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UK withholds backing for Joe Biden’s minimum global business tax until US accepts fairer system for taxing digital technology giants : worldnews From “World News”



Rishi Sunak is holding back support for Joe Biden’s plans for a 21 per cent minimum global business tax rate, as Britain pushes the US to ensure any agreement includes a fairer system for taxing digital technology giants.The chancellor, who chairs the G7 finance ministers, said he would consider a global minimum levy only as part of a broader package, with Treasury officials fearing Biden is intent on compelling tech firms to pay tax “in California when it ought to be paid in the UK”.Sunak has come under pressure from Labour to endorse the US plan for a 21 per cent global minimum corporation tax rate. Lisa Nandy, shadow foreign secretary, charged that Britain was showing hesitancy, not leadership.But the chancellor’s allies argued that backing Biden’s plan would play into the hands of Washington, which wants an early agreement on a global minimum tax rate, not least because the US president is also seeking to raise domestic corporation tax rates to 25-28 per cent.British officials feared that the US would be unwilling to accept a sufficiently radical shake-up of global tax rules — which date back to the 1920s — to reflect where multinationals make their sales, rather than where the groups have a physical presence.The UK was also concerned that even if the Biden administration approved a global deal, it could still falter in Congress, leaving the UK high and dry.Talks on a revamp of global taxation are taking place at the OECD and G20 levels, and the issue is certain to come up when G7 finance ministers meet in London on June 4.Speaking at an online conference for Oxford university’s Centre for Business Taxation, Mike Williams, the Treasury’s director of business and international tax, said a deal that only looked at a global minimum tax was not politically acceptable.“The core UK proposition is that we’ve got to solve the digital tax issue, which we’ve been working on for years,” he said.Britain has introduced its own digital sales tax, which is expected to raise about £500m per year from big US tech companies by 2024-5.“It’s not primarily about a minimum tax,” Williams said. “Minimum taxes might help — so long as they work — to ensure businesses pay tax, but it matters as well where tax is paid.”“In terms of providing schools for the children of Coventry, it is not actually tremendously helpful if more tax is paid in California when it ought to be paid in the UK,” he added.But Britain is ready to do a deal that covers both pillars of Biden’s plan to overhaul global taxation: a global digital tax and the minimum global tax rate for multinationals.The chancellor told a Wall Street Journal CEO summit last week that the digital tax was the UK’s priority: “It’s about finding a way of appropriately and fairly taxing large international digital companies.” He has promised to scrap Britain’s digital sales tax if a multinational deal is agreed.Sunak also said a 21 per cent minimum corporate tax rate was “higher than where previous discussions were”, but that he was open to discussing it. Ireland, with a headline 12.5 per cent rate, is fiercely opposed; Sunak is set to raise the UK rate to 25 per cent in 2023.Nandy said the Biden initiative on a minimum global tax rate represented a historic opportunity. She is working with Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, to push Sunak to put the issue on the agenda of next month’s G7 leaders summit in Cornwall. “We have to avoid a race to the bottom,” she said.Robert Palmer, director of campaign group Tax Justice UK, called on the UK to back Biden’s plan, saying the current position was “not a good look” for a government that has said it wants to tackle tax avoidance.While the deal on the table was “not perfect”, a global minimum corporate tax rate of 21 per cent would be a “game-changer” in stopping companies from paying “ultra-low” tax rates, he said.







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Palestine President Mahmud Abbas, Joe Biden Speak After Israeli Air Strike On Gaza Building From “NDTV News – World-news”



President Mahmud Abbas spoke with Joe Biden for the first time since US president took officeRamallah, Palestinian Territories: President Mahmud Abbas spoke Saturday with Joe Biden for the first time since the US president took office, the Ramallah presidency said, as violence between Israel and the Palestinians flared.Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP the conversation was “important”, without elaborating on the details of the exchange.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden Speak After Attack On Gaza Building With International Media Offices From “NDTV News – World-news”



Israel PM told Biden that Israel did its utmost to safeguard civilians in its Gaza bombing campaignJerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden that Israel did its utmost to safeguard civilians in its Gaza bombing campaign, after an air strike demolished a tower hosting the Associated Press news agency. “Netanyahu stressed that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming those uninvolved,” a readout from the Israeli premier’s office said. “The proof is that towers containing terror sites are cleared of uninvolved people prior to being attacked.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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Joe Biden holds first phone call with Palestinian President Abbas, also calls Israeli PM Netanyahu following Gaza bombings — RT World News From “RT World News”



