Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fact Check

Black Lives Matter protest at Iowa Capitol was an “insurrection” like that on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP)Source link

“We have encountered the largest surge of migrants (at the southern border) in the last 20 years.”

A migrant from Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S. stands in front of tents at the border crossing on March 1, 2021, in Tijuana,...

No, Ilhan Omar didn’t say that police shouldn’t exist because there are Jewish cops

If Your Time is shortThis claim appears to have originated in a self-described satirical blog post.See the sources for this fact-checkAmid the trial of...

"DMX received COVID vaccine days before heart attack."

The rapper DMX, born Earl Simmons, performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2011. He died April 9 at...

Chase half flips on pledge not to launch independent bid for governor

Del. Amanda Chase threatened to bolt the Republican party and run for governor as an independent last December when the state GOP decided to...

Says Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was “not on neck of George Floyd.”

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is charged with causing the death of...

US Politics
Latest

Refugee families urge Biden to keep promise to up admissions

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The families of refugees and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, sent President Joe Biden a letter Tuesday urging him...

Michigan man who climbed Capitol wall charged in riot

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man who climbed a wall at the U.S. Capitol became the seventh Michigan resident to be charged in...

Bill to lift Idaho smoking age from 18 to 21 fails in House

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The House on Tuesday rejected legislation banning anyone under 21 from buying cigarettes or electronic smoking products in Idaho has...

Democrats dare GOP to filibuster Asian American hate crimes bill

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said that Republicans are considering voting to open debate and offering amendments on the hate crimes measure. Some...

Attorney Lin Wood: Blasting South Carolina’s top Republicans

Lin Wood, the pro-Trump attorney seeking a GOP leadership role in South Carolina, took on two of the state’s most notable Republicans on Tuesday...

LGBTQ

Tom Daley can’t stomach being a Harry Potter fan because of J.K. Rowling / LGBTQ Nation

Dustin Lance Black and husband Tom Daley (l)/J.K. RowlingPhoto: ShutterstockOut Olympic diver Tom Daley said in a recent interview that he can no longer...

How strongly does President Biden support LGBTQ rights? We asked the man who knows best. / LGBTQ Nation

Reggie Greer, the Biden campaign's LGBTQ+ engagement directorPhoto: Biden-Harris CampaignFor LGBTQ people, President Joe Biden’s inauguration meant more than the Democrats taking back the...

Brandi Carlile hid Ellen’s coming out episode on a tape labeled with her boyfriend’s name / LGBTQ Nation

Brandi Carlile performing in 2018Photo: Andy Witchger/via WikipediaOut lesbian musician Brandi Carlisle told Ellen DeGeneres that she recorded Ellen’s famous coming out episode when...

Tech

Pinterest establishes legal entity in Turkey to avoid bans

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The image-sharing platform Pinterest became the latest social media company to agree to set up a legal entity in Turkey...

Loud debates, fun banter: Mideast finds outlet in Clubhouse

BEIRUT (AP) — They are boisterous, argumentative and at times downright hilarious. Hundreds of thousands of people in the Arab world are turning to...

Biden’s closest Senate ally emerges as a shadow secretary of state

Must read

Refugee families urge Biden to keep promise to up admissions

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The families of refugees and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, sent President Joe Biden a letter Tuesday urging him...

Soviet cosmonaut made pioneering spaceflight 60 years ago

MOSCOW (AP) — Crushed into the pilot’s seat by heavy G-forces, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin saw flames outside his spacecraft and prepared to die....

Report details new coronavirus variant cases in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Health officials have reported a case of a coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa in south-central Alaska.The Alaska case...

Black Lives Matter protest at Iowa Capitol was an “insurrection” like that on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP)Source link

Coons rejects the idea that he is supplanting Blinken. Still, he is embracing the identity that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) described as a “force multiplier” for the president. While Blinken criss-crosses the globe to address an array of diplomatic and national-security issues, Biden can rely on Coons to pinch-hit.

“The fact that I am known to have a close relationship with [Biden] helps me deliver a more forceful message,” Coons said of his weekend trip to Addis Ababa, where he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“President Biden thought it was important to send someone who could speak for him and deliver a message for him directly,” he added, referring to himself as Biden’s “personal emissary” on this mission.

Indeed, Coons did not hesitate to say yes when Biden asked him to make the long trek to Africa to address the atrocities in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

Coons delivered a letter from Biden to Abiy and returned to Washington with a response for Biden in-hand. Speaking with POLITICO two hours after landing back in the U.S., his voice hoarse from exhaustion, Coons described the trip as “positive and purposeful.” And there’s already evidence to back that up.

