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Italian ambassador to Congo Luca Attanasio killed in assault


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Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in an assault on a United Nations convoy whereas visiting the Central African nation, officers mentioned.

The Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, was touring round 10:15 a.m. Monday when the group was attacked close to the city of Kanyamahoro, the Virunga Nationwide Park advised Reuters.

A army policeman touring with him was additionally killed within the assault.

“It’s with deep sorrow that the International Ministry confirms the demise at present in Goma of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a policemen from the Carabinieri,” the Italian international ministry mentioned in a press release.

“The ambassador and the soldier have been touring in a automobile in a convoy of MONUSCO, the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission within the Democratic Republic of Congo,” it added.

Italian Ambassador to DR Congo, Luca Attanasio, was killed in an apparent attack on the UN convoy on February 22, 2021.
Italian Ambassador to DR Congo, Luca Attanasio, was killed in an obvious assault on the UN convoy on February 22, 2021.

Virunga Nationwide Park initially mentioned that two individuals have been killed within the convoy and the ambassador was wounded. The third individual was a driver, diplomatic sources mentioned.

It was not instantly identified who was behind the lethal assault.

The locked entrance to the Level III Indian Field Hospital, where the dead body of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio lies, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo February 22, 2021.
The locked entrance to the Degree III Indian Discipline Hospital, the place the useless physique of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio lies, in Goma, jap Democratic Republic of the Congo February 22, 2021.
REUTERS/Djaffar Al-Katany

Virunga, which lies alongside Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda, is house to dozens of armed teams.

With Put up wires


Psaki distances Biden from saying Cuomo is COVID administration ‘gold normal’


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White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday distanced President Biden from his previous evaluation that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the “gold normal” of COVID-19 administration.

Psaki stated it was essential to recall that Biden stated optimistic issues about many native leaders early within the pandemic final 12 months — providing a definite non-vote of confidence within the beleaguered fellow Democrat, who faces twin scandals referring to a coverup of COVID-19 nursing house deaths and sexual harassment allegations from a former aide.

“Effectively, initially, I believe, to be truthful, let’s put all of the feedback in context, which generally is lacking from these conversations we’ve got in right here and through interviews. On the time, which was I imagine April of final 12 months, the president spoke out and stated optimistic issues a few vary of governors — Democrats and Republicans — who have been stepping in when there was a vacuum of management on the federal stage, after they have been getting no data, after they have been getting no assist, and no steering from the previous Trump administration,” Psaki stated at her every day press briefing.

“He made some optimistic feedback about Governor Cuomo and his function in New York on the time as he did a few vary of governors.”

Psaki additionally stated that Biden helps sexual harassment accusers — responding to a query about former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan’s Wednesday declare that Cuomo kissed her with out her consent and recommended they play “strip poker.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing at the White House on Feb. 25, 2021.
White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on the White Home on Feb. 25, 2021.
Yuri Gripas/Pool

Democrats together with New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio are calling for a probe of Boylan’s claims.

“Let me first say that the president has been constant in his place. When an individual comes ahead, they should be handled with dignity and respect. Their voice must be heard, not silenced. And any allegation must be reviewed,” Psaki stated.

“Governor Cuomo can be the governor of one of many largest states within the nation, that has been one of many hardest hit with hundreds of thousands of individuals nonetheless affected by an ongoing pandemic and an financial disaster, and our focus is to proceed working with governors from throughout the nation from a spread of states on how we’re serving to individuals of their states. He additionally continues to be head of the Nationwide Governors Affiliation.”

Biden will meet nearly with Cuomo on Thursday afternoon in his function as chairman of the NGA. Cuomo most lately met with Biden in individual this month a day after The Submit reported on an explosive admission from high aide Melissa DeRosa that his administration hid knowledge on COVID-19 deaths in nursing houses out of worry that the true numbers would “be used towards us” by federal prosecutors.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Gov. Cuomo and others in the Oval Office on Feb. 12, 2021.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Gov. Cuomo and others within the Oval Workplace on Feb. 12, 2021.
Adam Schultz/White Home

Cuomo has tried to stroll again the harm by claiming DeRosa was solely speaking about stonewalling state legislators, however Democratic and Republican skeptics alike notice that her remarks seem to explain broader obstruction of the feds as effectively, which might quantity to against the law. The FBI and US lawyer for the japanese district of New York reportedly are investigating Cuomo.

Cuomo denies {that a} March 25 state rule barring nursing houses from turning away coronavirus-positive sufferers contributed considerably to New York’s 46,000 COVID-19 deaths. However after months of scrutiny, New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James, a Democrat, final month revealed that the Cuomo administration underreported by about 50 % the variety of deaths linked to nursing houses.

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DC police warn extremists need to ‘blow up’ Capitol


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Intelligence businesses have uncovered threats from far-right extremists to “blow up” the US Capitol when President Biden delivers his first joint handle to each homes of Congress, a prime Capitol legislation enforcement official revealed Thursday.

Performing Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman made the revelation whereas testifying earlier than the Home Appropriations Committee alongside performing Home Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett as a part of Congress’ broader probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“We all know that members of the militia teams that have been current on Jan. 6 have acknowledged their needs that they need to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as attainable with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman mentioned, noting that the date for the handle had not but been set.

“So primarily based on that data,” the performing police chief continued, “we expect that it’s prudent that Capitol Police keep its enhanced and sturdy safety posture till we handle these vulnerabilities.”

Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman testified to Congress on February 25, 2021.
Capitol Police Performing Chief Yogananda Pittman testified earlier than Congress on February 25, 2021.
Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Photos

Pittman’s revelation got here after being requested whether or not there was a necessity for enhanced safety measures to be prolonged, such because the Nationwide Guard deployment and fencing across the campus.

President Biden has not but delivered a joint handle to Congress, as is typically finished on the State of the Union in January.

On account of COVID-19 and the Capitol siege, the speech was initially postponed to February.

Biden shouldn’t be anticipated to ship the State of the Union till after he has signed his $1.9 trillion aid bundle, although it isn’t clear what these threats will do to these plans.

The White Home couldn’t instantly be reached by The Put up for remark.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman made the revelation that right wing extremists threatened to blow up the Capitol building during Joe Biden's State of the Union address.
Performing Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman made the revelation that proper wing extremists threatened to explode the Capitol constructing throughout Joe Biden’s State of the Union handle.Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA

The hearings come at some point after Blodgett and Pittman’s predecessors testified on their dealing with of the lead as much as the lethal assault, which led to each of their resignations.

Lawmakers are presently within the midst of weeks of hearings into the siege.

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Espaillat ‘not snug’ with pork in $1.9T COVID invoice


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New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat on Thursday stated he’s “not snug” with “embarrassing” spending unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid invoice, which is anticipated to move the Home Friday.

The candid admission throughout a CNN interview was circulated by Republicans who’ve been making the identical level this week.

Mark Bednar, a senior aide to Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted the clip, writing, “Democrat Rep admits he’s ‘not snug’ with Pelosi’s pet tasks.”

Espaillat admitted his misgivings when pressed by CNN host Poppy Harlow on $1.5 million for the Seaway Worldwide Bridge between Massena, New York, and Canada, and $100 million towards development of an underground rail line linking Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district and Silicon Valley.

“I’m saying that any invoice that has $1.9 trillion, there might be one line that may most likely be considerably embarrassing, proper?” he stated.

$100 million is set to be spent on construction of an underground rail line linking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district and Silicon Valley.
$100 million is about to be spent on development of an underground rail line linking Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district and Silicon Valley.
JIM WATSON/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Pressed by Harlow, he stated, “The reply, no, I’m not snug” with unrelated objects.

The invoice is anticipated to move largely alongside get together traces within the Home, however there could also be a combat within the Senate over the invoice’s $15 minimal wage hike as a result of two Democrats oppose it.

It will give $1,400 stimulus checks to most adults and extends by means of August a federal unemployment insurance coverage complement at $400 per week. However Republicans bristle at $350 billion in help to state and native governments, contending that quantities to “bailouts” of poorly run Democratic areas, and say the truth that new college funding can’t be spent for years exposes that a lot of the invoice isn’t about emergency wants.

Rep. Jason Smith has also been critical of the spending in the relief bill.
Rep. Jason Smith has additionally been crucial of the spending within the aid invoice.
Rod Lamkey / CNP /

“If this bundle was clearly about ensuring that faculties open, why is it that lower than 5 p.c of all spending for faculties will solely be spent this yr?” stated the highest Home Finances Committee Republican, Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, at a Wednesday press convention.

The Congressional Finances Workplace estimates that 95 p.c of the invoice’s $129 billion for Ok-12 faculties might be spent in 2022-2028, partially as a result of a lot of the already appropriated $113 billion hasn’t been spent.

California, which just lately reported a $10 billion price range surplus, is anticipated to obtain greater than $40 billion by way of the invoice, which Republican leaders together with McCarthy say is unneeded.

Republican strategist Andy Surabian advised The Put up that “it’s a shame that Democrats are attempting to push by means of a invoice the place 90 p.c of the spending doesn’t even have something to do with COVID. It’s an absolute a slap within the face to everybody who has really been killed, who’ve had their companies destroyed by these lockdowns.”

Surabian urged Republicans to whittle down the invoice to its 10 p.c core and suggest that as a substitute.

Speaking with Poppy Harlow, Adriano Espaillat admitted he's "not comfortable" with "embarrassing" spending unrelated to COVID-19.
Talking with Poppy Harlow, Adriano Espaillat admitted he’s “not snug” with “embarrassing” spending unrelated to COVID-19.

The funding for the New York bridge is meant to make up for misplaced toll income, a Senate Democratic management aide advised The Put up.

Republicans argue that any COVID-19 invoice needs to be centered on distributing vaccines and returning individuals to work.

They cite concern about including to the nationwide debt so quickly after Congress in December handed a $2.three trillion authorities funding and pandemic aid invoice that licensed $600 stimulus checks for many People and created a $300 weekly unemployment complement.

The invoice accommodates simply $75 billion for vaccines, testing and different pandemic medical provides. It provides $7.2 billion to the Paycheck Safety Program, which provides small companies forgivable loans for payroll and overhead. The PPP program was replenished in December with $484 billion in new funds.

Democrats maintain a slim benefit within the Home and the invoice is anticipated to move regardless of misgivings. A shock defeat can be main blow to Biden and deprive him of what was anticipated to be his first main legislative achievement.

President Biden's $1.9 trillion relief bill is expected to pass in the House on Friday, February 26, 2021.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid invoice is anticipated to move within the Home on Friday, February 26, 2021.
Getty Photographs

Underneath price range reconciliation guidelines, the invoice can move the Senate with a naked majority, avoiding the standard 60 vote supermajority for laws. It’s not but clear if the Senate parliamentarian will permit the invoice to incorporate the hike within the minimal wage from $7.25 to $15. If that provision stays within the invoice, get together leaders face resistance from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

New York Metropolis is anticipated to obtain about $5.6 billion if the invoice passes. The state authorities would get about $12.7 billion, in accordance with estimates launched by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

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