A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that US President Joe Biden reached out by phone for the first time to discuss the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The Saturday call between Biden and Abbas is the first between the two since the US president took office in January. BREAKING: Biden spoke on the phone with Palestinian president Abbas about the situation in Gaza. This was the first phone call between the two leaders since Biden assumed office— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) May 15, 2021Though details about the call are not yet known, the Biden administration has been working to push calm between Palestine and Israel, with the president also contacting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday. That’s after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed a building where international media offices for the Associated Press and Al Jazeera were located.Biden spoke to Netanyahu about concerns for civilian casualties to which the prime minister said Israel “is doing everything to avoid harming” people not involved in their conflict with Hamas. 

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Israeli airstrike levels Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera & other international media (VIDEO)

A report about the call from Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister assured Biden that the “uninvolved” were evacuated from the Gaza tower before it was destroyed and he thanked the president for his “support.”Biden stood by Israel earlier this week, saying the US ally has “a right to defend itself” and he hopes the ongoing violence will “be closing down sooner rather than later.” The Israeli military gave journalists working in the building targeted a warning about the strike beforehand, but denied a request for more time for them to retrieve equipment from their offices. A spokesperson claimed the building also housed “Hamas military intelligence.”White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted about the phone call with Biden saying the US has “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.” We have communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) May 15, 2021Like this story? Share it with a friend!







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Ex-US military leaders in ‘disturbing and reckless’ letter attacking Joe Biden From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



Retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc – AP Photo/Andrew HarnikMore than 120 retired US generals and admirals were accused of shamefully exploiting their rank to undermine Joe Biden after they published an open letter questioning the legitimacy of the election and labeling the president a “Marxist” dictator .The letter, signed by 124 retired members of the armed forces calling themselves ‘Flag Officers 4 America’said that America is “in deep peril,” having “taken a hard-Left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government”.It comes just days after soldiers in France sparked fury by publishing their own open letter accusing president Emmanuel Macron of “surrendering” to Islamits extremists, a move likely to have boosted the far-Right..The letter from US retired military leaders said: “Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ our Constitutional Republic is lost,” and claimed that the FBI and Supreme Court “ignored” irregularities in 2020.The group also questioned the “physical and mental condition of the Commander in Chief” and claimed that questions had been raised about who is really in charge.It also touched on the southern border situation, the Iran nuclear deal, freedom of speech and China.Major General Joe Arbuckle – US ARMY PHOTO BY MR. SCOTT DAVISThe signatories, most of whom have been retired for more than two decades, said that soldiers today are being used “as political pawns, with thousands of troops deployed around the US Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat.”One of the contributors, retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc, is running for a Senate seat in New Hampshire next year.“We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776,” the letter says.“The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.”The statement has been widely condemned, with one Navy officer telling Politico it was “disturbing and reckless.”Story continuesRetired General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and NSA said the letter, written by some people he knew, made him feel sad and that he wished it was fake.Jim Golby, a senior fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at The University of Texas said: “I’ve seen a lot of these letters, but this one really is something.”The tone is shocking,” he told Politico.”Especially because it targets the entire Democratic party, implies the election was illegitimate and contains a number of verifiable lies.”“Rest assured, there is an unsigned list of thousands of former senior officers who remain committed (for life) to the Constitution (against all enemies, foreign and domestic),” said Tony Thomas, a former commander of the United States Special Operations Command.Jim Golby, a military relations expert, said the letter is a “shameful effort to use their rank and the military’s reputation for such a gross and blatant partisan attack”.But the decision to publish the letter was defended by one of the key organisers – retired Army Major General Joe Arbuckle, a Vietnam veteran who left the military in 2000.“Retired generals and admirals normally do not engage in political actions, but the situation facing our nation today is dire and we must speak out in order to be faithful to our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he told Politico.“We are facing threats greater than at any other time since our country was founded.”Aside from China, many of these threats flow directly from policy positions and actions of our own government. To remain silent would be a dereliction of duty.”







