South China Morning Post USA

Coronavirus US: White House chief of staff says ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic’

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Nolan D. McCaskill on politico.com on October 25, 2020.A top White House official on Sunday acknowledged that President Donald Trump’s administration will not “control” the coronavirus pandemic.“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union. “We are gonna control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other…

US-China relations: American officials to push Trump’s anti-Beijing message on visit to India

Just a week before November’s election, two of US President Donald Trump’s top national security aides will visit India for meetings focused largely on countering China’s growing global influence.As the bitter race between Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden winds down, the talks this week in New Delhi aim to reinforce the president’s anti-China campaign message.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper will meet their Indian counterparts for strategic and security…

Coronavirus: US reports 88,973 new infections, another daily record

The United States saw a record high number of new daily Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row, figures from Johns Hopkins University showed, as warnings grew over its spread.The country reported 88,973 new infections between 8:30pm Friday and 8:30pm Saturday, the figures showed, substantially above the previous day’s 79,963.A total of 8,568,625 cases have been reported in the United States with 224,751 deaths, the highest in the world in absolute terms.The worst current outbreaks in the…

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump threaten to sue over ‘malicious’ Times Square billboards

US President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, both top White House aides, are threatening to sue a group of anti-Trump Republicans for posting billboard ads in New York City’s Times Square linking them to the country’s almost 225,000 coronavirus deaths.A lawyer representing Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, made the threat in a letter to the Lincoln Project, calling the ads “false, malicious and defamatory” and saying they constituted “outrageous and shameful libel”.“If these…

US agriculture crews in Washington state destroy first nest of Asian ‘murder hornets’

Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked on Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States.The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops.The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about…

A day-by-day guide of what could happen if this election goes bad

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Garrett M. Graff on politico.com on October 23, 2020.The coronavirus pandemic was always going to make the 2020 election uniquely complicated, and Donald Trump’s norm-busting style was always going to make it tense, but headlines in recent days have started to read like political thriller plot lines. We’ve seen Iranian skulduggery, dummy ballot boxes and mysterious threatening emails. Congressional…

Donald Trump says he is no fan of ‘Borat’ actor Sacha Baron Cohen, when asked about fake Rudy Giuliani interview

Donald Trump said he has not been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – even before a clip from the British comedian’s new Borat movie forced the US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani into an awkward explanation.Asked about the clip – which shows Giuliani in a faked “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman – while speaking to journalists on Friday aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “I don’t know what happened.”“But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said…

US election 2020: Trump casts early ballot in Florida

US President Donald Trump voted in his adopted home of Florida before hitting the campaign trail for rallies in three swing states on Saturday, joining more than 54 million Americans who have cast early ballots at a record-setting pace ahead of the November 3 election.Trump voted at a library in West Palm Beach, near his Mar-a-Lago estate, after switching his permanent residence and voter registration last year from New York to Florida, a must-win battleground for his re-election bid.“I voted…

Ethiopia slams Trump for saying Egypt will ‘blow up’ Nile dam

Ethiopia vowed on Saturday not to “cave in to aggressions of any kind” after US President Donald Trump lashed out over the country’s Nile River mega-dam and suggested Egypt might destroy it.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office defended the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, set to become Africa’s largest hydropower plant, and said Ethiopia was working to resolve long-standing issues over the project with downstream neighbours Sudan and Egypt.“Nonetheless, occasional statements of belligerent…

Coronavirus latest: Malaysia cases hit record daily high; Germany deaths pass 10,000

Malaysia reported 1,228 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a record daily jump since the start of the pandemic, taking the total number of cases to 25,742.The health ministry also said seven new deaths were recorded across the Southeast Asian country, bringing the toll to 221.The government ordered about 1 million people to work from home from October 22 in a bid to tighten movement controls in the capital Kuala Lumpur and several states.Coronavirus Malaysia: more heat on Muhyiddin over…

First US ‘murder hornet’ nest discovered in Washington state

Scientists have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out on Saturday to protect native honeybees, officials in Washington state said.After weeks of searching, the agency said it found the nest of Asian giant hornets in Blaine, a city north of Seattle near the Canadian border. Bad weather delayed plans to destroy the nest Friday.Asian ‘murder hornets’ descend on US, worrying agriculture officialsThe world’s largest hornet at 5cm long, the…

New World Disorder: will a US-China cold war and Covid-19 finally kill off the United Nations?

