Categories
Guardian - US News

Rahm Emanuel leads confirmed Biden nominees in late-night logjam break

Ex-Obama chief of staff will go to Japan after deal for vote on Russia pipeline sanctions ends Republican Senate resistance

The former Obama White House chief of staff and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was among more than 30 ambassadors and other Biden nominees confirmed by the Senate early on Saturday.

The Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, broke a Republican-stoked logjam by agreeing to schedule a vote on sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

‘Black skin was a death warrant’: how the East St Louis race massacre was an omen for racial violence to come

Four year before the Tulsa race massacre, white mobs firebombed homes and decimated a Black community in Illinois

The racial violence in East St Louis, Illinois, on 2 July 1917 holds a special place in US history. It’s not the white brutality against Black people that sets the incident apart – official counts claim that 39 Black residents were killed, though estimates range to the hundreds, and 7,000 were forced to flee the city. It’s not the silent march on New York City’s Fifth Avenue weeks later in support of the victims.

East St Louis is notable because it was the first of a series of race riots that happened during and after the first world war, a period of peril and progress for Black Americans. The city, which sits across the Mississippi River from St Louis, Missouri, is a fitting place to end the Red Summers series, which began with the commemoration of the centennial of the Tulsa massacre of 1921.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

‘Really abnormal’ storms and tornadoes tear through Great Plains and midwest

At least five people have died after unseasonably warm temperatures spawned hurricane-force winds and possible tornadoes

At least five people died as a powerful and extremely unusual storm system swept across the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm temperatures, spawning hurricane-force winds and possible tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

In south-eastern Minnesota, Olmsted county Sheriff’s Lt Lee Rossman said a 65-year-old man was killed Wednesday night when a 40ft tree blew onto him outside his home.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Biden pledges aid on Kentucky trip: ‘I’ve not seen this much damage from a tornado’

US president surveyed damage after more than 30 tornadoes tore through Kentucky and seven other states

Surveying storm damage from the Kentucky sky, Joe Biden on Wednesday saw neighborhoods pockmarked by piles of debris and homes without roofs and windows, evidence of the latest natural disaster in the US this year that has brought him to devastated communities to offer support and condolences.

From a helicopter over the town of Mayfield, the US president observed the toll from last weekend’s deadly tornadoes. More than 30 tornadoes tore through Kentucky and seven other states, killing at least 88 people, including at least 74 in Kentucky. Thousands of residents have lost their homes or are without power.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Biden and Manchin to meet amid race to pass Build Back Better agenda – live

The Guardian’s Edward Helmore, Nikhita Chulani, Harvey Symons and Arnel Hecimovic report:

Powerful tornadoes barrelled through five US states on Friday, levelling houses and factories and bringing down power lines. In Kentucky, the worst-hit state, one tornado alone followed an extraordinarily long and destructive path of more than 200 miles.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Kentucky tornadoes: governor confirms at least 64 deaths as toll expected to rise

Andy Beshear says 105 Kentuckians still unaccounted for, and that the number of confirmed deaths might not be known for weeks

Kentucky’s governor Andy Beshear broke down in tears on Monday as he announced the deaths of at least 64 people from Friday’s deadly tornadoes that swept across multiple midwest and southern states, and warned that the death toll is expected to grow.

The ages of those killed ranged from five months to 86 years, six of them younger than 18, Beshear said at an emotional press conference in Frankfort, the state capital.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Kentucky tornadoes: Biden declares federal disaster as hopes rise that death toll could be lower than feared

Governor Andy Beshear had originally said more than 100 people were feared dead, but later said the estimate could be wrong

US president Joe Biden declared a major federal disaster in Kentucky after a swarm of deadly tornadoes hit the state on Friday, as representatives of a candle factory destroyed by a twister said far fewer people may have died than previously feared.

Biden had previously declared the storms a federal emergency and the move to designate the storms a federal disaster paves the way for additional aid, as thousands face housing, food, water and power shortages.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Kentucky tornadoes: death toll from record twisters expected to exceed 100

Dozens unaccounted for as crews search wreckage in ‘deadliest tornado event we’ve ever had,’ says Governor Andy Beshear

The death toll from record tornadoes that roared across hundreds of miles this weekend is expected to exceed 100 in Kentucky alone, with dozens still unaccounted for as crews scramble to search wreckage.

One tornado that tore through four states over four hours of nighttime devastation is believed to be the longest distance for a tornado in US history, leaving destruction, death and a frantic search by survivors to find family and shelter, from Arkansas to Kentucky.

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

Radicalized Christian nationalism is a growing threat to American democracy | Arwa Mahdawi

A relatively small but incredibly organized faction is working to turn the country into something resembling a theocracy

Forget everything you ever thought you knew about pregnancy: a 26-year-old congressman, who will never be pregnant himself, has helpfully stepped in to explain the process to everyone. A fetus is just like a photograph, according to Madison Cawthorn, a right-wing congressman from North Carolina. During an anti-abortion speech on the House floor last week, Cawthorn proclaimed that having an abortion is like snatching a half-developed photograph of a sunset out of someone’s hand and ripping it to shreds. (You could almost see his brain working as he spoke: a photo develops … an embryo develops … wow, I am very smart!)

Arwa Mahdawi’s new book, Strong Female Lead, is available for order

Continue reading…

Categories
Guardian - US News

‘You can’t catch those 43 years’: exonerated former prisoner tries to start life anew

A new Missouri bill could make Kevin Strickland and other exonerees eligible for restitution payments

It’s been more than two weeks since Kevin Strickland was released from the Western Missouri correctional center and now he often wakes at 3.30am, long before the dawn, with an urge to get outside.

For 43 years of a sentence under a former Missouri law known as the “Hard 50” – which required Strickland to serve at least 50 years before he would be eligible for parole – that was an impossibility.

Continue reading…