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Joe Biden Calls Lifting Of Indoor Mask Rule “Great Day” From “NDTV News – World-news”



Biden implored those yet to be completely vaccinated to keep wearing masks for now.Washington, United States: President Joe Biden told Americans on Thursday that the lifting of the rule on indoor mask wearing was “a great day” in the fight against Covid-19 and that they could now “smile again.””I think it’s a great milestone, a great day,” he said in a nationally televised address at the White House.In often emotional remarks, Biden declared a major victory in the more than year-long battle which has seen more than half a million Americans die.However he noted that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decision to stop recommending masks for all indoor activities applied only to people who have received both shots of vaccines.Biden implored those yet to be completely vaccinated to keep wearing masks for now.”Please protect yourself until we get to the finish line. Because as great as this announcement is, we don’t want to let up. We all know how tough this virus us. The safest thing for the country, is for everyone to get vaccinated,” he said.Biden spoke about the hundreds of thousands of deaths and the lives upended for millions more as they missed family gatherings and important rituals.The Democrat then heaped praise on ordinary Americans who, he said, had met the challenge head on — and better than in some other countries.”You’ve endured all this. When your country asked you to get vaccinated, you did. The American people stepped up. You did what I consider to be your patriotic duty. That’s how we got to this day. As president, I can say I’m pleased… but not surprised,” he said.”As the virus tragically rages in other countries, as other nations, even wealthy nations, are mired in the challenges of slow vaccine rollout and poor economic conditions, things are very different here.”Biden noted that coronavirus cases are down in 49 of 50 states, saying deaths were down 80 percent to their lowest level since April 2020, when the disease was just taking a grip.However, “it’s going to take a little more time,” he said. “Most people under the age of 65 aren’t vaccinated yet.”Although pleading for patience, he invited those vaccinated to once again experience the pleasure of smiling.”Take your mask off. You’ve earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world: greeting others with a smile,” he said.”As tough as this pandemic’s been, we will get through it. We will rebuild our economy, reclaim our lives and get back to normal,” he said.”Laugh again, we’ll know joy again and we’ll smile again. Now, we’ll see one another smile, look at the smiles on other people’s faces.” (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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Joe Biden Spoke To Benjamin Netanyahu, Hopes Israel Violence To End Soon From “NDTV News – World-news”



“I had a conversation with Bibi Netanyahu not too long ago,” Joe Biden told reporters. (File)Washington, United States: US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Israel has a right to defend itself but after speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he hopes violent clashes with Palestinians will end quickly.”I had a conversation with Bibi Netanyahu not too long ago,” Biden told reporters. “My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later, but Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”Biden said US diplomacy was in high gear with national security and defense staff “in constant contact with their counterparts in the Middle East — not just with the Israelis, but also with everyone from the Egyptians and the Saudis to the Emiratis.”Earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Hady Amr, the State Department official in charge of Israeli and Palestinian affairs, was leaving Wednesday to the region to urge “de-escalation of violence.”The top US diplomat also talked with Netanyahu, again pushing for both sides to step back from fighting.Blinken “reiterated his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence,” said a State Department statement.The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had called his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz, and backed Israel’s “legitimate right to defend itself and its people” while also urging steps to restore calm.Blinken described scenes of dead Palestinian civilians, including children, as “harrowing” but defended Israel’s assault on Gaza in response to rocket fire by Hamas militants.”I think Israel has an extra burden in trying to do everything they possibly can to avoid civilian casualties, even as it is rightfully responding in defense of its people,” Blinken said.But the diplomat said there was a “very clear and absolute distinction between a terrorist organization, Hamas, that is indiscriminately raining down rockets — in fact, targeting civilians — and Israel’s response defending itself.”Biden’s administration earlier appealed to ally Israel to reroute a flashpoint parade in Jerusalem and prevent evictions of Palestinians in the holy city, the immediate trigger for the new round of violence.Taking more nuance after the militantly pro-Israel administration of Donald Trump, Blinken renewed US support for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state.”This violence takes us further away from that goal,” Blinken said.”We believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live with safety and security and will continue to engage with Israelis, Palestinians and other regional partners to urge de-escalation and to bring calm.”In a statement, the White House said that during his call with Netanyahu, Biden “condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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No Evidence Russia Involved In US Fuel Pipeline Hack: Joe Biden From “NDTV News – World-news”



