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Haley wins DC primary in crucial boost ahead of Super Tuesday as rival rages on Truth Social: Live

Haley wins DC primary in crucial boost ahead of Super Tuesday as rival rages on Truth Social: Live

Nikki Haley secured her first victory of the 2024 Republican primary season on Sunday in DC, ending her losing streak and providing her campaign with the sliver of hope it desperately needed.

Ms Haley’s defeat of front-runner Donald Trump marks the first time another GOP candidate has beaten the former president in any contest since 2016 and is the first sign that this year’s primary season will amount to anything more than a further demonstration of his dominance over conservatives.

The race was called around 9pm last night, when Ms Haley was leading with 62.9 per cent of the vote.

Her campaign now looks ahead to Super Tuesday and the possibility of peeling off a few states from what is likely to prove yet another huge delegate haul for Mr Trump.

Ever the bad loser, the former reacted angrily to his rival’s win in DC last night, claiming on Truth Social that he had “purposely stayed away from the DC Vote because it is the ‘Swamp,’ with very few delegates, and no upside”.

The candidate nevertheless picked up three further primary wins over the weekend in Idaho, Michigan and Missouri but raised eyebrows with further gaffes in Virginia.

Key Points

  • Haley wins DC primary in crucial boost ahead of Super Tuesday

  • Rival says she no longer feels bound by RNC pledge to endorse winner of Republican primary

  • Trump campaign appears to have learned from its previous mistakes

  • Biden losing to Trump by four points in latest poll

  • Super Tuesday: When is it, which states are participating and how many delegates are at stake?

Bad loser Trumps rages at Haley and DC ‘swamp’ after first primary loss

11:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Haley’s rival has not taken last night’s result at all well, claiming to have “purposely stayed away from the DC Vote because it is the ‘Swamp,’ with very few delegates, and no upside”.

Sure Don. Sure.

Haley wins DC primary in crucial boost ahead of Super Tuesday

10:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley secured her first victory of the 2024 Republican primary season on Sunday in DC, ending her losing streak and providing her campaign with the sliver of hope it desperately needed.

Haley’s defeat of front-runner Donald Trump marks the first time another GOP candidate has beaten the former president in any contest since 2016 and is the first sign that this year’s primary season will amount to anything more than a further demonstration of his dominance over conservatives.

The race was called around 9pm last night, when Haley was leading with 62.9 per cent of the vote.

Her campaign now looks ahead to Super Tuesday and the possibility of peeling off a few states from what is likely to prove yet another huge delegate haul for Mr Trump.

John Bowden reports.

Nikki Haley wins her first Republican primary victory in Washington DC

VIDEO: Closing arguments heard in bid to remove Fani Willis from Trump case

09:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump campaign appears to have learned from its previous mistakes

08:50 , Gustaf Kilander

All three of the contests on Saturday were caucuses, which are more time-consuming and require more voter engagement, possibly benefitting Mr Trump as he has many fervent followers.

Caucuses usually have lower turnout than primaries since voters have to arrive at a specific time and stick around for a while to take part in the more labour-intensive process compared to pulling a lever in a primary.

Prominent Iowa pollster Ann Selzer spoke to The Independent about the caucus process late last year ahead of the first-in-the-nation contest. While caucuses vary from state to state, it’s usually the case that voters listen to a speech and then declare their support.

“Caucuses are designed for things to happen in the room on caucus night — there’s a moment in time where a representative from each campaign stands up and makes their pitch — they get a couple of minutes to do it,” she said, noting the importance of “person-to-person politicking at the last possible moment”.

“If you don’t know how to get the votes, [how to] get your name written on a piece of paper, you can lose that way,” she added at the time.

But the Trump campaign appears to have learned from its previous experiences, handily winning all the contests so far, caucuses and primaries alike.

Why Missouri currently doesn't allow pregnant women to be legally divorced

07:50 , Geoff Mulvihill

A Missouri lawmaker has introduced legislation to clarify that the state’s judges can grant divorces even when one spouse is pregnant.

The notion that they can’t already has sparked anger from people who see it as an antiquated policy that controls women unfairly, possibly trapping them in abusive marriages.

But divorce lawyers say the practice – which goes beyond Missouri – is not meant to be punitive for pregnant women and has some important practical benefits.

Here’s a look at the issue.

Haley says she no longer feels bound by the GOP pledge requiring her to support the eventual nominee

06:50 , Via AP news wire

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Sunday she no longer feels bound by a pledge that required all GOP contenders to support the party’s eventual nominee in order to participate in the primary debates.

The Republican National Committee had made the pledge a prerequisite for all candidates, and nearly every major contender signed, except for Donald Trump, the current front-runner, who skipped the debates.

When Haley, Trump’s lone remaining major challenger for the nomination, was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether she was compelled to honor that commitment, she said, “No. I think I’ll make what decision I want to make.”

She said the “the RNC is now not the same RNC” as it was at the time of the debates. She also maintained that she has always said she had “serious concerns” about Trump, for whom she served as U.N. ambassador.

The RNC is in the midst of major changes, with the chair, Ronna McDaniel, set to leave the job on Friday. She was Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead the RNC shortly after the 2016 election, but Trump now is poised to install loyalists atop the organization. He has announced his preference for North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley, a little-known veteran operative, to replace McDaniel. Trump also has picked his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to serve as committee co-chair.

Haley dismissed questions about whether she would drop out and eventually endorse Trump.

“Right now, my focus is, ‘How do we touch as many voters? How do we win?’” she said. “I want the American people to see that you don’t have to live this way. There is a path forward. And we can do it with someone who can put in eight years, that can constantly focus on results and not the negativity and the baggage that we have right now.”

Trump on Saturday continued his march toward the nomination, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the delegate haul at a party convention in Michigan.

Trump’s count is now 244, compared with 24 for Haley. A candidate needs to secure 1,215 delegates to clinch the nomination.

The next event on the Republican calendar was Sunday in the District of Columbia. Two days later is Super Tuesday, when 16 states will hold primaries on what will be the largest day of voting of the year outside of the November election. Trump is on track to lock up the nomination days later.

“I’ve always said this needs to be competitive. As long as we are competitive, as long as we are showing that there is a place for us, I’m going to continue to fight,” Haley said.

VIDEO: Trump's classified documents trial pushed

05:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Super Tuesday: When is it, which states are participating and how many delegates are at stake?

04:50 , Joe Sommerlad

Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the US presidential primary season, arrives early next month and promises to have a decisive if perhaps somewhat anticlimactic impact on the respective Republican and Democratic races.

As it stands, Donald Trump looks all but certain to be the GOP’s presidential candidate once again in 2024, having already chalked up big wins in the Iowa and US Virgin Islands caucuses and the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries.

All but one of his challengers have fallen away, leaving only the well-funded but under-performing ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley still swinging.

But even she may not make it to Super Tuesday (although she has promised she will), as the next Republican primary takes place in her home state of South Carolina and current polling indicates the Palmetto State’s former governor could be in for another trouncing on her home turf, a further humiliation after she scored fewer votes than the “none of these candidates” box on Nevada ballot papers.

“Is there any way we can call the election for next Tuesday?” a cocky Mr Trump gloated on stage in Las Vegas after that result.

“That’s all I want. I want to call the election for next Tuesday.”

However, if Ms Haley can somehow conjure a surprise victory in either South Carolina on 24 February or Michigan on 27 February, it will be game on for Super Tuesday and we could find ourselves with a very interesting evening indeed.

The Democratic contest is looking equally one-sided, with President Joe Biden seemingly nailed-on to be his party’s candidate again as he seeks a second term in the White House, despite concerns about his advanced age and consistently poor polling.

Following the withdrawal of Marianne Williamson, Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips remains the president’s last remaining rival and is surely too low-profile to make an impact, President Biden having comfortably won the New Hampshire primary without even appearing on Granite State ballots thanks to a grassroots write-in campaign.

Here’s everything you need to know about Super Tuesday in good time for its arrival.

Kentucky House backs giving lawmakers authority over statues in Capitol Rotunda

03:50 , Bruce Schreiner

Kentucky lawmakers would claim authority over what statues are installed or removed from the state Capitol’s Rotunda under a bill passed Friday by the GOP-led House, a move the bill sponsor said has nothing to do with the removal of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis four years ago.

