Biden vows to check Russian aggression, fight inflation


President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union handle to a joint session of Congress on the Capitol on Tuesday in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi of Calif., look on. (Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Instances through AP, Pool)

Estimated learn time: 7-8 minutes

WASHINGTON — Addressing a involved nation and anxious world, President Joe Biden vowed in his first State of the Union handle Tuesday evening to test Russian aggression in Ukraine, tame hovering U.S. inflation and take care of the fading however nonetheless harmful coronavirus.

Biden declared that he and all members of Congress, no matter political variations there could also be, had been joined “with an unwavering resolve that freedom will at all times overcome tyranny.” He requested the lawmakers crowding the Home chamber to face and salute the Ukrainians as he started his speech. They stood and cheered.

Biden highlighted the bravery of Ukrainian defenders and the dedication of a newly reinvigorated Western alliance that has labored to rearm the Ukrainian navy and cripple Russia’s economic system by sanctions. He warned of prices to the American economic system, as effectively, however warned ominously that with out penalties, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression would not be contained to Ukraine.

“All through our historical past we have discovered this lesson – when dictators don’t pay a value for his or her aggression, they trigger extra chaos,” Biden mentioned. “They preserve transferring. And, the prices and threats to America and the world preserve rising.”

As Biden spoke, Russian forces had been escalating their assaults in Ukraine, having bombarded the central sq. of nation’s second-biggest metropolis and Kyiv’s primary TV tower, killing a minimum of 5 individuals. The Babi Yar Holocaust memorial was additionally broken.

Biden introduced that the U.S. is following Canada and the European Union in banning Russian planes from its airspace in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. He additionally mentioned the Justice Division was launching a process power to go after crimes of Russian oligarchs, whom he referred to as “corrupt leaders who’ve bilked billions of {dollars} off this violent regime.”

“We’re coming to your ill-begotten features,” he mentioned, pledging that the U.S. and European allies had been coming after their yachts, luxurious residences and personal jets.

“Putin might circle Kyiv with tanks, however he won’t ever acquire the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian individuals,” Biden mentioned. “He won’t ever extinguish their love of freedom. He won’t ever weaken the resolve of the free world.”

Even earlier than the Russian invasion despatched power prices skyrocketing, costs for American households had been rising, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to harm households and the nation’s economic system.

Biden outlined plans to handle inflation by reinvesting in American manufacturing capability, rushing provide chains and lowering the burden of childcare and eldercare on staff.

“Now we have a selection,” Biden mentioned. “One technique to combat inflation is to drive down wages and make Individuals poorer. I’ve a greater plan to combat inflation. Decrease your prices, not your wages.”

Biden entered the Home chamber with out a masks, in a mirrored image of the declining coronavirus case counts and new federal steering meant to nudge the general public again to pre-pandemic actions. However the Capitol was newly fenced as a consequence of safety issues after final 12 months’s riot.

Set in opposition to disquiet at residence and hazard overseas, the White Home had conceived Tuesday evening’s speech as a possibility to spotlight the bettering coronavirus outlook, rebrand Biden’s home coverage priorities and present a path to decrease prices for households grappling with hovering inflation. Nevertheless it has taken on new significance with final week’s Russian invasion of Ukraine and nuclear saber-rattling by Putin.

As is customary, Power Secretary Gina Raimondo was saved in a safe location in the course of the handle able to take over the federal government within the occasion of a disaster, in holdover from the Chilly Struggle that took on new significance in gentle of Putin’s threats.

In an interview with CNN and Reuters, Zelenskyy mentioned he urged Biden to ship a robust and “helpful” message about Russia’s invasion. Forward of the speech, the White Home introduced that Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova would be a part of first girl Jill Biden within the galleries to observe Biden’s handle.

Rising power costs on account of Russia’s struggle in Ukraine danger exacerbating inflation within the U.S., which is already on the highest degree in 40 years, consuming into individuals’s earnings and threatening the financial restoration from the pandemic. And whereas the geopolitical disaster in Japanese Europe might have helped to chill partisan tensions in Washington, it did not erase the political and cultural discord that’s casting doubt on Biden’s capability to ship on his pledge to advertise nationwide unity.

Biden spoke to an American public that’s annoyed along with his efficiency. A February AP-NORC ballot discovered that extra individuals disapproved than accredited of how Biden is dealing with his job, 55% to 44%. That is down from a 60% favorable score final July.

Forward of the speech, White Home officers acknowledged the temper of the nation is “bitter,” citing the lingering pandemic and inflation. Biden, used his remarks to spotlight the progress from a 12 months in the past — with the vast majority of the U.S. inhabitants now vaccinated and tens of millions extra individuals at work — but in addition acknowledged that the job will not be but carried out, a recognition of American discontent.