So far there is no evidence … from our intelligence people that Russia is involved, Biden said(FILE)Washington: President Joe Biden said Monday that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.”So far there is no evidence … from our intelligence people that Russia is involved, although there is evidence that actors, ransomware is in Russia,” Biden told reporters.”They have some responsibility to deal with this,” he said.Three days after being forced to halt operations, Colonial said Monday it was moving toward a partial reopening of its 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipeline — the largest fuel network between Texas and New York.At the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said Biden was being kept updated on the incident, which threatened to crimp supplies of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel across much of the eastern United States.Colonial said in a statement that “segments of our pipeline are being brought back online.””Colonial has told us that it has not suffered damage and can be brought back online relatively quickly,” Sherwood-Randall said, with no fuel disruptions so far.Seeking ransomThe ransomware forced the company to shut down pipeline controls system for safety reasons.DarkSide began attacking medium and large-sized companies mostly in Western Europe, Canada and the United States last year, reportedly asking for anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars, to be paid in Bitcoin.In return, DarkSide supplies the company with a program that will unlock the its computing systems.They also download and retain large amounts of data from the company, threatening to release it publicly if the company does not pay up.In a statement on their website on the dark net, they rejected allegations that they had any official backing.”We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other our motives,” it said.”Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. “Dmitri Alperovitch, one of the foremost cybersecurity experts who cofounded the firm CrowdStrike, said his group believes DarkSide enjoys official protection in Russia.”A ransomware group we believe is operating (and likely harbored) by Russia has shutdown a company that is moving 45% of petroleum supplying the East Coast. Is it a criminal act? Sure,” he tweeted.He said it also “undoubtedly” has “huge” national security implications, especially in US-Russia relations.Another cybersecurity expert, Brett Callow of Emsisoft, told NBC News that an indication of the group’s origins is that its software is designed to not work on computers whose default languages are Russian or several other eastern European languages.”DarkSide doesn’t eat in Russia,” Callow told NBC.Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber, said most ransomware comes from transnational criminal groups.Asked if Colonial Pipeline or other companies should pay the ransom, she said the Biden adminstration has not offered advice on that.”They have to balance the cost-benefit when they have no choice with regard to paying a ransom,” she said. “Typically that is a private sector decision.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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‘He’s like an upside down iceberg’: historian Jon Meacham on Joe Biden | Joe Biden From “World news | The Guardian”



