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Joe Biden walks into the White House hand-in-hand with Jill

President Joe Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday afternoon to sign new executive orders and read the ‘private’ letter Donald Trump left for him.

‘The president wrote a very generous letter,’ Biden said. ‘Because it was private, I won’t talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous.’

Trump left a note on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of the rare traditions he followed in the peaceful transfer of power. Trump never invited Biden to the White House after the election nor did he attend Biden’s inauguration.

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering.

‘I thought there’s no time to wait,’ he said. ‘There’s no time to start like today.’

There was a large stack of folders on the desk and pictures of his family decorated the credenza behind him.

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing ‘support for under served communities’ and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency.

‘As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I’m going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,’ he said.  Biden is expected to sign many more executive orders in the day to come.

Shortly after signing the orders, Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens.

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them ‘on the spot.’ He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House. 

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: ‘It feels like I’m going home.’ 

President Joe Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday afternoon to sign new executive orders and read the ‘private’ letter Donald Trump left for him

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering. 'I thought there's no time to wait,' he said. 'There's no time to start like today'

Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering. ‘I thought there’s no time to wait,’ he said. ‘There’s no time to start like today’ 

There was a large stack of folders on the desk and pictures of his family decorated the credenza behind him 

Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens

Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens 

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them ‘on the spot.’ He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them 'on the spot.' He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House

The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them ‘on the spot.’ He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump´s White House 

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: ‘It feels like I’m going home’

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: 'It feels like I'm going home'

Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House Wednesday, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: ‘It feels like I’m going home’

Biden strolled into the White House, with a university of Delaware and Howard University band playing a fanfare, along with First Lady Jill Biden, agents, and family members

Biden strolled into the White House, with a university of Delaware and Howard University band playing a fanfare, along with First Lady Jill Biden, agents, and family members

He kept up an inaugural tradition Barack Obama also maintained by walking for a brief portion of the parade route. But this time, Biden did it in the most secure part – Pennsylvania Avenue just in front of the White House, which was heavily secured

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden's inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden’s inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff salute from the entrance of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff salute from the entrance of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House

JOE BIDEN’S 15 DAY ONE EXECUTIVE ORDERS

1. Mask mandate requiring face coverings in federal buildings and land

2. Halt border wall construction by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it

3. End the ‘Muslim travel ban’ from seven countries

4. Reversal of Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement

5. Stop the U.S. from withdrawing from the World Health Organization

6. Rejoin the Paris Climate Accord to reduce fossil fuel emissions

7. Reinstate a requirement for non-citizens to be included in the Census

8. Reinforce DACA after Trump sought to end protections for undocumented people brought into the country as children

9. Dissolve the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission on history curriculum in schools

10.  Cancel construction of the Keystone XL oil and gas pipeline

11. Extend the existing pause on federal student loan payments 

12. Extend existing moratorium on evictions and foreclosures

13. Prevent workplaces from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity 

14. Undo Trump’s regulatory approval process

15. Extend deferrals of deportation and work authorizations for Liberians with a safe haven in the United States  

It wasn’t quite the same as the typical public stretches of the historic Avenue past presidents have walked for photo-ops. Coronavirus and security kept away usual onlookers. But there were children interspersed along the brief stretch outside the Treasury and White House, along with press and aides.

He also greeted D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser along the way – in a city that lacks representation in Congress that was the subject of street clashes and protests over the summer, and was put on lockdown by his inauguration and the Capitol riots.

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside.

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building.

‘Madam Vice President!’ shouted reporters trying to secure a comment. She was asked how it feels. ‘Walking to work,’ she said at one point.

The efforts to court the press were an attempt to reset relations with the media – the medium through which most Americans would see the inauguration with visitors all but shut down.

Donald Trump regularly railed against what he called the ‘fake news,’ whom he called the ‘enemy of the people’ – even as he provided frequent access to reporters during the period before the elections.

Harris then held hands with Emhoff, saluted a military honor guard, and walked up the steps to the Old Executive Office building, where the vice president’s office is located. The long steps to the building were lined with their own honor guard.

Earlier in the afternoon, Biden and Harris had their first show of unity as they participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier besides past presidents and first ladies from both parties – with the obvious exception of Donald Trump. 

Standing behind Biden and Harris at Arlington National Cemetery were former presidents Barack Obama and first ladies Michelle; George W. Bush and Laura; and Bill Clinton and Hillary. 

The message of cross-party unity could not have been clearer: three former presidents and first ladies coming together to salute the fallen.

After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden’s inaugural address. The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message. 

The scene of three former and one current commanders-in-chief mourning the fallen together underlined how Trump had made himself an outcast from America’s smallest – and most exclusive – club. 

He had railed against all three former presidents, especially Obama, but had also dismissed Bush, privately calling him a ‘dummy,’ while his one-time friendship with Bill Clinton was shattered by the bitterness of the 2016 election campaign.

