Joe Biden inauguration LIVE: Biden signs 17 orders to undo Trump's legacy

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take oath: Trump departs White House, leaves a letter for Joe Biden. Stay tuned for US President inauguration live updates

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Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. Photo: Reuters

US President Joe Biden inauguration LIVE updates: Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday at a historic inaugural ceremony, pledging to unite the country and calling on Americans to end the "uncivil war" that has fractured the deeply polarised nation. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as America's first woman Vice President

In his first speech as president, Biden addressed his "fellow Americans" who may view the future with fear and trepidation -- but called on them not to turn inwards in difficult times.

"We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus -- rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal," the 78-year-old Democrat said after becoming the oldest US president.

"We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we are willing to stand in the other person's shoes," he said.

Biden also pledged to repair America's global alliances, which suffered during his predecessor Trump's four-year regime.

This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve, he said.

Stay tuned for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris inauguration LIVE updates

9:02 PM

US President Joe Biden puts forth virus strategy, requires mask use to travel

As the US enters what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus, President Joe Biden is putting forth a national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks - including a requirement that they be worn for travel. Biden also will address inequities in hard-hit minority communities as he signs 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office.
We need to ask average Americans to do their part," said Jeff Zients, the White House official directing the national response. Defeating the virus requires a coordinated nationwide effort."
But Biden officials say they're hampered by lack of cooperation from the Trump administration during the transition. They say they don't have a complete understanding of their predecessors' actions on vaccine distribution. READ ON...

US President Joe Biden
8:28 PM

Global shares mostly up on optimism for stimulus from Joe Biden

Global shares mostly rose on Thursday on optimism over the new US administration that earlier set off a rally on Wall Street. Hopes are high that President Joe Biden's administration will mean more support for the struggling US economy, starting a recovery that's crucial for the export-driven Asian region and the rest of the world.
France's CAC 40 gained 0.4% in early trading to 5,648.29, while Germany's DAX rose 0.6% to 14,003.82. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up nearly 0.2% to 6,753.08. US shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up nearly 0.1% at 31,116.5.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to finish at 28,756.86, while South Korea's Kospi edged up 1.5% to 3,160.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 29,927.76, while the Shanghai Composite added 1.1% to 3,621.26.
Data released by the Japanese Finance Ministry showed the world's third largest economy may be crawling toward a recovery, as exports for December rose for the first time in two years, by 2% from the same month the previous year. Imports declined 11.6%, marking the 20th straight month of declines.
7:48 PM

China warms up to Biden, asks him to bring bilateral ties back on right track

A visibly relieved China on Thursday warmly congratulated new US President Joe Biden and urged him to heal and rebuild the severely damaged bilateral ties by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, known for fiery retorts against the US, welcomed Biden's first moves to join the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organisation (WHO) which was trashed by Trump as a puppet of China over its conduct to deal with the COVID-19.
"We express congratulations on the inauguration of President Biden. I noted many US media say this is a new day in AmericaAfter travelling an extraordinary period, we believe our two peoples deserve to embrace a better future. We hope Biden will be successful in governance," she said.
"I noticed the word unity has been mentioned several times in his inaugural speech. This is what is urgently needed in our bilateral relations," she said, adding that over the past four years "a handful of US politicians made so many lies and incited so much hatred and division".

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7:21 PM

Joe Biden to direct agencies to use Defense Production Act in Covid-19 fight

US President Joe Biden will issue an executive order on Thursday directing agencies to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) and other powers to speed up the manufacturing of testing and vaccine supplies and other items needed to fight COVID-19 in the country.
According to The Hill, the Biden administration officials signalled they would be "more aggressive" than former President Donald Trump's administration in invoking the DPA, which allows the federal government to force companies to increase the production of critical supplies during national emergencies.
"Where we can produce more, we will. Where we need to use the Defense Production Act to help more be made, we'll do that too," said Tim Manning, Biden's COVID-19 supply coordinator, in a call with reporters on Wednesday as quoted by The Hill.
6:33 PM

Swearing in of three new Democratic senators

5:51 PM

Clinton, Bush and Obama record rare joint video wishing Biden success

Former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama have recorded a rare joint video through which they sent their wishes to President Joe Biden while rooting for his success in leading the country out of the challenges faced by it.
In the video, which was aired on Wednesday night, the three former commanders-in-chief talk about the peaceful transition of power while standing in the amphitheatre at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia where they accompanied the newly installed 46th President of the United States to a ceremony where he paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It is a "free-flowing conversation," focusing on "the majesty of the passage of power, importance of upholding democracy and staying civically engaged, according to NBC News.
4:52 PM

Twitter makes Joe Biden's account start with zero followers

The micro-blogging site, Twitter cleared out all followers from the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts after US President Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, rather than moving the accounts' current followers over to the new administration. According to The Verge, Twitter had said in December that the accounts for @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca would also have their followers wiped.
Meanwhile, the @POTUS, @VP and @WhiteHouse accounts are rapidly gathering new followers. Initially, there was a conflict between the Biden camp and Twitter about whether adherents would move over.
This is a reversal from what Twitter did in 2017 when the Trump administration took over records from the Obama administration. Back then, Twitter basically copied the current accounts, making a chronicle of Obama-time tweets and followers and building another arrangement of accounts for the approaching organization that held all those followers without any of the tweets.

