous four-year term.
"To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words.
It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity," Biden, a Democrat, said after taking the oath of office.
"We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this - if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts." The themes of Biden's 21-minute speech mirrored those he had put at the center of his presidential campaign, when he portrayed himself as an empathetic alternative to the divisive Trump, a Republican.  Read more

Empty streets, thousands of troops in Washington as Biden becomes US president

Joe Biden became the 46th US president on Wednesday in a barricaded city, guarded by more than 25,000 troops and emptied of the spectators who usually throng to the quadrennial ritual. The unprecedented precautions, which fenced off much of downtown Washington, ensured that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took their oaths of office at 11:48 a.m. EST free of incident. Some right-wing extremist groups had vowed to disrupt Biden's inauguration in the wake of a Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. 

Rahul Gandhi congratulates US President Joe Biden

Israel PM Netanyahu congratulates US President Joe Biden on his inauguration

Joe Biden takes over @POTUS Twitter account after inauguration

Joe Biden on Wednesday took over the official @POTUS Twitter account of the President of the United States after his inauguration.
The 78-year-old veteran Democratic leader's Twitter account @PresElectBiden transformed into @POTUS after he took the oath of office at the West Front of the US Capitol as the 46th President of the United States in a historic but scaled down ceremony under the unprecedented security umbrella of thousands of security personnel.
POTUS is the official acronym for President of the United States; FLOTUS refers to the First Lady.
Twitter transferred institutional accounts such as @POTUS, @FLOTUS, @VP and @WhiteHouse to the Biden administration after the inauguration.

Read Pope Francis statement on Joe Biden's inauguration

Two Republicans appreciate Joe Biden's inaugural speech

Mitt Romney of Utah said Biden’s speech was “very strong and very much needed”. “We as a nation come together if we are told the truth,” Romney said.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Biden’s speech was “very uplifting” and “very well done”.
“All the other speakers really seemed to complement the president’s words,” Murkowski said. “I thought it was very well done. I thought it was what we needed.”

Pakistan PM Imran Khan: Look forward to working with Joe Biden in building a stronger Pak-US partnership

UK PM Boris Johnson congratulates Joe Biden

There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face: Biden

There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face. That's why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families.

We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again: Biden

Folks, this is a time of testing. We'll be judged by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era, says Biden

Canada PM Justin Trudeau congratulates US President Joe Biden on his inauguration

Joe Biden Inauguration LIVE: Garth Brook sings Amazing Grace after Biden's speech

After Joe Biden finished his inaugural speech, Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace.” He asked the crowd and everyone watching at home to join him in singing the last verse.
Poet Amanda Gorman then recited a poem for the event. The 22-year-old artist is the youngest inaugural poet in American history.

We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured: Biden

Joe Biden said America would provide a positive example to the world under his leadership as president

“We’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Biden said.
Acknowledging the challenging times ahead for the country as it continues to battle coronavirus, Biden said, “Folks, this is a time of testing.”
The president added, “We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. Will we rise to the occasion? Will we master this rare and difficult hour?”

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: Will be President for all Americans

Biden also pledged to be a “president for all Americans,” including those who did not support him, and he called for the nation to make a fresh start today.
“We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,” Biden said.

Joe Biden condemns the US Capitol rioters who tried to overturn the will of the people

Joe Biden condemns the US Capitol rioters who tried to overturn the will of the people by violently disrupting the congressional certification of his victory in the presidential election.
“It did not happen. It will not happen: not today, not tomorrow, not ever,” the president said.

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: 'Unity is the path forward'

Joe Biden argued that unity was the only successful path forward for the country.
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. I also know they are not new,” the president said in his inaugural address. “Unity is the path forward.”
Biden described America’s history as a “constant struggle” between the country’s professed ideals and its lived reality.
The president then pointed to Kamala Harris being sworn in as vice-president as an indication of how much positive change the nation can achieve.
“Don’t tell me things can’t change,” says Biden, points to Kamala Harris being sworn in as vice-president

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: Want every American to join me in united the country

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: Want every American to join me in united the country

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew, says Biden

"Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge," Biden said as he began his inaugural address. "Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause: the cause of democracy...At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed." Biden

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: America must "confront” white supremacy

Joe Biden said the nation “must confront” white supremacy, possibly becoming the first president to utter that phrase in an inaugural address.
“The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer,” the president said.
“This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward,” the president said.

