Tag Archives: Washington

US Unrest: National Guard troops step into Washington as the state responds to requests for help | Instant News


Against the backdrop of the US Capitol, members of the National Guard change shifts as they exit through an anti-scaling security fence in Washington. Photo / AP

Busloads of buses and cargo of planes, National Guard troops poured into the nation’s capital on Saturday, as governors responded to US defense officials’ urgent requests for more troops to help guard Washington even as they watched anxiously at possible violent protests in their own states.

Military leaders spent most of the night Thursday and Friday calling on the state in an unprecedented call for more National Guard troops to help lock down large swathes of the city in the days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. In the dribs and drabs, the governor replied, some agreeing to send an extra dozen, 100 or even 1,000, while others said no.

The calls reflect concerns that violent extremist groups are targeting the city after a deadly uprising on the US Capitol on January 6.

Threats range from armed insurgents to possible attempts to plant explosive devices on so-called soft targets. But as Washington begins to resemble an armed camp, with more than 25,000 guards set to be in the city as early as next week, concerns about violence in the state capital have mounted.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she rejected a federal request to send at least 100 more National Guard troops to DC “I don’t think we can safely fulfill that commitment,” Brown said. Oregon has agreed to send 30 to Washington, but state leaders are concerned about violence at the state capitol in Salem.

Others agreed, sparking dizzying bursts of military and convoy flights into the region.

“The peaceful transfer of power is a central principle of American democracy, and Connecticut stands ready to help protect our country.” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, who initially agreed to send 100 guards and on Friday agreed to send 200 more.

In all, more than 130 US Air Guard flights in the past 72 hours have brought at least 7,000 Guard troops to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, according to US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal numbers. Thousands more were in buses and military trucks, rumbling down the highway to Washington.

Army General Dan Hokanson, head of the National Guard Bureau, called in general aides across the country, and others, such as Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, called in governors for help. McCarthy praised the state, saying defense and military officials were well aware of the threats they also faced.

“The governors and TAG were great. They helped us a lot,” McCarthy told The Associated Press.

“That’s the problem – that in the midst of a very dire situation you see how great this country is, everyone is getting together and helping each other get through this.”

Troops walk behind a security fence in Washington as security is stepping up ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.  Photo / AP
Troops walk behind a security fence in Washington as security is stepping up ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo / AP

What began in early January as a routine deployment of some 350 DC National Guard members to aid protests that are expected to explode over the past two weeks became a much larger operation to protect the inauguration and the US Congress Building, and to block access to the city and its many historical monuments.

When the protesters entered the Capitol on January 6, only a little over 100 National Guards were scattered around the city, guarding the Metro’s checkpoints and entrances. Hours later, five people are dead, the Capitol is in disarray and 1100 DC Guards have been activated.

The next day, as information arrived about more planned violence, requests went out for 6,200 members of the Guard from surrounding states.

On Thursday evening, as law enforcement and defense officials flooded maps and conducted security drills, they concluded they needed at least 25,000 to lock down Capitol grounds and vast areas of DC, including the National Mall. And they agreed that most of the Guards would be armed.

At that time, a new chapter of summons to state governors and military leaders began.

Many governors were willing to help, but they made it clear that the state capital was their priority. Some agreed to send more, while others couldn’t. And the numbers vary widely.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf doubled his initial commitment from 1,000 to 2,000. Other states managed to collect an additional dozen.

After reviewing threats against its own country, Minnesota decided it could significantly increase its contribution and would send 850 guards rather than the 130 originally deployed to leave, according to the state’s aide general, Major General Shawn Manke.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has agreed to send 700. On Friday, he announced he would send 300 more – even as he ordered nearly 600 to secure the Ohio state home in Columbus. So it is with the Governor of North Carolina.

Roy Cooper initially agreed to send 200 guards, and on Friday a Ford Porter spokesman said the country would send 100 more. Iowa first said it sent 250 and now the number is 265.

The big military response comes as Congress and law enforcement authorities try to figure out how the US Capitol captured the dramatic power of January 6.

The leaders of four committees in the Democratic-controlled House sent a letter on Saturday seeking briefings and documents from the FBI and other federal agencies as part of their review of the insurgency.

The call for more American soldiers also underscores the Pentagon’s limits on the use of active duty troops. Under the law, they cannot be used for law enforcement, and officials intend to avoid the emergence of armed active forces being used against US citizens on American soil.

Active duty forces routinely prepare to respond to emergencies in Washington, such as flight violations in restricted airspace over DC, and rapid reaction forces are on standby. Other active duty units will take part in various inauguration ceremonies.

