South China Morning Post USA

Joe Biden frames climate change battle as chance to create jobs, boost economy

Facing resilient Republican opposition to his new climate commitments, US President Joe Biden rallied with other world leaders on Friday to tout the opportunities for economic growth and job creation offered by aggressive action.“It’s an opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs around the world in innovative sectors – jobs that bring greater quality of life, greater dignity, to the people who are performing those jobs in every nation,” Biden said, calling climate action “an economic…

Joe Biden to make first overseas trip in June for G7 and Nato summits

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Ben Leonard on politico.com on April 23, 2021.Joe Biden will head to Europe for his first overseas trip as president, the White House announced on Friday, travelling in mid-June to Britain and Belgium.Biden will attend international summits during the trip, including the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, from June 11-13 and then the June 14 Nato summit in Brussels. While in Brussels, Biden will also take…

California cop charged in death of Filipino man Laudemar Arboleda, shot nine times

A sheriff’s deputy in the San Francisco Bay Area has been charged with manslaughter and assault in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Filipino man during a slow-moving car chase more than two years ago.Last month, the same deputy shot and killed a black man.The charges this week came a day after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd, a black man whose death last May helped spark a national reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality.The…

US troops increasingly vulnerable to directed-energy attacks, Pentagon tells lawmakers

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Lara Seligman, Andrew Desiderio and Betsy Woodruff Swan on politico.com on April 22, 2021.The Pentagon warned lawmakers this week about the growing and urgent threat of directed-energy attacks on US troops in the Middle East and elsewhere, according to four people briefed on the matter.Two Defence Department officials briefed members of the House Armed Service Committee about the phenomenon in a…

US-China tech war: senators renew push to advance self-driving cars to compete with China

Two US senators are working to attach legislation to allow automakers to deploy tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles on US roads to a bipartisan China bill, a significant reform that could help speed the commercial use of automated vehicles.Senators Gary Peters, a Democrat, and John Thune, a Republican, have circulated a draft amendment seen by Reuters that would grant the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the power to initially exempt 15,000 self-driving vehicles…

US says Australia bearing brunt of China’s ‘coercive’ behaviour

The United States voiced solidarity on Thursday with Australia, saying it suffered from China’s “coercive” diplomacy, after Canberra angered Beijing by scrapping a major infrastructure deal.State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Australia makes its own decisions but that the country has “borne a tremendous toll” from actions by Beijing.“We continue to stand with the people of Australia as they bear the brunt of the PRC’s coercive behaviour,” he told reporters, referring to the People’s…

Coronavirus: Canada bans flights from India and Pakistan amid growing wave in region

Canada on Thursday said it is banning all flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the growing wave of Covid-19 cases in that region.Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the ban would start late on Thursday, speaking hours after India reported a global record of more than 314,000 new infections in the previous 24-hours. Cargo flights from India and Pakistan will continue.Health Minister Patty Hajdu said half the people who are testing positive for the coronavirus after arriving in…

Teslas can be ‘tricked’ to run without driver, report says after fatal crash

Consumer Reports engineers said they “easily tricked” a Tesla vehicle to drive via its Autopilot feature without anyone in the driver’s seat, just days after a fatal crash in Texas where police said they found no one behind the steering wheel of a Tesla car.In a test conducted this week, test drivers took several trips on a closed half-mile (800-metre) track in a Tesla Model Y sport utility vehicle, the non-profit research organisation said in a statement on Thursday. The vehicle – with…

US Senate passes hate crimes bill after attacks on Asian-Americans

The Senate passed by an overwhelming margin legislation designed to combat hate crimes in the US, as lawmakers united to respond after a sharp increase in attacks against Asian-Americans since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.The 94-1 bipartisan vote responds to growing calls for action, including from President Joe Biden who pointed to last month’s shootings by a white gunman at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead. The victims included six women of Asian descent.While the…

US House votes to make Washington DC the 51st state, but Senate fight looms

A decades-long movement to reshape the American political map took a further step Thursday as the House of Representatives approved a bill to make the nation’s capital the 51st state.Approval came by a 216-208 vote along strict party lines. Republicans oppose the idea given that the new state would be overwhelmingly Democratic – and the proposal faces a far tougher road in the Senate, where even full Democratic support isn’t guaranteed.The legislation proposes creating a 51st state with one…

