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Video: On day one, Biden signs wave of executive orders

new video loaded: On day one, Biden signs a flurry of decrees

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On day one, Biden signs a flurry of decrees

President Biden on Wednesday signed 17 decrees, memoranda and proclamations from the Oval Office, including the return of the Paris climate accords and the putting up of masks on federal property.

“I thought that with the state of the nation, there is no time to waste today. Get to work immediately. As we indicated earlier, we will be signing a number of Orders in Council over the next few days, the week. And I’m going to start today with the aggravated Covid crisis, Covid-19, with the economic crisis that followed, and the climate crisis, issues of racial equity. “And the first order I’m going to sign here is for Covid. And that requires, as I’ve said all the time, where I have authority, the obligation to wear masks, to maintain social distancing on federal property and interstate commerce, etc. This is the first I sign. “The second one I’m signing off here is support for underserved communities with regards to how we treat people in health care and other things that you can, we’ll give you copies of these decrees. And the third one that I’m going to sign, and the one that we will do while you are all here, is the commitment I made to join the Paris climate agreement today.

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Video: Watch live: First White House press briefing from Biden administration

TimesVideoWatch Live: First White House press briefing for administration BidenJen Psaki, White House press secretary, holds first briefing with reporters. By Associated Press.

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Video: Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

new video loaded: Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

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Kamala Harris swears to NDP senators

Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday by three new senators: Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California. Democrats now have tight control over the Senate.

“If the elected senators and the appointed senators now come to the office, the president will administer the oath.” “Sir. Ossoff, Mr. Padilla, Mr. Warnock.” Please raise your right hand. OK, solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and national, that you will carry true faith and allegiance to the same, that you will assume this obligation freely, without any mental reserve or purpose of escape, and that you will discharge well and faithfully the duties of the office into which you are about to enter in order to help you God? Senators: “Yes.” “Congratulations.” [applause]

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Video: Garth Brooks performs ‘Amazing Grace’ at the opening

TimesVideoGarth Brooks Performs “Amazing Grace” at Inauguration Following President Biden’s inaugural address calling for unity, Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace,” asking the audience, both in attendance and on television, to join him for the last verse. .

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For many across America, a sigh of relief as a new era begins

Early on the morning of the opening day, she put on her pandemic-era work clothes of gray sweatpants and a white shirt and ground the beans. Then, with her cup of coffee, she watched on her kitchen television the green and white helicopter take flight, evacuating the outgoing 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump from the White House.

In this kitchen, in a colonial brick house in Watertown, Massachusetts, tears came to the eyes of the woman, Karolyn Kurkjian-Jones. Tears of unfailing joy.

“It’s over, it’s over, it’s over,” said Ms. Kurkjian-Jones, a retired kindergarten teacher and janitor on pandemic leave at the Boston Park Plaza hotel later. “He left.”

Since the November election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as 46th President, much attention has been paid to the conspiracy theories of Republicans who have backed Mr. Trump – especially those who, taking into account his combustible comments on a stolen election, invaded the Capitol in a wave of violence and vandalism on January 6.

But so many Americans, nearly 81.3 million of them, are like Ms. Kurkjian-Jones, people who voted for Mr. Biden and against Mr. Trump. And, on Wednesday, exactly two weeks after the Capitol attack, they celebrated with booze and pastries, with Zoom calls and “Amazing Grace” and tears of joy, a new day: a day when a nation pressed a reset button.

In Chicago, not far from a bakery that does great deals with grand opening-themed goodies – a Wonder Woman cake with the face of Vice President Kamala Harris, for example – Sarah Rassey, 40, has planned to attend the inauguration with his daughter, Madeleine, who also turned 5.

“I feel lighter,” Ms. Rassey said of Mr. Biden’s presidency. “I’m just grateful, relieved, happy – and, honestly, I’ve been crying tears of joy since last night.