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4:20 PM

Indian-Americans celebrate Biden, Harris inaugurations

Indian-Americans are celebrating the commencement of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' administration, terming it a "historic moment" and an affirmation that America at its best is a land of "limitless" opportunities. Harris, 56, made history on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female, first Black and first Asian-American US vice-president. The former senator was sworn in just before Biden, 78, took the oath of office to become the 46th President of the United States.
"This is a historic moment for many reasons: First-ever woman and woman of colour having Indian heritage," Indiana-based community leader and entrepreneur Gurinder Singh Khalsa said on Wednesday.
A traditional Republican, Khalsa said that the defeat of Donald Trump in the November presidential election signals the beginning of the end of populist governments around the globe.
"Democracy prevailed. It will be a very very long time before we will elect a president like Donald Trump. Americans will never repeat that mistake, he said.
4:00 PM

Fauci lays out Joe Biden's support for WHO after Donald Trump criticism

President Joe Biden's top medical adviser on COVID-19, Dr Anthony Fauci, on Thursday announced renewed US support for the World Health Organisation after it faced blistering criticism from the Trump administration, laying out new commitments to tackle the coronavirus and other global health issues, AP reported.
Fauci, speaking by videoconference from pre-dawn United States to WHO's executive board, said the US will join the UN health agency's efforts to bring vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to people in need, whether in rich or poor countries. He said the US will also resume full funding and staffing support for WHO.
Fauci's quick commitment to WHO -- whose response to the coronavirus outbreak was repeatedly berated by the Trump administration -- marks a dramatic and vocal shift toward a multilateral approach to fighting the pandemic.
"I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organisation, Fauci said.

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3:40 PM

US President Biden signs half a dozen executive orders to reverse several hardline immigration policies

3:15 PM

World leaders laud US President Joe Biden's decision to re-join Paris Accord

US President Joe Biden's decision to re-join the Paris Agreement has been welcomed worldwide including by the United Kingdom, France and Japan. Lauding Biden's decision, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said in a tweet, "President @JoeBiden rejoining the Paris Agreement is hugely positive news. In the year we host @COP26 in Glasgow, I look forward to working with our US partners to do all we can to safeguard our planet."
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Biden and said, "To @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris [US Vice President]. Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people! We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement."
Similarly, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has welcomed Biden's decision.
2:37 PM

Joe Biden's first foreign leader call to be with Canadian PM Juntin Trudeau

In a first phone call with a foreign leader since his inauguration as the 46th President of the US, Joe Biden will speak to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the White House.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday shortly after Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: "I expect they will certainly discuss the important relationship with Canada as well as (Biden's) decision on the Keystone pipeline that he announced today."
The call will take place two days after Biden signed an executive order to revoke the existing presidential permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil from Canada to the American Gulf Coast.
In response, Prime Minister Trudeau said that "we are disappointed but acknowledge the President's decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL", but "I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight Covid-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone".
2:07 PM

US President Joe Biden sends comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress on day one in White House

US President Joe Biden on the day one of his presidency sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress which proposes major overhauls to the system, including granting legal status and a path to citizenship to tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants and other groups and reduce the time that family members must wait outside the US for green cards, PTI reported.
Called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, the legislation modernises the immigration system, and also proposes to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.
Today President Biden sent an immigration bill to Congress. The US Citizenship Act modernises our immigration system. It provides hard-working people who have enriched our communities and lived here for decades an opportunity to earn citizenship, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a news conference.
The president's priority reflected in the bill are to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from Central America and ensure that America can remain a refuge for those fleeing prosecution, Psaki said.
The bill will stimulate America's economy while ensuring that every worker is protected. The bill creates an earned path to citizenship for immigrant neighbours, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities, the White House said.

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12:56 PM

World leaders looking forward to working with US President Joe Biden

World leaders said they were looking forward to working with Joe Biden, as they welcomed the 46th President of the United States with praise and took parting shots at his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden on Wednesday vowed to repair America's alliances and engage with the world once again.
In his inaugural speech after being sworn in as the President in a historic but scaled down ceremony, the 78-year-old veteran Democratic leader said: We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security. Read on...
12:02 PM

I’m here today because of the women who came before me: Kamala Harris

11:52 AM

US: NASA administrator departs, Joe Biden may pick a woman to lead

11:34 AM

Taiwan invited to US inauguration for the first time since 1979

Hsiao Bi-khim, Taipei's envoy, posted a video of herself at the inauguration saying she was "honoured to represent the people and government of Taiwan here at the inauguration..."
10:37 AM

US: Immigrants cheered by possible citizenship path under Joe Biden

Immigrants cheered President Joe Biden's plan to provide a path to US citizenship for about 11 million people without legal status, mixing hope with guarded optimism amid a seismic shift in how the American government views and treats them.
The newly inaugurated president moved to reverse four years of harsh restrictions and mass deportation with a plan for sweeping legislation on citizenship.
Biden also issued executive orders reversing some of former President Donald Trump's immigration policies, such as halting work on a US-Mexico border wall and lifting a travel ban on people from several predominantly Muslim countries. Read on...
10:35 AM

US: Joe Biden plans temporary halt of oil activity in Arctic refuge

President Joe Biden's administration announced plans Wednesday for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich'in.
The plans, along with other executive actions, were announced by press secretary Jen Psaki.
Issuing leases had been a priority of the Trump administration following a 2017 law calling for lease sales, said Lesli Ellis-Wouters, a spokesperson for the US Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. Read on...
9:53 AM

Springsteen, Katy Perry lead a star-studded night of socially distanced music celebrating USA's new President

Springsteen, Katy Perry lead a star-studded night of socially distanced music celebrating America's new President Joe Biden

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First Published: Jan 20 2021 | 1:50 PM IST

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