PM Narendra Modi says committed to working with US President Joe Biden

PM Narendra Modi congratulates Joe Biden on being sworn as president

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: We’ve learned again that democracy is precious

Joe Biden received a standing ovation as he took the podium to deliver his inaugural address, his first speech as president.
After thanking those present at the inauguration, Biden said, “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day.”
The president referenced the violent attack on the Capitol two weeks ago, saying it underscored the value of American democracy.
“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious,” the president said. “And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”


Joe Biden sworn in as president

Joe Biden has been sworn in as president, bringing an end to four years of Donald Trump’s leadership in Washington.

Joe Biden Inauguration speech LIVE: Today is America's day, says Biden

Democracy has prevailed, says Joe Biden

Joe Biden takes oath as 46th US President

Joe Biden takes oath as 46th US President

Biden Inauguration LIVE update: President-elect Joe Biden fist bumps former President Barack Obama

Biden Inauguration update: Kamala Harris takes oath as Vice-Prez

Kamala Harris takes oath as Vice-President of the US.

Joe Biden Inauguration LIVE update: Kamala Harris to take oath shortly

Joe Biden Inauguration LIVE update: Kamala Harris to take oath shortly as Vice President

Inauguration LIVE update: Lady Gaga performs the national anthem of the United States of America

Lady Gaga performs the national anthem of the United States of America ahead of inauguration. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden set to be sworn-in within minutes.

Locals light diyas in Tamil Nadu ahead of Biden-Harris inauguration

Ambassador of India to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu attends Biden-Harris inauguration

US President Donald Trump flies aboard Marine One

US President Donald Trump flies aboard Marine One ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: Reuters

Will be back in some form: Trump said after leaving the White House for one final time

Joe Biden inauguration LIVE updates: Mike Pence left a note for Kamala Harris, reports CNN

Outgoing Vice-President Mike Pence left a letter for his successor Kamala Harris, according to the CNN. Trump too has left a note for Biden at White House. 

Keep doing what you do without bothered by others: Kamala Harris' uncle

Top Congress leaders attend Mass ahead of inauguration

Joe Biden, who will become the second Catholic to be the US President after John F. Kennedy, attended mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle on Wednesday, ahead of his inauguration.
In a show of unity, the Bidens, and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, were joined by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, House of Representatives Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, as well a Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer.
"Through all the activity of this wonderful day, we quiet ourselves, and ground ourselves," the priest said at the Mass.

Joe Biden thanks wife Jill ahead of swearing-in ceremony

LIVE updates: Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives at the US Capitol for Joe Biden's inauguration

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives for Joe Biden's inauguration. 

Inauguration Day LIVE updates: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris arrive at US Capitol to take oath

I’m here today because of the women who came before me: Kamala Harris

Inauguration Day LIVE updates: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris arrive at US Capitol

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris arrived at the US Capitol for the inauguration. Congressional leaders greet them.

LIVE: VIPs arrive at US Capitol for Biden inauguration

VIPs including the Obamas, Clintons and Mike Pence have arrived for Biden's inauguration. "This is your day" Obama told Biden ahead of the inauguration, according to multiple reports in US media.

In one of his final official acts as president, Trump pardoned 73 people including Steve Bannon

It’s a new day in America, tweets Biden

Ex-boyfriend of deported Russian agent pardoned by Trump

Paul Erickson, a former conservative operative once romantically linked to Russian agent Maria Butina who was convicted in investment schemes, has been pardoned by President Donald Trump as part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of his White House term.
A White House statement early Wednesday said that Erickson's conviction was based off the Russian collusion hoax, even though Erickson was convicted in schemes that had nothing to do with Butina or Russia. Butina was deported in 2019 after serving time for failing to register as a foreign agent.
Erickson, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2020 for defrauding investors in a proposal to develop land in the North Dakota Bakken oil field by persuading people to buy real estate and build single-family homes.

