National Newswatch

White House offers Nicki Minaj call to answer vaccine Qs

Sep 15 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House offered Wednesday to connect Nicki Minaj with one of the Biden administration’s doctors to address her questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, after the Trinidadian-born rapper’s erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral. The White House said that they’ve offered such calls with others concerned about the vaccine, […]

Harris says she urged Vietnam to free political dissidents

Aug 26 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday she raised issues of human rights abuses and restrictions on political activism in her conversations with Vietnamese leaders this week, but offered no indication those talks bore fruit. “We’re not going to shy away from difficult conversations. Difficult conversations often must be had with […]

Harris rebukes China in speech on Indo-Pacific vision

Aug 24 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a sharp rebuke to China for its incursions in the South China Sea, warning its actions there amount to “coercion” and “intimidation” and affirming that the U.S. will support its allies in the region against Beijing’s advances. “We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate […]

Harris meets with Singapore officials to begin Asia visit

Aug 23 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — SINGAPORE (AP) — The White House on Monday announced a series of new agreements with Singapore aimed at combating cyberthreats, tackling climate change, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating supply chain issues. The announcements coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the region, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to counter Chinese influence […]

Biden unveils picks for key religious freedom roles

Jul 30 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday announced his picks for four key religious freedom roles, including Khzir Khan, the Muslim-American father of a slain U.S. soldier who became an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump throughout both of his campaigns. Khan was appointed to be a commissioner of the United States Commission […]

Harris to visit Singapore, Vietnam, focus on economic ties

Jul 30 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam next month on a trip focused on strengthening economic ties and celebrating America’s cultural connection with the Indo-Pacific region. It will be Harris' first overseas travel and second foreign trip, after she visited Guatemala and Mexico in June as part of her role […]

White House considering vaccine mandate for federal workers

Jul 27 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is strongly considering requiring federal employees to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise submit to regular testing and wear a mask — a potentially major shift in policy that reflects growing concerns about the spread of the more infectious delta variant. The possible vaccine mandate […]

White House convenes mayors to discuss strategies on crime

Jul 15 2021 — Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday convened the first meeting of its community violence intervention collaborative, a group of mayors and administration officials that will share best practices and work closely with the federal government to reduce gun violence. The White House has touted its investments in these programs as one of the […]