The Democrat Joe Biden has been the new US President since January 20 – and does away with the legacy of his predecessor Donald Trump. He left the White House. All news and developments at a glance:
The National Guard’s deployment at the Capitol is extended
Wednesday, March 10th, 1:45 a.m .: The National Guard will support the local security forces at the US Capitol in Washington for at least two and a half more months. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved an application to extend the Capitol Police until May 23, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. The number of reservists will be halved: In the future, 2,300 forces will be deployed. Most recently, around 5,200 soldiers secured the seat of the congress. Originally, the deployment to reinforce the local security forces was supposed to end on Friday.
The National Guard moved in after supporters of ex-President Donald Trump forcibly stormed the Capitol on January 6. The Capitol Police then came under fire because the parliament’s security forces were unable to repel the attack. At least five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. The FBI classifies the storming of the Capitol as domestic terrorism.
Nord Stream: Republicans warn of back door deal
Tuesday, March 9th, 02:37 am: Republican congressmen have warned the administration of US President Joe Biden against a “deal through the back door” with Germany in the conflict over the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2. Strong government statements against the pipeline were not followed by equally strong measures, the Republicans complained in a letter to Foreign Minister Antony Blinken published on Monday. “We fear that this discrepancy can only be explained by the desire to leave room for a deal through the back door with Germany. Any deal that does not stop the completion of Nord Stream 2 would be misguided.”
The Republicans called on Blinken to put other companies involved in the project on the sanctions list. So far, the US has only imposed sanctions against the Russian company KVT-RUS, which operates the Fortuna lay-ship, because of Nord Stream 2 – the government of the Republican US President Donald Trump announced these punitive measures shortly before the end of her term in January. The company and ship were also specifically mentioned in a new administration’s report recently submitted to Congress. Contrary to expectations, other companies were not punished or threatened with punitive measures, which the Republicans criticize.
The Republicans apparently suspect that the Biden government could forego further threats of sanctions if Germany made commitments – for example, promised investments in European energy infrastructure. Such an agreement would not only undermine the security interests of the US and Europe, but also represent an affront to the US Congress, says the letter to Blinken. Support efforts to revive US-Germany relations. Nord Stream 2 is not just about a “nuisance” in relations with Berlin, but about a project through which Russia wants to increase its influence.
US blacklisted ministries and army conglomerates in Myanmar
Friday, March 5th, 2021, 3:42 a.m .: The US is re-sanctioning Myanmar’s army and has blacklisted two ministries and major military conglomerates for trade. “We will not allow the Burmese military to continue to have access to goods that are subject to export regulations,” the US Department of Commerce said on Thursday (local time). The two blacklisted companies – Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited – are among the top military conglomerates, which through the holding companies and their subsidiaries control large parts of Myanmar’s economy. The sanctions also apply to the country’s defense and interior ministries, and Myanmar is said to have export control restrictions for “military end-use” imposed. The US Department also wants to examine further measures.
US President Joe Biden introduced sanctions against Myanmar last month. The measures are seen as a response to the violent suppression of peaceful protests against the takeover of power by the military. Police continue to break up demonstrations with tear gas and gunfire in several cities across the country. The United Nations reports that at least 54 protesters have been killed and more than 1,700 people have been arrested since the February 1 coup.
Reports: Capitol Police want National Guard support longer
Friday, March 5th, 2021, 1:12 a.m .: According to media reports, the police responsible for the US Capitol have requested longer support from the National Guard to secure the parliament building. In the event of a commitment, the soldiers would be on duty at the Capitol until May – two months longer than planned, reported on Thursday, among others Washington Post and the news channel CNN, citing Defense Department officials. The original plan calls for the deployment of several thousand reservists to end next week. When asked, the Pentagon referred to the Capitol Police, from whom no confirmation of the reports could be received at first.
Supporters of the elected US President Donald Trump, who has since left office, stormed the Capitol on January 6th during a session of Congress and wreaked havoc and havoc there. The Capitol Police then came under fire because parliamentary security forces were not prepared for the attack and could not stop the intruders. At least five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. The then head of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, resigned.
The National Guard had moved in to reinforce the local security forces after the attack on the Capitol. There was a warning for this Thursday: The Capitol Police announced on Wednesday that intelligence information pointed to a possible plan by a militia to attack the Capitol. The situation initially remained calm during the day.
Biden criticizes Corona easing as “Neanderthal thinking”
Thursday, March 4th, 2021, 8.11 a.m .: US President Joe Biden has criticized the relaxation of corona-related restrictions in several US states. “I think it’s a big mistake,” said the White House Democrat, referring to easing measures in Texas and Mississippi. Not until the end of May will there be enough vaccine to vaccinate all adult Americans. “The last thing we need is a Neanderthal thought that everything will be fine in the meantime.” It is “crucial” to follow the protective measures recommended by science.
Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US had been dealing with the corona pandemic for a year. “And the whole country is paying the price for political leaders who ignored science about the pandemic.” The head of the US health authority CDC, Rochelle Walensky warned: “Now is not the time to relax all requirements.”
The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, announced that it would lift the mask requirement and all capacity limits for restaurants and other establishments in his state. The Republican governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, had also announced that all orders for the wearing of masks and capacity limits for restaurants and companies would be ended. Other states, including Ohio and Michigan, have at least announced easing of their corona requirements.
Psaki emphasized that Biden’s appeal to Americans to wear masks in his first 100 days in office was based on expert assessments who assumed that 50,000 lives could be saved in this way. When asked if Biden would like to speak to governors in the two states about the easing, Psaki said the president speaks regularly with governors of both parties and will be sure to raise the issue at the earliest opportunity.
Biden’s predecessor in office, Donald Trump, had denied the danger posed by the virus at the beginning of the pandemic, later used certain drugs as supposed miracle cures without scientific evidence, and until recently made it clear that he found wearing masks rather annoying.