Biden to revoke Keystone XL pipeline permit after swearing-in

US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will revoke the presidential permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, one of 15 executive actions he will undertake after being sworn into office, aides said, dashing Ottawa's hopes of a last-minute change of heart.
Biden will sign executive orders and memorandums to address the "crises" of the pandemic, climate change and racial inequity, said incoming press secretary Jen Psaki.
Keystone XL, owned by TC Energy Corp, is already under construction in Canada, and would carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska. Opposition from US landowners, Native American tribes and environmentalists has delayed the project for the past 12 years, but outgoing Republican President Donald Trump had revived the project.

Bidens attend mass in Washington with Congress leaders

LIVE: Outgoing President Trump left a letter at the White House for Joe Biden

President Trump reportedly left a letter at the White House for President-elect Joe Biden. After leaving the White House for one final time, Trump wished good luck for Biden administration and said, he will be back in some form or the other.

President Donald Trump speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington. File Photo: Reuters

Biden leaves Blair House for Cathedral of St. Matthew

President-elect Joe Biden leaves Blair House for Cathedral of St. Matthew, where he will be accompanied for prayer service by Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy.

Joe Biden | File Photo

Trump wishes new administration good luck after leaving White House, says he'll be back

I'm ready to put the Senate back to work: Senator-Elect Reverend Raphael Warnock

Trump boasts of 'amazing presidency' after leaving White House

Donald Trump says his presidency was 'amazing by any standard and his was not a regular administration'. Trump left the White House for one final time minutes ago, ending tumultuous four years of Presidency in America's History. 

In the early hours of Wednesday, Trump rescinded an executive order he had issued years ago to bar former White House employees from lobbying the government after they leave their jobs, according to a report in the New York Times.

Outgoing President Donald Trump gestures as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. He is en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort | Photo: AP

Biden’s global leadership ambitions complicated by Capitol riot

“Yesterday’s events showed that the US has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy,” tweeted Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, calling for Washington to end “painful” economic sanctions it imposed over human rights and rule of law concerns.

While unlikely to convince the world, the barbs from Harare - and other capitals antagonistic to Washington - underscore the fragile state of America’s global reputation here as Joe Biden is sworn in as president on Wednesday.
Trump, who for months made false claims that the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him, encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying Biden’s victory. A riot led to the evacuation of the building and five deaths.
“Let us not be naive that a lot of damage has been done to the American image for the last four years, and more specifically, what happened,” on Jan. 6, said David O’Sullivan, former European Union ambassador to Washington.

Joe Biden speaking at a drive-in rally | Photo: AP

Over 25,000 troops guarding Capitol Hill: Decline of the American empire?

More than 25,000 troops guarding the Capitol Hill in Washington DC for the oath taking ceremony of 78-year-old President-elect Joe Biden is in many ways symptomatic of the decline of the American empire.
Till four years ago, the superpower US took pride in its democracy and despite assaults like 9/11, it did not feel as threatened. But today, Biden and his team, who are to assume office later on Wednesday, will be taking oath under unprecedented security in the capital city that looks like a fortress.
The ceremony has been scaled down and made out of bounds for the general public with tall iron barricades erected in the Capitol Hill area. This security arrangement has been made in view of the January 6 mob violence by the supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who stormed the Capitol to protest against the alleged fraud in the Presidential elections.
Despite the outrage against Trump on media and predictions of the US political pundits and pollsters that Team Biden will sweep the polls, around 75 million Americans voted for Trump. The irregularities in the voting and counting process left over 77 per cent of Republicans believing that there was major fraud in the 2020 elections, as per a recent survey.