Republican state Rep. David Hale said his legislation is forward looking amid preparations to renovate Kentucky’s statehouse and “has no reflection on what has been done in the past.”

The debate turned testy when Democratic Rep. Josie Raymond tried asking Hale if the bill could be used to restore the statue of a “racist, slaver and secessionist like Jefferson Davis” or someone as “equally reprehensible.” Her question was ruled out of order and the House vote followed immediately.

The bill passed 77-17 to advance to the Senate, where Republicans also have an overwhelming majority.

In an interview afterward, Hale said his legislation would not allow lawmakers to act on their own to install or remove a statue or other permanent Rotunda display. Instead, they would respond to recommendations from the state Historic Properties Advisory Commission, he said.

Hale also said the proposal was not a response to the Davis statue’s removal.

“I have no intention of making any kind of a request to bring anything back that’s gone,” he said.

READ MORE

Haley says Trump ‘should have stopped’ Capitol attack much earlier

02:50 , John Bowden

Nikki Haley’s balancing act over the issue of January 6 and the 2020 election continued on Sunday as she appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and faced questions about the attack on the Capitol from Kristin Welker.

Ms Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations under Mr Trump’s presidency, drove a careful edge between opposing Mr Trump’s actions before and during the riot as she warned that the former president would have to answer in court for his actions. She took no position on whether the former president was guilty of a crime for not calling off the mob after rioters began attacking and injuring police on the grounds of the Capitol, only calling it “questionable” and stating that the courts would decide the answer.

“I’m not a lawyer,” she insisted, after explaining: “I think he should have said something earlier. I think he should have stopped it when it started.”

“I am telling you: Having the rally was not a crime. To turn around and not stop people from breaking the law, when he had the opportunity to do that, is questionable. And that’s what I think the courts are going to have to play with.”

The former governor added that her opponent will “have to answer” for allegedly condoning “lawlessness” on the day of the attack. Ms Haley has also indicated, however, that Mr Trump would receive a presidential pardon for his actions were she to reach the White House, meaning that any potential punishment for his actions at the federal level would not be levied.

READ MORE

VIDEO: 2024 Election: ‘Super Tuesday’ just days away

01:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump crowd goes silent as he confuses Biden and Obama again

00:50 , Gustaf Kilander

The crowd of Trump supporters gathered in Richmond, Virginia to hear Donald Trump speak on Saturday night went silent as the former president appeared to mix up Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama yet again.

“Shortly after we win the presidency, I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine settled,” Mr Trump said on Saturday.

“I know them both very well and we will restore peace through strength. Get that war settled. It’s a bad war. And Putin has so little respect for Obama that he’s starting to throw around the nuclear word,” Mr Trump added, seemingly in the false belief that Mr Biden’s former boss remains in charge.

There were plenty of moments during Mr Trump’s campaign events in Greensboro, North Carolina and later in Richmond when he appeared to struggle to deliver his speech or seemed to be confused.

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US pharmacy chains will offer abortion drug as Supreme Court prepares to hear major post-Roe case

Sunday 3 March 2024 23:50 , Alex Woodward

Major pharmacy retailers Walgreens and CVS will begin offering the abortion pill mifepristone as early as next week in stores across the US, a move that could significantly expand access to abortion care as the US Supreme Court once again prepares to hear a case that could radically restrict reproductive healthcare for millions of Americans.

Mifepristone is one of two drugs in a two-drug protocol for medication abortion, a procedure that accounts for more than half of all abortions in the US

The drug, which is only available with a prescription, was first approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2000. The pill blocks a hormone necessary for pregnancy development, and is followed by the pill misoprostol, which causes contractions to expel tissue.

That same regimen is also used in miscarriage treatment.

A phased rollout of the drug’s availability in two of the largest pharmacy chains in the US arrives just weeks before the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in a case from right-wing legal groups and anti-abortion activists seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval, part of a years-long campaign to outlaw abortion nationwide.

That case comes before the court less than two years after a decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned a constitutional right to abortion care affirmed in Roe v Wade nearly 50 years earlier.

Patchwork anti-abortion laws across the country have choked off abortion access or effectively outlawed abortion care entirely; mifepristone prescriptions from CVS and Walgreens will only be available in states where abortion is legal.

But “many women will soon have the option to pick up their prescription at a local, certified pharmacy – just as they would for any other medication,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on Friday.

“I encourage all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification,” he added.

READ MORE

Legislation to legalize, tax skill games in Virginia heads to governor

Sunday 3 March 2024 22:50 , Sarah Rankin

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation Friday that would legalize skill games, the slots-like betting machines that proliferated in businesses around the state before an on-again, off-again ban took effect.

If signed by GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the bill would tax and regulate the devices, which are also known as gray machines because of the murky area of the law in which they previously operated.

The legislation was supported by a well-organized coalition that involved skill game developer Pace-O-Matic and business owners who have hosted the games and shared in their profits. Even critics said they were moved by the testimony of the business owners, many of them first-generation Americans, who said the machines had been a lifeline for their establishments, especially during the pandemic.

“For years, thousands of small businesses throughout the Commonwealth have come to rely on the supplemental, sustainable revenue provided by skill games. This victory will solidify their presence in Virginia and give thousands of small business owners peace of mind knowing they can keep their doors open, create jobs, and support their local communities,” said Rich Kelly, a restaurateur and president of the Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition, which formed to advocate for legalization of the machines.

The arcade-style games, which other states are also grappling with, look similar to slot machines but involve an element of skill, according to their manufacturers.

READ MORE

Netanyahu rival to meet with VP Harris in White House as US grows impatient with Israeli prime minister

Sunday 3 March 2024 22:20 , John Bowden

A top Israeli minister and political rival of Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Washington this week for a series of meetings that have already earned a stern reprisal from the Israeli prime minister.

Benny Gantz is set to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, on Monday while also holding meetings with top congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. The official agenda for his meeting with Ms Harris differs little from the readouts of Mr Biden’s own past interactions with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

But it’s Mr Gantz’s status as a centrist rival to Mr Netanyahu in the latter’s coalition government that has caused his trip to DC to rankle the prime minister and his allies. Mr Netanayhu himself issued a stern rebuke on a phone call with Mr Gantz this weekend, according to media outlets, while ordering officials with the Israeli embassy in Washington not to join the former defence minister for his meetings.

One source close to the prime minister was quoted by multiple media outlets as saying that Mr Netanyahu had “made it clear to Minister Gantz that the State of Israel only has one prime minister”.

READ MORE

VIDEO: Katie Britt to deliver response to Biden’s State of the Union address

Sunday 3 March 2024 21:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Protester grabbed by crowd members at Jill Biden event after calling for Gaza ceasefire

Sunday 3 March 2024 21:20 , Gustaf Kilander

A protester was violently grabbed and pulled by the crowd at an event with First Lady Jill Biden event after the protester called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Dr Biden spoke in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Tuscon, Arizona on Saturday and it was at the Fox Theatre in Tuscon that multiple protesters were removed from the premises after interrupting the first lady’s speech.

The first lady focused on Republican efforts to curb abortion rights in her speech, which was interrupted at least four times during its 15 minutes, according to USA Today.

“Jill, when are you and the President going to call for a ceasefire in Gaza?” one protester asked before she was pulled down by the audience and subsequently dragged out by security.

The activist group known as the Answer Coalition shared a video of the incident:

READ MORE

Kamala Harris says there must be an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza

Sunday 3 March 2024 21:11 , John Bowden

Vice President Kamala Harris called for Israeli officials and leaders of Hamas to accept a deal that would begin a six-week ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on Sunday as she spoke in Selma, Alabama, on the anniversary of the civil rights march later known as “Bloody Sunday”.

She also delivered one of if not the sternest condemnations of Israel’s failure to allow humanitarian aid to citizens of the Gaza Strip, remarks that came after Israel’s military was widely condemned for opening fire as Palestinians swarmed an aid truck carrying flour.

“[G]iven the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire — for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table,” said the vice president.

READ MORE

Kamala Harris demands ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza: ‘The condition is inhumane’

Sunday 3 March 2024 21:06 , Natalie Chinn

Vice President Kamala Harris was met with cheers when she demanded an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

She addressed the recent killing of more than 100 Palestinians when Israeli troops opened fire on people rushing to an aid convoy in Gaza City.