When the United Nations celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015, then secretary general Ban Ki-moon sought to emphasise that the organisation’s inadequacies – plentiful as they were – did not outweigh its successes.Were there no UN for the world’s nations to sit down and discuss issues, “I’m afraid to tell you the world might have been much bloodier, much more tragic”, Ban said in a press conference.At the time, the response might have placated critics. The UN was by and large achieving its…

US coastguard to deploy fast-response craft as counter to China’s ‘illegal fishing, harassment’ in western Pacific

The US coastguard will start to base Enhanced Response Cutters in the western Pacific for maritime security missions, the national security adviser said on Friday, citing illegal fishing and harassment of vessels by China.In a statement, Robert O’Brien also said the coastguard planned to evaluate next financial year the feasibility of basing Fast Response Cutters in American Samoa in the South Pacific.South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflictThe statement described the…

Amid rising xenophobia, Chinese-American communities on both coasts look out for themselves

Chinese-American neighbourhood patrols in New York and California are bracing for a spike in anti-Asian harassment and possible violence in the days leading up to the November 3 US presidential elections and what could be a turbulent aftermath, community activists say. While Chinese-Americans have faced racism throughout America’s history, researchers and activists assert that Sinophobia has surged as a result of US President Donald Trump’s inflammatory language – particularly in the wake of…

Mike Pompeo urges end to Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting but no signs of progress in conflict

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged an end to fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh as he met his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Armenia, but there were no signs of progress.Pompeo held separate meetings an hour apart with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, but there was no three-way meeting.Pompeo, who did not speak alongside either minister, “emphasised the need to end the violence and protect civilians”, the State…

Trump’s China adviser suggests Beijing’s Xinjiang activities are a ‘crime against humanity’

US President Trump’s top national security adviser for China appeared to endorse an accusation by The Economist magazine that Beijing’s policies towards Uygurs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s far west Xinjiang region amount to crimes against humanity.In a speech on Friday he delivered in Mandarin, Matthew Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser, described the Chinese government’s detention facilities in Xinjiang – which the UN says are holding one million Uygurs and other…

Donald Trump moves to end Sudan’s terror listing amid push for Arab nation to normalise ties with Israel

US President Donald Trump on Friday formally moved to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, a step long sought by the Arab nation which faces US pressure to normalise relations with Israel.The White House said that Sudan’s civilian-backed transitional government had deposited $335 million as part of an agreement to compensate survivors and family members of attacks that took place when former dictator Omar al-Bashir welcomed Al-Qaeda.“Today represents a momentous step forward in the…

Coronavirus: US approves use of remdesivir for treating Covid-19 despite WHO doubts

Remdesivir, the antiviral drug developed by American firm Gilead Sciences, has become the first in the United States to be approved for use in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, days after the World Health Organization (WHO) said it offered limited benefits.Following an emergency use authorisation (EUA) issued on May 1, the drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, was approved for hospital use in adults and children aged 12 and above, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday…

US dollar-yuan exchange rate: China sees currency rise as ‘relatively moderate’ despite concerns

The rise of China’s yuan against the US dollar has been relatively moderate and it will still fluctuate around a reasonably balanced level, China’s foreign exchange regulator said Friday, signalling Beijing’s tolerance for the curreny’s recent rise amid escalating trade tensions with Washington.The yuan has gained around 7 per cent against the US dollar in the past six months, stoking debate over whether authorities should intervene to slow the rally.Officially, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC…

US man arrested with van full of guns plotted to kill Joe Biden, court documents show

Before his arrest in May in Kannapolis, near Charlotte, Alexander Treisman often mused online about violence.“I was going to do a Columbine for a while,” the 19-year-old from Seattle wrote online in April. “(Now) I think it would be better to put it toward something more memorable.”What Treisman had in mind was unclear. But federal investigators later found an online post on iFunny in which Treisman posed a question and may have offered a clue:“Should I kill Joe Biden?”According to federal…

Pages