Watch: Donald Trump departs from White House, skipping Biden inauguration

With a nation in crisis, pressure builds on Biden to deliver

During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden vowed to fight for the soul of America. As he formally assumes office as the next US president on Wednesday, Biden now faces the steep task of repairing a nation’s soul in battered and desperate shape.
Few presidents, if any, have taken power in circumstances such as these: a still-raging pandemic claiming lives and shredding livelihoods, a continuing threat of armed insurrection and a defiant former president who faces a US Senate trial charged with encouraging an attack on his country’s capital.
A Democrat, Biden will preside over a deeply polarized electorate, with millions of voters still believing defeated Republican President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, and a divided Congress, where gridlock looms as the default and success will come only by compromise.

Donald Trump departs the White House for one final time

Outgoing President Donald Trump has departed the White House for one final time. Marine One, carrying Trump dpearted the White House to Joint Base Andrews, where Air Force One is awaiting.

Trump's last-minute pardons

Outgoing President Donald Trump has pardoned his former political strategist Steve Bannon, one of the key architects of his 2016 electoral victory, as he issued a wave of pardons using the final hours of his presidency to grant clemency to 143 people.
The record 73 pardons and 70 commutations came in addition to the dozens of similar actions that Trump took after he lost the November 3 presidential elections to Joe Biden of the Democratic Party.
Biden, 78, will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday.
The White House in a statement issued on Wednesday said that Trump granted a full pardon to Bannon, who was in charge of the final months of his 2016 presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump pumps his fist | Photo: AP

Indian villagers celebrate inauguration of Kamala Harris

Residents of the ancestral Indian village of Kamala Harris celebrated her inauguration as US vice president on Wednesday by setting off firecrackers and distributing food.
Thulasendrapuram, a leafy village about 320 km (200 miles) south of the city of Chennai, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.
Calendars featuring the faces of Biden and Harris have been distributed throughout the village by a co-operative. (Reuters)


Theresa May rebukes Boris Johnson as UK welcomes Biden era

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the start of a new UK-US chapter on Wednesday under incoming US President Joe Biden, even as his predecessor Theresa May accused Johnson of abandoning the UK's moral leadership in the world during the tumultuous Trump era.
May, who resigned in 2019 amid turmoil over Brexit, has been critical of Johnson's handling of Britain's exit from the European Union. The open criticism is unusual because both prime ministers represent the Conservative Party.
Writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, May slammed Johnson's threat last year to breach the legally binding Brexit treaty he had signed with the EU, and his decision to abandon a commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of Britain's GDP on foreign aid.

Theresa May arrives at church Britain. File Photo: Reuters

China is clearly America's most strategic competitor: Incoming Treasury Secretary

Acknowledging that China is clearly America's most important strategic competitor, the incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told lawmakers that the United States needs to take on Beijing's "abusive, unfair, and illegal practices."
The relations between the US and China are at an all-time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.
China is clearly our most important strategic competitor. As you said, we need to work with allies. We also need to strengthen our own economy so that we can compete, Yellen, who has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden as his Treasury Secretary, told members of the Senate Finance Committee during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Futures near record highs as Biden to take office

US stock futures neared record highs on Wednesday, as Joe Biden prepared to take charge as US President at his inauguration, while Netflix soared after saying it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.
Shares of the world's largest streaming service surged 13 per cent in premarket trading, helping boost futures tracking the broader tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index.
Wall Street's main indexes ended higher on Tuesday after Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to "act big" to save the coronavirus-ravaged US economy and worry about debt later.

Trump rescinds order barring White House employees from lobbying: Reports

In the early hours of Wednesday, outgoing President Donald Trump rescinded an executive order he had issued years ago to bar former White House employees from lobbying the government after they leave their jobs, according to a report in the New York Times

Hollywood royalty in full force at Biden inauguration

Hollywood A-listers missing from Donald Trump's entry to the White House four years ago are all in for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The who's who of live entertainment has descended on Fortress Washington, taking forward a tradition that began in the 1940s and repurposing it for global audiences online in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic's winter surge in the US.
Lady Gaga will be singing the national anthem on Wednesday on the West Front of the Capitol, where exactly a fortnight ago a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the building in a stunning bid overturn the election results. Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks will also headline the musical elements of a historic afternoon.

The evening features Tom Hanks hosting a special 90 minute prime time programme "Celebrating America," which takes the place of the official inaugural balls and mixes in stories of ordinary Americans going about their lives during a pandemic. After opening remarks from Biden and Harris, the spotlight shifts to Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, and Kerry Washington.