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing 'support for under served communities' and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency

Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing ‘support for under served communities’ and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency 

'As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I'm going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,' he said

‘As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I’m going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,’ he said

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pause to wave while walking toward the North Portico of the White House

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pause to wave while walking toward the North Portico of the White House

On his way to the North portico of the building, he got asked what his message to the world was. 'Unity,' Biden responded

On his way to the North portico of the building, he got asked what his message to the world was. ‘Unity,’ Biden responded

A US Secret Service agent changes the license plate on President Joe Biden's limousine near the North Portico of the White House

A US Secret Service agent changes the license plate on President Joe Biden’s limousine near the North Portico of the White House

U.S. President Joe Biden travels in the presidential limousine, known as "The Beast", with the new license plate number '46'

U.S. President Joe Biden travels in the presidential limousine, known as ‘The Beast’, with the new license plate number ’46’

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside

Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building

She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building

The hostility was reciprocated: Members of the Bush family were critical of Trump throughout his administration. Four years ago at inauguration, George W. Bush commented ‘That was some weird s**t.’

In contrast, while Obama was extremely critical of Bush when running for president in 2008, those two families have developed a friendly relationship, especially between Bush and Michelle Obama. Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush became close friends after the 41st president’s defeat. 

In his inaugural address, Biden issued a call for unity and promised to govern for ‘all Americans’ Wednesday, seeking to move the nation beyond the presidency of Donald Trump and what he described as an attack on democracy itself in his first remarks to the nation as president.

In a 22-minute address after he was sworn in 11 minutes early by Chief Justice John Roberts, Biden drew a sharp contrast between his presidency and the preceding four years, saying: ‘My whole soul is in this. I’ll keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal injuries but the public good.’

Biden did not mention Trump by name but wove a thread of contrast through his speech. He denounced ‘lies told for power and for profit,’ said ‘there are truth and there are lies,’ acknowledged the bitter divisions in the country as an ‘uncivil war,’ and referred to the MAGA mob which rioted in the place he spoke just two weeks ago, saying: ‘Democracy prevailed.’

He spoke in unique circumstances: no crowds because of COVID and a security clampdown in the wake of the MAGA riot, and for the first time since 1869, his predecessor absent.

Trump had left Washington D.C. with a tub-thumping speech saying ‘we will be back – in some form’ and taken Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago, issuing a final pardon with less than an hour of his presidency left, and telling his friends he will start his own ‘Patriot Party.’

On the dais on the Capitol steps, Biden put his hand on his family’s Bible, held by his wife Jill, and took the oath, then addressed the nation for the first time as the 46th president.

United: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with (from left) Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

United: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with (from left) Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and President Joe Biden (right) salute the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlinton National Cemetery

Vice President Kamala Harris (center) and President Joe Biden (right) salute the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlinton National Cemetery 

BIPARTISAN ALLIANCE: Standing behind the new president and vice president were (from left) Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

BIPARTISAN ALLIANCE: Standing behind the new president and vice president were (from left) Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday 

READ JOE BIDEN’S PROCLAMATION OF UNITY 

I am humbled before God and my fellow Americans to take the sacred oath of President of our beloved country.

Today, we celebrate the triumph of democracy after an election that saw more Americans voting than ever before in our Nation’s history, and where the will of the people has been heard and heeded.

We do so at a moment of great peril and promise for our Nation. A once-in-a-century deadly pandemic. A historic and deepening economic crisis. Calls for racial justice some 400 years in the making. A climate crisis with force and fury. We also feel the rise in political extremism and domestic terrorism –- unleashed just days ago on our Capitol, the citadel of freedom, but brewing long before –- that we must confront and defeat.

Yet in this dire moment, democracy prevailed. On this day, we set our sights on the Nation we know we can and must be. I am honored to do so alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman who has taken the oath to serve in elected national office, and who will not be the last. Together, we know that to overcome the challenges before all of us, to restore the soul of America, requires the beating heart of a democracy: Unity.

With unity, we can save lives and beat this pandemic. We can build our economy back better and include everyone. We can right wrongs and root out systemic racism in our country. We can confront the climate crisis with American jobs and ingenuity. We can protect our democracy by seeing each other not as adversaries but as fellow Americans. For the world to see, with unity we can lead not just by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

As we start the hard work to be done, I pray this moment gives us the strength to rebuild this house of ours upon a rock that can never be washed away. And, as in the Prayer of St. Francis, for where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith, where there is darkness, light.

On this Inauguration Day I swear an oath to be a President for all Americans and ask every American to join me in this cause of democracy. May this be the story that unites us as fellow Americans and as the United States of America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2021, a National Day of Unity and call upon the people of our Nation to join together and write the next story of our democracy –- an American story of decency and dignity, of love and of healing, and of greatness and of goodness.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

He made unity the theme of his address and also highlighted the coronavirus hobbling the nation, taking a pause and asking for silent prayer for the more than 400,000 COVID dead. 

