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Trump news – live: Ex-president says Musk won’t buy Twitter at ‘ridiculous price’ as Pence backs Gov Kemp – The Independent

Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy

As Donald Trump’s chosen candidate David Perdue struggles to gain momentum in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary, Mike Pence has announced he will visit the state to get out the vote for incumbent Brian Kemp – a Republican who refused to bow to Mr Trump’s insistence that the state was stolen from Joe Biden in 2020.

Meanwhile, the select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol has issued subpoenas to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers who are close allies of Donald Trump: Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mo Brooks of Alabama. Each was given the opportunity to voluntarily give evidence.

And the Department of Justice is now investigating whether former President Trump or any of his aides violated federal law by mishandling classified documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of at the national archives at the end of his term.

On Friday, the former president shared some thoughts on Elon Musk’s plan to buy Twitter, saying the billionaire would not pay a ‘ridiculous price’ for the platform as it is mostly “BOTS or spam accounts”.

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‘End of an era’: Peter Doocy posts selfie with Jen Psaki following their repeated clashes

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy posted a selfie with outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki and called her depature from the Biden administration the “end of an era.”

Ms Psaki has been involved in a string of head-to-head confrontations in the briefing room with Mr Doocy during her time as the lead spokesperson for the president.

“End of an era in the Brady briefing room! Good luck, (Jen Psaki)” tweeted Doocy on Friday.

Graeme Massie reports:

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2022 00:00
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‘If he wins, they’ll implement a Christian version of sharia law’

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports on another Supreme Court ruling with potentially huge implications.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 23:30
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Madison Cawthorn tries to survive primary as slip-ups mount

US Representative Madison Cawthorn‘s prominent role as the youngest pro-Donald Trump agitator in Congress can rub people on the right and the left the wrong way in his North Carolina district.

That’s made the 26-year-old culture warrior a social media political celebrity and successful fundraiser. He’s near the top of the list of the former president’s most vocal allies on Capitol Hill.

But a series of unforced political and personal errors have brought both the force of big-name state Republicans and traditional enemies to bear against Cawthorn’s reelection bid.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 23:00
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Biden talks action on baby formula shortage

President Joe Biden:

I know families across the country are worried about the availability of infant formula. That’s why yesterday, I brought together manufacturers to discuss how we can increase supply as soon as possible.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 22:30
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Trump decries Democrats for bipartisan Ukraine aid during baby formula shortage

Former President Donald Trump has slammed lawmakers for working to pass a $40bn aid package for Ukraine.

Though the bill enjoyed bipartisan support, with only 57 Republicans voting no, Mr Trump still blamed the Democrats.

“The Democrats are sending another $40 billion to Ukraine, yet America’s parents are struggling to even feed their children,” he said in a statement issued through his spokesperson.

“There is a massive formula shortage, but no one is talking about it — it is a national disgrace,” he continued, despite the shortage being the focus of newscasts, press briefings, and Biden administration planning.

Said Mr Trump: “It is unthinkable that in the year 2022 American families are unable to get baby formulas for their children. Families whose children have serious allergies and require ‘elemental’ formula are in even more desperate and dire straits.”

He concluded: “The pain that mothers and fathers are going through who literally cannot get nutrition for their newborns and infants is a mark of eternal shame on the Democrat Party. America First!”

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 21:58
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Biden says significant increase in baby formula ‘in a matter of weeks’

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 21:39
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Psaki successor waiting in the wings

Jen Psaki’s successor as White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, was there for her final day at the lectern.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 21:20
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Sean Hannity turns on surging GOP Pennsylvania Senate primary candidate

Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette is facing heat from influential Republicans — including Fox News host Sean Hannity — now that she’s surged to a front-runner position just days before the state’s primary.

GOP operatives backing celebrity talk show host Dr Mehmet Oz‘s candidacy have circled the wagons and begun attacking Ms Barnette to try to hobble her ahead of the primary, NBC News reports.