Lady Gaga

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. File Photo: Reuters

Kerry Washington | Image: Wikimedia Commons

Trump's parting gifts to Biden

When he assumes office on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a stock market near all-time highs, along with a gaping budget deficit, a weakening dollar, elevated economic uncertainty and a Federal Reserve that may have less ammunition to fight the next crisis.

Biden is also inheriting a dollar that's fallen 12 per cent from last year's highs. A weaker dollar aids exporters by boosting the competitiveness of US products abroad and increases the appeal of US stocks by making them more affordable to foreign buyers.

The national debt ballooned by almost 40 per cent under Trump to nearly $28 trillion, fueled by the passage of tax cuts in 2017 and a flood of spending to counter the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic last year.

Biden will inherit a Federal Reserve balance sheet that is bigger than ever, thanks to ramped-up spending in the wake of the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic ratcheted up economic concerns during the last year of Trump's term. Earlier years of his presidency were marked by flaring trade frictions between the United States and China that rocked asset prices.

Photo: Shutterstock

Analysis: Biden's first year could see record employment growth

Joe Biden’s first year in office could go down in history as a record-breaker on the job-creation front, with an explosion in hiring expected as the coronavirus vaccine rollout allows Americans to emerge from a year in hiding.

It may not be enough.
Only slightly more than half of the 22 million jobs lost in the pandemic were regained by the end of last year. Even if 2021 hiring shatters the post-World War Two record of 4.27 million jobs created in 1984, roughly a quarter of those who lost work could still be on the sidelines, with bleak prospects for regaining their vocations in an economy reshaped by the pandemic.

As Biden takes the oath of office on Wednesday, the job market awaiting him presents a monumental challenge.
Just a year ago, a record-long expansion was creating more opportunities and higher pay for women, minorities and other workers on the margins. These same groups - key to his election victory - were disproportionately harmed by pandemic job losses in service-sector jobs that face the longest road to recovery.

Champagne on Inauguration Day? Try antacid, Democrats say

Marge Hobley has waited four years for the day she could finally celebrate the end of Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency.

But after the events of recent months – the coronavirus pandemic, Trump’s false attacks on the election results, and the shocking assault on the U.S. Capitol – the 77-year-old Indianapolis Democrat said any jubilation has yielded to a more muted mix of relief, sadness and cautious optimism.
“The idea of, let’s have a champagne toast – we’ll have a Maalox or Pepto Bismol toast, maybe,” she said when asked how she would mark Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

“I think it’ll be tempered by reflection and, if I may, prayer for Biden.”
In interviews, Biden supporters around the country said the dizzying events of the last few weeks, a fitting capstone to a tumultuous Trump presidency, have cast a somber air over the proceedings – heightened by the deaths of 400,000 Americans in the Covid-19 pandemic.

In first hours as President, Biden to strike at the heart of Trump's legacy

In his first hours as president, Joe Biden will aim to strike at the heart of President Donald Trump’s policy legacy, signing a series of executive actions that reverse his predecessor’s orders on immigration, climate change and handling of the pandemic.

Biden on Wednesday will end construction on Trump’s border wall, end the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, and revoke the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, aides said Tuesday. The new president will sign the orders almost immediately after taking the oath of office at the Capitol, pivoting quickly from his pared-down inauguration ceremony to enacting his agenda. Read here

Inheriting a confluence of crises, Biden will take helm as president

Joe Biden swears the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States, taking the helm of a deeply divided nation and inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.
The very ceremony in which presidential power is transferred, a hallowed American democratic tradition, will serve as a jarring reminder of the challenges Biden faces: The inauguration unfolds at a US Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago, encircled by security forces evocative of those in a war zone, and devoid of crowds because of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Read here

Six hours and a few minutes left for Biden inauguration

Joe Biden speaks at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center | Photo: AP

Joe Biden stands with his wife Jill Biden after speaking at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center. Photo: AP

Biden administration considers creating White House antitrust czar

The incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden is considering creating a White House position focused on competition policy and issues relating to antitrust, two sources familiar with internal deliberations said.

