Tag Archives: advances

Senate Advances Biden’s Historic, $3.5T Agenda for Education, Families


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Senate Advances Biden’s Historic, $3.5T Agenda for Education, Families


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Senate advances $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill


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House panel advances bill to study slavery reparations, after 32 years of stalled attempts


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Virginia House advances gun control measures

Virginia House advances gun control measuresDemocrats in the Virginia House are advancing a package of gun-control measures less than a week after tens of thousands of pro-gun advocates from around the country rallied at the state Capitol. A Democratic-led House committee voted Friday for several pieces of gun legislation that a Republican majority has blocked for years. “Our action today is for the families who have lost loved ones as a result of gun violence,” House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said.



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Worst day of fighting as rebel army advances on Tripoli

Worst day of fighting as rebel army advances on TripoliFighting in Tripoli intensified drastically on Wednesday as rival armies brought tanks and multiple rocket-launch systems to bear in the deadly struggle for control of the Libyan capital. The escalation came as Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord, issued an address to the nation urging Libyans to defend the capital city from renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.  In an address distributed on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Serraj accused Gen Haftar of sabotaging months of painstaking peace negotiations and said he would resist the general’s “coup d’etat” with “firmness and strength”. “We have extended our hand of peace, yet forces of Haftar have declared war on our cities and capital,” Mr Serraj said. “Accordingly we have issued our instructions and announced the state of general mobilisation for all Libyan armed forces and security services.” In an apparent swipe at Gen Haftar’s multiple foreign backers, he added: "A final word for the countries that support the conflict between Libyans: fear Allah, stop interfering in our affairs and lift your hands off my country." A Libyan fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) mans a turret mounted on the back of a pickup truck  Credit: AFP Gen Haftar, who backs a rival administration based in the east of the country, announced an assault on Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognised government headed by Mr Serraj, on April 4.  The move sparked several days of skirmishes on the southern outskirts of the city and saw both sides launch sporadic airstrikes. The United Nations estimates 4,500 people have been displaced and dozens of people killed since.  But local residents said the pitch of the fighting escalated dramatically on Wednesday.  “Sporadic loud tank gunfire can be heard very clearly in all of Tripoli. My body is still in one piece but my mind is shattered,” said one local resident. "Today it is louder and more violent. Its the fiercest in the last six days." Fighting was concentrated about seven miles to the south and southeast of the city centre, on the LNA's main axis of advance. There were particularity heavy clashes around Ain Zara, seven miles southeast of the city centre, where pro-GNA militiamen from the city of Misrata were reported to be using Grad multiple rocket launchers and tank-fired missiles to drive back LNA forces.  A burning vehicle on the path taken by Haftar's army towards Tripoli Credit: AFP The LNA said they had recaptured the disused international airport, which they had earlier lost to government forces, and captured two important barracks, one 30 miles to the south. The reports could not immediately be verified.  The United Nations Security Council was due to meet for a closed door emergency session to discuss the crisis on Wednesday evening.  Gen Haftar has received material, military, and financial backing over several years from a range of governments including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, France, and Russia, all of which see him as a potential strongman leader with the will to crush dangerous militant Islamist groups.  Critics say they have either willfully ignored or deliberately played down Gen Haftar’s ambitions to become the undisputed leader of the country in the mold of Muammar Gaddafi.  The United Nations Security Council was due to meet for a closed-door talks on the crisis on Wednesday evening.   Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said the alliance was "deeply concerned" about the violence and called on all sides to cease fighting.



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Comedian advances to runoff against incumbent in Ukraine presidential race