Graig Graziosi reports:

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 21:04
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Justice Samuel Alito skirts question about leaked Supreme Court abortion law draft

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito dodged a question when asked about a leaked draft opinion that he wrote showing the court was about to overturn Roe v Wade.

Eric Garcia reports from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 20:49
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Abortion rights groups plan nationwide ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ rallies on 14 May

Abortion rights groups are planning nationwide demonstrations on 14 May as the US Supreme Court considers overturning constitutional protections for abortion care affirmed by the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v Wade.

Alex Woodward reports.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 20:33

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WHO chief Tedros reappointed to second five-year term – India Today

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was reappointed to a second five-year term on Tuesday by the UN health agency’s member countries.

No other candidate challenged Tedros for the post amid the ongoing difficulties of responding to the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

“This is overwhelming,” Tedros said, after another World Health Organisation official asked everyone in the room to stand and applaud him.

Fighting back tears, Tedros described himself as “a child of war” after signing the contract for his extension. He said that after witnessing his younger brother’s death at an early age, it was “luck (that) brought me all the way here.”

Tedros, a former government minister from Ethiopia, has directed WHO throughout its management of the global response to COVID-19 and withstood occasionally withering criticism over its multiple missteps.

He is the first African to lead the agency and the only director-general not qualified as a medical doctor.

He is also the first WHO leader not to be supported by their home country; Ethiopia has previously accused Tedros of “ misconduct ” after his sharp criticism of the war and humanitarian crisis there and raised concerns about his leadership on Tuesday.

Under Tedros, the U.N. health agency failed to call out countries including China for blunders that WHO officials grumbled about privately, advised against mask-wearing for months, and said initially that the coronavirus wasn’t likely to mutate rapidly.

Scientists drafted by WHO to investigate the coronavirus’ origins in China said the critical probe was “ stalled ” last year, after issuing a report that even Tedros acknowledged had prematurely ruled out the possibility of a laboratory leak.

“There have been some mishaps, but Tedros has also been a steady voice throughout the pandemic, advocating for an equitable response,” said Javier Guzman, director of global health policy at the Center for Global Development in Washington.

He said despite reservations about Tedros’ leadership, some countries weren’t willing to push for change.

“We are in the middle of the pandemic and there is some pressure for consistent leadership to take us through this difficult moment,” Guzman said.

Tedros has frequently railed against rich countries for hoarding the world’s limited supply of vaccines and insisted that pharmaceuticals aren’t doing enough to make their medicines available to the poor.

Amid the near-universal focus on Ukraine after the Russian invasion, Tedros slammed the global community for not doing enough to solve crises elsewhere, including Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, arguing that it was possibly because those suffering weren’t white.

Still, critics say Tedros has failed on some fundamental issues, like holding staff accountable after allegations that dozens of outbreak workers managed by WHO sexually abused young women in Congo during an Ebola outbreak that began in 2018, in one of the biggest sex scandals in UN history.

None of the senior WHO managers alerted to the abuse allegations and who did little to stop the exploitation, have been fired.

In January, The Associated Press reported that staffers in WHO’s Western Pacific office filed an internal complaint accusing regional director Dr. Takeshi Kasai of abusive, racist and other misconduct, undermining efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. In response, Tedros said an investigation into the allegations had been launched and promised to act “with urgency.”

But last week, several WHO staffers wrote to the agency’s Executive Board complaining that Kasai “has been able to continue his unethical, abusive and racist conduct without any form of restriction.” In an email to staff, Kasai disputed the charges.

Public health expert Guzman said the apparent culture of impunity at WHO was problematic.

“We do need to see a stronger (WHO) director-general going forward, where misconduct is not tolerated,” he said, calling for extensive reforms to make the agency accountable.

As Tedros begins his second term, some experts have also raised concerns that WHO isn’t fulfilling its primary role as a technical agency providing science-based guidance to countries.

Dr. David Tomlinson, a cardiologist who has campaigned for better protective equipment for health workers in Britain’s health system, says he has been appalled by WHO advice, most notably their reluctance to acknowledge that COVID-19 is widely spread in the air.