“Our hearts break for the victims of that horrific tragedy and for all the innocent people in Gaza who are suffering from what is clearly a humanitarian catastrophe,” she said. “The conditions are inhumane.”

Harris is currently in Selma, Alabama to mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Fewer participants in Idaho caucus compared to 2012

Sunday 3 March 2024 20:50 , Gustaf Kilander

The Missouri caucuses were called by the AP for Mr Trump at 12.40pm ET on Saturday. After Mr Trump won all the delegates at the Michigan convention caucuses, the news agency called the Idaho race at 6.58pm ET.

Both Idaho and Missouri cancelled the Republican primary to hold caucuses instead, handing control of the state nomination to a small number of party members.

Idaho last held caucuses in 2012, when only 45,000 people participated – about 20 per cent of all registered Republicans in the state. On Saturday, fewer than 40,000 votes were cast.

The timing could also have been a problem for some, with Idaho, which is in both the Mountain and Pacific time zones, holding its caucuses at 12.30pm or 1.30pm, while Missouri, which is in the Central time zone, held its caucuses at 10am local time.

Majority of voters believe Biden is too old to be an effective president, poll shows

Sunday 3 March 2024 20:15 , Gustaf Kilander

A majority of voters – 73 per cent – say that President Joe Biden is too old to be an effective president. Forty-two per cent say the same about former President Donald Trump.

In a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted late last month, 47 per cent of survey respondents strongly agreed with the statement that Mr Biden is too old to be effective, while 26 per cent somewhat agreed. Fourteen per cent somewhat disagreed, and 11 per cent strongly disagreed.

For Mr Trump, 21 per cent strongly agreed that he’s too old, another 21 per cent somewhat agreed, 23 per cent somewhat disagreed, and 32 per cent strongly disagreed.

Concerns about Mr Biden’s age now threaten his re-election effort, even as both he and Mr Trump are showing signs of their age, often appearing to mix things up during public appearances. Mr Biden, the oldest serving president in US history, is 81, and Mr Trump, the third oldest president in US history, is 77.

Mr Trump was 74 at the end of his presidency, while the second oldest president, Ronald Reagan, was 77. He died in 2004 at the age of 93 after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.

A majority of those who supported Mr Biden in 2020 – 61 per cent – now think he’s too old to be effective, according to the poll.

Nineteen per cent of those who voted for Mr Biden last time around and 13 per cent of those planning on voting for him again said in the survey that he’s too old to handle the job of being the commander-in-chief.

Mr Biden’s doctor said after his annual physical this week that he “continues to be fit for duty”.

Physician to the President Dr Kevin O’Connor wrote that Mr Biden is “a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief”.

READ MORE

House GOP won’t blur faces of Jan 6 rioters in surveillance footage

Sunday 3 March 2024 19:50 , Oliver O’Connell

After announcing that the faces of January 6 rioters would be blurred to avoid their prosecution by the US Department of Justice, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson appeared to reverse course on Friday, saying that it was taking too long.

Last year, Mr Johnson appeared to admit that House Republicans were protecting people who broke into the US Capitol, telling reporters in December that “we have to blur some faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against, and to be charged by the DOJ, and to have other, you know, concerns and problems.”

On Friday, with the release of 5,000 hours of raw footage, his office announced that rioters’ faces won’t be blurred “given the significant logistic hurdles involved and the importance of getting this work completed as responsibly and efficiently as possible”.

Alex Woodward reports:

House Republicans won’t blur faces of January 6 rioters in surveillance footage

Nikki Haley says she no longer feels bound by RNC pledge to endorse winner of Republican primary

Sunday 3 March 2024 19:38 , Natalie Chinn

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley was grilled by Kristen Welker on Meet the Press about whether or not she would stand by the RNC pledge she took to endorse the eventual winner of the Republican presidential primary.

“Do you still feel bound by that pledge?” Welker asked.

Donald Trump is currently leading in the GOP primary. Haley would be expected to endorse Trump if he is the nominee and she sticks to the pledge.

After skirting around the question, Haley finally answered Welker’s question directly: “No, I think I’ll make what decision I want to make.”

Trump campaign appears to have learned from its previous mistakes

Sunday 3 March 2024 18:50 , Gustaf Kilander

All three of the contests on Saturday were caucuses, which are more time-consuming and require more voter engagement, possibly benefitting Mr Trump as he has many fervent followers.

Caucuses usually have lower turnout than primaries since voters have to arrive at a specific time and stick around for a while to take part in the more labour-intensive process compared to pulling a lever in a primary.

Prominent Iowa pollster Ann Selzer spoke to The Independent about the caucus process late last year ahead of the first-in-the-nation contest. While caucuses vary from state to state, it’s usually the case that voters listen to a speech and then declare their support.

“Caucuses are designed for things to happen in the room on caucus night — there’s a moment in time where a representative from each campaign stands up and makes their pitch — they get a couple of minutes to do it,” she said, noting the importance of “person-to-person politicking at the last possible moment”.

“If you don’t know how to get the votes, [how to] get your name written on a piece of paper, you can lose that way,” she added at the time.

But the Trump campaign appears to have learned from its previous experiences, handily winning all the contests so far, caucuses and primaries alike.

VIDEO: Trump legal team hopes to DQ Atlanta D.A.

Sunday 3 March 2024 17:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Super Tuesday: When is it, which states are participating and how many delegates are at stake?

Sunday 3 March 2024 17:28 , Joe Sommerlad

Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the US presidential primary season, arrives early next month and promises to have a decisive if perhaps somewhat anticlimactic impact on the respective Republican and Democratic races.

As it stands, Donald Trump looks all but certain to be the GOP’s presidential candidate once again in 2024, having already chalked up big wins in the Iowa and US Virgin Islands caucuses and the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries.

All but one of his challengers have fallen away, leaving only the well-funded but under-performing ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley still swinging.

But even she may not make it to Super Tuesday (although she has promised she will), as the next Republican primary takes place in her home state of South Carolina and current polling indicates the Palmetto State’s former governor could be in for another trouncing on her home turf, a further humiliation after she scored fewer votes than the “none of these candidates” box on Nevada ballot papers.

“Is there any way we can call the election for next Tuesday?” a cocky Mr Trump gloated on stage in Las Vegas after that result.

“That’s all I want. I want to call the election for next Tuesday.”

However, if Ms Haley can somehow conjure a surprise victory in either South Carolina on 24 February or Michigan on 27 February, it will be game on for Super Tuesday and we could find ourselves with a very interesting evening indeed.

The Democratic contest is looking equally one-sided, with President Joe Biden seemingly nailed-on to be his party’s candidate again as he seeks a second term in the White House, despite concerns about his advanced age and consistently poor polling.

Following the withdrawal of Marianne Williamson, Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips remains the president’s last remaining rival and is surely too low-profile to make an impact, President Biden having comfortably won the New Hampshire primary without even appearing on Granite State ballots thanks to a grassroots write-in campaign.

Here’s everything you need to know about Super Tuesday in good time for its arrival.

Trump has won every state in the Republican primaries so far

Sunday 3 March 2024 16:50 , John Bowden

Mr Trump has won every state in the Republican primaries so far. Ms Haley is his last challenger after Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out in January after the Iowa caucuses.

The former president remains the favourite of Republican voters and is leading President Joe Biden in some swing states, according to some recent polling.

However, other polls suggest that a sizeable number of Republicans, and America’s unaffiliated voters, won’t vote for Mr Trump in November.

Trump leads Biden by four points in new poll

Sunday 3 March 2024 15:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Trump is four points ahead of President Joe Biden in a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in late February.

The poll, released on Saturday, shows Mr Trump at 48 per cent and Mr Biden at 44 per cent among likely voters – among registered voters, Mr Trump had 48 and Mr Biden 43 per cent.

In a hypothetical matchup with Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador and the last remaining Republican challenger to Mr Trump, Mr Biden came in at 37 per cent to Ms Haley’s 46 per cent.

Forty-seven per cent of likely voters said they were strongly disapproving of Mr Biden’s handling of the job.