In Texas, two sisters – both of Killeen’s special education teachers – drove over an hour to be outside the State Capitol in Austin in time to watch the opening on a cell phone. Norma Luna, 49, and Sylvia Luna, 43, were there in part to honor a third sister, Veronica, 56, who died of coronavirus on polling day.

“It’s a relief,” Norma Luna cried, watching the ceremony. “I didn’t think we could get here. We are proud to be Americans again. “

In Annandale, Va., Isra Chaker, 30, an advocate for refugees and asylum seekers at Oxfam America, felt liberated from the need to justify her ‘Americanity’ under the Trump administration – even though she was born and raised by Syrian immigrants in Boulder. , Colo.

“Today I know I belong here,” said Ms. Chaker, a Muslim woman who wears a hijab. “It was reaffirmed that we are all America and America is all of us.”

And at Calamari’s Squid Row restaurant in Erie, Pa., Vodka was the midday alcohol of choice among some women who call themselves the Drinking Girls. Mary Jo Campbell, 70, a retired college professor and Erie County Democratic Party official, was there along with friends Linda and Kathy, Alice, Cheryl, Karen, Amy and Emily – a group of compassionately assembled after Mr. Trump was elected in 2016.

They took off their masks to sip with glee. They applauded the moment Mr. Biden took power. They joined Garth Brooks to sing “Amazing Grace”. And then they sipped some more.

“Everyone was hooting and screaming,” said Ms. Campbell, 70, who wore Ruth Bader Ginsburg earrings to offset her blue “Pennsylvania for Biden” t-shirt.

This inauguration seemed to represent more than the routine transition of power from one political party to another. Mr. Trump’s breaking of standards, culminating in his refusal to concede an election he lost, and then his urging his supporters to march on Capitol Hill – leading to indictments and his second indictment – made the seismic moment: a shift from one distinct era to another, with the question of who we are as a republic suddenly open to debate.

In Berkeley, Calif., A software engineer named Martin Turon walked his labradoodle past Thousand Oaks Elementary School, where a guard had hung a congratulatory banner featuring an elder: Vice President Kamala Harris. Mr. Turon said he was very proud of Ms. Harris, but the overwhelming emotion he felt was relief, not glee.

“Do you really celebrate right after a big earthquake, when everything is broken?” Asked Mr. Turon. “When you pick up planks and rubble from the streets?”

Indeed, there have been small spasms of dissent from those who still do not accept Mr Biden as duly elected president, although reporters and members of the National Guard outnumber protesters in outside state capitals. But then it was a day when those who made recognizing the legitimacy of the election – that is, most of the country – was the moment.

The change actually started hours earlier, when Mr Trump and his wife, Melania, stepped out – his extra-long red tie, dark sunglasses – from the White House to board the Marine helicopter. One, to appear shortly after at Joint Base Andrews. to address a small crowd of loyalists. As Mr. Trump recited what he said were the accomplishments of his administration – a recitation punctuated by a vow to “come back in some form or another” – the panoply of American flags, waved by the morning breeze, seemed choppy .

Meanwhile, in a Massachusetts town 430 miles to the northeast, retired kindergarten teacher Ms. Kurkjian-Jones harbored a strong sense of good riddance.

After Mr. Trump was sworn in in 2017, Ms. Kurkjian-Jones began a four-year ritual of sending a colorful postcard to the White House every day except Sunday that said “Donald Trump frees your taxes” – this that he never did. She always signed the card with her name and the initials ABM – “for ‘America’s big mistake’,” she said.

Now, around noon, Mrs Kurkjian-Jones raised a glass of Moët champagne as a toast to her successor’s swearing-in. “A long time to come,” she said.

Many still believe in Mr. Trump’s baseless claim of widespread voter fraud. Aftershocks from the attack on the Capitol included a militarized lockdown for the dedication ceremonies. And the pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people in the United States, has required the continued attention of overworked healthcare workers across the country.

