Biden news – live: President to take action on guns as Texas investigates child abuse claims at borderavril 8, 2021
Joe Biden has long campaigned for stricter gun control
Joe Biden’s much-awaited gun control agenda is set to kick into action today as the president lines up six executive actions on what one adviser has called “the gun violence public health epidemic”. Gun safety is one of Mr Biden’s signature issues going back decades, and pressure on him to take aggressive action on it has been intensified by recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.
Mike Pence appears to be getting his ducks in a row for a future in high office, launching an advocacy group to “build on the success” of the Trump administration and hiring key Trump figures to sit on its board. Among them are two of the last four years’ most visible Trumpers: Kellyanne Conway and Larry Kudlow.
The LAPD are under fire over a new video that shows police officers arresting a Black man who smiled at them as they looked for an unrelated suspect. Released on the orders of a federal magistrate, the 11-minute clip shows the music producer and his girlfriend being arrested as he takes out his trash in broad daylight.
Justice Department brings charges against “Boogaloo Boi”
A 27-year-old Minnesota man and self-described “Boogaloo Boi” is facing federal charges of illegally possessing a machine gun, which a confidential source told the FBI he intended to use to kill law enforcement officers.
Michael Paul Dahlager also possessed 3D-printed and homemade firearm components, and claimed to have installed port-holes in his residence from which to make a stand against law enforcement if they came for him.
Members of the Boogaloo movement, a loose connection of people who share an anti-government and anti-law enforcement animus, have been linked to violence and homicide before, most notably in a 2020 attack in California that left two people dead.
You can read the Justice Department’s account of the case here.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 14:18
New figures show high unemployment numbers
Emerging figures indicate that based on last week’s numbers, new unemployment claims in the US are higher than hoped for, with a week-on-week rise of 16,000.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 13:54
Industrial explosion in Ohio injures at least eight
An explosion at a paint plant in Columbus, Ohio overnight has left eight people injured and another unaccounted for. Some are in critical condition.
Gustaf Kilander has more:
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 13:49
Two Ecuadorian sisters aged 3 and 5 who were dumped over the Mexico-US border by a smuggler are set to be reunited with their parents in New York. The US Customs and Border Protection agency last week released an infrared clip of the girls being dropped over the 14-foot border wall, where they were taken to hospital by border agents.
As the girls make their way to their parents, the authorities in Mexico are working to identify the person or people responsible for abandoning them.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 13:45
Texas governor announces investigation into child abuse at migrant facility
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered a probe into reports that children are being neglected and sexually assaulted at the Freeman Coliseum migrant child facility near San Antonio, which currently houses some 1,300 migrants. Blaming the Biden administration’s policies, Mr Abbott is calling for the centre to be shut down.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 13:24
A celebrity candidate and a Trumpist comeback
Remember Brad Parscale? The towering, glowering Trump campaign manager who resigned after dramatically overspending on last summer’s disastrous rally in Tulsa?
Well, he appears to be re-entering the political fray after a spell in the wilderness by advising an unexpected candidate for governor of California: Caitlyn Jenner, who is said to be seriously considering a run.
The Golden State governor’s mansion is potentially in play thanks to a recall effort against incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom, whose popularity has see-sawed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also thought to be mulling a campaign is Richard Grenell, a former director of national intelligence under Donald Trump.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 13:10
Follow Derek Chauvin’s trial
The Independent is keeping track of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on a busy street last summer.
You can follow our live blog here.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 12:50
An elephantine problem
The GOP may have high hopes of taking back the House and even the Senate in 2022, but it looks like they have a critical long-term problem on their hands: a drop in the number of people who think of themselves as Republicans, one that puts them at a serious disadvantage.
A new survey by Gallup has found that while some 49 per cent of Americans now identify with the Democrats or lean towards them; the Republicans came in at only 40 per cent, with only 25 per cent of Americans describing themselves as Republicans rather than Republican-leaning independents.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 12:30
A ban is a ban
Anyone hoping or dreading that Donald Trump will return to Twitter can now rest assured that it will never happen, with the social media platform making clear that the 45th president is gone for good. The people this will most affect are researchers at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), who are embarked on a project of archiving his tweets to make them available to the public.
Sadly for them, a recent statement from Twitter was unambiguous. “Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how NARA decides to display the data it has preserved.”
Akshita Jain has the story. (And if for some reason you do want to revisit the text of Mr Trump’s deleted tweets, the folks at the Trump Twitter Archive have you covered.)
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 12:09
Ted Cruz in trouble
Matt Gaetz isn’t the only hard-right Republican getting dragged into scandal. Ted Cruz, one of the party’s most acerbic and unloved agitators, has been accused by an ethics watchdog of illegally using campaign donations to promote his book on social media.
“Because Cruz receives royalties from book sales,” said the director of the Campaign Legal Centre, “his campaign crossed a legal line by spending donor funds on Facebook ads promoting sales of that book.”
A lawyer for Mr Cruz has denied any impropriety. Graeme Massie has more.
Andrew Naughtie8 April 2021 11:50