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Joe Biden Reverses Trump Policy of Ban on Visitors from Muslim-majority Nations, Rejoins Paris Agreement | LIVE Updates | January 21, 2021, 09:43 IST
Joe Biden Inauguration LIVE Updates: Joe Biden's swearing in as the 46th president of the United States was some immediate changes as he erased a slew of Donald Trump's most divisive policies. Biden pushed through a flurry of orders the moment he entered the White House, starting with rejoining the 2015 Paris climate accord, from which the United States was the sole outlier after a withdrawal by Trump, an ally of the fossil fuel industry. Biden also halted the US exit from the World Health Organization, rescinded a ban on visitors from several Muslim-majority nations and halted construction of Trump's cherished wall on the Mexican border.

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Biden's first call to a foreign leader will be to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "His first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," Psaki told. In another big development, the US Senate voted to confirm former CIA official Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, making her the first member of newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden's cabinet to gain approval.
Jan 21, 2021 09:43 (IST)

Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks Bring Star Power to Emotional, Multicultural Biden Inauguration | An emotional Lady Gaga performed a dramatic version of the U.S. national anthem, Garth Brooks sang a cappella, and Tom Hanks hosted a star-studded nighttime celebration to cap President Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. On a day marked by diversity and appeals for unity, Gaga wowed in a huge fuchsia Schiaparelli couture silk skirt and black top adorned by a large gold brooch of a dove carrying an olive branch as she sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Biden's swearing-in ceremony. Gaga at one point gestured to the U.S. flag flying high over the Capitol, the seat of Congress that just two weeks ago was attacked by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump seeking to overturn Biden's election victory.

Jan 21, 2021 09:32 (IST)

READ | PM Modi Congratulates Biden-Harris, Says Committed to Working With New US President

As Joe Biden took oath as the 46th president of the United States of America bringing an end to Donald Trump's turbulent four years in office, and Kamala Harris created history by becoming the first…

Jan 21, 2021 09:11 (IST)

There Will be Very Active and Positive Engagement with Biden Admin: UN | UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Biden administration will have a "very active and positive engagement", a spokesperson for the UN chief said, underlining that Washington has a key leadership role to play across the international agenda, including in the Security Council. Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, on Wednesday said Guterres will likely speak to the new US President Joe Biden when appropriate. 

Jan 21, 2021 09:02 (IST)

Boris Johnson Welcomes Biden in Coded Criticism of Trump Era | Boris Johnson has said there is “nothing wrong with being woke” but deferred on whether the term would apply to Joe Biden. The UK prime minister watched the inauguration on television in Downing Street, and said Biden’s election was a “fantastic thing … for a country which has been through a bumpy period”, in a coded criticism of Donald Trump’s administration.

Jan 21, 2021 08:49 (IST)

READ | The Most Important Line in Joe Biden's Inaugural Address & the Sentiment Behind It

About halfway through his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden said something very important about the work of Washington -- and how he envisions his presidency.

Jan 21, 2021 08:42 (IST)

India's Ambassador to US Attends Biden's inauguration Ceremony | India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu attended the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Capitol. We look forward to working with President Biden's administration in deepening our comprehensive global strategic partnership in a range of areas, Sandhu said after the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday. The shared values of democracy, pluralism and the rule of law between India and the United States provide a firm foundation for a vibrant partnership in the days ahead, he said. 

Jan 21, 2021 08:39 (IST)

Barack Obama, George W bush, and Bill Clinton Deliver a Message | “Obviously there was a personal element to see my former vice president become the 46th president. To see Kamala Harris as our first woman vice president,” Obama said. “But more broadly, I think inaugurations signal a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that is more than two centuries old." “I think if Americans would love their neighbor like they like to be loved themselves, a lot of the division in our society would end,” Bush said.

Jan 21, 2021 08:30 (IST)

Joe Biden Rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement

Jan 21, 2021 08:26 (IST)

Joe Biden Signs 17 Executive Orders on Day 1, Some of Them Are:

- Mask wearing
- Muslim travel ban lifted
- DACA ended
- Re-establishing ties with WHO
- Paris climate accord
- Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
- Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
- Halt to the construction of Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall
-Revoked the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, aides
-Restoration of the White House’s National Security Council directorate for global health security

Jan 21, 2021 08:18 (IST)

'Believe in What We Can Do Together': Kamala Harris | “This is what President Joe Biden has called upon us to summon now: the courage to see beyond the crisis,” she said. “To do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together.” Harris, having been sworn in as the first Black and South Asian American vice president, said: “Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do.”

Jan 21, 2021 08:13 (IST)

Inaugural Function Takes a Moment to Mourn Americans Who Died of Covid-19 | Reminders that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died hung over the whole day, as we saw Biden, Harris and other leaders in face masks, maintaining physical distance, as Biden signed executive actions mandating masks on federal propert. But in the middle of the program, the “Celebration of America” took a moment to mourn and remember, with a performance of “Hallelujah” by Yolanda Adams.

