Joe Biden discusses Russia-Ukraine war in video call with allies – live | US politics

10.35

Yellen: Russian invasion of Ukraine has worsened global food insecurity

Russia’s war in Ukraine has worsened the “already say” food insecurity situation around the world, treasury secretary Janet Yellen said today.

Reuters is reporting that the US treasury secretary told a panel that even before the war, 10% of the global population were suffering from chronic food insecuritymore than 800m people. Early estimates show that higher food prices from the Russian invasion could push at least 10m more people worldwide into poverty.

“I want to be clear: Russia’s actions are responsible for this,” Yellen said. She told the panel that countries should avoid export restrictions that could further increase prices while also acting to support vulnerable populations and smallholder farmers.

Yellen said the US was committed to authorizing essential humanitarian and ensuring the availability of food and agricultural commodities to benefit people around the world.

11.17

Richard Luscombe

Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis, a possible presidential candidate, is ramping up his feud with Disney, demanding that a special legislative session this week terminates the theme park giant’s decades-old right to self-governance.

Ron DeSantis.
Ron DeSantis. Photograph: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

DeSantis and Disney have been at odds over Florida’s new “don’t say gay” bill, which prohibits classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

After initial hesitancy, Disney, which prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness, issued a blistering statement condemning the law and promising to fight to overturn it.

DeSantis sees an opportunity for revenge by eliminating the Reedy Creek Improvement District, created by Florida legislators in 1967 to allow Disney to raise taxes and conduct operations autonomously.

Until today, DeSantis has expressed loose support for a proposal by loyal state congressman Spencer Roach to terminate Reedy Creek. But at a press conference this morning in the ultra-Republican central Florida retirement mecca of The Villages, which, ironically, operates under its own special purpose districts, the governor declared he was widening this week’s legislative session.

Supporters of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stage a protest at Walt Disney World.
Supporters of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stage a protest at Walt Disney World. Photograph: Octavio Jones/Reuters

“Yes, they will be considering the congressional map, but they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” he said.

The “don’t say gay” law is one of several culture war bills laws that Florida has advanced in recent weeks, including a 15-week abortion ban and the DeSantis endorsed Stop Woke Act that bans discussion of critical race theory (CRT) but which critics say eradicates discussion of important historical events.

This week, Florida education officials rejected 54 math textbooks they claimed promoted CRT.

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10.56

The Associated Press is reporting that the father of Alison Parkera Virginia journalist fatally shot during a live broadcast in 2015, has conceded that he failed to make the ballot in the Democratic nomination contest for the fifth congressional district.

Andy Parkerwho announced in January that he would seek to unseat incumbent Republican congressman and donald trump ally Bob Goodsaid in a statement Monday that he would instead be supporting Democratic nominee Josh Throneburg.

“I was looking forward to a spirited primary and campaign against Good this fall, but to my great disappointment our campaign did not meet the technical requirements to be on the primary ballot. I want to thank the thousands of Virginians and supporters across America who stood with me,” Parker said.

Since 24-year-old daughter Alison was killed on-air by a former colleague during an interview, Andy Parker has pushed for gun control measures and battled with Facebook for allowing the video of his daughter’s slaying to circulate.

Alison Parker’s death also prompted her boyfriend, WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst, to enter politics. Hurst, a Democrat, quit his TV job in 2017 and served two terms in the house of delegates before being unseated by a Republican last November.

10.35

Yellen: Russian invasion of Ukraine has worsened global food insecurity

Russia’s war in Ukraine has worsened the “already say” food insecurity situation around the world, treasury secretary Janet Yellen said today.

Reuters is reporting that the US treasury secretary told a panel that even before the war, 10% of the global population were suffering from chronic food insecuritymore than 800m people. Early estimates show that higher food prices from the Russian invasion could push at least 10m more people worldwide into poverty.

“I want to be clear: Russia’s actions are responsible for this,” Yellen said. She told the panel that countries should avoid export restrictions that could further increase prices while also acting to support vulnerable populations and smallholder farmers.

Yellen said the US was committed to authorizing essential humanitarian and ensuring the availability of food and agricultural commodities to benefit people around the world.

10.24

Over in the situation room, Joe Biden began his secure video call about the Russia-Ukraine war with allies and partners at 9:57am local time.

On the call were the leaders of Canadatea European Uniontea European Commission, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, NATO, poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

President Biden’s video call with allies and partners convened at 9:57 AM EDT, per WH. Joining are leaders of Canada, EU, EC, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, NATO, Poland, Romania and Britain.

—Steve Holland (@steveholland1) April 19, 2022

10.04

MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance has announced that he has joined the international legion in Ukraine and is fighting the invading Russian forces.

“As you know, I spent quite a bit of time here in the pre-war period. When the invasion happened, I had friends who were in Donetskwho were in the Ukrainian army, who were writing us and telling us, ‘We are not going to survive tonight’,” he told MSNBC.

“The more I saw of the war going on, the more I thought, I’m done talking. It’s time to take action here. About a month ago, I joined the international legion here in Ukraine and I’m here to help this country fight what is essentially a war of extermination.”

09.34

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

An attempt to bar the far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress over her support for the January 6 attack can proceed, a federal judge said on Monday.

Citing “a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import”, Amy Totenberg of the northern district of Georgia sent the challenge on to a state hearing on Friday.

A coalition of liberal groups is behind the challenge against the congresswoman, citing the 14th amendment to the US constitution, passed after the civil war.

The amendment says: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

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09.22

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

Joe Biden has told barack obama he will run for re-election in 2024, according to a Washington website, the Hill.

The site cited two anonymous sources. One was quoted as saying Biden “wants to run and he’s clearly letting everyone know”.

It was not clear when Biden told Obama his plans. But Obama visited the White House earlier this month, to celebrate the Affordable Care Act.

Introducing his host, Obama called him “Vice-President Biden”.

“That was a joke,” he said, to laughter.

According to books and reportage about the 2020 campaign, Obama doubted whether Biden could win.

Edward Isaac Dovereauthor of Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump, reports: “Obama was doubtful about [Biden’s] prospects. He didn’t think Biden could be a disciplined enough candidate.”

Dovere also says Obama doubted Biden’s stamina for the race, was not sure he had the requisite “swagger” for an American president, and worried his vice-president had “trouble … connecting with crowds”.

But Dovere also quotes Jen Psakinow Biden’s White House press secretary, as saying Obama “undervalued Biden’s political abilities because they had such different styles”.

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09.14

Biden to discuss Ukraine with allies and partners

Ahoy there, live blog readers. Let’s get started.

Joe Biden will kick off his day in the Location Room at the White House, on a secure video call with allies and partners to discuss Ukraine and Russia.

This comes as Russian troops seized the city of Kreminna in east Ukraine, as the battle for the Donbas region begins. Reminder that we have a live updates on the conflict here on our Ukraine live blog.

After the secure video call, Biden will head to New Hampshire to talk infrastructurea key part of Democratic messaging as midterm elections loom … and as polling continues to show worrying signs of a Republican takeover of Congress.

There is also a report out this morning that Biden has told barack obama he will run again in 2024.

There was also news overnight from Georgia, that a challenge seeking to bar Marjorie Taylor Greene from office can proceed.

Much more to come.

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