SRN Correspondent Greg Clugston keeps you informed about all the news coming from the White House.
The United States will soon ease COVID-19 travel restrictions. Beginning in November, all foreign nationals flying into the country will need to be fully vaccinated. The White House says travelers coming here will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of flight. President Biden will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who will need to be tested within a day before departure to the U-S, as well as on their return.Listen Download
It’s a big week of foreign policy for President Biden, who addresses the United Nations General Assembly this week. In addition to the U-N speech, the president will hold a virtual COVID-19 summit on Wednesday and meet with Pacific allies on Friday. The meetings with world leaders come following a much-criticized U-S military withdrawal from Afghanistan and a new diplomatic crisis with France, which recalled its ambassador from Washington after the president announced a new security alliance with Britain and Australia.Listen Download
The Biden administration is facing a major diplomatic crisis with France. Last week’s announcement of a new security partnership involving Australia, Britain, and the U-S angered the French government. So much, in fact, that France recalled its ambassadors from Australia and Washington. The White House says France “is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners” and will try to resolve the differences. French officials say President Macron will speak in the coming days with President Biden.Listen Download
The White House is warning that the debt limit showdown could hurt state budgets. President Biden and his aides are sounding the alarm about would could happen if Congress fails to raise the U-S debt limit by early next month. According to a fact sheet for state and local officials, the White House warns about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants, school funding and other programs. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is resisting calls for a bipartisan vote to raise the ceiling for debt that’s already been accrued.Listen Download
Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley is defending calls to his Chinese counterpart in the final months of the Trump administration. The top U-S military officer says those phone calls were “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job. In his first public comments on those conversations, Milley tells the AP that such calls are “routine.” However, critics accuse Milley of overstepping his authority. A new book reported the Joint Chiefs chairman made two calls to a Chinese general to assure him the United States wasn’t going to suddenly go to war with or attack China.Listen Download
China is furious over the new security alliance announced by the United States, Britain, and Australia. The Chinese foreign ministry denounced a new Indo-Pacific partnership that will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. Neither President Biden nor the Australian and British prime ministers mentioned China in this week’s announcement. But it’s clear that the U-S and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China’s growing power and influence, including its military buildup.Listen Download
The United States is joining a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with Britain and Australia.
In a joint announcement, President Biden said the new partnership, known as AUKUS, will allow for greater sharing of defense capabilities.
The president was joined virtually by the prime ministers of Australia and Britain — and the new security alliance is being viewed as a deterrent against China in the region.Listen Download
President Biden says he has “great confidence” in Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley following a book’s claim about Milley’s actions during the final months of the Trump administration.
According to a forthcoming book by two Washington Post journalists, General Milley called his Chinese counterpart twice in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency to assure him that the two nations would not suddenly go to war. The reported account has prompted calls for Milley to step down or be fired, but President Biden is voicing support.
A spokesman for Milley says the conversations were in keeping with his duties as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Listen Download
The White House is expressing confidence in his top U-S military officer after reports of two calls he made to his Chinese counterpart.
The soon-to-be published book “Peril” says General Mark Milley assured China that the U-S would not attack during Donald Trump’s final weeks in office. President Biden says he has “great confidence” in Milley, echoing the comments of press secretary Jen Psaki.
Milley defends the phone calls as an effort to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.Listen Download
Three former U-S presidents are joining forces to support refugees from Afghanistan. Republican George W. Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, along with their wives, will serve in a new group that’s helping Afghans settle in the United States. It’s called Welcome-dot-U-S and is a coalition of advocacy groups, U-S businesses, and other leaders. The website will allow Americans to donate, host a refugee family, or find other ways to help. In a statement, the Bushes said “thousands of Afghans stood with us…and now they need our help.”Listen Download
The Biden administration is withholding 130-million dollars in aid to Egypt over human rights concerns. Even though the administration is holding back millions, it’s still releasing nearly 200-million dollars in military aid to Egypt. The move was quickly criticized by rights groups and some lawmakers. The State Department says the U-S has “serious concerns about human rights in Egypt.” However, Secretary of State Blinken is allowing some of the assistance to go through in order to preserve security engagement in the Mideast.Listen Download
Memorial services have been held to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks.
At Ground Zero in New York, a ceremony attended by President Biden, along with former Presidents Clinton and Obama, included the reading of victims’ names.
At the Pentagon, military leaders gathered to pay their respects.
And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, former President Bush was among those participating in a ceremony at the Flight 93 memorial.Listen Download
President Biden says he’s “disappointed” in GOP governors who are blocking mask and vaccine mandates.
The president took his new COVID-19 message to a Washington, DC middle school, where he said if schools implement masking, vaccinations, and testing…
Asked about Republican efforts to fight his vaccine mandates, he said he was “disappointed” in GOP governors who, he said, have been “so cavalier with the health of their communities.”Listen Download
President Biden has announced new wide-reaching vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans.
Rolling out a new strategy to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the president didn’t hide his frustration with the 80-million eligible Americans who have not been vaccinated.
In addition to mandating vaccines for federal workers and contractors, the president’s plan will require businesses with 100 or more employees to have their workers vaccinated or tested every week.Listen Download