Broadcasters must disclose content sponsored by China or Russia, rules US Federal Communications Commission

American broadcasters must start disclosing programmes sponsored or paid for by a foreign government such as China or Russia, the US communications watchdog said on Thursday.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said any radio or television station must make it clear at the beginning and end of programmes when a specific country or political party has sponsored the content it broadcasts. The identification should be made on television or spoken audibly on radio. For programmes longer than…

Global climate summit: Xi Jinping and Joe Biden united in drive for net-zero carbon emissions

Leaders from around the world called on Thursday for cooperation to reduce greenhouse gases towards an eventual goal of net-zero carbon emissions in a bid to tamp down a rapidly warming planet.Addressing a US-led global climate summit, President Joe Biden cited the need to balance costs and responsibilities while Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the critical role of developing countries in sustainable development. But European leaders were among the most detailed and forceful in their…

China trade: Xinjiang exports to US doubled in first quarter, even as cotton ban and sanctions kicked in

Despite American bans on key products and sanctions on major companies, Xinjiang’s direct exports to the United States more than doubled in the first quarter of 2021 - a trend that has baffled analysts.Exports from the western Chinese region surged 113 per cent from a year earlier over the first three months to US$64.4 million, according to detailed data released by China’s customs agency. While shipments are coming off a low base due to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging Chinese and…

Joe Biden set to recognise massacre 0f Armenians as genocide, risks Turkey’s wrath

US President Joe Biden was preparing to formally acknowledge that the systematic killing and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in modern-day Turkey more than a century ago was genocide, according to US officials.The anticipated move - something Biden had pledged to do as a candidate - could further complicate an already tense relationship with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Administration officials had not informed Turkey as of Wednesday, and Biden…

In first, Perseverance Mars rover makes oxygen on another planet

Nasa’s Perseverance rover keeps making history.The six-wheeled robot has converted some carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into oxygen, the first time this has happened on another planet, the space agency said Wednesday.“This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for Nasa’s space technology mission directorate.The technology demonstration took place on April 20, and it’s hoped future versions of the…

George Floyd murder: Joe Biden thinks bar is too high for convicting violent police officers

US President Joe Biden thinks “the bar is too high” for convicting violent police officers and will use his speech to Congress next week to push for reform, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.“He believes the bar for convicting officers is too high,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “It needs to be changed.”Reform efforts are in focus following Tuesday’s conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Psaki said Biden backs a bill…

US senators propose more programmes to help competition with China

More aid to Africa and Latin America, greater funding for technology industries and a more robust US development bank were among the initiatives added Wednesday to a landmark bill intended to improve the US’ ability to compete with China.“The issues facing us today in foreign policy, and perhaps for the entire 21st century, is going to be China, China and China,” said Jim Risch of Idaho, the senior Republican on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in the hearing on the Strategic…

Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou wins bid to delay extradition hearing by three months, throwing marathon case into turmoil

Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou has won an application to adjourn her Canadian extradition case for more than three months in light of new evidence being provided by HSBC bank, throwing the schedule for the already-marathon case into disarray.The final phase of the legal battle, which has lasted 28 months and has upended China’s relations with Canada and the US, had been scheduled to begin next week. But Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes ruled in the Supreme Court of British…

US lawmakers back US$100 billion science push to compete with China

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation calling for US$100 billion in government spending over five years on basic and advanced technology research and science in the face of rising competitive pressure from China.The measure, sponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Republican Senator Todd Young and others, would also authorise another US$10 billion to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs and create a supply chain crisis response programme…

Beijing Olympics: US shouldn’t send officials, government panel says, citing Xinjiang abuses

A US government commission on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to not send officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing religious persecution including China’s repression of Uygurs, which Washington has labelled genocide.President Joe Biden’s administration signalled earlier this year that it had no plans to bar American athletes from taking part in the Beijing Games.But calls from lawmakers and activists have been mounting for a coordinated diplomatic boycott in which…

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