Biden aides say they consider the nationwide psyche is a “trailing indicator” that can enhance with time. However time is working brief for the president, who must salvage his first-term agenda to revive the political fortunes of his celebration earlier than November’s midterm elections.

Earlier than Biden spoke, Home Republicans mentioned the phrase “disaster” describes the state of the union beneath Biden and Democrats — from an power coverage that lets Russia promote oil overseas to challenges at residence over jobs and immigration.

“We’ll push the president to do the correct factor,” mentioned Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy.

No less than a half dozen lawmakers, together with Reps. Jamie Raskin and Pete Aguilar, each members of the committee investigating final 12 months’s Capitol riot, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., had examined optimistic for COVID-19 and weren’t anticipated on the Capitol for the speech.

The place his speech to Congress final 12 months noticed the rollout of a large social spending package deal, Biden this 12 months largely repackaged previous proposals in quest of achievable measures he hopes can win bipartisan assist in a bitterly divided Congress earlier than the elections.

The president additionally highlighted investments in every thing from web broadband entry to bridge development from November’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure regulation for example of presidency reaching consensus and delivering change for the nation.

He additionally appealed to lawmakers to compromise on rival competitiveness payments which have handed the Home and Senate, each meant to revitalize high-tech American manufacturing and provide chains within the face of rising geopolitical threats from China.

“As an alternative of counting on overseas provide chains – let’s make it in America,” Biden mentioned.

The speech got here as progress on a lot of Biden’s different legislative priorities stays stalled on Capitol Hill, after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin scuttled the sweeping “Construct Again Higher” spending invoice that Biden championed final fall.

As a part of his pitch to voters, Biden seemed to resurrect parts of the laws, however with a brand new emphasis on how proposals like extending the kid tax credit score and bringing down baby care prices might carry reduction to households as costs rise. He was additionally outlined how his local weather change proposals would lower prices for lower- and middle-income households and create new jobs.

A U.S. Capitol Police officer checks outside of the Capitol building, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington. President Joe Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address at a precipitous moment for the nation. Biden is aiming to navigate the country out of a pandemic, reboot his stalled domestic agenda and confront Russia’s aggression.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer checks outdoors of the Capitol constructing, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington. President Joe Biden will ship his first State of the Union handle at a precipitous second for the nation. Biden is aiming to navigate the nation out of a pandemic, reboot his stalled home agenda and confront Russia’s aggression. (Picture: Mariam Zuhaib, Related Press)

As a part of that push, Biden referred to as for decreasing well being care prices, pitching his plan to authorize Medicare to barter prescription drug costs, in addition to an extension of extra beneficiant medical insurance subsidies now briefly accessible by the Reasonably priced Care Act marketplaces the place 14.5 million individuals get protection.

He proposed new initiatives on psychological well being that dovetail with rising bipartisan curiosity in Congress amid proof that the pandemic has broken the nationwide psyche, and mentioned new methods to enhance entry to well being advantages for veterans sickened by publicity to the burning of waste throughout their service, officers mentioned.

Biden additionally appealed for motion on voting rights, gun management and police reform, which have did not win important Republican backing.

As well as, the president to pushed the Senate to substantiate federal decide Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the primary Black lady on the Supreme Courtroom. He nominated her final week.

Contributing: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Lisa Mascaro and Jason Dearen

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‘In all directions’: Russia vows new attacks: Live News | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


  • Combating between Russian and Ukrainian forces intensifies as troops shut in on Kyiv.
  • Western nations pledge to facilitate the supply of navy help to Ukraine.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the nation’s forces have “have withstood and efficiently repelled enemy assaults”.
  • Practically 200 individuals have been killed to this point, together with civilians, in accordance with Ukraine’s well being minister.
  • Greater than 150,000 Ukrainians have fled the nation for the reason that starting of Moscow’s assault, the UN says.

Listed below are the most recent updates:

Germany and Western allies agree chopping Russia out of SWIFT

Germany and its Western allies have agreed to chop Russia out of the SWIFT world cost system, a spokesperson for the German authorities mentioned, in a 3rd sanctions bundle aimed toward halting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions, agreed with america, France, Canada, Italy, Nice Britain and the European Fee additionally embody limiting the flexibility of Russia’s central financial institution to assist the rouble.

The will even finish the “golden passports” for rich Russians and their households and can goal people and establishments in Russia and elsewhere that helps the warfare towards Ukraine, the spokesperson mentioned.

“The international locations confused their willingness to take additional measures ought to Russia not finish its assault on Ukraine and thus on the European peace order,” he added.