Jan 21, 2021 08:04 (IST)

Inauguration Not About us But About American People, Says Biden

Jan 21, 2021 07:58 (IST)

READ | Will Be Back in Some Form, Vows Trump as He Departs White House for Final Time

US President Donald Trump left the White House for the final time on Wednesday, heading by helicopter to a nearby military base where he will fly to Florida, skipping the inauguration of successor Joe…

Jan 21, 2021 07:49 (IST)

“I’ve Never Been More Optimistic About America than I am This Very Day,” Biden Said | “Because of you, democracy has prevailed. That’s why Jill and I, Kamala and Doug, wanted to make sure that our inauguration was not about us, but about you, the American people,” Joe Biden said. Looking forward, he added, “America’s story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us – on we, the people. That’s the task before us, the only way we’ll get through the darkness around us.”

Jan 21, 2021 07:41 (IST)

Joe Biden Speaks at Lincoln Memorial | “It’s humbling” to stand by the statue of Lincoln, Biden began. Once again, he is emphasizing “unity” tonight. The president is speaking overlooking the reflecting pool, where yesterday, the inauguration committee lit 400 lamps in remembrance of 400,000 people who have died of Covid-19 in the US.

Jan 21, 2021 07:36 (IST)

Biden Vows to Repair America's Alliances, Engage with World Once Again | US President Joe Biden on Wednesday vowed to repair America's alliances and engage with the world once again, saying the country has been tested and its people have come out stronger. In his inaugural speech after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in a historic but scaled-down ceremony under the unprecedented security umbrella of thousands of security personnel, the 78-year-old veteran Democratic leader said: We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security. "Look, folks, all of my colleagues I have served with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today, so here is my message to those beyond our borders.

Jan 21, 2021 07:34 (IST)

WATCH | Donald Trump's Self-Farewell At Military Base, As He Gives Biden's Inauguration A Miss

Jan 21, 2021 07:29 (IST)

Biden Puts US Back Into Fight to Slow Global Warming | President Joe Biden returned the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming in one of his first official acts and immediately launched a series of climate-friendly efforts that would transform how Americans drive and get their power.

Jan 21, 2021 07:23 (IST)

READ | 'Ready to Serve': Kamala Harris Takes Oath as First US Woman Vice President Breaking Historic Barriers

Indian-origin Kamala Harris was on Wednesday sworn in as America's first woman Vice President during a historic inauguration at the West Front of the Capitol.

Jan 21, 2021 07:21 (IST)

Kamala Harris Swore in Three New Democratic Senators | Kamala Harris swore in three new Democratic senators, officially giving Democrats control of the Senate. The new vice-president swore in Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, who won their runoff races earlier this month, and Alex Padilla of California, who was appointed to serve out the remainder of Harris’ term. The Senate is now evenly split, 50-50, between Democrats and Republicans, with Harris serving as a tie-breaking 51st vote.

Jan 21, 2021 07:19 (IST)

Joe Biden’s First Call with a Foreign Leader Will Be with Justin Trudeau | Biden will speak with Trudeau on Friday. “I expect they will certainly discuss the important relationship with Canada as well as his decision on the Keystone pipeline,” Psaki said. Trudeau today congratulated Biden on his inauguration but also issued a statement saying “we are disappointed” in the US president’s decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL, the 1,200-mile pipeline meant to transport crude oil from Canada to Nebraska.

Jan 21, 2021 07:12 (IST)

Inaugural "Celebrating America" Event Begins | It starts with a performance with Bruce Springsteen, who is performing “Land of hope and dreams.”

Jan 21, 2021 07:09 (IST)

Biden, Harris Inspect Troops from Capitol Steps | President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have taken part in the traditional inaugural military tradition of "Pass in Review." Biden, Harris and their spouses stood on Wednesday on the East Front steps of the U.S. Capitol to observe the procession of ceremonial military regiments. Several groupings passed by the steps, with military members saluting the newly minted president and musicians playing traditional patriotic tunes. Following the procession, the couples climbed into vehicles to travel to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They were to be joined by the former presidents who attended the earlier inaugural ceremony. 

Jan 21, 2021 07:05 (IST)

Joe Biden Signs his First Executive Orders | Reversing Trump’s legacy, Joe Biden signed orders rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, mandating masks on federal property, among others.

Joe Biden Reverses Trump Policy of Ban on Visitors from Muslim-majority Nations, Rejoins Paris Agreement | LIVE Updates
Joe Biden with Kamala Harris

Standing on the steps of the US Capitol that was ransacked by pro-Trump mobs exactly two weeks earlier, Biden was sworn in moments after Kamala Harris took the oath as America's first woman vice president.

"Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed," Biden said before a National Mall that was virtually empty due to the ultra-tight security and a raging Covid-19 pandemic that he vowed to confront immediately.

"We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility and we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes," he said.

"Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division, of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing and goodness."

But Trump, who falsely said that he was cheated out of a second term and egged on his supporters before their rampage at the Capitol, broke 152 years of tradition by refusing to attend his successor's inauguration.

Biden pushed through a flurry of orders the moment he entered the White House, starting with rejoining the 2015 Paris climate accord, from which the United States was the sole outlier after a withdrawal by Trump, an ally of the fossil fuel industry.

"We are going to combat climate change in a way we have not done so far," the new US leader said in the Oval Office as he signed papers to rejoin the Paris deal, which was negotiated by Barack Obama when Biden was his vice president.

Biden also halted the US exit from the World Health Organization, rescinded a ban on visitors from several Muslim-majority nations and halted construction of Trump's cherished wall on the Mexican border.

- 'President for all Americans' -
In his inaugural address, Biden appealed to supporters of Trump, who shattered political norms by ruthlessly belittling rivals, denouncing entire ethnic groups and trying to cast doubt on basic facts.

"I will be a president for all Americans," the veteran Democrat said.

But Biden confronted head-on the rise of domestic extremism, as evidenced during Trump's presidency by the Capitol mob, deadly attacks on synagogues and immigrants, and a violent march by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The United States faces "a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront, and we will defeat," Biden said.

"Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear and demonization have long torn us apart."

At 78, Biden is the oldest-ever US president, a job he first sought in 1987. He is only the second Roman Catholic president after John F Kennedy and swore his oath on a bulging old family Bible.

Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, became the highest-ranking woman in US history, and the first Black person and first person of Asian heritage as the nation's number two.

She and her husband Doug Emhoff -- America's first-ever "second gentleman" -- were escorted to the inauguration by Eugene Goodman, a Black police officer at the Capitol who was seen luring the mostly white mob away from the Senate chambers in a video that went viral.

- Empty Washington -
Central Washington took on the dystopian look of an armed camp, protected by some 25,000 National Guard troops tasked with preventing any repeat of the January 6 violence.

With the public essentially barred from attending due to the pandemic, Biden's audience at the National Mall instead was 200,000 flags planted to represent the absent crowds.

Biden, who has vowed a major escalation in the nation's Covid vaccination drive, warned that the "toughest and deadliest period" was still ahead.

So far, more than 400,000 people have died of Covid in the United States, more than in any other country.

"We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation," he said, striking a new tone after Trump's mockery of mask-wearing and business closings meant to halt the virus.

While the public crowds were gone, Biden brought in celebrity power -- absent four years ago with Trump.

Lady Gaga, in a dress with a black bodice and a billowing red skirt, sang the national anthem and Tom Hanks prepared to host a televised evening appearance with the new president.

Jennifer Lopez sang a pop rendition of "This Land is Your Land," often considered the unofficial US national anthem, ending it by exclaiming the final words of the pledge of allegiance -- "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" -- in Spanish.

The new first lady, Jill Biden, invited a 22-year-old poet, Amanda Gorman, who became a star of the day with verse on how democracy "can never be permanently defeated."

Biden and Harris started their administration by jointly paying respects to fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery followed by an inaugural parade -- devoid of the usual crowds -- that featured both an Army fife and drum corps in the red coats of George Washington's time, and a drumline and dancers from Howard University, the historically Black institution that counts the new vice president as a graduate.

- Trump vows to be back -
Trump left Washington hours before the inauguration, walking on a red carpet on the White House lawn with his wife Melania into the Marine One presidential helicopter, which flew near the inauguration-ready Capitol before heading to Andrews Air Force Base.

"This has been an incredible four years," Trump told several hundred cheering supporters at a campaign-style event with cannons before leaving for his Florida resort in his last trip on Air Force One.

"We will be back in some form," vowed Trump, who retains a hold on much of the Republican Party despite being the first president to be impeached twice.

In a first hint of graciousness, Trump wished the next administration "great luck and great success" -- without saying Biden's name.

Biden said that Trump left him a traditional letter that was "very generous" but declined to reveal the contents.

Mike Pence, the outgoing vice president who clashed with Trump in his final days by acknowledging he could not overturn the election, attended the inauguration and was spotted laughing with Harris.

Also taking part were former presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives -- including Hillary Clinton, for whom Biden's victory was especially sweet four years after her narrow, surprise defeat to Trump.

In the middle of his last night at the White House, Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 73 people including his former campaign chief Steve Bannon, who was charged with defrauding donors who thought they were building Trump's wall.

Trump in a final act lifted a ban on his administration's officials working as lobbyists -- an order he had issued at the start of his presidency as he vowed to "drain the swamp" of Washington.


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