As the inauguration unfolded in Washington, struggles for life and death continued at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles. “I’m so tired of closing the black body bags,” said nurse Amanda Hamilton as the distant ceremony continued. “It’s exciting that we have a president who really cares about this and could do something about it.

Seconds later, the call for a “code blue”: a woman in her early fifties whose heart had slowed and oxygen had dropped. Ms. Hamilton rushed into the hallway to help insert a breathing tube.

Yet these realities could not take away for some the feeling of deep relief of the day.

Karin Wraley Barbee, 48, an English professor at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich., Said the day felt like a bookend in the aftermath of Mr Trump’s 2016 victory, when she was teaching in college but felt she could burst in tears anytime.

“I’m not naive enough to think that everything is fine; it is not, ”she said. “Everyone is very, very awake and invested in fixing what has been damaged.”

Mr. Barbee finished teaching a composition class at 11:50 a.m., then ran to her office, where she managed to catch the new president’s swearing-in on her computer. She could hear a few colleagues applauding at the time. And then she said, “Two of us did a little dance.”

Reporting was contributed by Ellen barry, Julie bosman, Sheri fink, Thomas fuller, Miriam Jordan and David Montgomery.

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Biden’s 17 executive decrees and other directives in detail

Leader among the executive orders that are beginning to tackle the issue of climate change, Biden has signed a letter to return to the United States in the Paris climate accords, which he will officially join in 30 days. In 2019, Mr. Trump officially informed the United Nations that the United States would withdraw from the coalition of nearly 200 countries striving to move away from global warming fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. natural gas.

In additional executive orders, Mr. Biden began the reversal of a series of environmental policies of the Trump administration, including revoking the license for the Keystone XL pipeline; reverse cuts in vehicle emission standards; overturn decisions to reduce the size of several national monuments; the application of a temporary moratorium on oil and natural gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and the re-establishment of a working group on the social costs of greenhouse gases.

Mr Biden will end the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which released a report on Monday that historians misrepresented the role of slavery in the United States, among others. Mr. Biden also revoked Mr. Trump’s executive order limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors and other institutions to conduct diversity and inclusion training.

The President has appointed Susan E. Rice, who heads his Homeland Policy Council, as the leader of a “robust, interagency” effort demanding that all federal agencies put “the eradication of systemic racism” at the heart of their work. His order directs agencies to review and report on equity within their ranks within 200 days, including a plan on how to remove barriers to opportunity in policies and programs. The ordinance also seeks to ensure that Americans of all origins have equal access to federal government resources, benefits, and services. He is launching a data working group and exploring new methods to measure and evaluate federal equity and diversity efforts.

Another executive order strengthens Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require the federal government not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a policy that overrides the action of the Mr. Trump’s administration.

Mr Biden to extend a federal moratorium on evictions and has called on agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, to extend a moratorium on loan foreclosures federally guaranteed mortgage that was enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The extensions all work at least at the end of March.

The president also plans to maintain a hiatus on interest and principal on federal student loans until the end of September, although progressive groups and some Congressional Democrats have pushed Biden to go much further and write off up to $ 50,000 in student debt per person.

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Joseph M. Scheidler, ‘godfather’ of the anti-abortion movement, dies at 93

Besides his son Eric, who succeeded him as director of the Pro-Life Action League, he is survived by his wife, Ann Scheidler, the president of the league; his sons Joseph, Peter and Matthias; his daughters Catherine Miller, Annie Casselman and Sarah Worthington; one brother, James Scheidler; one sister, Eleanor McNamara; 27 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Mr. Scheidler enlisted in the Navy after high school and then attended Notre Dame. After graduating, he stayed in town as a reporter for The South Bend Tribune before entering a seminary, with the intention of becoming a Benedictine monk. But he retired a few days before his ordination.

Mr. Scheidler received a master’s degree from Marquette University and taught at Mundelein College, a women’s school in Chicago, where he met Ann Crowley. They married in 1965, the same year he chaired a student trip to Alabama to march alongside Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in support of the franchise.