On Tuesday, Abiy admitted — after consistent denials — that Eritrean troops had, in fact, entered the Tigray region, where they are accused of slaughtering and raping civilians. It was a major breakthrough in the long-running conflict between Eritrea and the regional governing party in Tigray, which has sought to overthrow Abiy’s government.

The U.S. has called for Eritrean troops to leave Tigray and for Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, to take responsibility for protecting all his citizens — including the ethnic minorities in that region — after credible reports emerged detailing grisly human-rights violations. Blinken described the massacres earlier this month as “ethnic cleansing,” a claim that the Ethiopian government denies.

Coons’ situation as a stand-in for the Biden administration is unique, dating back to calls he got as early as last fall from foreign officials hoping for access to his fellow Delawarean. It’s one that senators from both parties said Biden should continue to take advantage of.

“You’ve got members of Congress who show an interest in the issue, they can be really helpful,” Graham said. “I think it’s a smart move by President Biden, and I know Chris is very capable.”

Despite the potential for territorial friction between Coons and Blinken over foreign policy matters, none has come up yet. The senator briefed the secretary at length on his way back from Ethiopia and noted that Blinken is “incredibly busy,” having met with Chinese officials in Alaska last week before flying to Brussels for talks with officials from NATO and the European Union.

“So if I’m able to play some small role in advancing our shared priorities,” Coons said, “I’m very happy to.”

Coons was a natural match for the Ethiopia mission, carrying deep ties to the region in addition to a bond with the president. The third-term senator was a humanitarian aid worker in Kenya before he attended law school and has served as the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel’s Africa subcommittee.

A National Security Council spokesperson said that Coons, Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield “have repeatedly engaged the Ethiopian government, as well as other international partners at the highest levels, to help secure an end to the violence” in Tigray.

Beyond foreign policy, Coons will remain instrumental as Biden tries to push his agenda through Congress. The Senate is set to take up several major bills in the coming months that will likely need support from Republicans, and Coons’ good standing with GOP senators — though it has gotten him in trouble with liberals — leaves him well-positioned to help strike a deal.

“Diplomacy is important to him — international diplomacy, but also, he’s quite a diplomat within the Senate,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “And he’s been a good partner.”

That partnership mentality would make Coons an easy choice if Biden ends up having to tap a replacement for Blinken later in his administration. The secretary of state job would come easy to Coons, fellow senators have said, and he would likely get confirmed with 90-plus votes.

It helps that Coons is always happy to talk about international affairs, both with reporters and his colleagues. Senators in both parties quizzed Coons about his trip when he returned to the Capitol on Monday. Coons remained on the floor for around 30 minutes during an evening vote series fielding questions about the situation in Ethiopia.

Despite his grueling travel schedule — Coons guessed he only slept for a total of six hours during the three-day trip — he was eager to stay and chat.

The 57-year-old declined to say whether he expects to conduct similar diplomatic efforts on Biden’s behalf in the future, saying only that that was up to the president.

“I think it is important that the United States more broadly, and President Biden in particular, demonstrate engagement, concern, commitment to resolve the humanitarian and human-rights challenges in Tigray,” Coons said.

But while his Democratic friend remains in the Senate, Cornyn offered Coons a quirky assignment that would be familiar to Tom Cruise fans: “the ambassador of quan.”

Cornyn jokingly bestowed that title on Coons when the two crossed paths in the Capitol this week. It refers to the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire,” in which Cruise’s agent shows Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s NFL star how to seek more than just cold cash.

In the film, “quan” means both coin and communal respect, two qualities that Coons represents these days as a senator-slash-globetrotter for the White House — which explains why Coons quipped back to the Republican that his teasing was “almost literally” correct.

Source link

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Refugee families urge Biden to keep promise to up admissions

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The families of refugees and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, sent President Joe Biden a letter Tuesday urging him...

Soviet cosmonaut made pioneering spaceflight 60 years ago

MOSCOW (AP) — Crushed into the pilot’s seat by heavy G-forces, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin saw flames outside his spacecraft and prepared to die....

Report details new coronavirus variant cases in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Health officials have reported a case of a coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa in south-central Alaska.The Alaska case...

Black Lives Matter protest at Iowa Capitol was an “insurrection” like that on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP)Source link

Pinterest establishes legal entity in Turkey to avoid bans

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The image-sharing platform Pinterest became the latest social media company to agree to set up a legal entity in Turkey...