Connect with us

US

The White House is tapping oil reserves to try to bring down high gas prices

Published

on

npr– The United States plans to draw 50 million barrels of oil from its emergency oil reserves in coming months, a widely anticipated step aimed at trying to take the edge off high gas prices that have been hurting consumers at the pump — and hurting President Biden in the polls.

Inflation has emerged as a top political concern with voters, who have seen prices for gasoline and other staples surge in recent months. U.S. gas prices are at their highest level since 2014.

Biden has been talking with other leaders about the problem, and other major consumers — China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom — will take similar steps to release oil from their stockpiles, the White House said on Tuesday.

In a Tuesday news conference announcing the decision, Biden said, “We’re taking action.”

“The big part of the reason Americans are facing high gas prices is because oil-producing countries and large companies have not ramped up the supply of oil quickly enough to meet the demand. And the smaller supply means higher prices globally — globally — for oil,” he said.

Biden warned that actions by the U.S. and other nations wouldn’t fix problems at the pump “overnight,” but said Americans could soon expect relief.

latest news

Myanmar election body charges Suu Kyi with electoral fraud

Published

on

independent– Myanmar’s state election commission announced it is prosecuting the country’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi and 15 other senior political figures for alleged fraud in last November’s general election.

The announcement was published Tuesday in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper and other official media.

Allegations of widespread electoral fraud were the main reason cited by the military for its Feb. 1 seizure of power that toppled Suu Kyi’s government. Her National League for Democracy party was about to begin a second five-year term in office after its landslide victory in the polls. The army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party suffered unexpectedly heavy losses.

Independent observers, such as the Asian Network for Free Elections, found no evidence of substantive irregularities in the polls, though they criticized some aspects.

The action by the Union Election Commission could potentially result in Suu Kyi’s party being dissolved and unable to participate in a new election the military has promised will take place within two years of its takeover. However, the commission’s notice, dated Monday, did not specify which laws would be used to prosecute the accused.

In May, the military-appointed new head of the election commission said his agency would consider dissolving Suu Kyi’s former governing party for alleged involvement in electoral fraud and have its leaders charged with treason. Commission Chairman Thein Soe said an investigation had determined that the party had worked illegally with the government to give itself an advantage at the polls.

After taking power, the military dismissed the members of the election commission that had certified the results of last year’s poll and appointed new ones. It also detained members of the old commission, and, according to reports in independent Myanmar media, pressured them to state there had been election fraud.

The new commission declared last year’s election’s results invalid.

The new notice from the commission said Suu Kyi, former President Win Myint, other leading figures in her party and the commission’s former chairman were “involved in electoral processes, election fraud and lawless actions” related to the polls.

It accused 16 people of carrying out illegal actions, including compelling local election officials to obstruct military polling booths, threatening such officials in connection with advance voting for voters over 60 years old, forcing local officials to approve voting lists that included ineligible voters and interfering in campaigning to favor Suu Kyi’s party.

Suu Kyi is already on trial or charged in about a dozen criminal cases in which a conviction would almost certainly bar her from running for office again. Several of her top political allies also have been tried or are facing charges. Suu Kyi’s supporters as well as independent rights organizations contend that the cases are spurious and meant to discredit Suu Kyi and her party while legitimizing military rule.

Dissolving Suu Kyi’s party would follow a regional trend of dissolving popular political parties seen as a threat to governments in power.

Cambodia’s high court in 2017 dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party the sole credible opposition force, ahead of a 2018 general election.

Thailand’s Constitutional Court in 2020 dissolved the newly formed Future Forward Party, which had won the third highest number of seats in the lower house in the 2019 general election.

In both the Cambodian and Thai cases, the courts cited specific violations of the law for their rulings, but their actions were widely seen as reflecting political pressures.

Continue Reading

US

Capitol riot: Judge rejects Trump bid to withhold records

Published

on

bbc– A US judge has ruled a congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot can access some of ex-President Donald Trump’s White House records.

Mr Trump had argued the materials were covered by executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.

The inquiry is trying to find out if Mr Trump had foreknowledge of the riot.

The ruling came on the day 10 Trump aides were issued with legal summonses to testify before lawmakers.

Hundreds of Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building and disrupted the official certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory on 6 January this year.

The House of Representatives Select Committee wants to see a trove of phone records, visitor logs and other White House documents that could shed some light on the events leading up to the attack on Congress.

The former president had requested an injunction to keep the documents under wraps.

But US District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled on Tuesday that the National Archives, the federal agency that holds Mr Trump’s White House records, should comply with the panel’s request.

  • Capitol riots timeline: How the day unfolded
  • Capitol riots: What we have learned six months on
  • Who stormed the Capitol?

Judge Chutkan, an Obama appointee, ruled that Mr Trump’s request for a preliminary injunction seemed to rest “on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity'”.

