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AP News | Equities.com |

As the coronavirus swept across the globe last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sank into the shadows, undermined by some of its own mistakes and stifled by an administration bent on downplaying the nation’s suffering.

Now a new CDC director is arriving to a mammoth task: reasserting the agency while the pandemic is in its deadliest phase yet and the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign is wracked by confusion and delays.


Reuters | Equities.com |

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump, who won the White House in part by promising to “drain the swamp” of Washington political maneuvering, on Wednesday revoked his executive order barring aides and other administration officials from lobbying.

The restrictions, imposed soon after he took office in 2017, had targeted the kind of insider culture the Republican Trump had campaigned against and blocked the kind of lucrative gigs that he had sai...


AP News | Equities.com |

President Donald Trump pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of his White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of him and his family.

The last-minute clemency, announced Wednesday morning, follows separate waves of pardons over the past month for Trump associates convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation as well as for the father of his son-in-law. Taken together, the actions underscore the president’s willingness, all the way through his four years in the White House, to flex his constitutional powers in ways that defy convention and explicitly aid his friends and supporters.


Reuters | Equities.com |

President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is set to pledge on Tuesday that he will work to revitalize damaged American diplomacy and build a united front to counter the challenges posed by Russia, China and Iran.

In a speech a day before Democrat Biden takes over from Republican Donald Trump, whose four-year tenure was marked by unilateral American action that often upset allies, Blinken will pledge to act together with them and with humility.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Central Washington is an armed fortress, fenced off with razor wire and surrounded by 25,000 National Guard troops ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, a stark contrast to previous inaugurations, when the United States capital erupted in days of celebration.

The COVID-19 pandemic had already canceled the inaugural balls. Now the National Mall is closed to the public due to threats of violence from groups who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Almost none of the public will witness firsthand the transition of power, souring the mood of Washingtonians.


AP News | Equities.com |

President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.

The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, putting passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.


AP News | Equities.com |

Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters.

A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The French central bank said on Monday it would exit from coal and limit exposure to gas and oil in its investment portfolio by 2024 as part of a shift towards more environmentally friendly assets.

Many central banks have committed to green up their investment portfolios as part of a push to encourage the financial system to support a less environmentally damaging economy.

The Bank of France manages 22 billion euros ($26.6 billion) of its own portfolio investments separately from asset purchases related to its monetary policy operations.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s expected move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline prompted Canada’s main oil-producing province of Alberta on Monday to threaten to seek damages as Ottawa made efforts to save the troubled project.

Scrapping the project would threaten Canadian jobs and the U.S.-Canadian relationship as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tries to turn the page on the Donald Trump era, though the idea drew support from environmental groups and progressive U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

A source told Reuters on Sunday that Biden will cancel a permit for the $8 billion project over concerns about fossil fuels contributing to climate change, dealing a blow to the Canadian energy sector.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Following a scandal involving child welfare payments that drove thousands of families into financial hardship, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire cabinet resigned Friday, according to reports.

Rutte announced the resignations in a televised address, saying that the responsibility for the scandal “ultimately rests with the incumbent cabinet and nowhere else.” 

In December, the Parliamentary Interrogation Committee on Childcare Allowance released findings of an investigation that revealed tax officials wrongly accused around 10,000 families of fraud and ordered them to repay benefits between 2013 and 2019. Many of those families, the inquiry found, were targeted based on their ethnicity or dual nationalities.