US President Joe Biden could meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin as early as June, a top Kremlin official has suggested.
Biden had earlier this month proposed a meeting with his Russian counterpart amid growing tensions between the two countries.
Speaking on state-run television channel Rossiya-1, Putin’s top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, said June was “being named” as a likely date for the meeting.
Nothing has been confirmed by the US government. However, a June meeting could potentially take place alongside Mr Biden’s already planned trips to Britain for a G7 summit, as well as NATO and EU summits in Brussels.
Meanwhile, Mr Biden’s predecessor former President Donald Trump appears to have hosted gun rights activist Rep. Lauren Boebert and her family at Mar-a-Lago.
Sharing a photo of her family with a grinning Mr Trump on Twitter, Ms Boebert said she was “honoured to have my entire family be able to spend time with President Trump”.
“We know our country is better than the socialist path the Dems are taking us down,” she said, adding: “Stay positive & believe. We are going to make good things happen!”
Pence ski trip at height of pandemic cost taxpayers $757,000, Crew says
A controversial ski trip taken by former Vice President Mike Pence at the height of the coronavirus pandemic did not only break federal guidelines – it also broke the bank, a new watchdog report has revealed.
According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) Mr Pence’s ski trip with his family cost taxpayers at least $757,000 (£544,000) in security costs.
Read on to find out what those dollars went towards:
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 12:44
Mexico calls for Covid vaccine help from US
Mexico is calling on the US for more assistance vaccinating people along the countries’ shared border.
Already, Mexico has received 2.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the US.
However, Mexican deputy foreign minister for multilateral affairs Martha Delgado said in an interview with Reuters late last week that the country requires further help.
“We are once again taking up dialogue to insist on this need,” she said, in the lead-up to an upcoming visit from Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to the US.
Mexico may also pitch a proposal to prioritise vaccinations along the border, she said, asserting that the issue was an important concern in Mexico.
With strong personal and business ties between communities across the border, the deputy foreign minister suggested it would be easy for reinfection to occur on both sides of the border.
Prioritising vaccinations in border communities could help prevent that from happening, she said.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 12:26
US to send aid to India amid coronavirus surge
The US is sending aid to India to help combat a surge in coronavirus cases that has overwhelmed the country, National security adviser Jake Sullivan has announced.
In a statement on Sunday, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said Mr Sullivan had already discussed the plan with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.
“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need,” the statement said.
Read more on the commitment here:
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 11:54
Biden expands summer food programme for 34M schoolchildren
The Biden administration is expanding the US’s summer food programme to help feed as many as 34 million schoolchildren during the summertime.
Using funds from the coronavirus relief package approved in March, the Agriculture Department has announced that it will continue to facilitate a payments programme used to replace school meals during the pandemic, when many students were forced to study from home, throughout the summer.
Under the programme, eligible families will receive $6.82 per child for each weekday during the summer, adding up to $375 over the summertime.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the benefits programme represented a “first-of-its-kind, game-changing intervention to reduce child hunger in the United States”.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 11:36
Trump hosts Lauren Boebert’s family at Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump appears to have hosted gun rights activist and House representative Lauren Boebert and her family at Mar-a-Lago.
Sharing a photo to Twitter on Sunday of her family posing with a beaming Mr Trump, Ms Boebert said she was “honoured to have my entire family be able to spend time with President Trump”.
“We know our country is better than the socialist path the Dems are taking us down,” she said.
“We know we need to win in 2022 & get back on track,” she said, referring to the midterm elections next year.
“Stay positive & believe. We are going to make good things happen!” she said.
It is unclear when exactly the visit took place or what was discussed between the former president and Ms Boebert.
The Independent has contacted her office for more details.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 11:15
Turkey summons US ambassador over Biden’s ‘genocide’ statement
Turkey summoned the US ambassador in Ankara over the weekend to protest US President Joe Biden’s recent statements branding the mass killing of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire a “genocide”.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal met with David Satterfield late on Saturday evening to express Ankara’s outrage over the statement, Politico reported.
On Saturday, Mr Biden became the first US president to formally acknowledge the 1915 mass killings of Armenians as a genocide.
In a statement, the US leader said his intention was “not to cast blame, but to ensure that what happened is never repeated”.
Turkey, however, has rejected the use of the term “genocide” to describe the mass deportations and killings carried out in the midst of World War I.
In a tweet on Saturday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the country” entirely rejects” Mr Biden’s decision. “We will not take lessons from anyone on our history,” he said.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 10:55
Biden-Putin summit could take place in June, top Kremlin official says
US President Joe Biden could meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as early as June, a top Kremlin official has suggested.
Speaking on state-run television channel Rossiya-1, Putin’s top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, said June had been named as a likely date for the meeting.
Plans have yet to be set in stone, however, and so far the US government has not confirmed a date for a summit.
However, if the meeting did take place in June, it could take place alongside Mr Biden’s already planned trips to Britain for a G7 summit, as well as for NATO and EU summits in Brussels.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 10:45
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog following the latest in US politics as a top Kremlin official signals that a meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin could take place as early as June.
Chantal Da Silva26 April 2021 10:34