PHOTOS: Haley campaigns in Needham, Massachusetts

Sunday 3 March 2024 15:16 , Gustaf Kilander

Republican US presidential candidate Nikki Haley participates in a campaign stop in Needham, Massachusetts, USA, 02 March 2024 (EPA)
Republican US presidential candidate Nikki Haley participates in a campaign stop in Needham, Massachusetts, USA, 02 March 2024 (EPA)
Republican US presidential candidate Nikki Haley (L) autographs a campaign placard during a campaign stop in Needham, Massachusetts, USA, 02 March 2024 (EPA)
Republican US presidential candidate Nikki Haley (L) autographs a campaign placard during a campaign stop in Needham, Massachusetts, USA, 02 March 2024 (EPA)
US Republican presidential hopeful and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley takes pictures with supporters during a campaign rally in Needham, Massachusetts, on March 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
US Republican presidential hopeful and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley takes pictures with supporters during a campaign rally in Needham, Massachusetts, on March 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump extends winning streak with victories in Idaho and Michigan after early Missouri result

Sunday 3 March 2024 14:51 , John Bowden and Gustaf Kilander

Former President Donald Trump moved closer to the Republican nomination on Saturday with victories in the Idaho, Michigan, and Missouri caucuses that put his remaining rival, Nikki Haley, further in the rear-view mirror.

In Michigan, the former president took all 39 delegates that were available on Saturday. In a separate Michigan primary earlier this week, Mr Trump won 12 of the other 16 delegates up for grabs.

Saturday’s contests were the last before Super Tuesday where Nikki Haley is desperate to pick off a single state to make her case for hanging on in the primaries and providing an alternative to voters.

The unspoken implication appears to be that some, apparently including Ms Haley, believe that Mr Trump, who is facing 91 felony charges, may yet exit the race.

On 5 March, voters will head to the polls in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. The voting wave accounts for more than a third of delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in July.

For Ms Haley, this Tuesday is an opportunity to breathe life into her campaign. For Mr Trump, it is the time to put the race away in a decisive manner. Polls do not show Ms Haley leading anywhere, however, her campaign is optimistic about states with high suburban populations.

“Vermont, Utah, Virginia. I think there are states that, if you look at demographically, she has a chance to win,” a source close to the leadership of Ms Haley’s super PAC told reporters last week, after her defeat in South Carolina.

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Who is Katie Britt, the Republican set to deliver the State of the Union response

Sunday 3 March 2024 13:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The youngest Republican woman to serve in the US Senate will deliver the response to President Biden’s State of the Union address next week.

Alabama Senator Katie Britt is set to give the remarks – a rebuttal speech to the president’s address made by the opposing party – on 7 March, which she has promised will be a “candid discussion about the future of our nation”.

Mike Bedigan profiles the rising star in the Republican Party:

Who is Katie Britt, Republican set to deliver response to Biden’s State of the Union?

GOP lawmakers balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Sunday 3 March 2024 11:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia and Gustaf Kilander filed this report from Capitol Hill:

Senate Republicans have a clear message for former president Donald Trump about the race to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: stay out of this.

After they got over the initial shock of McConnell’s announcement on Wednesday, the race to replace him – namely among the “Three Johns,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso and Senator John Cornyn of Texas – has begun at a quick pace. Friends of The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter Stef Kight and Stephen Neukam at Axios reported that Trump wants National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines of Montana to run for the job.

But Republicans expressed scepticism about Trump playing a role in replacing McConnell, his longtime nemesis.

Read more...

Republicans balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Which members of Congress aren’t seeking re-election in 2024?

Sunday 3 March 2024 09:50 , Kelly Rissman

If a presidential election year wasn’t enough in Washington DC, this year will also see a lot of new faces in Congress, as many members have decided to not seek re-election, with many citing frustration with the chambers’ productivity as their reason for stepping down.

Eight Senators and 42 Representatives have announced their intentions to step down from their current post in 2024, with some running for different elected positions and others leaving politics altogether. Some of those could still run for their current seats if they do not win primary elections.

The mass Congressional exodus includes several controversial seats, which could alter the control of each chamber and numerous Committee chairs.

Here is a list of every member of Congress who has announced that they won’t seek re-election in 2024:

Here’s every member of Congress who isn’t seeking re-election in 2024

How US airdrops into Gaza can help and why it’s so complicated

Sunday 3 March 2024 07:50 , AP

President Joe Biden on Friday announced that the U.S. will begin airdropping sorely needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Here’s what you need to know:

US to airdrop humanitarian aid into Gaza — how it can help and why it's so complicated

US will begin humanitarian aid airdrops into Gaza, says Biden

Sunday 3 March 2024 05:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The United States will soon begin airdropping humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s war against Hamas.

President Joe Biden confirmed on Friday that US forces would join the Jordanian Air Force’s existing mission that has been conducting airdrops of food, medicine and other supplies in recent days.

Speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni in the Oval Office, Mr Biden referenced the tragic deaths of more than 100 Palestinians who were killed after the Israeli army opened fire at a crowd trying to get food from an aid convoy on Wednesday, calling the loss of life “heartbreaking”.

Continue reading...

Biden says US will begin humanitarian aid airdrops into Gaza

Abortion pill mifepristone will soon be available at CVS and Walgreens

Sunday 3 March 2024 03:50 , AP

The drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens plan to start dispensing an abortion pill in a few states within weeks.

CVS Health will start filling prescriptions for mifepristone in Rhode Island and neighboring Massachusetts “in the weeks ahead,” spokeswoman Amy Thibault said Friday.

Walgreens will begin dispensing the medication within a week, spokesman Fraser Engerman said. The chain will start with some locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Illinois.

Continue reading...

CVS and Walgreens plan to start dispensing abortion pill mifepristone soon

Missouri doesn’t allow pregnant women to be legally divorced - why?

Sunday 3 March 2024 01:50 , AP

A Missouri lawmaker has introduced legislation to clarify that the state’s judges can grant divorces even when one spouse is pregnant.

The notion that they can’t already has sparked anger from people who see it as an antiquated policy that controls women unfairly, possibly trapping them in abusive marriages.

But divorce lawyers say the practice – which goes beyond Missouri – is not meant to be punitive for pregnant women and has some important practical benefits.

Here’s a look at the issue:

Why Missouri currently doesn't allow pregnant women to be legally divorced

Missouri Republican governor candidate revealed as ‘honorary’ KKK member

Saturday 2 March 2024 23:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A long-shot Missouri gubernatorial candidate who once admitted to being an “honorary” member of the Klu Klux Klan says he will defy attempts by the state Republican Party to have him kicked off the ballot.

Photos of Darrell L McClanahan appearing to make a Nazi salute while standing in front of a burning cross resurfaced online this week, nearly two years after they were first published by the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism.

On Thursday, the Missouri Republican Party said in a post on X it had been made aware that Mr McClanahan had filed to run for governor “despite his affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan”.

The party said this “fundamentally contradicts our party’s values and platform”, and that it had begun the process of removing him from the ballot.

Bevan Hurley has the story:

GOP governor candidate revealed as ‘honorary’ KKK member pictured making Nazi salute

PHOTOS: Emergency personnel needed at Trump rally

Saturday 2 March 2024 21:54 , Gustaf Kilander

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP)
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP)
A supporter holds a sign as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Greensboro, N.C (AP)
A supporter holds a sign as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Greensboro, N.C (AP)
Emergency personnel respond as an attendee falls ill as former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a ‘Get Out The Vote Rally’ campaign event at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina (EPA)
Emergency personnel respond as an attendee falls ill as former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a ‘Get Out The Vote Rally’ campaign event at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina (EPA)

Florida House passes bill to lower minimum age to buy a gun

Saturday 2 March 2024 21:50 , Kelly Rissman

The Florida House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow 18-year-olds to buy firearms, lowering the previous age minimum of 21.

The Republican-controlled state House passed the controversial measure that would permit 18-year-olds to purchase rifles and shotguns on 1 March in a 76-35 vote. The state Senate has not yet voted on the bill.

According to gun safety group Everytown, federal law mandates someone be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer, however, it only mandates a person to be 18 to buy a long gun — including an assault weapon.

Opponents of the measure cited the 2018 Parkland shooting, in which a 19-year-old shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

Democratic state Rep Robin Bartleman slammed colleagues, saying “shame on us,” over lawmakers’ decision to “renege” the 2018 law — enacted shortly after the school shooting — that increased the gun-purchasing age to 21.