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UPDATE 1-The German economy is expected to grow by 3.5% this year – BDI | Instant News


(Added export estimates, Russwurm quote)

BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The German BDI industry association said on Tuesday that it expects Europe’s largest economy to grow 3.5% this year after falling about 5% in 2020 but will not be able to return to pre-pandemic levels until next year the soonest.

The BDI forecast is less optimistic than the government forecast published in October, in which Berlin forecast gross domestic product to recover at a 4.4% expansion rate.

BDI President Siegfried Russwurm said the economy will not be able to return to pre-crisis levels in 2021 due to the second wave of the pandemic.

“But there has to be a good chance that it will happen in the first half of 2022,” added Russwurm.

The Federal Statistical Office will release a brief estimate for the 2020 full-year GDP figures on Thursday. The government will update its GDP growth forecast for 2021 later this month.

BDI said it expected Germany’s export-oriented industrial sector to boost recovery this year as the global economic outlook for 2021 has improved. The lobby group sees exports soaring 6% this year after falling about 11% in 2020.

“The election of Joe Biden as US President facilitates the pathway for multilateral solutions and joint initiatives for fair competition in world markets,” Russwurm said.

“Our company will benefit from China, a global growth driver, and an agreement on an investment pact, even if it’s not perfect.”

The industry group called on the government to increase public investment in infrastructure over the next decade, cut corporate taxes and reduce bureaucracy for companies trying to innovate.

BDI warned that the newly introduced CO2 price could force the energy-intensive sector to move to other countries with less restrictive climate protection regimes. Therefore, Berlin must think of a “correction mechanism” to avoid job losses. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal and Nick Macfie)

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How to Watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Playoff Match With the Washington Football Team; Gametime, TV, Point Spread | Instant News


WASHINGTON – The most lopsided quarterback game in NFL history will be the main storyline on Saturday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on Washington.

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US Unrest: ‘He’s alone’ – Republicans get rid of Donald Trump | Instant News


US President Donald Trump’s firm grip on the Republican Party in Washington is beginning to crumble, leaving him more politically isolated than at any other point in his turbulent administration.

After causing a ruckus in the crowd that later launched a violent siege on the US Capitol, Trump appears to have lost some of his strongest allies, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

Two Cabinet members and at least half a dozen aides have resigned. A number of Republican members of Congress are openly considering whether to join the new push for impeachment.

A Republican senator who has split with Trump in the past asked him to resign and questioned whether he would stay in the party.

“I want him out,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, from Alaska, told The Anchorage Daily News. “He’s done quite a lot of damage.”

The uprising after a bruised election defeat in Georgia that hurt Republican control in the Senate achieved what another low point in Trump’s presidency did not: compel Republicans to fundamentally reassess their relationship with a leader who has long abandoned tradition and decency.

The result could reshape the party, threatening the influence Trump craves and creating divisions between those in Washington and activists on various swaths of the country where the president is very popular.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Donald Trump's most staunch supporters, turned against him after Thursday's riots.  Photo / AP
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Donald Trump’s most staunch supporters, turned against him after Thursday’s riots. Photo / AP

“At this point, I won’t stand up for him anymore,” said Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for George W Bush and a Republican strategist who voted for Trump. “I’m not going to defend him for stirring up the pot inciting the masses. He’s alone.”

As the week began, Trump was undoubtedly the most dominant political force in Republican politics and a monarch of 2024, if not the next GOP presidential candidate himself. Currently, there is a growing feeling that he is forever tarnished – and will probably be forced out of office before his term expires in 12 days.

Without resigning, the calls for a second impeachment on Capitol Hill are getting louder today. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will continue with impeachment due process unless Trump leaves office “imminently and voluntarily”.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, left: "I want [Trump] outside.  He had caused quite a lot of damage." Photo / AP
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, left: “I want to [Trump] outside. He had caused quite a lot of damage. “Photos / AP

presidential election Joe Biden didn’t put his weight behind the effort however, it shows that there is not enough time between now and his inauguration on January 20 to pursue impeachment or other constitutional remedies.

“I’m now focused on us taking control as president and vice president on the 20th and getting our agenda moving as fast as we can,” Biden told reporters.

Trump still has supporters, especially among many Republican voters and conservative activists outside Washington.

National Guard members arrive to secure an area outside the US Capitol.  Photo / AP
National Guard members arrive to secure an area outside the US Capitol. Photo / AP

Yesterday, there was loud applause and chants of “We love you!” when Trump called into a Republican National Committee breakfast meeting in Florida.

