January 22, 2021
Here is the latest news from The Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to take executive action to provide a stopgap measure of financial relief to millions of Americans. Biden wants to get assistance flowing while Congress begins to consider the Democratic president’s much larger $1.9 trillion package to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The two executive orders that Biden is to sign Friday would increase food aid, protect job seekers on unemployment and clear a path for federal workers and contractors to get a $15 hourly minimum wage. The Biden White House has not provided a timeline for getting its proposed relief package through.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries, which is set to expire in less than two weeks. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that Russia stands for extending the pact and is waiting to see the details of the U.S. proposal. The White House said Thursday that Biden has proposed to Russia a five-year extension of the New START treaty. The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads. It expires on Feb. 5.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons has entered into force and is being hailed as a historic step to rid the world of its deadliest weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons culminates decades of work to prevent another atomic bombing like those on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But getting all nations to ratify the treaty seems daunting, if not impossible, in the current global climate. It has been ratified by 61 countries, who committed to never develop or possess nuclear weapons. But the treaty isn’t supported by the United States, Russia or any other nuclear-armed nation. And it’s not supported by Japan, the only country that has suffered nuclear attacks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wants to postpone Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. McConnell on Thursday proposed delaying the trial until February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case. The idea could appeal to some Senate Democrats, who are eager to spend time confirming President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees. The House impeached Trump on a single charge of incitement of insurrection for the deadly attack on the Capitol that unfolded on Jan. 6. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the trial has to happen even though Trump has left office so that there is accountability.
UNDATED (AP) — Public health experts are blaming COVID-19 vaccine shortages around the U.S. in part on the Trump administration’s push to get states to vastly expand their vaccination drives to reach the nation’s estimated 54 million people age 65 and over. The push that began over a week ago has not been accompanied by enough doses to meet demand, leading to frustration and confusion. President Joe Biden has vowed to turn things around. Because of the shortages, some New York City vaccination sites are canceling or postponing shots or no longer making appointments for people.