The idea remains under consideration and the Biden White House may not ultimately make the move, one of the sources said.

“It is yet to be determined if this will be more of a coordinator kind of a role or if this person will really sit at the White House,” said another source. The role could focus on moving information back and forth between agencies and coordinating, the source added.
Antitrust enforcement has emerged as an issue the Biden transition team has been watching closely, especially with the rise of Big Tech platforms, which provide free or inexpensive services to consumers while suspected of breaking the law to crush smaller rivals. (Reuters)

Trump commutes sentence of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served about seven years of a 28-year sentence for corruption.
The announcement Wednesday morning was part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump's White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of Trump and his family.

Biden set to rejoin Paris climate accord, impose curbs on US oil industry

Incoming US president Joe Biden will announce America’s return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change on Wednesday, the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring US leadership in combating global warming.

The announcements will also include a sweeping order to review all of ex-President Donald Trump’s actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada, and a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge that Trump’s administration had recently opened to development, Biden aides said

German president 'greatly relieved' at change of power in US

Biden's immigration bill may help IT in India

Joe Biden, hours after being sworn in as the 46th President, will send a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress which among other things proposes to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US, whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.
Called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, the legislation modernises the immigration system, according to an incoming White House official. Read here

An Indian artist does his bit ahead of Biden inauguration

An Indian artist Aejaz Saiyed gives finishing touch to an art work featuring US President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi, ahead of Biden's inauguration ceremony. The inauguration of Biden and Harris is scheduled be held Wednesday. Photo: AP

A list of prominent members pardoned by Trump

Outgoing President Donald Trump has pardoned as many as 143 people during his time in the office, according to the AFP.
Some of the prominent members include:
1) Steve Bannon - Former Trump aide, charged with fraud over funds raised to build Mexico wall
2) Charles Kushner - Father of Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, convicted of tax evasion and witness tampering.
Some Others:
3) Michael Flynn
4) Paul Manafort
5) Roger Stone
6) Alex Van Der Zwaan
7) George Papadopoulos

US may return to WHO under Biden. He further plans immediate orders on immigration and Covid

Watch: Residents of the ancestral village of Harris, say they are "very happy", ahead of her inauguration

Trump to make Mar-a-Lago estate his permanent home

Donald Trump will make his massive Mar-a-Lago estate on an island off the coast of Palm Beach in Florida his permanent home as his presidency comes to an end, according to media reports.
Moving trucks were seen arriving at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach as he embraces his final day in the White House, The New York Post reported.
Trump is reportedly planning to fly to Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday morning - hours before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Trump's youngest daughter announces engagement on his final full day in office

Outgoing US President Donald Trump's youngest daughter has announced one of the happiest moments of her life -- her engagement -- on her father's final full day in office.
Trump, 74, would be succeeded by 78-year-old Biden as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday.
In a picture posted on Instagram on Tuesday, 27-year-old daughter Tiffany Trump in a black dress can be seen wearing an engagement ring and standing with her 23-year-old "billionaire heir" fiance Michael Boulos in one of the White House's colonnades.

One-third of Europeans do not trust Americans: Survey

Thirty-two per cent of Europeans no longer believed that Americans can be trusted after electing Donald Trump as President in 2016, according to a pan-European survey of over 15,000 people in 11 countries.
In Germany, 53 per cent of respondents said that they strongly agreed that Americans can no longer be trusted after the 2016 election, the think tank European Council on Foreign Relations found in the survey, teh Xinhau news agency reported.
The poll also found 36 per cent of Swedish respondents did not believe Americans were trustworthy after 2016.

China dismisses Pompeo Uighur genocide claim as 'outrageous lies'

China dismisses Pompeo Uighur genocide claim as 'outrageous lies'

European Union's top officials express relief that they will soon have a friend in the White House

Joe Biden inauguration LIVE: EU chief says Europe 'has a friend in the White House'

The European Union's top officials expressed relief on Wednesday that they would soon have a friend in the White House as Joe Biden replaces Donald Trump.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said the moment should be seized to form a new "founding pact" between democratic powers.