Continue reading...

Florida House passes bill to lower minimum age to buy a gun from 21 to 18

Two people needed medical attention at Trump rally

Saturday 2 March 2024 21:02 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump overwhelmingly wins Michigan caucuses

Saturday 2 March 2024 21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Former President Donald Trump won the Michigan Republican caucuses on Saturday, taking all 39 available delegates.

The caucus handed out 39 out of 55 delegates from Michigan, with the presidential primary won by Mr Trump on Tuesday this week doling out the rest.

Mr Trump won about 68 per cent and 12 out of 16 delegates in the primary, while he dominated the caucuses. In all 13 congressional districts taking part, Mr Trump won between 90 and 100 per cent.

In the first, third, and tenth districts, he got all of the votes cast.

Kristy Whitson from Monroe County told The Detriot News that Mr Trump is the only one who can stop what she said was the country’s leftward shift.

“Do I like his personality? No. Do I like his attitude? No,” she told the paper. “But business-wise, he had the country moving.”

In the 13 caucuses, 98 per cent – 1,575 delegates – backed Mr Trump, while two per cent – 36 delegates – backed former Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, according to unofficial tallies referenced by The News.

Haley boasts of new polling showing her beating Biden by a larger margin than Trump

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:42 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump claims ‘you’ll end up in 1929’ if Biden wins

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:24 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump attempts new nickname for California governor

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump claims to have widespread rights over classified documents

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:12 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump promises ‘largest domestic deportation operation in American history’

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:10 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump makes bizarre polling claim on election rigging

Saturday 2 March 2024 20:01 , Gustaf Kilander

Fetterman blames Hamas for deaths of Palestinians apparently shot by Israeli military

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Bevan Hurley reports:

Senator John Fetterman has blamed Hamas for the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians who witnesses say were killed when Israeli forces opened fire as they rushed to get supplies from an aid convoy in Gaza.

The Pennsylvania senator claimed that “Hamas alone owns this calamity” and rejected widespread international condemnation — including from the Biden administration — of the “massacre” in a post on X/Twitter on Friday.

“I reject statements from nations with atrocious human rights records: China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey,” Mr Fetterman wrote.

“Without a doubt, this is a humanitarian tragedy. Hamas alone owns this calamity. We must demand Hamas free the hostages and surrender — ending suffering, death and chaos.”

Continue reading...

Fetterman blames Hamas for deaths of Palestinian civilians

Idaho

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:45 , AP

Last year, Idaho lawmakers passed cost-cutting legislation that was intended to move all the state’s primaries to the same date in May — but the bill inadvertently eliminated the presidential primaries entirely. The Republican-led legislature considered holding a special session to reinstate the presidential primaries but failed to agree on a proposal in time, leaving both parties with presidential caucuses as the only option. The GOP presidential caucuses will be on Saturday, while the Democratic caucuses aren’t until May 23.

The last GOP caucuses in Idaho were in 2012, when about 40,000 of the state’s nearly 200,000 registered Republican voters showed up to select their preferred candidate.

For this year, all Republican voters who want to participate will have to attend in person. They will vote after hearing short speeches by the candidates or their representatives.

If one candidate gets more than 50% of the statewide votes, that candidate will win all the Idaho delegates. If none of the candidates gets more than 50% of the votes, then each candidate with at least 15% of the total votes will get a proportionate number of delegates.

The Idaho GOP will announce the results once all the votes are counted statewide.

Trump placed a distant second in the 2016 Idaho primary behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Trump takes the stage at North Carolina rally to January 6 choir

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:42 , Gustaf Kilander

PHOTOS: Haley campaigns in Raleigh, North Carolina

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:35 , Gustaf Kilander

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at Raleigh Union Station on March 2, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina (Getty Images)

Missouri

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:30 , Gustaf Kilander

The Missouri Republican Party held its presidential caucuses on Saturday, offering state voters their only chance to weigh in on who should represent the party on the November presidential ballot.

Voters lined up outside a church in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, before the doors opened.

“I don’t know what my role here will be, besides standing in a corner for Trump,” Columbia resident Carmen Christal said, adding that she’s “just looking forward to the experience of it.”

This year will be the first test of the new system, which is almost entirely run by volunteers on the Republican side.

The caucuses were organized after GOP Gov. Mike Parson signed a 2022 law that, among other things, canceled the planned March 12 presidential primary.

Lawmakers have failed to reinstate the primary despite calls to do so by both state Republican and Democratic party leaders. Democrats will hold a party-run primary on March 23.

Trump prevailed twice under Missouri’s old presidential primary system.

Michigan

Saturday 2 March 2024 19:15 , AP

Michigan Republicans at their convention in Grand Rapids on Saturday began allocating 39 of the state’s 55 GOP presidential delegates. But a significant portion of the party’s grassroots force was skipping the gathering because of the lingering effects of a monthslong dispute over the party’s leadership.

Trump handily won Michigan’s primary this past Tuesday with 68% of the vote compared with Haley’s 27%.

Michigan Republicans were forced to split their delegate allocation into two parts after Democrats, who control the state government, moved Michigan into the early primary states, violating the national Republican Party’s rules.

Donald Trump wins Missouri caucuses. Michigan and Idaho Republicans will also weigh in on 2024 race

Saturday 2 March 2024 18:57 , Jonathan J. Cooper

Donald Trump has won Missouri‘s Republican caucuses, one of three events Saturday that will award delegates for the GOP presidential nomination.

The former president, who is especially strong in caucuses, was adding to his delegate lead in Republican caucuses in Missouri as well as at a party convention in Michigan. Idaho was scheduled to hold its caucuses later Saturday. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, meanwhile, is still seeking her first win.

There are no Democratic contests on Saturday.

The next contest is the GOP caucus Sunday in the District of Columbia. Two days later is Super Tuesday, when 16 states and American Samoa will hold primaries on what will be the largest day of voting of the year outside of the November election. Trump is on track to lock up the nomination days later.

READ MORE

Crowd gathers in North Carolina for rally with Nikki Haley

Saturday 2 March 2024 18:52 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump’s former communications director predict some of his voters will go to Biden

Saturday 2 March 2024 18:52 , Gustaf Kilander

Gen-Z is sold on Biden, but one person is determined to change their mind...

Saturday 2 March 2024 17:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Ariana Baio writes:

When Anderson Clayton walks into the room casually dressed in a fun graphic tee, nearly everyone’s head turns and the noisy chatter lulls into excited whispers. Eyes remain locked on her as she begins embracing each of her fellow Democrat leaders.

Clayton is somewhat of a local celebrity in North Carolina, her energy enough to move an immovable object.

The rest of the country doesn’t realise that this 26-year-old is currently leading the Democratic Party in North Carolina, a pretty serious job at any age.

But for those at the Young Democrats of North Carolina Convention, not only is she the state party leader, she is the future.

Continue reading:

Gen Z isn’t sold on Biden but Anderson Clayton is out to convince them

Trump leads Biden by four points in new poll

Saturday 2 March 2024 17:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Trump is four points ahead of President Joe Biden in a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in late February.

The poll, released on Saturday, shows Mr Trump at 48 per cent and Mr Biden at 44 per cent among likely voters – among registered voters, Mr Trump had 48 and Mr Biden 43 per cent.

In a hypothetical matchup with Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador and the last remaining Republican challenger to Mr Trump, Mr Biden came in at 37 per cent to Ms Haley’s 46 per cent.

Forty-seven per cent of likely voters said they were strongly disapproving of Mr Biden’s handling of the job.

Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted: “NYT chases headlines while ignoring what’s happening. Trump consistently underperforms & Biden overperforms in primaries. In NH, Trump 7 pts worse poll v result. In SC -8 points & MI -10 points. Best predictor of elections = how voters vote. And they’re voting for Dems & Biden.”

‘The polls would have to change significantly - or be quite wrong - for Biden to win in November'

Saturday 2 March 2024 17:12 , Gustaf Kilander

US completes first airdrop of food supplies into Gaza

Saturday 2 March 2024 16:28 , Gustaf Kilander

The US military has dropped about 38,000 meals into Gaza, two days after more than 100 Palestinians were killed while trying to get aid from a convoy.

Three planes dropped 66 bundles carrying the meals at about 8.30am (eastern time) on Saturday, according to the AP. The Jordanian Air Force also dropped aid parcels over Gaza.

