Watch live as Biden discusses March jobs report as unemployment rate drops
President Joe Biden is delivering remarks this morning hailing another successful jobs reports that sees employment return to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment to drop to a level not seen since 1969.
While inflation remains a huge concern to Americans, Mr Biden has also ordered the release of up 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months in a bid to control prices that have spiked since the US and its allies imposed strict sanctions on Russia after it began its war on Ukraine.
Answering questions from reporters on Thursday, Mr Biden said Russian president Vladimir Putin “seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers”.
Meanwhile, new reports say that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will leave her post this spring to take up a job at MSNBC. It had long been speculated that Ms Psaki would be leaving the administration soon after more than a year in the role.
Biden’s oil announcement, explained
Joe Biden’s announcement that he will release 1 million barrels of oil a day for six months from the US’s strategic reserve is a measure of just how seriously the rise in gas prices is hitting many Americans, and of the projected impact of sanctions on Russian oil.
To help you understand what exactly it is that the president’s done, Justin Vallejo has this explainer on what the reserve is.
Read the full piece below:
Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 10:58
Ukrainian air force calls for urgently needed US and western hardware
One of the more complicated matters confronting the Nato alliance in the Ukrainian crisis is how to best help the Ukrainian military without escalating the conflict into a wider war. In a long myth-debunking threat on Twitter, the Ukrainian air force has made clear that it is unable to close its country’s air space without supplies of hardware from the west – specifically calling out the US and others for not providing it.
Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 10:13
Biden to lift Trump-era pandemic restrictions on US-Mexico border, reports say
President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to lift a public health order imposed by Donald Trump that blocked most asylum seekers from the US-Mexico border during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to reports citing administration officials familiar with the move.
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Maroosha Muzaffar1 April 2022 09:30
ICYMI: Biden calls for ‘use it or lose it’ policy for oil leases on federal land
US President Joe Biden on Thursday slammed oil companies for refusing to increase production to make up shortfalls caused by the removal of Russian oil from US markets.
Read the full story here:
Andrew Naughtie1 April 2022 08:30
Congress close to deal on smaller $10 billion Covid bill
US lawmakers on Thursday moved slightly closer to an agreement on the $10bn to combat Covid-19.
The amount has been reduced from an earlier $15.6bn agreement between the two parties that collapsed weeks ago.
President Joe Biden had requested $22.5bn in early March.
“We’ve reached an agreement in principle on all the spending and all of the offsets,” Mitt Romney said.
“It’s entirely balanced by offsets,” he said, referring to savings in the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “We are getting close to a final agreement that would garner bipartisan support.
Maroosha Muzaffar1 April 2022 07:21
Trump’s false claim that he ‘built up’ oil reserves debunked as Biden acts on gas prices
Former president Donald Trump’s recent claim that his administration “built up” US strategic petroleum reserves that were “virtually empty” for a half-century is a complete falsehood, according to US Department of Energy records.
Andrew Feinberg explains.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 05:30
Biden says Putin may have placed advisors under ‘house arrest’
Joe Biden said on Thursday that the Russian president Vladimir Putin may have placed some of his advisors under “house arrest.”
Mr Biden also said that he was sceptical about Moscow’s claim that it has scaled back its onslaught in parts of Ukraine.
He said: “He seems to be self-isolated and there’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers.”
Mr Biden however added that “there’s a lot of speculation” and that he did not want to “put too much stock in that.”
Maroosha Muzaffar1 April 2022 05:25
Jen Psaki criticises ‘extreme and harmful’ laws targeting trans people and abortion
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticised four bills signed into law in Arizona and Oklahoma this week targeting transgender young people and restricting abortion care, among dozens of bills filed by Republican legislators this year aimed at LGBT+ Americans and abortion rights.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 04:45
Biden: Putin appears to be ‘self-isolating’ from advisers as war on Ukraine stalls
President Joe Biden claimed on Thursday that Vladimir Putin appears to be “self-isolating” from his closest advisers including his top intelligence officials as his invasion of Ukraine appears to be largely stalled across the country.
In an address announcing efforts to lower gas prices, which the US have blamed on the efforts to divest from Russian oil as well as inflation, the president explained that he didn’t “want to put too much stock” in the reports but essentially confirmed reporting that has for weeks indicated that a major rift exists between Mr Putin and his top aides and strategists.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 04:00
The next Jen Psaki?
Kate Bedingfield’s debut in the White House press briefing room this week came under unlikely circumstances — the benching of two of her colleagues due to Covid-19 — but could lead to greater visibility for Joe Biden’s longtime comms director.
“I know I am not the redhead you’re accustomed to seeing at this podium, but I hope you will hang with me nonetheless,” Ms Bedingfield, 40, joked to reporters at her first briefing on Tuesday.
John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell1 April 2022 03:15