Biden signs last-gasp congress spending bill to avert government shutdown: live

Biden vows to restore Roe v Wade during 2024 State of the Union address

President Joe Biden signed a $460 billion spending bill on Saturday, hours after the Senate passed a resolution sparing the federal government from a looming partial shutdown.

The bill will extend funding through the fall for federal programmes on the environment, transportation, veterans, the Department of Justice and more – though it includes some cuts to a few federal agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the FBI.

It’s a small victory for the government branch which has continuously pushed the government to the brink of shutdown over spending resolutions and appropriations. Mr Biden thanked Republican and Democratic leaders for their work in getting the bill passed.

Congress will still have to approve a larger spending package that covers the military, healthcare and other services which expire later in March.

Mr Biden signed the bill just before departing for a campaign rally in the battleground state of Georgia. The president is expected to host the competing rally as the former president and Mr Biden’s political rival hosts an event across the state.


Watch: Joe Biden jokes about age in new campaign advertisement

Joe Biden jokes about age in new campaign advertisement

Ariana Baio10 March 2024 10:00


ICYMI: Key moments from Biden’s State of the Union

President Joe Biden’s final State of the Union address in his first term in office renewed his promise of American “possibilities” with a fiery rebuke of anti-democratic threats from the man he refused to mention: his “Republican predecessor”.

Looming throughout the president’s remarks was Donald Trump, framed as the man often standing in the way of legislation blocked by a Republican-dominated chamber of Congress that Mr Biden often depicted as captivated by the party’s increasingly likely candidate for the November election.

Ariana Baio10 March 2024 09:00


Biden says he regrets describing suspected Laken Riley killer as ‘illegal’

President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he regretted using the term “illegal” to refer to the suspected killer of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.

“I shouldn’t have used illegal, it’s undocumented,” he said.

Riley was murdered while she was jogging on the campus of the University of Georgia, following which police detained a 26-year-old man from Venezuela named Jose Ibarra, allegedly an undocumented immigrant.

The murder has become flash point in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election, with Republicans rallying over the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border.

Read more about Biden’s latest statements on Riley’s murder here

Vishwam Sankaran10 March 2024 08:00


ICYMI: George Santos is running for Congress again

Serial liar and former congressman George Santos was expelled from the House in December following a series of scandals including a damning Ethics Committee report accusing him of committing “uncharged and unlawful conduct,” 23 criminal counts at the federal level, and a plethora of lies about his past.

His latest stunt came on Thursday night when he turned up to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address and announced he would be running for Congress once again.

Even this announcement came with a characteristic series of surprises.

The former lawmaker-turned-Cameo star claimed that he left office “arbitrarily,” adding to his parade of lies that got him into trouble in the first place given an expulsion from Congress is far from arbitrary.

Mr Santos also announced that he would be switching districts. He previously represented New York’s third congressional district for less than one term after flipping his district red. In a February special election, his seat flipped back to blue when the district elected Democrat Tom Suozzi to replace him.

Kelly Rissman10 March 2024 07:00


What Biden did (and didn’t say) about the climate crisis during the State of Union

At a fiery State of the Union address, President Joe Biden put his case to the American people on why they should return him to the White House for a second term, touting his record on the economy, immigration, gun safety and reproductive freedoms.

Yet on the climate crisis, which remains a politically divisive issue in the US despite increasing impacts, Mr Biden made few remarks, and attempted to appeal to as broad a base as possible.

Here’s six climate takeaways from SOTU night.

Louise Boyle10 March 2024 06:00


‘Is that a UFO?’ Oklahoma family spot bizarre other-worldly sighting in night sky

A bizarre other-wordly object was captured on camera by an Oklahoma family in the night sky on Monday night.

A TikTok video that has amassed almost half a million views, shows a bright, slow-moving object in the sky.

Steve Aragona was outside with his kids and his neighbours when the video was captured on Monday at 7.30pm.

In the full-length video given to KFOR by Mr Aragona, people question what the unexplained object could possibly be. A child asks if it is a shooting star, to which an adult responds that it is moving too slowly to be one.

Mr Aragona told KFOR, “Everybody was playing out front, and my neighbour Kevin says, ‘Steve, take a look at this.’”

“I looked up, and this white thing appeared in the sky. Everybody had their opinions about what it was.”

In the TikTok comments, some theorised that it could have been the Space X mission that also occurred on Monday, that set satellites up into orbit on their Falcon 9 rocket from Florida.

However, the satellites took off at 6.56pm ET, an hour and a half after the video was purportedly shot at 7.30pm CT.

The National UFO Reporting Centre, a non-profit based in Washington, often receives reports of possible UFO sightings, or what the US government calls them, UAPs – unidentified anomalous phenomena. They recently reported that between 20 December 2023 to mid-February 2024, they had 566 new reports, received via their online report form.

Amelia Neath 10 March 2024 04:00


Is surfer town Huntington Beach really the Maga stronghold Californians fear?

Huntington Beach – located around 50 miles south of Los Angeles and known locally as “Surf City” – has all the laid back characteristics of a typical southern California beach town; bright sunshine, palm trees, with cafes and bars lining the front.

However, though the pro-Trump sentiment is palpable, locals dispute previous portrayals of the city as a “Maga stronghold” at the heart of the historically liberal Golden State, and say that the Republican presence is not as aggressive as is being made out.

Whether or not the enclaves of supporters for Mr Trump along the west coast will remain as passive as the US general election November rolls around, perhaps remains to be seen.

Ariana Baio10 March 2024 02:00


Biden’s plan to build floating port for Gaza aid could take 60 days

The floating port Joe Biden plans to build in an effort to deliver much needed humanitarian aid to Gaza could take up to 60 days to complete, according to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon presented the timeline on Friday in the wake of Mr Biden’s State of the Union speech.

The port — intentional or not — will likely serve as an olive branch from Mr Biden’s administration to Democratic voters who feel his staunch support of Israel is implicit approval of the civilian displacement and deaths caused by the Israeli Defence Forces.

The UN has issued a warning that Gaza Strip is likely to suffer widespread famine if urgent action is not taken. That famine could begin as early as next week, according to a UN analysis.

It warned that once a famine has been declared, it is typically already too late to help many of the affected.

“This is not a logistics problem; it is a political problem,” Avril Benoît, executive director for Médecins Sans Frontières [Doctors Without Borders], told Reuters. “Rather than look to the US military to build a work-around, the US should insist on immediate humanitarian access using the roads and entry points that already exist.”

Despite the looming threat of famine and further civilian deaths, the port is still in its planning stages, according to the Pentagon.

Graig Graziosi 10 March 2024 00:00


Republican delegates tracker so far

Next week, four states will host primaries or caucuses in the race for the 2024 presidential election.

Georgia, Mississippi and Washington will have primaries on Tuesday, March 12th. The same day, Hawaii will host a Republican caucus.

Here is where the Republican delegates are as of now.

Ariana Baio9 March 2024 23:00


Protestor interrupts Biden speech

An Israel–Gaza conflict protestor interrupted President Joe Biden’s speech in Atlanta, calling the president “Genocide Joe”.

Mr Biden, who appeared slightly shocked at first, responded: “I don’t resent his passion, there’s a lot of Palestinians who are being unfairly victimized.”

The protestor was removed from the rally.

Ariana Baio9 March 2024 22:55

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