On Friday, President Joe Biden said that he hoped there would be a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas before Ramadan begins later this month.

“I’m hoping so. We’re still working real hard at it. We’re not there yet,” he said as he left the White House for Camp David on Friday.

Mr Biden announced on Friday that the US would start dropping aid into Gaza. The drops will be coordinated with Jordan, and more are expected.

READ MORE

Bob Menendez associate pleads guilty to fresh bribery charges

Saturday 2 March 2024 15:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Kelly Rissman reports:

An associate of embattled New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez pleaded guilty to new bribery charges, changing his previous plea after facing a superseding indictment.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Jose Uribe, a New Jersey insurance broker, with seven counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

He pleaded guilty to all counts on 1 March, altering his previous not guilty plea.

Uribe had initially faced one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud in September, when he was indicted alongside the New Jersey senator, his wife and two other Menendez associates for allegedly committing a “years-long bribery scheme”.

His sentencing is scheduled for 14 June.

Associate of Senator Bob Menendez pleads guilty to fresh bribery charges

What’s going on in Michigan?

Saturday 2 March 2024 15:11 , Gustaf Kilander

While Michigan Republicans took part in a primary on 27 February, most of the delegates will be awarded following congressional district caucuses on Saturday as a leadership dispute infects the Granite State GOP.

Pete Hoekstra has the backing to chair the state’s GOP and will chair one convention in Grand Rapids while the former party chair Kristina Karamo, who was deposed, was planning to chair yet another gathering in Detriot, according to NBC News.

Republican groups in two of the 13 congressional districts were also planning to hold their own conventions this weekend.

But two operatives close to Ms Karamo told NBC News on Friday that her convention was cancelled.

Ms Karamo posted a video on X, telling her backers to “keep fighting” and go “where your district chair recommends”.

Michigan GOP strategist Jason Cabel Roe told NBC: “Delegates have been getting conflicting and confusing emails for weeks — promoting different agendas, different staff, different conventions.”

“You have to pay close attention to even know who is sending what and what the legitimate directions and events are,” he added.

Biden twice mixes up Gaza with Ukraine in aid announcement

Saturday 2 March 2024 14:35 , Holly Patrick

Joe Biden mixed up Gaza with Ukraine twice during his announcement that the US will airdrop aid to the territory desperate for humanitarian assistance.

The US president, 81, referred to airdrops to help Volodymyr Zelensky‘s nation in a speech on Friday, 1 March, but White House officials later clarified his comments were referring to Gaza.

“We are going to join with our friends in Jordan and others in providing airdrops of additional food and supplies into Ukraine and seek to continue to open up other avenues into Ukraine, including the possibility of a marine corridor to deliver large amounts of humanitarian assistance,” Mr Biden said.

House GOP won’t blur faces of Jan 6 rioters in surveillance footage

Saturday 2 March 2024 13:50 , Oliver O'Connell

After announcing that the faces of January 6 rioters would be blurred to avoid their prosecution by the US Department of Justice, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson appeared to reverse course on Friday, saying that it was taking too long.

Last year, Mr Johnson appeared to admit that House Republicans were protecting people who broke into the US Capitol, telling reporters in December that “we have to blur some faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against, and to be charged by the DOJ, and to have other, you know, concerns and problems.”

On Friday, with the release of 5,000 hours of raw footage, his office announced that rioters’ faces won’t be blurred “given the significant logistic hurdles involved and the importance of getting this work completed as responsibly and efficiently as possible”.

Alex Woodward reports:

House Republicans won’t blur faces of January 6 rioters in surveillance footage

Haley calls for Trump’s legal woes to be ‘dealt’ with before November

Saturday 2 March 2024 11:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley, the last Republican rival facing Donald Trump in the 2024 primaries, has called for all of his legal battles to be “dealt with” before the November election.

The former South Carolina governor is yet to win a state primary or caucus. On Thursday, days after losing big in Michigan, she appeared on NBC News’ Meet the Press and said: “I think all of the cases should be dealt with before November.”

“We need to know what’s going to happen before it, before the presidency happens, because after that, should he become president, I don’t think any of it’s going to get heard,” she added.

Kelly Rissman reports:

Nikki Haley calls for Trump’s legal woes to be ‘dealt’ with before November

Might North Carolina flip blue in 2024?

Saturday 2 March 2024 09:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Ariana Baio writes:

For the last three presidential election cycles, North Carolina, a red-leaning state, has favoured the Republican presidential candidate. But a January analysis by Moody’s Analytics suggests it could flip in 2024.

It projects that the assumed Democratic nominee President Joe Biden will flip North Carolina in Democrats’ favour by less than a percentage point.

It’s no secret that North Carolina’s red has appeared more purple in recent years. Mr Trump barely secured the state in 2020, winning by a margin of 1.3 per cent. Republicans only narrowly won a Senate seat in the 2022 midterms by 3.2 per cent.

Republicans currently have control over the legislature but the governor is a Democrat. With an electorate that is almost completely split between the two parties, neither one can afford to lose any votes.

Continue reading...

Could North Carolina flip blue in 2024?

Former Obama official says famine in Gaza inevitable without US pressure on Israel to allow aid

Saturday 2 March 2024 07:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Obama administration official has warned that famine in Gaza is inevitable unless President Joe Biden immediately changes course and applies pressure on Israel to open the territory to all aid deliveries.

Jeremy Konyndyk, who led USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for three years and worked on famine prevention in Yemen and South Sudan, said the only way to avoid famine would be for Israel to allow “complete access” for aid organisations to enter Gaza, which it has been unwilling to do.

Richard Hall reports:

Famine in Gaza is inevitable without US pressure on Israel, says Obama aid official

Read the full transcript of Hunter Biden’s congressional testimony

Saturday 2 March 2024 05:50 , Mike Bedigan

The full transcript of Hunter Biden’s evidence to House Republicans has been released, following his six-hour testimony held behind closed doors.

Mr Biden was giving evidence in the Republican impeachment probe into his father, President Joe Biden. House members have accused him of using his father’s influence as leverage in lucrative overseas business deals.

However, so far they have struggled for evidence and have been accused of running a sham investigation in order to smear President Biden ahead of the November election.

Read the full transcript below:

Transcript of Hunter Biden testimony to House committee released

ICYMI: As Trump Republicans blast spending bill, government shutdown averted yet again

Saturday 2 March 2024 03:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The House and Senate voted to pass a stopgap spending bill, averting a looming government shutdown once again – and prompting pro-Trump Republicans to level fury against House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The continuing resolution will keep the government open until 8 March. The bill came as part of a larger agreement from Mr Johnson, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries as well as the leadership on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to vote on six of the 12 spending bills by 8 March.

The bill passed in the House by 320 to 99 – Republicans being split on the matter and Democrats making up most of the support for the agreement. Only two House Democrats voted against the legislation. Similarly, the Senate voted 77 to 13 on the stopgap funding bill to head to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Eric Garcia and Gustaf Kilander filed this report from Capitol Hill:

Government shutdown averted yet again as Trump Republicans blast spending bill

Who is Katie Britt, the Republican set to deliver State of the Union response?

Saturday 2 March 2024 01:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The youngest Republican woman to serve in the US Senate will deliver the response to President Biden’s State of the Union address next week.

Alabama Senator Katie Britt is set to give the remarks – a rebuttal speech to the president’s address made by the opposing party – on 7 March, which she has promised will be a “candid discussion about the future of our nation”.

Mike Bedigan reports on the rising star in the Republican Party:

Who is Katie Britt, Republican set to deliver response to Biden’s State of the Union?

Biden challenges Trump to ‘join me’ as he urges Congress to pass border bill

Friday 1 March 2024 23:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A pair of towns along the US-Mexico border became stages for two presidential candidates on Thursday as President Joe Biden slammed his predecessor and opponent for getting in the way of needed immigration reform and border security legislation.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Biden urges Trump to back border bill in rival Texas campaign stops

How US airdrops can help Gaza and why its so complicated

Friday 1 March 2024 22:50 , AP

President Joe Biden on Friday announced that the U.S. will begin airdropping sorely needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Here’s what you need to know:

US to airdrop humanitarian aid into Gaza — how it can help and why it's so complicated

Fetterman blames Hamas for deaths of dozens of Palestinians apparently shot by Israeli military

Friday 1 March 2024 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Bevan Hurley reports:

Senator John Fetterman has blamed Hamas for the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians who witnesses say were killed when Israeli forces opened fire as they rushed to get supplies from an aid convoy in Gaza.