In July 2020, more than 230 scientists published a paper appealing to WHO to recognise the coronavirus was airborne; that later prompted the organisation to alter some of its recommendations.

Tomlinson and others say Tedros should ensure WHO’s top priority during future health emergencies is evaluating the science.

“They have perpetuated untruths that have ultimately led to the deaths of millions of people,” he said, citing the estimated 15 million people who have died during the pandemic.

“We need an agency that’s unafraid to tell the truth, but that’s unfortunately not what we have.”

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Russia's war in Ukraine: Live Updates – CNN

David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, during a panel session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on May 23.
David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, during a panel session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on May 23. (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The head of the UN World Food Programme called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to reopen ports in Ukraine to prevent children around the world from starving.

Speaking to CNN’s Julia Chatterley at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, David Beasley called on the Russian leader to “have a heart.”

The growing food crisis has been a major issue at the forum, with Beasley being one of the leading voices calling for action. He warned that the Ukraine war has meant that “the breadbasket of the world was becoming the bread line of the world.”

Some background: Before the war, wheat supplies from Russia and Ukraine accounted for almost 30% of global trade, and Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of corn and the fifth-largest exporter of wheat, according to the US State Department. 

Beasley said that 325 million people around the world are facing starvation, with 49 million people in 43 countries now “knocking on famine’s door.”

“The world is facing a food security crisis. It is immediate and long term. If we are struggling now to feed 7.7 billion, what is going to happen when we have 10, 12, 13 billion? That is on top of climate impact. It’s going to be resonating around the world,” he added.

He also said that renewed focus on the food crisis was a good thing, with world leaders recognizing the size of the problem, with solutions to solve issues.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier today accused Putin of “weaponizing” food supplies in his invasion of Ukraine. The Russian army is confiscating grain suppliers and machinery in areas of Ukraine and blocking exports from ports in the Black Sea, von der Leyen said.

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Ukraine should give up territory to reach peace deal with Russia, says former US secretary of state – India Today

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said it would be ‘fatal’ for the West to get swept up in the ‘mood of the moment’ and forget Russia’s position of power within Europe and suggested Ukraine should give up territory, reported Daily Mail.

Kissinger, 98, was speaking during the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.

Kissinger said Ukraine should begin negotiations before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easy to overcome.

“Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point will not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself,” he told the conference on Monday.

These statements come after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s opening speech at this week’s Davos summit.

Zelensky had said that brute force will once again rule the world if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is allowed to go unanswered.

He told delegates that their summit would become pointless if Putin was allowed to win the war.

According to The Telegraph, he explained that Russia was an ‘essential part of Europe’ for over 400 years, noting that European leaders must ‘not lose sight of the longer-term relationship’ or otherwise risk putting Russia in a permanent alliance with China.

He also said, “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom.”

Zelensky’s speech came at the start of the four days of talks during which Ukraine is expected to launch a global charm offensive to secure economic and military backing to ensure survival.

This year, Russia will take part in the Davos meeting as the organisers had banned Moscow from sending a delegation.

“The theme for this year’s summit is, ‘history at a turning point’,” Zelensky told a packed auditorium on Monday morning.

“This year, the words, turning, and point, are more than a rhetorical talking point. This year is the year when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world,” he said.

“If so, the powerful are not interested in our thoughts and there is no further use for meeting in Davos,” he said.

Zelensky said, “The Brute force seeks nothing but the subjugation of those who it seeks to subdue and it does not talk, it kills, as Russia does in Ukraine, just as we speak today.”

Recalling the horrors of Russia’s invasion, Zelensky said, “Instead of peaceful cities there are only black ruins, instead of normal trade, seas full of mines and blocked ports, instead of tourists, closed skies and the sound of Russian bombs and cruise missiles.”

“This is what the world will look like if that turning moment does not have a proper response from humanity, it would resemble a large set of war crimes,” he said.

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