In 1967, Mr. Scheidler accepted a job in public relations for the city of Chicago and then served as publicity manager for Selz Seabolt, a major Chicago public relations firm. It was there, between throwing fishing gear and making cheese, that he became obsessed with abortion. After the Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, he took time off to start organizing. He never went back to advertising.

From the start, Mr. Scheidler showed a propensity for publicity. He put out anti-abortion newspaper ads on the same pages as the ads for abortion clinics. He gathered pickets outside abortion clinics. At one point, he served as director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, but was fired in 1978 for his aggressive tactics.

Mr. Scheidler and his wife founded the Pro-Life Action League in 1980 and quickly built a national network of activists. In 1985 he published “Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion,” an instruction manual that was full of advice on things like “sidewalk counseling,” which involved finding women who were considering abortions and giving them advice. persuaded not to follow, even if it meant approaching them when they entered a clinic.

While Mr. Scheidler drew a fine line between aggressive action and outright breaking the law, many of his supporters, including a staunch evangelical minister in upstate New York named Randall Terry, did not. have not done. Mr Terry formed an organization, Operation Rescue, which took Mr Scheidler’s logic further than his mentor was willing to go – blocking access to clinics and filling out court files with those arrested. Others have taken even more extreme measures, committing vandalism, arson and murder. By the early 1990s, Mr. Terry had eclipsed Mr. Scheidler as the leading spokesperson for street-level anti-abortion activism.

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First Lady: Jill Biden to balance career and East Wing duties

She finally gave in: Mr. Biden was chosen as vice president to President Barack Obama in 2008 after an unsuccessful presidential election. As a second lady, she appreciated the relative teaching of anonymity, noting in interviews that her students often did not recognize her. Indeed, on the Rate My Professors website, former students have more to say about her teaching style (the “hard leveler” is common) than about her link with two presidential administrations.

But on Wednesday, Dr Biden arrived at the White House with a higher profile, a platform similar to the one she had as a second lady, and a wing is filled with helpers she trusts. Among them, Anthony Bernal, a senior adviser who has worked with the Bidens since the Obama campaign. Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón, a former student of the Obama State Department, is his chief of staff.

Last week, Dr Biden appointed Rory Brosius, a former campaign advisor to Biden, as director of the Joining Forces initiative, a military family support program Dr Biden began with Michelle Obama when she was first lady. Dr Biden is also expected to push for a free community college and raise awareness about breast cancer prevention, aides said.

“She’s not going to walk in the door and say, ‘What is my identity as the first lady? Shailagh Murray, former senior adviser to Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama, said in an interview. “This will just be the first version of what she’s been doing from the start.”

Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Biden grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. With a Philly accent, Dr Biden approached her new role with the same folk touch that her husband tends to employ – “Call me Jill!” she told allies who joined her last week on a Zoom call. But she is not without outbursts of guts: during the presidential campaign, she put herself between her husband, 77 years old at the time, and a group of unruly vegan protesters.

“I remember all the misdeeds committed against the people I love,” she wrote in her memoir, establishing herself as the protector of the family, if not her main grievance.

After a brief first marriage, Dr Biden married Mr Biden in 1977, more than four years after his first wife, Neilia, and young daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car crash. She put her own career ambitions on hold to raise her two sons, Beau, a Delaware attorney general who died in 2015, and Hunter, like hers. The Bidens’ daughter, Ashley, was born in 1981.

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The Biden administration quickly revamped the White House website. Here’s how.

The occupant of the physical White House has changed – and that of the digital. Here’s a look at how whitehouse.gov has been reorganized since the Biden administration took over:

The contact form on the website has sections for a person’s first and last name, email address, phone number, and an optional category to include pronouns. Options include “her / her”, “he / him”, “them / them”, “other”, and “prefer not to share”.