The Pennsylvania senator claimed that “Hamas alone owns this calamity” and rejected widespread international condemnation — including from the Biden administration — of the “massacre” in a post on X/Twitter on Friday.

“I reject statements from nations with atrocious human rights records: China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey,” Mr Fetterman wrote.

“Without a doubt, this is a humanitarian tragedy. Hamas alone owns this calamity. We must demand Hamas free the hostages and surrender — ending suffering, death and chaos.”

Continue reading...

Fetterman blames Hamas for deaths of Palestinian civilians

Better late then never — Murkowski endorses Haley

Friday 1 March 2024 21:41 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley has won her first Senate endorsement in the Republican primary from Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The senator is a frequent critic of former president Donald Trump.

“America needs someone with the right values, vigor, and judgment to serve as our next President—and in this race, there is no one better than her,” she says of Ms Haley.

Super Tuesday is just four days away...

Bill to lower minimum age to buy a gun from 21 to 18 passed in Florida

Friday 1 March 2024 21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Kelly Rissman reports:

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow 18-year-olds to buy firearms, lowering the previous age minimum of 21.

The Republican-controlled state House passed the controversial measure that would permit 18-year-olds to purchase rifles and shotguns on 1 March in a 76-35 vote. The state Senate has not yet voted on the bill.

According to gun safety group Everytown, federal law mandates someone be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer, however, it only mandates a person to be 18 to buy a long gun — including an assault weapon.

Opponents of the measure cited the 2018 Parkland shooting, in which a 19-year-old shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

Read more...

Florida House passes bill to lower minimum age to buy a gun from 21 to 18

Gen Z isn’t sold on Biden but a 26-year-old state party leader is out to change their minds...

Friday 1 March 2024 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Ariana Baio writes:

When Anderson Clayton walks into the room casually dressed in a fun graphic tee, nearly everyone’s head turns and the noisy chatter lulls into excited whispers. Eyes remain locked on her as she begins embracing each of her fellow Democrat leaders.

Clayton is somewhat of a local celebrity in North Carolina, her energy enough to move an immovable object.

The rest of the country doesn’t realise that this 26-year-old is currently leading the Democratic Party in North Carolina, a pretty serious job at any age.

But for those at the Young Democrats of North Carolina Convention, not only is she the state party leader, she is the future.

Continue reading...

Gen Z isn’t sold on Biden but Anderson Clayton is out to convince them

Menendez associate pleads guilty to fresh bribery charges

Friday 1 March 2024 20:10 , Oliver O'Connell

An associate of embattled New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez pleaded guilty to new bribery charges, changing his previous plea after facing a superseding indictment.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Jose Uribe, a New Jersey insurance broker, with seven counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

He pleaded guilty to all counts on 1 March, altering his previous not-guilty plea.

Kelly Rissman has the details:

Associate of Senator Bob Menendez pleads guilty to fresh bribery charges

Biden: US will begin humanitarian aid airdrops into Gaza

Friday 1 March 2024 19:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports from the White House for The Independent:

The United States will soon begin airdropping humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis brought on by Israel’s war against Hamas.

President Joe Biden on Friday confirmed that US forces would join the Jordanian Air Force, which has been conducting airdrops of food, medicine and other supplies in recent weeks.

Speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni in the Oval Office, Mr Biden referenced the tragic deaths of numerous Palestinians who were gathered near an aid convoy on Thursday, calling the loss of life “heartbreaking”.

“Innocent people got caught in a terrible war unable to feed their families and you saw the response when they tried to get aid,” he said. “We need to do more, and the United States will do more”.

This is a developing story...

Biden says US will begin humanitarian aid airdrops into Gaza

Haley calls for Trump’s legal woes to be ‘dealt’ with before November

Friday 1 March 2024 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley, the last Republican rival facing Donald Trump in the 2024 primaries, has called for all of his legal battles to be “dealt with” before the November election.

The former South Carolina governor is yet to win a state primary or caucus. On Thursday, days after losing big in Michigan, she appeared on NBC News’ Meet the Press and said: “I think all of the cases should be dealt with before November.”

“We need to know what’s going to happen before it, before the presidency happens, because after that, should he become president, I don’t think any of it’s going to get heard,” she added.

Kelly Rissman reports:

Nikki Haley calls for Trump’s legal woes to be ‘dealt’ with before November

Missouri Republican governor candidate revealed as ‘honorary’ KKK member

Friday 1 March 2024 18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A long-shot Missouri gubernatorial candidate who once admitted to being an “honorary” member of the Klu Klux Klan says he will defy attempts by the state Republican Party to have him kicked off the ballot.

Photos of Darrell L McClanahan appearing to make a Nazi salute while standing in front of a burning cross resurfaced online this week, nearly two years after they were first published by the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism.

Bevan Hurley has the story:

GOP governor candidate revealed as ‘honorary’ KKK member pictured making Nazi salute

GOP lawmakers balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Friday 1 March 2024 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

Senate Republicans have a clear message for former president Donald Trump about the race to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: stay out of this.

After they got over the initial shock of McConnell’s announcement on Wednesday, the race to replace him – namely among the “Three Johns,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso and Senator John Cornyn of Texas – has begun at a quick pace. Friends of The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter Stef Kight and Stephen Neukam at Axios reported that Trump wants National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines of Montana to run for the job.

But Republicans expressed scepticism about Trump playing a role in replacing McConnell, his longtime nemesis.

Continue reading...

Republicans balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Watch: LIVE: Nikki Haley attends GOP event in Washington DC

Friday 1 March 2024 17:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Friday 1 March 2024 17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump calls migrants ‘illegal aliens’ during Texas visit

Biden hails milestone in availability of safe abortion medication

Friday 1 March 2024 17:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Statement from President Joe Biden on Major Retail Pharmacies Becoming Certified to Dispense Safe and Effective Medication Abortion

Today is an important milestone in ensuring access to mifepristone, a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for more than 20 years. With major retail pharmacy chains newly certified to dispense medication abortion, many women will soon have the option to pick up their prescription at a local, certified pharmacy—just as they would for any other medication. I encourage all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification.

The stakes could not be higher for women across America. In the face of relentless attacks on reproductive freedom by Republican elected officials, Vice President Harris and I will continue to fight to ensure that women can get the health care they need, to defend the Food and Drug Administration’s independent and evidence-based approval and regulation of mifepristone, and to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law.

Watch: Fox News host says ‘weird’ Comer didn’t ask Hunter Biden single question at deposition

Friday 1 March 2024 16:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News host Steve Doocy appeared perplexed this morning on Fox & Friends as to why Rep James Comer didn’t ask Hunter Biden a single question at his deposition after demanding he come in and sit in front of the joint committee hearing.

Mr Comer apparently also left the session early...

Here’s the full transcript of Mr Biden’s testimony:

Transcript of Hunter Biden testimony to House committee released

State of the Union: Who is Katie Britt, the Republican set to deliver response to president’s address?

Friday 1 March 2024 16:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The youngest Republican woman to serve in the US Senate will deliver the response to President Biden’s State of the Union address next week.

Alabama Senator Katie Britt is set to give the remarks – a rebuttal speech to the president’s address made by the opposing party – on 7 March, which she has promised will be a “candid discussion about the future of our nation”.

At 42 years old, Ms Britt is the youngest Republican woman to ever serve in the US Senate, and the second youngest ever, following Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, who was elected in 1999 at the age of 38.

Mike Bedigan takes a look at the rising star in the Republican Party:

Who is Katie Britt, Republican set to deliver response to Biden’s State of the Union?

Trump Republicans blast spending bill as government shutdown averted... again

Friday 1 March 2024 15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia filed this report from Capitol Hill last night:

The House and Senate voted to pass a stopgap spending bill, averting a looming government shutdown once again – and prompting pro-Trump Republicans to level fury against House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The continuing resolution will keep the government open until 8 March. The bill came as part of a larger agreement from Mr Johnson, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries as well as the leadership on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to vote on six of the 12 spending bills by 8 March.