“But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President,” she added in the 39-page decision. The legal battle is likely to wind up at the Supreme Court.

Sixteen of Mr Trump’s closest aides have been subpoenaed in the past two days.

They include Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, Stephen Miller, who was Mr Trump’s senior adviser, Bill Stepien, campaign manager, Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser.

Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the House Select Committee, said in a statement he wants to know every detail about what happened on 6 January, and in the days leading up to it.

The committee expects the witnesses to “comply fully”, he added.

The panel has already subpoenaed Dan Scavino, former deputy chief of staff, and Steve Bannon, a former Trump strategist.

Mr Bannon refused to comply with the subpoena and was charged with contempt of Congress.

Following the Capitol riot, Mr Trump was impeached by Congress, but cleared by lawmakers of inciting an insurrection. More than 670 people have been arrested for the invasion of the Capitol complex.

Continue Reading

latest news

Glenn Youngkin: Win for Republican in Virginia governor vote

Published

on

bbc– Republican Glenn Youngkin has been elected as Virginia’s next governor in a major upset, according to US media projections.

He was 2.1 points ahead of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with 99% of votes counted.

Mr McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014-18, saw his opinion poll lead vanish in recent weeks.

The ballot has been widely seen as a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency, and defeat will unnerve the Democrats.

Mr Biden won by 10 points in Virginia in the presidential election just a year ago.

In a speech to cheering fans, Mr Youngkin promised to get to work straight away to transform the state.

“We work in real people time, not government time,” the Republican declared.

The state’s current, Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, was unable to stand for re-election as Virginia does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms in office.

In more potential good news for Republicans in the state, their candidate, former US Marine Winsome Sears is tipped to become the first black female lieutenant governor of the state, which was the former seat of the pro-slavery Confederacy during the American Civil War.

The Republican candidate for Virginia attorney general, Cuban American Jason Miyares, was also leading that vote count. And Republicans seemed to be closing in on control of the state’s House of Delegates.

In other elections across the US on Tuesday:

  • Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli had a narrow lead over New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, with 88% of votes counted
  • Amid surging crime, Minneapolis voters rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety, more than a year after the murder of George Floyd by an officer
  • As expected, Democrat Eric Adams won New York City’s mayoral election to replace his party colleague Bill de Blasio
  • In other races, voters in Boston elected their first woman of colour as mayor, Michelle Wu, an Asian-American, and Pittsburgh picked its first black mayor, Democrat Ed Gainey

Mr Youngkin is the first Republican elected to statewide office in Virginia since 2009.

The political newcomer focused during the bitterly fought election on crime and the economy, as well as how schools handle race, gender and mask mandates.

Mr McAuliffe campaigned on other cultural issues, such as abortion rights and voting reform.

But the Democrat’s critics hammered him for saying during a debate: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

According to exit polls by the BBC’s US partner, CBS, education and the school curriculum were top issues for slightly more than half of all voters.

At a news conference earlier on Tuesday, Mr Biden predicted his party would win the first major election since he took office 10 months ago, but he acknowledged “the off-year is always unpredictable”.

Mr Biden’s popularity has been sliding amid rising inflation, a slow economic recovery, a deadlocked legislative agenda and the aftermath of a disorderly US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  • How Virginia’s governor race explains US politics

The Democratic president’s approval rating has fallen to 43%, according to an opinion poll average by RealClearPolitics.

The McAuliffe campaign tried to liken the challenger to former President Donald Trump, who remains unpopular in Virginia.

But Mr Youngkin, a mild-mannered private equity tycoon, sought to appeal to moderates by keeping Mr Trump at arm’s length, while tapping into the former president’s supporters in the state.

His balancing act may offer a template for Republicans seeking to win back suburban moderate voters who were turned off by Mr Trump’s firebrand style of politics.

The race could shape party messaging and battle-plans for next year’s mid-term elections, when the Democrats will defend their wafer-thin majorities in Congress, and the 2024 White House election.

Mr Trump thanked his supporters for “coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin”, saying the MAGA movement was “bigger and stronger than ever before”.

The Trump playbook without Trump

By Tara McKelvey, BBC News, Fairfax, Virginia

The restaurant was crowded, with people angling for the best place to watch election returns on big screens, with American flags everywhere.

They had gathered for a watch party, hoping to see their candidate, Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, win the governor’s race.

Over the past several months, he has charted a course for conservatives – he talks frequently about race relations in the US, and has denounced the teaching of critical race theory.

He ran on a law-and-order platform, and opposed mask mandates, and his messaging echoed the kind that Mr Trump uses. But Mr Youngkin kept his distance from the former president.

In this way, Mr Youngkin has appealed to voters who like Mr Trump’s positions, but are uneasy about the man himself.

Mr Youngkin’s approach has helped propel him to a close race, and is likely to guide other conservatives in their campaigns for the congressional midterms.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 , madridjournals.com