Youngest Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman: 'Even as we grieved, we grew'
Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet in US history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country on Wednesday with her poem "The Hill We Climb".
Gorman, 22, a Los Angeles resident, joined the ranks of previous inaugural poets Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander, with a powerful performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
"Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it," Gorman said, in a short poem that was greeted with a hail of critical acclaim on social media.
"We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free."
Speaking on the steps of the US Capitol just two weeks after a violent mob laid siege to the seat of American government with Confederate flags, pipe bombs and a noose, Gorman said Americans could rise above the hatred.
"While democracy can be temporarily delayed, it can never be permanently defeated," Gorman said. "Let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left," Gorman said. "We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one."
"The new dawn blooms as we free it," said Gorman, who was named the first US National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also had poets read at their inauguration.
Critical acclaim poured from across the country and the political spectrum, including Republican strategist Lincoln Project and Stacey Abrams the Democratic organizer and gubernatorial candidate from Georgia, who said, "Amanda Gorman's message serves as an inspiration to us all."
Singer Sheryl Crow tweeted: "If the future looks like inaugural poet laureate Amanda Gorman, we are in good shape. Wise and inspiring."
The average price of US retail gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time in months, giving some relief to drivers in the world's largest consumer of the fuel. The national average price for regular unleaded gas fell to $3.990 a gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. The latest price drop may help President Joe Biden's administration and Democrats in Congress during November's midterm elections.
Russia and Ukraine accused each other of new shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday ahead of a UN Security Council meeting to address concerns over the facility's security. Kyiv nuclear agency Energoatom said later that there had been fresh Russian shelling near one of the plant's six reactors that had caused "extensive smoke" and "several radiation sensors are damaged". The Security Council is expected to meet at 1900 GMT.
Much like with Covid-19, the monkeypox health crisis in the US is hitting Black and Hispanic Americans hard. Yet those groups are so far lagging in vaccination rates, early data obtained by Bloomberg News show. In some major US cities with outbreaks, White people are getting the majority of vaccinations, data collected by Bloomberg show. In Chicago, 55% of vaccines have gone to White people. In Washington, D.C., 63.5% of vaccine recipients identify as White.
A prominent Taliban cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul when the attacker detonated explosives hidden in a plastic artificial leg on Thursday, according to officials and Taliban sources. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Four Taliban sources told Reuters the attacker was someone who had previously lost his leg and had hidden the explosives in a plastic artificial leg.
China on Thursday said it needs more time to “assess” the India-US proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, hours after blocking the joint effort. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about designating terrorist organisations and officials. China had similarly sought time to assess the case.