Biden news – live: President to unveil $2 trillion infrastructure plan as Capitol police officers sue Trump

Congresswoman urges Republicans to take the Covid vaccine

Joe Biden is set to unveil an infrastructure package worth $2 trillion (£1.4 trillion) in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, with a set of plans that could see decades of under-investment in the country’s roads, railways and electricity supplies reversed — whilst beating the climate crisis and unemployment in the process.

It comes as the US president’s pleas for states to stick with mask mandates to slow the spread of coronavirus are being largely ignored as several Republican governors said they would drop the requirement in their states despite rising cases nationally.

The governors of Wyoming and Arkansas rejected a call by the president to reimpose mask orders after Mr Biden and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a day earlier that now was not the time to relax safety measures, with the seven-day average of new Covid cases up 13 per cent.

Elsewhere, the president’s son, Hunter Biden, has used his new memoir to describe Donald Trump as “a vile man with a vile mission”, according to a copy of the soon-to-be-released book seen by The Guardian. Two Capitol police officers, meanwhile, have sued Mr Trump for both the physical and emotional after effects from January’s riot, which they accused him of inciting.

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Matt Gaetz accusations: What are the laws of sexual consent in Florida?

Investigators are examining whether Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, violated the federal sex trafficking law two years ago.

The US justice department launched the investigation into Mr Gaetz in the final few months of the Trump administration, The New York Times first reported. Mr Gaetz was a close aide of former US president Donald Trump.

The allegations against Mr Gaetz, which he has denied, have brought into the limelight Florida’s Romeo and Juliet Law, which allows minors aged 16 or 17 to engage in sexual intercourse with a partner no older than age 23.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 15:30

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China and US space agencies met to discuss spacecraft safety

US and China came together for rare space talks earlier this year to ensure the flight safety of their Mars spacecraft, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).

On Wednesday, the agency said in a brief statement that they held “working level meetings and communications from January to March 2021” with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), the US’s space agency.

China said the meetings were about “exchanging the ephemeris data to ensure the flight safety of Mars spacecraft.” Currently, both US and China have their own Mars missions going on.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 15:09

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Swiss ambassador to US allegedly assaulted by intruder at Washington DC residence

An intruder has been arrested by the Secret Service after allegedly assaulting the Swiss Ambassador to the United States at his Washington, DC, residence.

An “unwanted guest” was reported at around 2am on Monday in the home of ambassador Jacques Pitteloud, which is attached to the Swiss Embassy, a according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

The individual, identified in the documents as Christian David Mandeville from Portland, Oregon, had allegedly refused to leave the premises after being found by staff members.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 14:48

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Hunter Biden says he wouldn’t repeat work for Ukraine firm

Hunter Biden, the US president’s son, says although did “nothing wrong” while working for a Ukrainian gas firm, he would not do it again.

“I did nothing unethical, and have never been charged with wrongdoing,” the younger Biden writes in “Beautiful Things,” a memoir. “In our current political environment, I don’t believe it would make any difference if I took that seat or not. I’d be attacked anyway.”

The memoir, which is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, reportedly outlines a lifelong battle with alcohol and drug addiction and numerous stints in and out of rehab, as well as the Ukraine affair — which led to the first impeachment trial of former US president Donald Trump.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 14:28

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Gatez appearance ‘one of the weirdest’, says Tucker Carlson

An appearance by Florida congressman Matt Gaetz on Tucker Carlson’s show on Tuesday was afterwards described by the host as “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted”.

It follows a report by The New York Times about a Justice Department investigation into whether or not Mr Gatez paid to traffic a 17-year-old girl.

The investigation is part of a wider investigation into sex trafficking crimes allegedly carried out by Joel Greenberg, a Florida official and political ally of Mr Gaetz, last year.

Mr Gaetz claimed that allegations he trafficked a girl were “a lie” and “verifiably false” — and even implied the Fox News host had met a woman involved in the investigation for dinner, which Mr Carlson denied.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 14:09

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What will Biden’s infrastructure plan propose?

There are expected to be four parts to Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, which he is announcing in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

According to officials, the legislation will outline investments in roads, railways and bridges, as well as broadband access around the country, “care infrastructure” and what an official described as “R&D [research and development] infrastructure”.

“[It] is really about focusing on how can we make a historic capital investment in America, to improve our competitiveness, create millions of jobs, rebuild our infrastructure and position our economy to face the crises and the threats we will face in the future,” an official was reported as saying on Tuesday.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 13:49

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Two Capitol police officers suing Trump for riot

James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, both from the Capitol Police Department, are the first officers to sue the one-term president for inciting the insurrection and injuries sustained during it.

The two officers alleged on Tuesday that Mr Trump “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the mob that stormed the US Capitol building on 6 January.

They also both suffered from physical and emotional trauma sustained in the riot, which led to the death of a colleague, officer Brian Sicknick, and four others on the day.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 13:29

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Biden to outline $2 trillion infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh

The US president on Tuesday is due to outline the details of an infrastructure plan, in what is being billed as the next big part of his legislative agenda.

A price tag of almost $2 trillion (£1.4 trillion) over eight years is thought to be on the cards for the bill, which could overhaul of the country’s transportation systems, electrical grid, and other infrastructure.

As The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg writes, it is aimed at positioning the US to compete with an increasingly ambitious China, as well as delivering on a campaign pledge to invest in the country’s creaking roads, railways and other items.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 13:09

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Biden at 65 per cent approval for Covid response — poll

The number of Americans who approve of Joe Biden’s pandemic response stands at 65 per cent, according to a NPR/Marist poll released on Tuesday.

That figure includes 94 per cent of Democrats, 64 per cent of independents and 31 per cent of Republicans who supported the US president’s current approach to the crisis.

On his overall performance, Mr Biden was given 52 per cent, which included 91 per cent of Democrats, 54 per cent of independents and 13 per cent of Republicans.

Both figures appear stable for the president, according to the poll, which was carried out from 22 to 25 March, among 1,309 American adults.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 12:49

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Hunter Biden says Trump allies ‘self-serving’ with their attacks

Hunter Biden, the son of US president Joe Biden, has criticised a number of Donald Trump’s supporters in the GOP for attacking him, according to an advance copy of new memoir.

While describing Mr Trump as “a vile man”, the younger Biden allegedly calls out the former president’s GOP allies for pushing old claims about him during the 2020 election, which “were meant to wound my dad.”

As The Guardian reported on Tuesday, he goes on to write in the book, Beautiful Things, that under fire Florida congressman Matt Gaetz was a “troll”, and South Carolina congressman Lindsey Graham was “a Trump lapdog” who was “self-serving”.

It follows the first impeachment of Mr Trump in 2020, after he pushed Ukraine to investigate the Biden family and Hunter Biden, who at the time was working for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma — for which no wrongdoing was found.

Gino Spocchia31 March 2021 12:29

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