Biden's speechwriter Vinay Reddy makes his Telangana village proud

When the entire world is waiting to hear new US President Joe Biden's inaugural address, people in a remote village in Telangana will cherish the moment for his speechwriter has his roots here.
Villagers of Pothireddypeta in Karimnagar district, about 200 km from Hyderabad, feel proud that Cholleti Vinay Reddy has been appointed as the director of speechwriting of the new US President.
People in the village recall their association with Vinay Reddy's father Narayana Reddy, who migrated to the US in 1970.
Narayana Reddy, who did his schooling in the village, pursued MBBS in Hyderabad and later migrated to the US.

Rapper Raja Kumari happy to represent India at Biden's inaugural galas

Grammy-nominated Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari feels proud to represent India at the the AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers, and says she is looking forward to a less divided, more united America.
The Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Ball is one of the traditional galas held around the presidential inauguration ceremony in the US, and this year's events were held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ball gala was held on Tuesday.
The Ball celebrates and honours the contribution of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities ahead of the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

Jennifer Lopez gears up for Biden-Harris inauguration, shares glimpses

The 'On The Floor' songstress hopped on to Instagram to share glimpses of her preparation for the performance. The star shared a picture in which she is seen stunningly posing in front of her private jet. Dressed in an all-grey ensemble and a matching hat, the 'Hustlers' star looked sexy as ever.
The 'Second Act' star captioned the picture with colours of the US flag, red blue and white heart emoticons and added, "DC Bound."
The post garnered more than 7 lakh likes over the photo-sharing platform.
Lopez also shared another picture from the venue as she sits along with the 'inauguration squad'.

It’s time we begin to heal and overcome — together, says Joe Biden

Joe Biden inauguration LIVE: Trump offers 'best wishes' to new administration in farewell video address

Extending his "best wishes" and praying for the success of the new administration in keeping America safe and prosperous, outgoing US President Donald Trump in his farewell address has said that Americans must unify around their shared values and rise above partisan rancour to forge their common destiny.
Trump has still not fully accepted the result of last November's election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump, a Republican, made no mention of Biden in his pre-recorded video address, but did allude to the violence at the Capitol earlier this month.
In the video farewell message released by the White House on Tuesday, Trump, 74, said he embarked on a mission to make America great again for all Americans.
"I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that's what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus.
"As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do and so much more," he said.
Trump said to serve as the President has been an honour beyond description.

Trump's exit: President leaves office with legacy of chaos

Donald Trump will walk out of the White House and board Marine One for the last time as president on Wednesday, leaving behind a legacy of chaos and tumult and a nation bitterly divided.
Four years after standing on stage at his own inauguration and painting a dire picture of American carnage," Trump departs the office twice impeached, with millions more out of work and 400,000 dead from the coronavirus.

US President inauguration LIVE: Trump blocks Venezuelans'' deportation in last political gift

With the clock winding down on his term, U.S. President Donald Trump shielded tens of thousands of Venezuelan migrants from deportation Tuesday night, rewarding Venezuelan exiles who have been among his most loyal supporters and who fear losing the same privileged access to the White House during the Biden administration.
Trump signed an executive order deferring for 18 months the removal of more than 145,000 Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their crisis-wracked homeland. He cited the deteriorative condition within Venezuela that constitutes a national security threat as the basis for his decision.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell: Trump ''provoked'' Capitol siege, mob was fed lies

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has explicitly blamed President Donald Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol, saying the mob was fed lies and the president and others provoked those intent on overturning Democrat Joe Biden's election.
Ahead of Trump's historic second impeachment trial, McConnell's remarks were his most severe and public rebuke of the outgoing president. The GOP leader is setting a tone as Republicans weigh whether to convict Trump on the impeachment charge that will soon be sent over from the House: incitement of insurrection.
The mob was fed lies," McConnell said. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.
The Republican leader vowed a safe and successful inauguration of Biden on Wednesday at the Capitol, where final preparations were underway amid heavy security.

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