The bill passed in the House by 320 to 99 – Republicans being split on the matter and Democrats making up most of the support for the agreement. Only two House Democrats voted against the legislation. Similarly, the Senate voted 77 to 13 on the stopgap funding bill to head to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Continue reading...

Government shutdown averted yet again as Trump Republicans blast spending bill

Cornyn first to throw hat in ring to replace McConnell

Friday 1 March 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas has thrown his hat into the ring to replace departing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, becoming the first member of his party to do so.

Mr Cornyn, a close ally of the minority leader, released a statement announcing his candidacy in which he pledged to end “backroom deals” and give members adequate time to read legislation before it is voted upon.

“I believe the Senate is broken - that is not news to anyone. The good news is that it can be fixed, and I intend to play a major role in fixing it,” said the Texas Republican on Thursday.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

John Cornyn becomes first Republican to announce bid to replace McConnell

Read the full Hunter Biden testimony transcript

Friday 1 March 2024 14:35 , Oliver O'Connell

The full transcript of Hunter Biden’s evidence to House Republicans has been released, following his six-hour testimony held behind closed doors.

Mr Biden was giving evidence in the Republican impeachment probe into his father, President Joe Biden. House members have accused him of using his father’s influence as leverage in lucrative overseas business deals.

However, so far they have struggled for evidence and have been accused of running a sham investigation in order to smear President Biden ahead of the November election.

Read the full transcripts here...

Transcript of Hunter Biden testimony to House committee released

Might North Carolina flip blue in 2024?

Friday 1 March 2024 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Ariana Baio writes:

For the last three presidential election cycles, North Carolina, a red-leaning state, has favoured the Republican presidential candidate. But a January analysis by Moody’s suggests it could flip in 2024.

It projects that the assumed Democratic nominee President Joe Biden will flip North Carolina in Democrats’ favour by less than a percentage point.

It’s no secret that North Carolina’s red has appeared more purple in recent years. Mr Trump barely secured the state in 2020, winning by a margin of 1.3 per cent. Republicans only narrowly won a Senate seat in the 2022 midterms by 3.2 per cent.

Republicans currently have control over the legislature but the governor is a Democrat. With an electorate that is almost completely split between the two parties, neither one can afford to lose any votes.

Continue reading...

Could North Carolina flip blue in 2024?

Fox News hit with demand to walk back Biden corruption claims

Friday 1 March 2024 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House has formally called on Fox News to walk back its coverage of bribery and corruption allegations against Joe Biden.

In a letter sent to Fox News executives, White House spokesperson Ian Sams accused the right-wing network of failing to “retract, correct, or update its reporting” on a false allegation made by FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, about a bribery scheme worth millions involving the Bidens, according to CNN.

Mr Smirnov allegedly told the FBI that Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of Kyiv-based Burisma, used his father’s name to solicit millions of dollars in bribes from the company.

The claim, which has been central to attempts by Republicans to impeach the Bidens in Congress, was later found to be false.

Continue reading...

White House demands Fox News walk back Biden corruption claims

Biden challenges Trump to ‘join me’ as he urges Congress to pass border bill

Friday 1 March 2024 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A pair of towns along the US-Mexico border became stages for two presidential candidates on Thursday as President Joe Biden slammed his predecessor and opponent for getting in the way of needed immigration reform and border security legislation.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Biden urges Trump to back border bill in rival Texas campaign stops

Which members of Congress aren’t seeking re-election in 2024?

Friday 1 March 2024 11:15 , Kelly Rissman

If a presidential election year wasn’t enough in Washington DC, this year will also see a lot of new faces in Congress, as many members have decided to not seek re-election, with many citing frustration with the chambers’ productivity as their reason for stepping down.

Eight Senators and 42 Representatives have announced their intentions to step down from their current post in 2024, with some running for different elected positions and others leaving politics altogether. Some of those could still run for their current seats if they do not win primary elections.

The mass Congressional exodus includes several controversial seats, which could alter the control of each chamber and numerous Committee chairs.

Here is a list of every member of Congress who has announced that they won’t seek re-election in 2024:

Here’s every member of Congress who isn’t seeking re-election in 2024

Trump Republicans blast spending bill as federal government shutdown averted... yet again

Friday 1 March 2024 09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The House has voted to pass a stopgap spending bill, averting a looming government shutdown once again – and prompting pro-Trump Republicans to level fury against House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The continuing resolution will keep the government open until 8 March. The bill came as part of a larger agreement from Mr Johnson, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries as well as the leadership on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to vote on six of the 12 spending bills by 8 March.

The bill passed by 320 to 99 – Republicans being split on the matter and Democrats making up most of the support for the agreement. Only two Democrats voted against the legislation.

Eric Garcia reports:

Government shutdown averted yet again as Trump Republicans blast spending bill

Senator Cornyn becomes first Republican to announce bid to replace McConnell

Friday 1 March 2024 07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas has thrown his hat into the ring to replace departing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, becoming the first member of his party to do so.

Mr Cornyn, a close ally of the minority leader, released a statement announcing his candidacy in which he pledged to end “backroom deals” and give members adequate time to read legislation before it is voted upon.

John Bowden reports:

John Cornyn becomes first Republican to announce bid to replace McConnell

GOP lawmakers balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Friday 1 March 2024 05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia report from Capitol Hill:

Senate Republicans have a clear message for former president Donald Trump about the race to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: stay out of this.

After they got over the initial shock of McConnell’s announcement on Wednesday, the race to replace him – namely among the “Three Johns,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso and Senator John Cornyn of Texas – has begun at a quick pace. Friends of The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter Stef Kight and Stephen Neukam at Axios reported that Trump wants National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines of Montana to run for the job.

But Republicans expressed scepticism about Trump playing a role in replacing McConnell, his longtime nemesis.

Read more...

Republicans balk at Trump playing a role in the fight to replace McConnell

Trump pushes lie that ‘no one speaks languages’ of migrants in wild border speech

Friday 1 March 2024 04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Mike Bedigan reports:

Donald Trump falsely claimed that “nobody speaks the languages” of migrants crossing the US’s southern border, in another wild and rambling campaign speech, in which he also echoed his previous remarks that were criticised as being similar to Nazipropaganda.

Both Mr Trump and President Joe Biden held duelling campaign trips to the southern border on Thursday in an attempt to seize the narrative around immigration.

The former president, speaking from Eagle Pass, Texas, wildly claimed that there were “millions of people from places unknown” coming into the US that “don’t speak languages”.

Continue reading...

Trump echoes Nazi propaganda in border speech brimming with lies

The ABCs of Donald Trump as he coins a new nickname

Friday 1 March 2024 03:15 , Kelly Rissman

Donald Trump is well-known for a lot of things: his divisiveness, his career in real estate, The Apprentice, his lawsuits, for being the only president to be impeached twice. But perhaps nothing has infiltrated society more than Mr Trump’s unique linguistic style.

Whether he’s posting on Truth Social, speaking at a campaign rally, or testifying in court, Mr Trump never seems to be at a loss for words — and sometimes, he even makes up new ones.

From uttering gaffes to tweeting typos (like “covfefe”) to misreading words (like “Nambia”) to dismissing his opponent with a harsh nickname, his terminology quickly turns iconic.

Here, The Independent offers a dictionary guide to the Mr Trump’s most memorable phrases:

C is for Covfefe: The ABCs of Donald Trump as he coins a new nickname

Campaign to punish Biden for his support of Israel’s war in Gaza has only just begun

Friday 1 March 2024 02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Hall reports:

Joe Biden may have won the Democratic Michigan primary handily yesterday, but anger over his unconditional support for Israel’s war in Gaza led to a significant protest vote that may threaten his chances of winning the state, and the presidency, later this year.

More than 100,000 Democratic presidential primary voters cast their ballots as “uncommitted” on Tuesday following a campaign by activists and lawmakers in the state to impose a political cost on Mr Biden for providing political and financial support for Israel’s war.

In some areas of Dearborn, home to the largest Arab American community in the US, around three quarters of voters chose to cast their ballots as uncommitted.

In a crucial swing state, which Mr Biden only won by 154,000 votes in 2020, those margins could prove to be decisive.

Continue reading...

The campaign to punish Biden for his support of Israel’s war in Gaza has just begun

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website