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Ukraine war: As Russia tightens ties with China, West offers $16 billion lifeline to Kyiv
(Reuters) — China's President Xi Jinping was due to depart Moscow on Wednesday after a grandiose display of solidarity with Russian President Vladimir Putin against the West, but without offering direct support for Putin's war in Ukraine.
During his two-day visit Xi barely mentioned the Ukraine conflict and said on Tuesday in final remarks that China had an "impartial position".
Trump's protest demand flops as ragtag group of demonstrators at Trump Tower fizzles in confusion
Ahead of the expected indictment for his $130,000 hush payment to an adult film star, former President Donald Trump took to his Truth Social platform to demand nationwide protests on his behalf — sparking fears among some security experts that the U.S. could be looking at another January 6 situation.
But so far, there is no indication of that happening, reported Mother Jones on Tuesday. In fact, the handful of Trump supporters who took to the streets outside Trump Tower found themselves in a small, confusing scene.
"When I arrived at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon, a man was heckling one of the only Trump supporters who’d shown up to protest a potential indictment of the former president — who had posted on his platform Truth Social to 'PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK' after warning he would be arrested in connection with an investigation of hush money he paid to a porn star," reported Noah Lanard. "The Trump supporter was an Asian woman; the heckler’s face was obscured by a bandanna. 'Yo, you from Wuhan,' he shouted. 'You brought the virus over.' Another man told him to cut it out with the racism. Then the small crowd’s attention snapped to a stranger spectacle: a counter-demonstrator with a Trump mask, a fake diaper, red tape over her nipples, and black tennis shoes. She stuck her tongue out, posing for photos."
"Despite Trump’s calls for 'PROTEST,' there was no real protest to speak of outside Trump Tower, or seemingly anywhere else," said the report. "Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appears to be on the verge of reviving a years-old scandal as he tests a novel legal theory against a former president who tried to steal an election. It is the type of thing that Trump’s supporters could be reasonably expected to get in the streets about. But at least so far, they’ve mostly stayed at their keyboards.
In one of the most awkward moments of the New York City demonstration earlier in the day, some Trump supporters actually accused one another of being feds, worried they were about to be "set up" to commit another January 6-style insurrection, which is a common narrative in the Trump universe about how that attack happened.
While there are few street demonstrators so far, authorities have reported a surge in violent rhetoric online in some quarters, and the NYPD has received hoax bomb threats.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden hasn’t officially announced his 2024 plans yet, but in off-the-cuff remarks Tuesday at the White House, he hinted that he’s planning another presidential run next year.
Biden was presiding over a ceremony to honor National Medal of Arts and Humanities recipients, including household names such as rocker Bruce Springsteen, fashion icon Vera Wang, and "former President Selina Meyer," as Biden quipped about actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
But when Biden came to author Colson Whitehead, the president let slip he’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
"Pretty good, man! I'm kind of looking for back-to-back myself,” Biden quipped to Whitehead.
Biden's comments echo those of first lady Jill Biden, who in February all but confirmed her 80-year-old husband would seek a second four-year term. If he runs, Biden will face at least one Democratic presidential primary challenger in self-help author Marianne Williamson, a 2020 also-ran who declared her 2024 presidential ambitions earlier this year.
On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump is running again despite the massive legal cloud looming over him. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also in, and any of several other Republicans — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina among them — are also considering presidential bids.
While Biden's exchange with Whitehead was a moment of levity, the president was also serious as he adorned some of the nation’s most talented and iconic figures with gold medals and high praise.
"You're amazing,” Biden told the winners. “And you do make this country better. You make it a better place."
The president seemed especially happy to highlight Mindy Kaling from "The Office," which is set in Biden’s real hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Though he also went out of his way to praise New Jersey’s Springsteen in the president’s very Delaware way.
“The boss is here. The boss is here,” Biden said some audience members let out, "Bruuuuuuce."
“As they say in South Philly and North Wilmington, ‘a Jersey boy,’” the president mustered through a Delaware-pretending-to-be-Jersey accent.
There was faint, unsustained laughter. Still, the president used the accent again.
“I married a Jersey girl,” Biden said before getting back to his prepared off the cuff remarks. “Bruce, some people are just born to run, man.”
The president honored a range of storied Americans, including Gladys "Empress of Soul” Knight, LGBTQI+ advocate and Democratic mega donor Fred Eychaner, and Henrietta Mann, who many see as the reason universities from coast-to-coast even offer Native American studies programs today.
“The National Humanities Medal recipients have enriched our world through writing that moves and inspires us; scholarship that enlarges our understanding of the past; and through their dedication to educating, informing, and giving voice to communities and histories often overlooked,” National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo), said in a release. “I am proud to join President Biden in recognizing these distinguished leaders for their outstanding contributions to our nation’s cultural life.”
National Endowment for the Humanities is a “presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body.” It reviews nominations and provides recommendations to the president who ultimately picks the select few award recipients.
Below is the full list of this year’s winners, though Sir Elton John already received his award last year after playing for Biden and an invited audience at the White House.
National Medal of Arts winners
Judith Francisca Baca, artist
Fred Eychaner, philanthropist
Jose Feliciano, musician
Mindy Kaling, actor
Gladys Knight, musician
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor
Antonio Martorell-Cardona, painter
Joan Shigekawa, producer and arts administrator
Bruce Springsteen, musician
Vera Wang, designer
The Billie Holiday Theatre
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
National Humanities Medal winners
Richard Blanco, writer
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist
Walter Isaacson, writer
Earl Lewis, historian
Henrietta Mann, Native American academic
Ann Patchett, writer
Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and activist
Amy Tan, writer
Tara Westover, writer
Colson Whitehead, writer
Native America Calling, radio show