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U.S. House still in turmoil with no speaker elected on 2nd day of voting

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U.S. House still in turmoil with no speaker elected on 2nd day of voting

U.S. House still in turmoil with no speaker elected on 2nd day of voting

The U.S. House of Representatives remained in turmoil with no speaker elected on the second day of voting.

House members voted on Wednesday night to adjourn until noon Thursday, prolonging a historical political stalemate that has paralysed the lower chamber.

U.S. Congressman, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, failed to secure enough votes three times earlier in the day due to intra-party division.

House members voted three times on Tuesday the opening day of the divided 118th Congress, but McCarthy fell short of the necessary votes to be the next speaker.

It was the first time a House speaker who maintained order, managed its proceedings, and governed the administration of its business on the lower chamber’s floor hadn’t been elected on the first ballot in 100 years.

The 435-seat House will have to vote until a speaker is elected with a majority of votes.

Before that, members cannot be sworn in and committees cannot be formed with the rest of the business stalled.

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U.S. Congresswoman, Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, tweeted that the infighting “isn’t just a shame for Republicans, it’s bad for the entire country.”

U.S. President, Joe Biden, a Democrat, reacted to the political drama surrounding the House speakership vote on Wednesday morning.

According to him, it’s embarrassing the way it’s taking so long.

“How do you think this looks to the rest of the world?

“It’s not a good look. It’s not a good thing,” Biden told reporters at the White House before leaving for Hebron, Kentucky.

McCarthy has the support of most House Republicans and former U.S. President, Donald Trump.

But a handful of hardliners have opposed his bid to lead the conference by arguing that he is insufficiently conservative while refusing to decentralise the speaker’s power.

The House has elected a speaker 127 times since 1789.

There have been 14 instances of speaker elections requiring multiple ballots.

Thirteen of 14 multiple-ballot elections occurred before the Civil War, when party divisions were more nebulous, according to Congressional historians.

The last time a speaker election required two or more votes on the floor happened in 1923.

Harvard legal scholar, Laurence Tribe, tweeted on Wednesday that the House of Representatives, unlike the Senate, was not a continuing body.

“It must reassemble itself without full constitutional authority every two years, like someone rebuilding a ship on the open seas.

“But when the voyage is this rough, that’s a sign of dysfunction,” Tribe said.

All House Democrats have voted for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, to be the speaker.

Though it’s unlikely for Jeffries to attain the position, he is set to become the first African American lawmaker to lead a party in either chamber of the U.S. Congress.

Republicans flipped the House in the 2022 midterm elections while Democrats held onto their majority in the Senate.

The new Congress convened for the first time on Tuesday, with U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris, presiding over the opening of the 100-people upper chamber in which Democrats control 51 seats versus 49 for Republicans.

Chuck Schumer from New York and Mitch McConnell from Kentucky remain the Senate majority leader and minority leader, respectively.

U.S. House still in turmoil with no speaker elected on 2nd day of voting

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Foreign

Biden Vows to Maintain NATO Strength Amid Election Concerns

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Biden Vows to Maintain NATO Strength Amid Election Concerns
Biden Vows to Maintain NATO Strength Amid Election Concerns

Biden Vows to Maintain NATO Strength Amid Election Concerns

U.S. President Joe Biden closed a three-day NATO summit in Washington on Thursday by reaffirming his commitment to a robust NATO, amid a press conference that also touched on U.S. politics and concerns about his mental fitness.

Biden, 81, is facing calls to step aside for another Democratic candidate in the upcoming presidential race due to fears of mental decline. The Republican Party is expected to nominate former President Donald Trump, 78, at its convention starting Monday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Biden criticized Trump’s stance on NATO, stating, “My predecessor has made it clear he has no commitment to NATO. He’s made it clear that he would feel no obligation to honor Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which commits all allies to respond if one is attacked. But I made it clear a strong NATO is essential to American security. And I believe the obligation of Article 5 is sacred.”