He has been described as Joe Biden’s “historical muse”, an occasional informal adviser to the US president and contributor to some of his major speeches including the inaugural address.In March, Jon Meacham put together a meeting between Biden and a group of fellow historians at the White House that lasted more than two hours. What did he learn about the 46th president?“He’s like an upside down iceberg,” the Pulitzer prize-winning historian says by phone. “You see most of it and that’s not spin: there’s just not a lot of mystery to Joe Biden. The last four or five minutes of his press conference in the East Room [on 25 March] when he talked about democracy and autocracy, that was pretty much it.”Media reports of the meeting told how Biden took notes in a black book and at one point turned to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and said, “I’m no FDR, but …” Meacham does not recall that remark, a reference to former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and does not see Biden as self-aggrandizing.“It was not about, how do I shape my legacy? It was how have previous presidents dealt with fundamental crises. FDR came up less because of the FDR legend but more in 1933 it was an open question about whether democracy would survive the 30s. So it was how do you articulate a case for democracy with all its inherent messiness?”This existential struggle between democracy and autocracy, highlighted by Biden repeatedly during his first 100 days as he contemplates the rising threat of China, is the president’s own formulation and predates his meeting with the historians, Meacham says.But to go back to that upside down iceberg metaphor, the 51-year-old author, who gave a speech at last year’s Democratic national convention, suggests that what you see with Biden is what you get. Future biographers will struggle to uncover a “real Joe Biden” that we all missed at the time. (In that sense, perhaps, we have finally found something he shares with Donald Trump.)Jon Meacham was one of a group of historians who met Biden in March at the White House. Photograph: HBO“I suspect 90% of what I’ve heard Joe Biden say in private for years, he says in public, and the other 10%, it’s not like there’s some secret dark side of Biden,” Meacham says. “I’m puzzled by it, honestly. I think part of it is being 78, thinking that everything was done – he had no expectation [of becoming president] in 2017.“So I think people should take him at his word. My experience with him – and we are friends – is that he’s very straightforward. There’s not a lot of machiavellian behind-the-scenes stuff going on. That might not have been true when he was 40 but he’s now almost 80 and it is true.”Barack Obama also hosted Goodwin and other historians at the White House, apparently more focused on lessons from Abraham Lincoln than Roosevelt. Trump nurtured Mount Rushmore ambitions but had little time for presidential scholars and, at roughly his 100-day mark, hosted the rightwing rockers Ted Nugent and Kid Rock along with the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.Meacham – whose new podcast, Fate of Fact, features historians Michael Beschloss and Eddie Glaude Jr, both of whom attended the Biden summit – recalls the story of how Bill Clinton once drew up a list of truly consequential presidents and wondered how he could get on it.“That’s not Biden and I’m not saying that somewhere in his brain that’s not unfolding; I don’t know,” he says. “But I think I have a pretty good sense of this and I think he genuinely sees this as an existential moment for democracy. He sees clearly definable problems that have to be solved and, in so far as case studies of past successes and past failures can be an arrow in his quiver, I think that’s what he wants.”The Roosevelt parallel, manifest in a giant portrait in Biden’s Oval Office, persists not only because the 32nd president helped defeat fascism in the second world war but because his New Deal in 1933 steered America out of the Great Depression. Faced with multiple crises including the coronavirus pandemic, Biden has sought to rebuild trust in both government and democracy with an audacious $6tn spending project that also echoes Lyndon B Johnson’s “Great Society”.Meacham speaks by video feed during at the 2020 Democratic national convention. Photograph: ReutersSome have hailed it as a death blow to four decades of Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics. But Meacham, a biographer of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and George HW Bush, would not go so far: “One way to think about 1933 to 2017 was as a figurative conversation between FDR and LBJ on one side and Reagan and George W Bush on the other. Every president was somewhere in that conversation.“Trump was not a sequential chapter to that. I think Biden is back in that conversation. He’s clearly in the FDR/LBJ mode but I see that as a resumption of a conversation about the means to commonly agreed upon ends. Biden is not creating new government agencies. Is it a pendulum swing? Certainly from George W Bush, yeah, but it’s not outside the American mainstream.”Trump’s break from the mainstream, and the willingness of the Republican party to follow him off the cliff edge, is the starting point for Meacham’s podcast to explore polarisation and “how and why facts became a casualty of war in the United States”, culminating in the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January.Republicans made campaign promises in election after election but failed to follow through, he argues, resulting in a buildup of frustration among their voters. “We haven’t had a major political party of ours lose its bearings so profoundly perhaps in American history. I wanted to try to give a historically informed understanding of why this has happened now on the grounds that if you have a diagnosis, then at least you can think about treatments.“I don’t think Trump emerged out of the ether. This was a long time coming because the base itself has been disenchanted and aggrieved by the paucity of the fruits of victory going back to world war two. It’s not just that Trump himself has superpowers; it’s a matter of context. The podcast is basically my understanding of why so many otherwise sensible Republicans signed on to a cult of personality.”President Franklin D Roosevelt delivers his first radio ‘fireside chat’ in 1933. Biden sees parallels today with the situation facing Roosevelt, whose New Deal was instrumental in pulling the US out of the Great Depression. Photograph: APBiden’s first 100 days have certainly been less noisy and melodramatic than his predecessor’s, a palate cleanser devoid of puerile insults or late-night tweet storms. But he has made little headway with his promise of bipartisanship as Republicans dig in for a long fight against his ambitious legislative goals. “Boring, but radical,” is the Texas senator Ted Cruz’s analysis.However, Meacham – whose 2018 bestseller, The Soul of America, foreshadowed the central theme of Biden’s election campaign – notes that his approach polls strongly with the general public while Republicans veer off into “culture wars” issues such as the rights of transgender student athletes or the withdrawal of six Dr Seuss books due to racially insensitive imagery.“My sense is that he has argued for an American as opposed to a partisan reaction to a series of crises that he has defined and articulated. He is not repeating the mistake that was made in the Obama years of seeking Republican buy-in because they can’t deliver; in foreign policy terms, he doesn’t really have a partner for peace.“He’s basically decided he’s got to get everything done that he can because he genuinely believes that it’s an emergency situation and he does it in a temperamental way that is more congenial than divisive, which forces the Republicans into an even smaller corner where, because what he’s doing is broadly popular, you end up fighting about Dr Seuss. The Republicans are in this perpetual bar fight, so they’re grabbing for anything they can. I don’t think it’s a durable governing strategy.”







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Joe Ligon: America's 'longest juvenile lifer' on 68 years in prison From “BBC News – World”



After waiting seven decades for freedom, Joe Ligon tells the BBC how he intends to spend the rest of his days.







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