220412 – Biden Calls Putin’s War -Genocide- During Iowa Speech

President Joe Biden has described the actions of Vladimir Putin’s army in Ukraine as “genocide” for the first time. In remarks in Iowa concerning gas prices, the president said: “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank — none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away.”

Mr Biden has used the phrase “war crimes” before, but the administration has until now steered away from the term “genocide” when talking about the actions of Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine.

The White House is managing the fallout from new data showing that consumer prices last year rose at their fastest clip since 1981, wiping out many of the pay rises Americans had received during the post-Covid recovery. The numbers come just as a new poll shows Mr Biden’s already low approval rating sinking to new depths.

His overall rating now stands in the low 40s, having plunged below the 50-point mark around the time of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The electorate apparently hold him in even lower esteem when it comes to his handling of specific issues like crime and immigration.

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Catch up: Inflation hits malaise-era levels

Yesterday saw a piece of monumentally bad news for the Biden administration: last year saw consumer prices rise at their fastest rate since 1981, a date that many Republicans have seized on since it marked the transition from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

Worst-affected in the surge are the prices of shelter, food and gasoline, the last of which increased 18.3 per cent on the price index in just the last month. Joe Biden and the White House have pointed to Russia’s war in Ukraine as a major driver of rising prices.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 10:36

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Zelensky praises Biden’s “genocide” remarks

As more stories of mass murder, torture and rape by Russian forces come to kight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has praised Joe Biden for describing Russian atrocities in Ukraine as “genocide”.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 11:10

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ICYMI: Biden’s statement on Brooklyn shooting

As the authorities seek a person of interest in relation to yesterday’s shooting at a subway station in Brooklyn, Joe Biden has issued a statement on the incident:



My wife and I are praying for those that are injured in all of those touched by the trauma. We are grateful for all of the first responders who jumped into action, including the civilians. Civilians who did not hesitate to help their fellow passengers and tried to shield them. My team has been in touch with the New York police commissioner and the Department of Justice is working with the NYPD on the ground. They’re going to continue to stay in close contact with New York authorities as we learn more about the situation over the coming hours and days.

Andrew Feinberg and Eric Garcia have more on the developing story:

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 11:40

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Macron breaks with Biden on Russian “genocide” in Ukraine

Speaking on TV station France 2, French President Emmanuel Macron has backed away from Joe Biden’s insistence that atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine constitute acts of “genocide”.

“I would be careful with such terms today,” he said, “because these two peoples [Russians and Ukrainians] are brothers.

“I want to continue to try, as much as I can, to stop this war and rebuild peace. I am not sure that an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause,” he added.

Mr Macron, who before the war began was in touch with Mr Putin more than any other western European leader, is now facing a presidential run-off election against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, who has historically shown an affinity with the Russian leader.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 12:19

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Biden calls Russian atrocities “genocide”: what can be done?

As Joe Biden condemns Russian atrocities in Ukraine first as war crimes and now as genocide, efforts are already well underway to document as much as possible about what Russian troops have done to civilians in areas now recaptured by Ukrainian forces. The evidence collected will be crucial to any future prosecution of soldiers, officers or government figures who ordered or committed the crimes in question.

Here’s an explainer from Joe Sommerlad on how the process of bringing them to justice could actually work.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 12:56

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ICYMI: Biden’s approval ratings crash to new low

Before yesterday’s grim inflation figures were released, Joe Biden was already facing some dire news: his already-low approval rating appears to have hit a new nadir, with a new poll pegging the number at a mere 42 per cent.

The president’s popularity has never recovered from the precipitous drop it entered around the time of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and given the gridlock in Congress that’s preventing him from passing much of his ambitious agenda, it is unclear what Mr Biden can do to change things just yet.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has more.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 13:40

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Breaking: Brooklyn shooting “person of interest” now a suspect

Frank R James, whom the NYPD yesterday said was a “person of interest” in the Brooklyn subway shooting, has now been confirmed as a suspect.

Megan Sheets has the news.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 14:15

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Polling indicates Biden struggles to get credit for economy – among Democrats

It’s not just the topline approval rating giving Joe Biden and the Democrats cause for concern as they head into the midterm elections. According to new polling outlined by Politico’s Sam Stein, the president is struggling to earn credit for what economic good news there is – and even his own voters aren’t showing major enthusiasm for his performance…

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 14:50