Comedian advances to runoff against incumbent in Ukraine presidential raceComedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays Ukraine's president on television, has won the first round of the struggling country's presidential election and is set to face the incumbent in a runoff this month.  The political newcomer had garnered more than 30 per cent of Sunday's vote with four-fifths of the ballots counted on Monday afternoon. President Petro Poroshenko, known as 'the chocolate king' for his expansive candy business, was in second place with 16 per cent.  Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was expected to miss the runoff with 13 per cent of the vote, even though she has claimed that her own parallel vote count has her advancing to the second round.  On Sunday night, she suggested she would dispute the results and called for supporters to come to polling places to prevent alleged falsifications for Mr Poroshenko  A simmering conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east continues to plague Ukraine, which last year became the poorest country in Europe.  There has been agonisingly slow progress on reforms undertaken after a pro-Russian president was ousted by protests in 2014 and Crimea was annexed by Russia. Surveys in March suggested that Mr Zelenskiy would handily defeat Mr Poroshenko if they faced each other in the second round.  The leading candidate has promised to tackle corruption but shunned a detailed platform and campaign in favour of a feel-good comedy tour.  President Petro Poroshenko speaks at his campaign headquarters after the vote on Sunday Credit: Efrem Lukatsky/AP Mr Poroshenko declared that he would win the runoff, calling Mr Zelenskiy a marionette of Ihor Kolomoisky, the self-exiled oligarch who owns the channel that runs his programmes.  Mr Zelenskiy responded by calling Mr Poroshenko a marionette of the former deputy head of his security council, a reference to a corruption scandal in which the official's son was found to have sold the defence ministry overpriced equipment smuggled in from Russia.  The comedian has been hit by his own scandals. A company he owns was found to have made money in Russia after he said he had no business there, and an investigation on Thursday found he owned an undeclared 15-room villa in an Italian resort favoured by Russian oligarchs.  Mr Zelensiky has said he would sit down with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Asked by journalists on Sunday night what he would say to Mr Putin, he said he would force him to give back Ukrainian territory and demand compensation for occupying it. Mr Putin's spokesman said on Monday that the leader would explain that Russia is not occupying Ukrainian territory, adding that Crimea was “not open for discussion”. Spanish and Canadian warships docked in Odessa on Monday as part of a Nato mission to the Black Sea following last year's Kerch Strait crisis.  Russia in November seized three Ukrainian ships near annexed Crimea and captured 24 sailors who are now on trial in Moscow.  Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko votes on Sunday Credit: Pyotr Sivkov/TASS/Barcroft Mr Poroshenko is expected to focus on Mr Zelenskiy's lack of experience and try to embarrass him in debates in the second round. An influx of cash subsidies to pensioners could also help mobilise support. His challenger tried to appeal to disaffected voters by focusing on the president's business empire and corruption allegations against him. Only nine per cent of Ukrainians support their government, according to polls.  Reports emerged on Sunday that Mr Zelenskiy might form a parliamentary coalition with Ms Tymoshenko, which would set her up to become prime minister. Both candidates denied they were in talks.  Much of the country's opposition would support Mr Zelenskiy and try to turn the second round into a referendum on Mr Poroshenko, whose disapproval rating is up to 50 per cent, analyst Volodymyr Fesenko said.    “I would bet on Zelenskiy in second round, there are risks but he has more of a chance,” Mr Fesenko said. “It will depend on the turnout of his voters and how unified the opposition is, but there is a lot of dissatisfaction with Poroshenko.”



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Ethiopia crash probe advances with voice download, fresh details

Ethiopia crash probe advances with voice download, fresh detailsWhile experts say it is too soon to know what brought down the Boeing 737 MAX 8 on March 10, aviation authorities worldwide have grounded Boeing’s 737 MAXs, as concerns over the plane caused the company’s share price to tumble. In Addis Ababa, a source who has listened to the air traffic control recording of the plane’s communications said flight 302 had an unusually high speed after take-off before the plane reported problems and asked permission to climb quickly. A voice from the cockpit of the Boeing BA.N 737 MAX requested to climb to 14,000 feet above sea level – about 6,400 feet above the airport – before urgently asking to return, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the recording is part of an ongoing investigation.



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Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure critical of easing Russia sanctions

Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure critical of easing Russia sanctionsThe result marked a rare break from President Donald Trump. Eleven of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to vote 57-42 in favor of a motion to proceed to the resolution of disapproval. To take effect and block the plan to lift the sanctions, it must pass the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, as well as the House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats.



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Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure critical of easing Russia sanctions

Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure critical of easing Russia sanctionsThe vote marked a rare break from President Donald Trump. Eleven of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to vote 57-42 in favor of a motion to proceed to the resolution of disapproval. Republicans hold a slim 53-47 seat majority in the 100-member Senate.



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