Connect with us

International

Biden Stumbles with Mute Button and His Words in Embarrassing Call With Putin

Published

on

Before President Joe Biden could present himself as a tough, credible leader of the free world, a force to be reckoned with, he first needed to figure out how to take himself off of mute. In an embarrassing moment, Biden seemed to begin speaking to Putin, but no audio could be heard.

His microphone was muted. Putin sat patiently, smiling, and said “I welcome you, Mr. President.” After some clear fumbling, Biden said “there you go” once he was able to unmute himself.

Unfortunately, Biden would have done himself a greater service by not unmuting himself. Once he was audible, his words were just as fumbled as his search for the mute button. “Hello! Ha, ha ha, ha, ha. Good to see you again” said Biden.

“I uh, unfortunately last time I – we didn’t get to see each other at the G20. I hope next time we meet, we do it in person” Biden said. Putin was left with little choice but to smile and nod. Despite the rocky start, the White House released a statement saying the call was productive.

Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

“The two presidents tasked their teams to follow up, and the U.S. will do so in close coordination with allies and partners. The presidents also discussed the U.S.-Russia dialogue on Strategic Stability, a separate dialogue on ransomware, as well as joint work on regional issues such as Iran” the White House added.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

International

State Department Orders Americans to Evacuate from Ukraine Embassy

Published

on

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department has announced it will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from Kyiv’s U.S. Embassy this week. The travel advisory was published Sunday, signaling U.S. fears that Ukraine could be on the verge of a Russian invasion.

If an invasion occurs, the State Department could be thwarted in its ability to get to and assist Americans. The Department of State wrote:

“On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct-hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action…

…U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options…the security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”

Axios reports Senior State Department officials told reporters on a briefing call that it was the “totality” of the Russian military buildup and threatening posture toward Ukraine over the last several months which led to the decision.

One official stated, “given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time, the U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Friday with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

“We’re looking at what is visible to all, and it is deeds and actions, not words, that make the difference,” said Blinken, despite acknowledging that Lavrov had once again made an assurance that Russia has no intention of attacking Ukraine.

Continue Reading

International

China Warns Olympic Athletes Could Face Serious Consequences if they Speak Publicly on Human Rights

Published

on

Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are prepared to begin February 4th in Beijing, but not without consequences. Chinese officials have issued a “warning” to all foreign athletes that they are “subject to certain punishment” if they speak “against the Olympic spirit.”

That “Olympic spirit” means politically speaking out about China. “Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment,” said Yan Shu, deputy director-general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOC).

National Review notes the Chinese Party’s suppression of speech is well known and many are concerned with consequences and punishments for political speech because of strict local laws. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the Olympic Charter Rule banning protesting at medal ceremonies would force athletes to follow “applicable public law.”

The Associated Press reports according to the IOC athletes can “enjoy freedom of speech” when speaking to journalists or posting to social media during the games. However, the committee expressed any measures that would protect athletes from Chinese persecution.

CBS Sports reports Global Athlete Group director general Rob Koehler suggested Olympians could suffer severe consequences if they criticize China, especially while in the country itself. “Silence is complicity and that’s why we have concerns,” said Koehler. “We know the human rights record and the allowance of freedom of expression in China, so there’s really not much protection” he added.

Last month White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the U.S. government delegation planned to boycott the Olympic Games over the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including the presumed detention of tennis star Peng Shuai.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. The athletes on team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” Psaki said.

Continue Reading

Leo's Hot List