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WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday expressed concern about the situation in Belarus as it faces accusations of encouraging migrants to cross into Poland and Lithuania via its territory.
“We think it’s a great concern. We communicated our concern to Russia, we communicated our concern to Belarus,” Biden told reporters as he departed the White House for a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat. “We think it’s a problem.”
The European Union has accused Belarus of mounting a “hybrid attack” to destabilize the bloc by flying in thousands of migrants from war-torn areas and encouraging them to cross the border into the EU illegally.
Migrants, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan, are sheltering in freezing conditions on the border between Belarus and EU states Poland and Lithuania, which are refusing to let them cross. Some have already died and there are fears for the safety of the rest as bitter winter conditions settle in.
Biden’s remarks came hours after Vice President Kamala Harris voiced similar concerns during a visit to France, where she said she discussed the issue with President Emmanuel Macron.
Belarus “is engaged in very troubling activity. It is something that I discussed with President Macron, and the eyes of the world and its leaders are watching what is happening there,” she told a news conference.
Belarus denies fomenting the crisis but has said it cannot help resolve the matter unless Europe lifts sanctions. The EU imposed several rounds of measures in response to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s violent crackdown on mass street protests against his rule in 2020.
Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia, threatened this week to cut off Russian gas supplies delivered to Europe through Belarusian territory. On Friday, the Kremlin appeared to distance itself from that threat, saying it was not consulted in advance of the remarks and would fulfill its delivery contracts.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland
Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman
One of President Joe Biden’s Secret Service agents has gone viral on TikTok after users spotted similarities between him and a ’90s heart-throb.
A Secret Service agent on President Joe Biden’s protection detail is catching many a starry-eyed looky-loo in thirst traps.
There’s a hot, new agent on the scene who’s arousing social media, drawing comparisons to Tom Cruise in Top Gun – Ray-Bans, swagger and all.
“Forget about the PRESIDENT. The ‘SECRET SERVICE’ be looking fine,” wrote Nantucket-based Matthew Notarangelo, known as @life_with_matt on TikTok, in a clip posted over the weekend that now has more than 2.7 million views.
“Biden’s Baddies is how I will refer to his Secret Service from now one,” one titillated commenter quipped.
, the Bidens were spotted stepping out on Massachusetts island where they’re known to celebrate the thanksgiving holiday, before making their way back to the White House on Sunday.
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While many residents came out for a chance to spot the President, it would seem that they stayed for one ravishing agent, dressed casually in khakis, knitted jumper, black trench coat and classic, black Wayfarers – with a Secret Service badge affixed to his belt, flashing beneath the jacket.
“I called dibs first,” added TikTokker @magsmur, who included text over her angle of the scene, saying she “wasn’t the only one lookin’ at the secret service man” in response to @life_with_matt. The video shows the unidentified agent shaking hands and chumming it up with, ostensibly, a fellow plainclothes agent.
One enraptured admirer suggested he is “defending the nation with hotness.” Meanwhile, @sadieethomas12 jumped in with another video of the same occasion – “the third angle y’all been waiting for.”
Others managed to spot the unidentified agent at other sites throughout Nantucket, including @carolinecray, who found the agent greeting churchgoers with his metal detector at an undisclosed house of worship. Her montage of footage also sees the agent from behind, plus one clear shot of his Cruise-esque mug.
“He is giving me Tom Cruise in Top Gun vibes,” one fan pointed out.
Another joked that the now illustrious officer is “not so secret anymore”.
Now, feverish followers are scrambling to discover the identity of the attractive agent in question, even suggesting they be apprehended by the officer – on purpose – as one asked, “How can one be arrested by the Secret Service? Asking for a friend.”
This article originally appeared on theand was reproduced with permission
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. January 6, 2021.
Stephanie Keith | Reuters
A skeptical-sounding panel of federal judges grilled lawyers for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday about his bid to block the release of White House communications and other records to the lawmakers investigating the deadly Capitol invasion.
Trump had filed the lawsuit against the House select committee that seeks those documents as part of its probe of the riot, when hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and temporarily stopped Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Lawyers for Trump argue some of those records should be protected by executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch communications to be kept confidential. They argue that Trump’s assertion of privilege should outweigh the decision of Biden, the incumbent president, to waive privilege over the documents.
The lawyers have asked the appeals court to reverse the opinion of a federal judge, who ruled that the National Archives is allowed to hand the disputed records over to the select committee.
“This all boils down to who decides,” Judge Ketanji Jackson said during oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. “Who decides when it’s in the best interest of the United States to disclose presidential records? Is it the current occupant of the White House or the former?”
The judges spent more than 90 minutes questioning Trump’s attorneys, Jesse Binnall and Justin Clark, about why the former president’s privilege claims should outweigh the incumbent’s — as well as whether the court even has jurisdiction to hear the case. The judges frequently interrupted Trump’s lawyers and at times sounded frustrated by the answers they heard.
After Clark argued that, on some issues, the former president will have a better grasp of the context and issues surrounding a certain set of documents, Jackson shot back, “The incumbent president will know better the needs of the executive branch” and its relationship with Congress.
“Why, then, would it be that the court should preference the former president’s concerns about confidentiality, even though he may have the superior knowledge,” the judge asked, when “we’re in a different world today because we have a different president who’s taking into account not only confidentiality but other things?”
The arguments, which were still ongoing after more than two hours late Tuesday morning, were heard by a panel of three judges on the D.C. circuit that was seen as an unlucky draw for Trump. Two of the judges, Robert Wilkins and Patricia Millett, were appointed by former President Barack Obama, while Jackson was appointed by Biden.
President Donald Trump looks on at the end of his speech during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
The district administration has decided to reach out to schools and colleges in the wake of speculations on the rise of Covid-19 cases. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Isha Kalia also formed teams to expedite the sampling to prevent the spread of the infection. There is also a decline in the number of testing which shall be increased across the district.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the DC said that testing will be increased and they are targeting the students of various educational institutes. The testing of students will take place in all schools across the district which will start on December 1 and be completed by December 16. When asked about the low number of sample collection in the district, the DC said that they had set a target to collect around 3,400 samples per day but in the last few months, due to a decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases, people become reluctant and do not bother to get themselves tested.
“Our teams are holding camps for testing but people are coming in fewer numbers, I urge the people to come and get tested and not take even the minor fever lightly,” the DC further said.
At present the health department is testing around 1,000 people against a target of 3,400.
The positivity rate of the district is also below 1 percent. The health department collected a total of 6,57,969 samples out of which 5,76,019 people had been tested negative.
The district had reported a total of 1,072 deaths due to the infection. The DC added that the protocol was already in place for international travellers and their teams have been following up with people coming from abroad. She said that the administration gets a list of passengers who have arrived in the state from abroad following which the health department teams continue to regularly check with them over phone calls and taking feedback.
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