In a package of four directives on Tuesday, Biden delivered his first policy response to nationwide protests over institutionalized racism.(AP)
In a package of four directives on Tuesday, Biden delivered his first policy response to nationwide protests over institutionalized racism.(AP)

Joe Biden targets housing, private prisons in first equality moves

One memo directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to review and change policies from the Trump administration that undermined protections under the Fair Housing Act, the White House said.
Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 05:23 AM IST

President Joe Biden took a series of high-profile measures intended to improve racial equity across American society, including combating discrimination in housing policies and ending the use of private prisons.

In a package of four directives on Tuesday, Biden delivered his first policy response to nationwide protests over institutionalized racism. The measures joined a growing list of executive actions aimed at advancing his campaign promises and rolling back former President Donald Trump’s policies.

“Advancing equity has to be everyone’s job,” Biden said Tuesday in remarks at the White House before signing three memoranda and an executive order. Systemic racism, he said, has “plagued our nation for far, far too long.”

One memo directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development to review and change policies from the Trump administration that undermined protections under the Fair Housing Act, the White House said.

Biden wants to end mass incarceration, which disproportionately affects people of color, according to the White House. He ordered the attorney general not to renew contracts with privately operated detention facilities -- reversing the Trump administration’s approach -- saying those prisons profit from keeping inmates in less safe conditions.

The move may affect the country’s two largest operators of private prisons, GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic Inc., which saw their share prices gain significantly after Trump was elected in 2016. Trump ended an Obama-era prohibition on the Justice Department’s use of private prisons and also expanded detention by federal immigration authorities.

Both companies slipped on the news. GEO Group fell about 8%, to $7.41, its lowest since March 11, 2009. CoreCivic fell about 6% to $6.26, its lowest price since Nov. 12, after Trump lost re-election.

GEO and CoreCivic have sought to diversify from federal contracts by signing deals with states to build and operate prisons.

Another Biden memo aims to empower Native American tribal self-determination, and another targets xenophobia against Asian Americans. The action directs the Department of Health and Human Services to consider issuing guidance to advance language access to the Asian American community in the federal government’s response to Covid-19.

The director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice, said at a briefing earlier Tuesday that Biden also intends to address moves by Republican-led state legislatures to roll back voting expansions that contributed to Trump’s loss.

“It’s a matter of real concern because we ought to be in the business of encouraging and enabling all Americans who are eligible to vote, to be able to vote,” she said.

The killings last year of Black people at the hands of law enforcement -- including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky -- sparked protests that swept the country, drawing more attention to deep-seated racial disparities.

Biden said Floyd’s death was “the knee on the neck of justice.”

“In my view, it marked a turning point in this country’s attitude toward racial justice,” he said.

Biden also has indicated he wants to close the racial wealth gap in the U.S., and his economic team includes officials with experience on that issue. He hasn’t proposed specific policies on how to narrow the gap.

The coronavirus pandemic has drawn more attention to health and economic disparities that are affecting Black, Latino and Native American populations.

The end of 2020 brought the sharpest rise in the U.S. poverty rate since the 1960s, and disproportionately affected Black Americans, according to a study released Monday Economists Bruce Meyer, from the University of Chicago, and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame. The poverty rate for Black Americans is estimated to have jumped by 5.4 percentage points, or by 2.4 million individuals.

By focusing on racial discrimination, Biden is taking steps to deliver for the people who helped him win the White House. Black voters in particular helped Biden secure the Democratic party’s nomination and then the presidency in November, as well as two Senate seats for Georgia.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
"No matter how the situation in Myanmar changes, China's determination to promote China-Myanmar relations will not waver," Wang Yi said. In picture - Wang Yi speaks during a remote video press conference.(AP)
"No matter how the situation in Myanmar changes, China's determination to promote China-Myanmar relations will not waver," Wang Yi said. In picture - Wang Yi speaks during a remote video press conference.(AP)

China says willing to engage with all parties to ease Myanmar situation

Reuters, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:55 PM IST
Beijing has said the situation in Myanmar, where the military seized power last month, was "absolutely not what China wants to see" and has dismissed social media rumours of Chinese involvement in the coup as nonsense.
Close
The biggest turnout was in Myanmar's second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honour of people killed by police and the army, video showed.(AP)
The biggest turnout was in Myanmar's second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honour of people killed by police and the army, video showed.(AP)

Thousands of protesters on Myanmar streets after night raids by security forces

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:54 PM IST
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in Lashio town in the country's northern Shan region, according to live video posted on Facebook.
Close
More than 260 people, including 171 from the two Catholic churches, were killed in the attacks.(AFP)
More than 260 people, including 171 from the two Catholic churches, were killed in the attacks.(AFP)

Sri Lankan Catholics mark 'Black Sunday' remembering 2019 Easter bombings

AP, Colombo, Sri Lanka
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:46 PM IST
Church bells tolled and prayers were chanted at 8.45 am, the time when bombs were detonated almost simultaneously at two Roman Catholic churches and a Protestant church during Easter services on April 21, 2019.
Close
Since Britain left the EU last year, relations between the two have soured.(Bloomberg photo)
Since Britain left the EU last year, relations between the two have soured.(Bloomberg photo)

