Watch live as Biden marks the 50 millionth Covid vaccine in US
Joe Biden will visit Texas on Friday with a dual mission: surveying damage caused by severe winter weather and encouraging people to get their coronavirus shots.
The US president and first lady, Jill Biden, were traveling to Houston for the their first trip to a major disaster site since Mr Biden took office a little over a month ago.
Severe winter weather across the South over Valentine’s Day weekend battered multiple states, with Texas bearing the brunt of unseasonably frigid conditions that caused widespread power outages and frozen pipes that burst and flooded homes. Millions of residents lost heat and running water.
It comes as the former Trump administration chief-of-staff Mark Meadows warned the Republican Party the current favourites to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2024 “all have Trump as their last name”.
Trump Jr attacks Biden for visiting Texas
“I mean it’s only been 2 weeks but hey at least ‘his empathy will be on display’,” said Donald Trump Jr on Twitter.
“I don’t know about you but I would rather see competence on display and that clearly isn’t gonna happen. Biden heads to Texas to see storm damage, visit food bank.”
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 19:01
Joe Biden lands in Texas to see recovery from winter storm
The president and first lady have landed in Houston, Texas, where they will visit Harris County Emergency Operations Center, tour Houston Food Bank, and see the FEMA COVID-19 vaccination facility at NRG Stadium.
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 18:35
US intelligence report finds MBS responsible for murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
A US intelligence assessment has found that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
A long awaited report into the murder was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday, more than two years after Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Richard Hall has the story.
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 18:28
Ilhan Omar says she wants Biden to give ‘legal rationale’ for Syria strike
The congresswoman told CNN’s John King she wants the president to give “legal rationale on why they authorised this strike without congressional approval…We in Congress have congressional oversight in engaging in war, and we haven’t been briefed yet,” she said.
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 18:15
White House says Ted Cruz never asked to join president on Texas trip
Joe Biden’s White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One that the administration never invited Mr Cruz, nor did he ask to accompany the president on his trip to Houston.
Instead, Mr Cruz attended the right-wing CPAC conference in Florida as his state continues to recover from the devastating winter storm that pounded it last week.
Mr Cruz infamously left Texas on a Mexican beach vacation as millions were left without power, heat or water.
The president will be joined by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state’s other US Senator, John Cornyn.
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 18:04
Some Democrats want to fire Senate parliamentarian over minimum wage plans
As Democrats sought to use budget reconciliation to keep Republicans from filibustering a minimum wage increase in the Senate, the decision on whether to allow the measure to be fast-tracked inside a proposed coronavirus relief package fell to one woman: the unelected and nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough.
After Ms MacDonough on Thursday dashed the majority party’s hopes of passing a $15-an-hour (about £11) minimum wage increase within the bill, Democrats were left to debate a range of options, from redoing the legislation to dropping the wage increase to trying to override Ms MacDonough’s ruling.
But at least one lawmaker called for an even more radical solution: firing the Senate’s referee.
Graeme Massie26 February 2021 17:30
Bidens due in Texas in one hour
The Bidens are due to touchdown in Houston in just under an hour to meet with those impacted by the winter storms, as well as to visit a food bank and the emergency operations centre.
It is Jill Biden’s first trip on Air Force One.
Oliver O’Connell26 February 2021 17:11