The second element of the site’s Priorities page, after Covid-19, is the climate. “President Biden will take swift action to address the climate emergency,” the site said. “The Biden administration will ensure that we meet the demands of science, while empowering American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution.”

Mr. Biden brings with him a large climate team and has installed climate policy experts in state, treasury and transport departments.

Below the menu, “Español” is highlighted in light blue font as a means of navigating the site. From the address “La Casa Blanca 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW” to the privacy policy, the pages of the site are visible in Spanish.

The Trump administration in 2017 removed the translation from the site before promising it would be back soon, but the Spanish version was not available a year later, the Associated Press reported.

A first set of coronavirus guidelines were translated into Spanish on the White House website in March – three days after the English version, and only after pressure from Latino groups, NBC News reported.

Mr Biden’s digital takeover also led to the removal of a web page for a 1776 Commission report by President Donald J. Trump, which historians say distorted the history of state slavery -United, was misleading and was produced in a hurry. The page that previously hosted a PDF of the report now reads “Not Found”. Mr. Biden had said he would cancel the commission.

Hidden in the technical backend of the new site is a message intended for tech experts: “If you’re reading this, we need your help to rebuild better,” read a line in the site’s source code, as noted by Reuters reporter Raphael Satter. The post includes a link to apply to the US Digital Service, a group of technologists working to modernize government services.

Whitehouse.gov now includes a variety of accessibility components, such as high-contrast and wide-format text modes, according to Matt Hodges, director of engineering for the Biden team. An accessibility statement on the site reads: “This commitment to accessibility for all begins with this site and our efforts to ensure that all features and content are accessible to all Americans.”

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Look what Bernie Sanders (those mittens!) And Garth Brooks (that hat!) Wore at the grand opening.

With the nation’s eyes on Washington, Inauguration Day is often an opportunity for political leaders to show up in their finest and most fashionable outfits. In many cases, the elected officials and the assembled luminaries use their clothes to make statements, as Lady Gaga did when she carried a giant golden dove which she said was a call for peace.

This year, many were paying attention to men’s clothing choices at the inauguration – with a particular focus on Senator Bernie Sanders, who showed up in a chunky winter coat and patterned woolen mittens.

With cold weather and windy conditions in Washington, Mr. Sanders’ outfit was practical. But he stood out amid a sea of ​​overcoats, including the two Ralph Lauren coats worn by President Biden and Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband.

Mr. Sanders, a Vermont politician who ran two presidential primary campaigns on a populist and anti-establishment message, later said in a interview with CBS News that time was his main concern – not fashion.

“In Vermont, we dress warmly. We know something about the cold, ”Sanders said with a laugh. “And we’re not so concerned with good fashion. We want to stay warm. And that’s what I did today.

Mr. Sanders’ mittens, in a sort of brown and cream Himalayan sweater pattern, quickly get their own hashtag. Jen Ellis, a schoolteacher from Vermont, claimed ownership of a Tweeter.

“I made Bernie’s mittens as a gift a few years ago,” she wrote, posting a photo of other similar creations. “They’re made from recycled wool sweaters and fleece-lined (made from recycled plastic bottles).”

The heat was a concern that seemed to be shared by Mr. Emhoff, who became the nation’s first Second Gentleman after Ms. Harris was sworn in. In addition to the coat, he wore a gray Ralph Lauren suit and a black mask, gloves and tie.

It was a muted palace that Mrs. Harris, in bright purple, could shine against as she entered the history books as the country’s first female vice president.

But the man whose inaugural fashion choices perhaps stood out the most was country singer Garth Brooks, who performed “Amazing Grace” towards the end of the swearing-in ceremony.

Mr Brooks, a last-minute addition to the lineup, stepped out of the Capitol in a black cowboy hat, black blazer and shirt, and dark denim jeans – a considerably dressy look compared to formal suits and ties surrounding him.

Out of respect for the occasion, he took off his hat, which has long been a staple of his look, before starting to sing.