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Macron asks for ‘withdrawal of Russian troops’ from Belarus

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has requested his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko to make sure the “withdrawal of Russian troops” from Belarus, the French presidency mentioned.

The president requested the Belarus chief “to demand as quickly as attainable the withdrawal of Russian troops from his soil,” and urged him to cooperate with the worldwide group to permit humanitarian help to the Ukrainian individuals, it mentioned in a press release.


EU declares new Russia sanctions with US and others, together with SWIFT

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen has mentioned that the EU, together with america and different Western companions, plans to impose additional sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, together with chopping off quite a lot of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank funds system.


UK Johnson says strain constructing to chop Russia off from SWIFT

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned on Saturday that the world ought to minimize Russia off from the worldwide SWIFT funds system and mentioned extra international locations supported such a transfer.

“What you’ve seen simply at the moment is extra international locations becoming a member of the decision of the UK to make use of SWIFT,” Johnson mentioned. He mentioned extra international locations had mentioned they’d not block chopping Russia off from SWIFT.

“Issues should not going all the way in which President Putin,” Johnson mentioned of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Greece says 10 nationals killed in Ukraine

Athens says that 10 Greek nationals have been killed and 6 others wounded by Russian bombing close to the important thing southeastern port metropolis of Mariupol.

“Ten harmless civilians of Greek origin [were] killed at the moment by Russian air strikes near Mariupol. Cease the bombing now!” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned in a tweet.

The bombing befell on the outskirts of the villages of Sartana and Bugas, and one of many injured was a toddler, Greece’s Overseas Ministry mentioned.


Russian military ordered to broaden Ukraine advance

The Russian military has been given orders to broaden its offensive in Ukraine “from all instructions” after Kyiv refused to carry talks in Belarus, the defence ministry mentioned.

Russian forces have made thrusts into the Ukrainian capital Kyiv earlier than reportedly falling again to the outskirts, dealing with robust resistance on day three of the invasion.

“After the Ukrainian facet rejected the negotiation course of, at the moment all models got orders to develop the advance from all instructions in accordance with the operation’s plans,” Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov mentioned in a press release.


Russian navy convoys ‘flooding’ throughout the Russia-Ukraine border

Al Jazeera’s Rania Dridi, reporting from town of Volgograd, in southwestern Russia, says navy models within the space are being deployed throughout the border with Ukraine.

“Convoys of Russian navy gear proceed to flood throughout the Russia-Ukraine border; armoured gear and vehicle-mounted missiles,” Dridi mentioned.

“The convoys will participate within the ongoing navy operations, the fiercest of which is at present raging on the Donbas entrance,” she added, citing the area in japanese Ukraine the place Russian-backed separatists management swaths of territory.

“This scene is repeated elsewhere as different convoys are crossing the borderline into Ukraine on different roads.”


Individuals in Ukraine’s capital take cowl as Russians method

Individuals in Ukraine have sought security underground as Russian troops closed in on Kyiv and skirmishes flared on town’s outskirts.

The assault on Kyiv was clouded by a curfew set to final by way of Monday morning, however the relative quiet of the evening in Kyiv was sporadically damaged by gunfire.

“We’ll struggle for so long as wanted to liberate our nation,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised, as he continued to press for extra worldwide assist.

Small teams of Russian troops had been reported inside Kyiv, however Britain and the US mentioned the majority of Russian forces had been 30km (19 miles) from town’s centre.


Lufthansa halts flights to Russia for every week

German airline Lufthansa has mentioned it’s going to cancel all flights to Russia and can stop utilizing Russian airspace for the approaching week, citing the “rising regulatory scenario”.

“Flights which might be in Russian airspace will go away it once more shortly,” a spokesperson for the corporate mentioned, including that the corporate was in shut contact with nationwide and worldwide authorities and would proceed to watch the scenario carefully.

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From Berlin to Sydney, world outpouring of assist for Ukraine

In a sea of blue and yellow flags and banners smeared with blood purple handprints, protesters world wide have confirmed assist for Ukraine on and referred to as on governments to do extra to assist Kyiv, punish Russia and keep away from a broader battle.

A number of hundred individuals marched by way of heavy rain in Sydney chanting “Ukraine will prevail”, whereas protesters in Tokyo referred to as for Russia to be expelled from the United Nations Safety Council for the assault on its neighbour.

Hundreds of individuals additionally took to the streets in Europe, with protesters – together with many Ukrainians dwelling overseas – in London, Nicosia, Berlin, Athens, Helsinki, Madrid and Milan draping themselves in flags and holding “cease the warfare” placards.

Different protests befell in Latin America, India, Turkey, in addition to Russia, the place greater than 3,000 individuals have been detained.

Learn the updates from Saturday right here.