Inauguration Day 2021: Trump pardons await on final day as president

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S President Donald Trump is reportedly set to grant clemency to rapper Lil Wayne on Tuesday in a final wave of pardons and commutations that is not expected to include lawyer Rudy Giuliani or ex-aide Steve Bannon.

Tiger king star Joe Exotic’s lawyers have said they fully expect their client to receive a pardon – and have even ordered a limo for the occasion.

It comes ahead of US President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration on Wednesday. Mr Biden will be sworn in atop a specially built platform. There will be no parade this year, however, and the number of attendees will be reduced.

It has been suggested by figures as diverse as former FBI Director James Comey and former White House advisor Anthony Scaramucci that Mr Biden could pardon Mr Trump in an effort to heal divisions. Previously, Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon following his resignation in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

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One thing our fashion team will miss from the Trump administration – the outfits

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Getting through pandemic is priority for US citizens

Containing the coronavirus outbreak and repairing the economic damage it has inflicted are the top priorities for Americans as Joe Biden prepares to become the 46th president of the United States, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Overall, 53% of Americans name COVID-19 as one of the top five issues they want the government to tackle this year, and 68% mention in some way the economy, which is still reeling from the outbreak. In an open-ended question, those priorities far outpace others, like foreign affairs, immigration, climate change or racial inequality. The findings suggest Biden’s political fate is riding on his administration’s response to the pandemic.

“I just want to be through it,” said Kennard Taylor, a 20-year-old Detroit college student who had to move back home when the pandemic shuttered his campus and who lost his grandfather to the disease. “There are other things, but I’d say right now this is the priority for me.”

The Democratic president-elect last week unveiled a proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and has vowed to provide 100 million vaccination shots in his first 100 days, an ambitious goal that his health team is already scrambling to meet.

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Here’s a look at some of the most memorable moments of Trump’s presidency as it enters its final hours:

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Boris Johnson is on the charm offensive…

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Joe Biden has hired an all-female press team

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Melania Trump has made a farewell video

She advised viewers to always choose love over hatred.

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Joe Exotic’s lawyers are confident that the President will pardon him

The Tiger King star is serving 2 years in jail for plotting to kill rival Carol Baskin

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Head of Arab league appeals to Biden over US Israel policy

The head of the Arab League expressed hope that the Biden administration will change President Donald Trump’s policies and launch a political process supported by regional and international parties to achieve independence for the Palestinians.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the 22-member organisation, told the UN Security Council that a two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict “has been marginalised by the main mediator in the peace process”, a reference to the United States.

“This encouraged the Israeli government to intensify its settlement activities and to threaten to take dangerous and destructive steps such as annexing occupied land,” he said.

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Dominion voting systems files lawsuit against Trump lawyer

The company is demanding $1.3bn in damages for spreading “wild” and “demonstrably false” allegations.

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Biden’s national security Cabinet will be bare on day one of presidency

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security Cabinet may be bare on Day One of his presidency, but an inauguration-eve spurt of Senate confirmation hearings suggests that won’t be the case for long.

While the nominees to head the State Department, the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the intelligence community are unlikely to be confirmed by the time Biden takes the oath of office at noon Wednesday, some could be in place within days.

The Senate typically confirms some nominees, particularly the secretaries of defense, on Inauguration Day, though raw feelings about President Donald Trump four years ago led to Democratic-caused delays, except for James Mattis at the Pentagon. This year, the tension is heightened by Trump’s impeachment and an extraordinary military presence in Washington because of fears of extremist violence.

Putting his national security team in place quickly is a high priority for Biden, not only because of his hopes for reversing or modifying Trump administration policy shifts but also because of diplomatic, military and intelligence problems around the world that may create challenges early in his tenure.