“I will not bow down to Putin. I will not walk away from Ukraine. I will keep NATO strong,” Biden emphasized.

The summit concluded with NATO leaders announcing increased military support for Ukraine, including air-defense systems and a pledge to spend 40 billion euros ($43 billion) next year. They also affirmed Ukraine’s irreversible path to NATO membership.

Additionally, the U.S. and Germany announced the deployment of long-range cruise missiles to Germany to bolster NATO’s deterrence in Europe.

Despite these announcements, Biden’s closing press conference was dominated by questions about the upcoming presidential election and his candidacy. When asked if he could still handle Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the future, Biden replied, “I’m dealing with Xi right now and (I’m in) direct contact with him. I have no good reason to talk to Putin right now. There’s not much that he is prepared to do in terms of accommodating any change in his behavior. I’m not ready to talk to Putin unless Putin’s ready to change his behavior.”

During the hour-long press conference, Biden occasionally struggled with his speech, at one point confusing Trump with Vice President Kamala Harris. When asked about Harris’ ability to beat Trump, he mistakenly said, “Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president, did I think she was not qualified to be president” (sic). He later asserted, “I think I’m the most qualified person to run for president.”

This followed an earlier gaffe where Biden introduced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “President Putin,” before quickly correcting himself.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, in a separate press conference, defended Biden’s leadership, saying, “We have a bigger NATO, and more countries; we have a stronger NATO. We have a real sense of resolve. President Biden led through all of that.”

Finnish President Alexander Stubb also expressed confidence in Biden’s capabilities, stating, “I have absolutely no concerns about the capacity of the current president of the United States to lead his country and to lead our fight for Ukraine and to lead NATO. We human beings, when we’re treated in the public eye, we’re never as good as we sometimes look, and we’re never as bad.”

Biden Vows to Maintain NATO Strength Amid Election Concerns

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Iraqi court sentences former IS leader’s wife to death

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Iraqi court sentences former IS leader’s wife to death

Iraqi court sentences former IS leader’s wife to death

An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced the wife of the former top leader of the Islamic State (IS) group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to death.

According to Supreme Judicial Council statement, the Karkh Criminal Court issued the death verdict for the wife of the terrorist over joining the IS group and detaining the kidnapped Yazidi women in her house in west Mosul.

In 2019, the U.S. forces conducted a raid targeting al-Baghdadi in Syria’s northern province of Idlib, killing the IS leader.

Al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, established the IS in 2014.

The extremist militant group, which once captured large swathes of land in western and northern Iraq, was defeated in late 2017.

Iraqi court sentences former IS leader’s wife to death

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Iran’s late president Raisi to be buried in home city of Mashhad

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Iran’s late president Raisi to be buried in home city of Mashhad

Iran’s late president Raisi to be buried in home city of Mashhad

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash at the weekend, is to be buried in his home city of Mashhad on Thursday.

Raisi is to be laid to rest at the city’s shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth imam of Shia Islam.

High-ranking representatives of friendly states are expected to attend, including Russian parliamentary leader Vyacheslav Volodin.

Iran’s state railway company has organised special trains to take mourners from Tehran to the north-eastern city.

There have been several ceremonies and public displays of mourning for Raisi, late foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other victims of Sunday’s crash.

Millions of mourners flocked to a funeral procession in Tehran on Wednesday.

Raisi and Amirabdollahian were killed in the crash with seven other occupants of the ill-fated helicopter.

They went down in dense cloud in the mountains while travelling back from a meeting with Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan.

Iran’s religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered five days of national mourning, and a nationwide holiday was held on Wednesday.

Raisi’s death has provoked mixed reactions in Iran.

While supporters of the country’s Islamic regime have mourned the loss of an important political figure, critics have highlighted the heightened repression his administration oversaw.

Iran’s late president Raisi to be buried in home city of Mashhad

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