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US 2020 Election: Does Joe Biden support defunding the police?

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There have been renewed calls for defunding, after the death of George Floyd in May

President Trump has claimed that his Democratic rival for the presidency, Joe Biden, supports the idea of defunding the police.

Mr Biden has said he will not defund police forces. He wants to invest in community projects and social programmes to lessen the burden on the police.

There have been calls to divert money away from the police and spend it on other services, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May.

What has Biden promised on police funding?

A statement from Mr Biden’s communications team on 8 June said he supported the need for reform, focusing on funding educational programmes as well as mental health and drug abuse treatment projects, to allow police officers to focus on the job of policing.

These programmes should be separate from funding for the police, it says.

Mr Biden’s campaign website also pledges a $300m investment in community policing, which would be conditional on hiring police officers who “mirror the racial diversity of the community”.

He also proposes additional funding for body-worn cameras for the police.

In an interview with CBS News in June, Mr Biden said he didn’t support defunding the police, adding: “I support conditioning federal aid to police, based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency…”

Mr Biden also wrote an opinion piece that month in USA Today, stating: “While I do not believe federal dollars should go to police departments violating people’s rights or turning to violence as the first resort, I do not support defunding police.”

Why is Biden accused of supporting defunding?

An interview Mr Biden gave in July led to accusations that he did support taking money from the police, after an edited version was posted on Twitter by Republican Congressman Steve Scalise.

In this version, Mr Biden answers “Yes” to a question about whether he agrees with redirecting funding.

President Trump referred to this when addressing the Republican Party convention, adding that if Mr Biden became president “the radical left will defund police departments across America.”

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A police officer on the scene of protests in Philadelphia

But the video as posted by Mr Scalise was flagged by Twitter as manipulated because of the way the words “for police” were edited into the question about funding.

In the unedited original, the interviewer, Ady Barkan says: “We can reduce the responsibilities assigned to the police and redirect some of the funding for police into social services, mental health counselling, and affordable housing.”

Joe Biden begins talking about various types of police reforms he wants to see, when Mr Barkan interrupts to ask: “But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?” He doesn’t mention the word “police” in the question, but Mr Biden anyway responds: “Yes, absolutely.”

Republican Steve Scalise deleted his Twitter post with the video clip, but defended his view that Mr Biden was talking about police funding. The Biden campaign called the edited video a “deep fake.”

Who does support defunding the police?

There are some high-profile Democrats who support a reduction in funding.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among the proponents of defunding police departments and reinvesting the money in local communities.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has moved to cut $1 billion from the city’s police department budget, shifting the funds to youth programmes – although Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has said this was achieved through “budget tricks”.

Official feed of BBC News, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, it is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

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‘US can impose neither negotiations nor war’ on Iran, Rouhani tells UN General Assembly

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Addressing a session of the UN General Assembly, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said his country will not give in to US pressure and Washington will not bully Tehran, into neither “negotiations nor war.”

Speaking on Tuesday at the UNGA – held this year in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic – Rouhani blasted the recent US decision to unilaterally re-impose now-defunct international sanctions against Iran.

“The US can impose neither negotiations nor war on us,” Rouhani said, insisting that “today is the time to say ‘no’ to bullying and arrogance.”

Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence.

He expressed Iran’s gratitude to the nations who rejected Washington’s move. The US measure has not been particularly well-received, as 13 out of 15 UN Security Council members firmly opposed it.

“I should express our appreciation to the presidents of the Security Council for the months of August and September 2020, as well as to 13 of its members–especially Russia and China–who twice said a decisive and resounding ‘no’ to the unlawful US attempt to exploit the Council and its Resolution 2231,” the president said.




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United Nations will not support Washington’s unilateral move to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran, says organization’s chief



The most recent package of US sanctions against Tehran was unveiled by Washington on Monday, targeting Iran’s defense ministry. The announcement came just a few days after the US declared “snapback” UN sanctions on Iran t

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Pascale Ferrier: White House ricin package suspect in court

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A Canadian woman has been charged in US federal court for allegedly posting a letter with deadly ricin poison to President Donald Trump.

Pascale Ferrier, of Quebec, was arrested at a border crossing in Buffalo, New York, on Sunday. She was reportedly carrying a gun.

She has pleaded not guilty to making threats against the president.

The letter she allegedly sent last week was discovered before it reached the White House.

In it, she called on Mr Trump to drop out of the US presidential race. The envelop contained ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans.

“I found a new name for you: ‘The Ugly Tyrant Clown’,” she wrote in the letter to Mr Trump, according to FBI charging documents filed ahead of her first court appearance in New York on Tuesday.

“I hope you like it. You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I have US cousins, then I don’t want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election.”

The letter, which the FBI says had her fingerprints on it, referred to the poisoned note as “a special gift”, adding: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. “

The suspect may have also sent ricin to five addresses in Texas, including a jail and a sheriff’s office, according to the court documents.

Ms Ferrier appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon in Buffalo, New York, with the aid of a French-speaking translator, according to local media.

Who is Pascale Ferrier?

Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 53, is a computer programmer who is originally from France, but became a Canadian citizen in 2015, according to Canadian media. Sources tell Reuters she retains dual French-Canadian citizenship. She was living in the Canadian province of Quebec.

In March 2019, she was arrested in Texas for unlawfully carrying a weapon and using a fake driver’s licence, according to jail records. She was deported to Canada after officials found she had overstayed her visa and committed a crime while in the US, according to the New York Times.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service are investigating the package, which was discovered at a processing facility for mail sent to the White House.

The presence of ricin was confirmed after several tests by the FBI, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Mission, Texas, police departmen

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Climate change: China aims for ‘carbon neutrality by 2060’

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China’s President Xi Jinping addressing the UN via video link

China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping has announced.

Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York.

The announcement is being seen as a significant step in the fight against climate change.

China is the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide, responsible for around 28% of global emissions.

With global climate negotiations stalled and this year’s conference of the parties (COP26) postponed until 2021, there had been little expectation of progress on the issue at the UN General Assembly.

However China’s president surprised the UN gathering by making a bold statement about his country’s plans for tackling emissions.

He called on all countries to achieve a green recovery for the world economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the official translation, Mr Xi went on to say:

“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”

Until now China has said it would peak its emissions by 2030 at the latest, but it has avoided committing to a long-term goal.

Emissions from China continued to rise in 2018 and 2019 even as much of the world began to shift away from fossil fuels.

While the Covid-19 crisis this spring saw the country’s emissions plunge by 25%, by June they had bounced back again as coal-fired plants, cement and other heavy industries went back to work.

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In 2014 the US and China reached a surprise agreement on climate change

Observers believe that in making this statement at this time, the Chinese leader is taking advantage of US reluctance to address the climate question.

“Xi Jinping’s climate pledge at the UN, minutes after President Donald Trump’s speech, is clearly a bold and well calculated move,” said Li Shuo, an expert on Chinese climate policy from Greenpeace Asia.

“It demonstrates Xi’s consistent interest in leveraging the climate agenda for geopolitical purposes.”

Back in 2014 Mr Xi and then US-President Barack Obama came to a surprise agreement on climate change, which became a key building block of the Paris agreement signed in D

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