“Most of the committee is in complete denial,” said Republican National Committee member Bill Palatucci, from New Jersey, who attended the breakfast. “They are willing to condemn the violence, but without referring to the president’s role in it all.”

The president insisted he had done nothing wrong. He continued to tell his aides, at least personally, that the election was stolen from him.

A Marine stands outside the entrance to the West Wing of the White House, signaling that President Donald Trump is in the Oval Office.  Photo / AP
A Marine stands outside the entrance to the West Wing of the White House, indicating that President Donald Trump is in the Oval Office. Photo / AP

Republican officials in the state’s critical battlefield, the attorney general who recently left and a number of judges – including those appointed by Trump – have dismissed the claims as inappropriate.

Trump had to be persuaded to shoot a video released yesterday in which he ended up condemning the rioters and admitting defeat in November for the first time, while initially rejecting the prospect of speaking negatively about “my people”.

He finally agreed to shoot the video after White House adviser Pat Cipollone warned he could face legal danger for inciting unrest.

Others, including chief of staff Mark Meadows and daughter Ivanka Trump, urged Trump to send messages that might quell talk of forced dismissal from office, either by impeachment or the constitutional procedures outlined in the 25th Amendment.

And while Trump acknowledged in the video that a new administration would take over on January 20, he said so today he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. That makes Trump the first outgoing president since Andrew Johnson 152 years ago to miss the inauguration of his successor.

President Donald Trump at a rally in Washington DC before a mob of supporters storms the US Capitol.  Photo / AP
President Donald Trump at a rally in Washington DC before a mob of supporters storms the US Capitol. Photo / AP

Trump has no plans to disappear from political debate once he leaves office, according to aides who believe he remains immensely popular among Republican ranks.

Lest there be any doubt, Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the November defeat resonated with hundreds of thousands of Republican voters in this week’s Georgia Senate second round election.

About seven in 10 agree with his false statement that Biden is not a legally elected president, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 3700 voters.

The leading poll from the Republican Party, Frank Luntz, has had extensive conversations with grassroots voters and Republican officials about Trump’s position since the siege.

“The professionals are fleeing the sunken ship, but his own supporters have not abandoned him, and they actually want him to continue fighting,” Luntz said. “He will be the voice of God to tens of millions of people, and they will follow him to the ends of the earth and off the cliffs.”

And because of continued voter loyalty, elected officials in the crimson region must remain loyal to the outgoing president as well, even if his own cabinet is not. Hours after this week’s unrest, 147 Republicans in Congress still voted against Biden’s victory, including eight senators.

The dramatic split within the party is reflected in the different paths adopted by the initial list of prospects for the Republican 2024 presidency.

Senators Josh Hawley, from Missouri, and Ted Cruz, from Texas, accepted Trump’s calls to reject Biden’s victory before and after the mob attacks. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton rejected Trump’s wishes, drawing angry tweets from the President earlier this week.

Such attacks were less impactful at the end of the week as they had been given Trump’s weak political state. Yesterday, Cotton slammed fellow Republicans such as Hawley and Cruz, for giving voters “false hope” that Trump’s November defeat could be undone.

Nikki Haley, who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, tried to follow suit when she condemned Trump’s actions this week during a closed meeting with the Republican National Committee.

He praised some of Trump’s accomplishments but predicted that, “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

Meanwhile, there is no clear path for Republicans without Trump. Speaking to reporters today, even Biden raised concerns about the health of the GOP.

“We need the Republican Party,” said Biden, noting that he spoke with Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a prominent Trump critic. “We need a principled and strong opposition.”

Utah Senator Mitt Romney.  President-elect Joe Biden said he spoke with Romney about the need for a strong Republican Party after the Capitol riots.  Photo / AP
Utah Senator Mitt Romney. President-elect Joe Biden said he spoke with Romney about the need for a strong Republican Party after the Capitol riots. Photo / AP

Meanwhile, Trump has planned ways to maintain his political influence once he moves from the White House to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, at the end of the month.

Trusting that his supporters will stay with him no matter what, he continues to address the major challenges pushing against Republicans who are not yet loyal enough to him. And he has hinted publicly and privately that he is likely to challenge Biden in a 2024 rematch.

Doug Deason, a Texas-based donor who served on Trump’s campaign finance committee, said this week’s events did nothing to shake his confidence in the Republican president.

“He has been the best president of my life, including Reagan,” said Deason.

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How President-elect Biden plans to get to his inauguration in Washington, DC | Instant News


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