Shake off any remaining ill will, Britain tells EU over post-Brexit trade

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:46 PM IST
  • Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Britain's top EU adviser David Frost defended Britain's unilateral move to smooth post-Brexit trade between Britain and Northern Ireland
Close
Before and after a fire following a suspected Russian missile strike on an oil-loading facility just northwest of the city of Manbij, Syria.(AP)
Before and after a fire following a suspected Russian missile strike on an oil-loading facility just northwest of the city of Manbij, Syria.(AP)

Satellite photos show aftermath of strike in northern Syria

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | AP, Beirut
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:44 PM IST
  • Syrian opposition groups and at least one war monitor blamed Russia for the strike Friday night near the towns of Jarablus and al-Bab, near the border with Turkey.
Close
India has provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries.(AP)
India has provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries.(AP)

Covid vaccine rollout 'India’s gift' to world in combating pandemic: Scientist

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:28 PM IST
India is called the pharmacy of the world during the Covid-19 pandemic with its vast experience and deep knowledge in medicine. The country is one of the world’s biggest drug-makers and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring coronavirus vaccines.
Close
Seoul hopes to take back the wartime OPCON within the term of the current administration that ends in May 2022 and has called for the test to be a key feature of the upcoming exercise.(via AP. Representative image)
Seoul hopes to take back the wartime OPCON within the term of the current administration that ends in May 2022 and has called for the test to be a key feature of the upcoming exercise.(via AP. Representative image)

South Korea, US to start scaled-back combined exercise this week

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | ANI, Seoul
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:24 PM IST
According to Yonhap News Agency, whether to hold the regular exercise has drawn attention as the unification ministry and some civic groups have called for its adjustment to help move forward the stalled inter-Korean ties. North Korea has long demanded a halt to such joint manoeuvres.
Close
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress.(REUTERS)
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress.(REUTERS)

Hope US will remove 'unreasonable' restrictions on cooperation, says China

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:19 PM IST
The Biden administration has indicated it will broadly continue a tough approach to China taken by former President Donald Trump, but do so in coordination will allies.
Close
Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrives at Kosice Airport, Slovakia.(AP / File Photo)
Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrives at Kosice Airport, Slovakia.(AP / File Photo)

Russia scores points with vaccine diplomacy, but snags arise

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | AP, Moscow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 02:17 PM IST
  • Some experts say boosting the use of vaccines from China and Russia could offer a quicker way to increase the global supply.
Close
The rescue sources said several people are still trapped inside the ill-fated train. The personnel are facing problems in the rescue operation owing to the darkness, they said. (Representative Image)(Sameer Sehgal /HT)
The rescue sources said several people are still trapped inside the ill-fated train. The personnel are facing problems in the rescue operation owing to the darkness, they said. (Representative Image)(Sameer Sehgal /HT)

Pakistan: Rail accident kills one, injures several

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:37 PM IST
Eight coaches of the train got derailed, said the Rescue sources. The Rescue personnel is busy in relief activities, aided by the local people, reported Geo News.
Close
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin plans to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit some time in the week of March 15 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)(AP)
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin plans to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit some time in the week of March 15 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)(AP)

US defence chief Austin likely to visit India soon: Report

Reuters, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:16 PM IST
  • The first person visit by a top official of the new US President Joe Biden's administration will focus on enhancing cooperation, said the source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Close
A file photo of an employee walking with sanitary wipes through the post-vaccination waiting area at a vaccination centre, as part of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. (REUTERS)
A file photo of an employee walking with sanitary wipes through the post-vaccination waiting area at a vaccination centre, as part of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. (REUTERS)

Covid-19: Canadian provinces looking to import vaccine tech knowhow from India

By Anirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Nadim Siraj
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:53 AM IST
An Indian official said “preliminary” discussions have commenced and some provincial governments are interested in the technical expertise developed by SII and Bharat Biotech
Close
A file photo showing a Tibetan in-exile pinning a small flag on a map of Tibet to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan Independence Day, at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, India on February 13, 2021. (PTI)
A file photo showing a Tibetan in-exile pinning a small flag on a map of Tibet to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan Independence Day, at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala, India on February 13, 2021. (PTI)

High-speed train from Lhasa to Tibetan city near Arunachal to run from June

By Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited Nadim Siraj
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:14 AM IST
Construction of the 435km train corridor, also the first electrified railroad in Tibet linking the two cities had begun in 2014, Lu Dongfu, chairperson of China State Railway Group Company and a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said on the sidelines of the annual session of the parliament
Close
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and their have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters. (Representative Image)(AP File Photo)
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and their have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters. (Representative Image)(AP File Photo)

Japan to closely monitor China's increased defense spending

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:37 AM IST
As per this year's draft budget at the annual session of the National People's Congress, which opened on Friday, the Chinese government increased its defense budget by 6.8% from last year to about 209 billion dollars.
Close
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)
A member of the medical team administers a coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine shot at the NHS vaccination centre in Robertson House in Stevenage, north of London on January 14, 2021 (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP)(AFP)

NHS England invites people aged 56 to 59 to book Covid-19 vaccinations

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:23 AM IST
"The latest invites have been sent after more than eight in 10 people aged 65 to 69 took up the offer of a jab", the National Health Service said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP