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Power struggle to succeed Merkel heading for final showdown

Politics / Political News /

The battle to lead Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc into September’s election is headed for a final showdown, with a decision likely at some point in the next 48 hours.

Armin Laschet, who leads Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, and Markus Soeder, who runs the CDU’s Bavarian sister party CSU, were holding “...Read more

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Signs of thaw on Iran nuclear standoff emerge in Vienna talks

Politics / Political News /

The U.S. and Iran edged closer to ending their standoff over the nuclear deal, with Washington describing talks as “constructive” and the Islamic Republic signaling that it was ready to debate the details of how the two sides will practically revive the stricken 2015 accord.

Jake Sullivan, United States national security adviser, told Fox ...Read more

JIM WATSON/AFP/AFP/TNS

Biden says first golf outing as president leaves course record intact

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden spent Saturday afternoon on the first golf outing of his presidency, playing at the Wilmington Country Club near his Delaware home.

Speaking to reporters after his round, Biden said, smiling, “the course record is still intact.”

The president golfed with White House counselor Steve Ricchetti and Ron Olivere, father of ...Read more

Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images Europe/TNS

World power talks move ahead as Iran drafts text to save nuclear deal

Politics / Political News /

World powers made further progress in their efforts to end a yearslong standoff between Iran and the U.S. over the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal, as the Islamic Republic said a “new understanding” was taking shape at key talks in Vienna.

Iran’s lead negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said serious disagreements remain but ...Read more

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Biden to pledge climate aid for developing nations next week

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is set to announce next week a plan for distributing billions of dollars more in aid to help developing nations adapt to global warming and embrace clean energy, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Treasury Department will deliver a blueprint for the spending as President Joe Biden prepares ...Read more

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Biden maintains Trump-era refugee cap, sparking outrage

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday signed a presidential determination that sets this year’s refugee admissions level at 15,000 refugees, maintaining a historically low level set by his predecessor but altering Trump-era regional allocations.

Biden had promised in February to raise the admissions cap to 62,500 for the current fiscal...Read more

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Biden renews call for gun-control laws after Indiana shooting

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden renewed his call for added gun-control laws and ordered U.S. flags to fly at half-staff after a deadly shooting near the Indianapolis airport, the latest in series of massacres that have shaken the nation.

“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence,” Biden said in a statement on Friday, noting that ...Read more

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Q&A: Can Democrats really pack the Supreme Court?

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON – Democrats have introduced a bill to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court from nine to 13. Such a move could allow President Biden to swing the current 6-3 conservative majority in favor of liberals.

The effort, condemned by Republicans, faces long odds and has raised questions about why the issue is being raised now...Read more

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Biden keeps Trump's refugee cap in place amid migrant surge

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden directed the federal government to accelerate processing of refugees, but didn’t lift the historically low ceiling set by former President Donald Trump amid a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden’s order reallocates refugee slots to make them more readily available to people living in hot spots abroad, ...Read more

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Trump appointees blocked EPA from investigating ethylene oxide polluters and prevented stareport says

Politics / Political News /

CHICAGO – Industry-connected political appointees in the Trump administration blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from investigating ethylene oxide polluters and prevented career staff from warning thousands of Americans who live near sources of the cancer-causing gas, according to a scathing new report from the agency’s ...Read more

Chris Sweda/TNS

Trump appointees blocked EPA from investigating ethylene oxide polluters and prevented staff from warning Americans about the cancer-causing gas, report says

Politics / Political News /

CHICAGO – Industry-connected political appointees in the Trump administration blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from investigating ethylene oxide polluters and prevented career staff from warning thousands of Americans who live near sources of the cancer-causing gas, according to a scathing new report from the agency’s ...Read more

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Biden confronts decades of union decline in bid to boost wages

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden’s strategy of bolstering labor unions as a way to enhance American workers’ pay is running up against a half century of setbacks for organizing workers.

In a high-profile move last week, Amazon.com Inc. workers at a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse voted against joining a retail union, despite a pro-labor video message to ...Read more

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Commentary: Supreme Court decision on at-home worship wisely supported religious liberty

Politics / Political News /

For more than a year, the state of California prohibited my clients, Pastor Jeremy Wong and Karen Busch, as well as countless others from every faith tradition, from meeting with other believers in their own homes to study religious texts, pray and worship together. This is because the state’s “gatherings guidance” banned all indoor ...Read more

ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP/AFP/TNS

Hawley, who voted to overturn election, claims court bill seeks to overturn elections

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — A little more than three months after he led the effort to overturn the 2020 election, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley accused Democrats Thursday of seeking to retroactively overturn the 2016 election.

Hawley, a former clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts, panned a Democratic proposal to expand the U.S. Supreme Court from ...Read more

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Michael Hiltzik: Is Biden the next FDR? That depends on what you think about the New Deal

Politics / Political News /

President Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, left nothing to the imagination on Feb. 9 when he tweeted a line from Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inaugural address: "Action, and action now."

Klain repeated the allusion in another tweet a week later, and even more recently posted side-by-side photos of the Biden and Roosevelt cabinets. All this ...Read more

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Biden meets with Congress' Asian American leaders as Senate takes up a hate-crimes bill

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met Thursday with leaders of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, which has pushed for more Asian Americans in his administration and for a law to combat the sort of hate crimes against the group that have risen since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China.

“We need to stand with the AAPI community...Read more

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises $4.9M for Arkansas race

Politics / Political News /

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, once President Donald Trump’s press secretary, reported raising more than $4.8 million in her race for Arkansas governor, which she said was the most money ever raised in a quarter by a campaign in the state.

“Our message of limiting government and advancing education and opportunity is clearly resonating,” Sanders...Read more

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Supreme Court expansion bill faces serious blocks across political spectrum

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Before a quartet of Democratic members of Congress could take to the steps of the Supreme Court on Thursday to tout a new bill that would expand the number of justices from nine to 13, leaders of their party were already deflating that effort.

“I have no plans to bring it to the floor,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the ...Read more

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Trump allies work to craft a platform going beyond fealty to him

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Former Cabinet members and top officials in Donald Trump’s administration, including economic adviser Larry Kudlow, have launched a new think tank in an effort to create a policy platform out of the former president’s chaotic approach to governing.

The 40-person America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit with a $20 million ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Biden quietly reversed Trump's ban on worker visas. Will it help or hurt the US economy?

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — President Biden has quietly relaxed one of former President Trump’s signature immigration bans against foreign workers with skills that U.S. employers say they cannot find in the domestic labor market.

Many pro-immigration advocacy groups had urged Biden to abolish the ban on so-called guest workers as soon as he entered the ...Read more