‘To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you’ve placed in us. To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,’ said Biden.

‘If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy,’ he told opponents. ‘That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans – all Americans,’ he said.

He spoke with urgency about the ‘painful lesson’ of recent weeks, referencing the riot in the Capitol that followed Trump’s effort to overturn the results in states that voted for Biden as a historic time of testing for the nation – but also pronounced that ‘democracy has prevailed.’ 

‘We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,’ he said, echoing some of the themes of Barack Obama, who brought him to the White House only to watch his own agenda come under assault during the Trump presidency. 

He warned of a ‘dark winter’ and listed the challenges he faces, including COVID, an economy in crisis, and the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd saying: ‘A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.’

But he said: ‘To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity.’

And he spoke of his own faith as the second-ever Catholic president, quoting St. Augustine, after a day which began with mass with Congressional leaders, and also spoke of his faith in America, saying: ‘This is a great nation. We are good people.’ 

The 78-year-old thanked his predecessors of both parties for being at his swearing-in. Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended – making Trump’s absence even more notable. 

Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’

‘I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,’ Biden said, adding he had spoken to former President Jimmy Carter on the phone the night before. Carter did not attend out of safety reasons because of the COVID pandemic. 

Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory.

‘Now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the capital’s very foundation. We come together under one nation, under god, indivisible, to transfer the peaceful power as we have for two centuries,’ he said.

Biden gave his inaugural remarks after history-making Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in, with the oldest person to become president taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Trump. 

In his inaugural remarks, Biden declared: ‘Unity is the path forward.

He asked for all Americans to come together and join him. He also asked those 75 million Trump voters to ‘hear him out’ during his time in office.

‘My whole soul is in it today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause,’ he said. 

Biden didn’t mention President Trump by name but his speech was full of denunciation of Trump’s tactics and methods.

‘We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature,’ he said. 

Biden specifically called for an end to manipulating facts and raging at one another – two characteristics of Trump’s time in office.

‘Let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,’ he noted.

‘There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. Each of us has the duty and responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies,’ Biden said. 

He acknowledged the deep divides and wounds in the country.

‘This is a great nation. We are good people. Over the centuries, through storm and strife, and peace and at war, we’ve come so far. We still have far to go. We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain,’ he said.

Joe Biden raised his hand and took an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution on Wednesday – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Donald Trump

Joe Biden raised his hand and took an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution on Wednesday – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Donald Trump

Biden, in tactic acknowledgement of Trump's refusal to concede the election, announced 'democracy has prevailed' in the opening of his inaugural address

Biden, in tactic acknowledgement of Trump’s refusal to concede the election, announced ‘democracy has prevailed’ in the opening of his inaugural address

'The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded,' Biden said on the West Front of the Capitol just two weeks after MAGA riots threatened to stop the counting of the electoral votes for president in its tracks

‘The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded,’ Biden said on the West Front of the Capitol just two weeks after MAGA riots threatened to stop the counting of the electoral votes for president in its tracks 

Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden kiss after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol

Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden kiss after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol 

Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members 'Have a good life, we will see you soon

Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon

President Donald Trump gestures to supporters en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort as Biden's inauguration was underway

President Donald Trump gestures to supporters en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort as Biden’s inauguration was underway

On Wednesday, with history-making Vice President Kamala Harris on his team, the oldest person to become president is vowing to focus on the virus

On Wednesday, with history-making Vice President Kamala Harris on his team, the oldest person to become president is vowing to focus on the virus

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden 

Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory

Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory

Biden also acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and devastated the American economy.

‘We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation. One nation. I promise you this. As the bible says, we may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together. Together!,’ he said.

In his first act as president, he asked Americans to join him in a moment of silence to remember those who died from the deadly disease.

‘My first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans, moms, dads, husband, wives, daughters, sons, coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. Let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives and for those left behind and for our country. Amen,’ he said.

He acknowledged the challenges that face him as he takes office as the nation’s 46th president, including the pandemic, racism, the climate and America’s role in the world.

‘Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on democracy and untruth, a raging virus, growing inequity, sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is, we face them all at once presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness, for there’s so much to do,’ he said. 

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden gesture as they leave after his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden gesture as they leave after his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol

Biden specifically called for an end to manipulating facts and raging at one another – two characteristics of Trump's time in office

Biden specifically called for an end to manipulating facts and raging at one another – two characteristics of Trump’s time in office

President Joe Biden is congratulated by first lady Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden after being sworn-in during the 59th Presidential Inauguration

President Joe Biden is congratulated by first lady Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden after being sworn-in during the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greets former U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greets former U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden

Former President George W. Bush, from left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama arrive to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol for the Inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Former President George W. Bush, from left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama arrive to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol for the Inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Former US President Bill Clint (L) and former US First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Bernie Sanders documents President Joe Biden's inauguration on his cellphone on Wednesday

Bernie Sanders documents President Joe Biden’s inauguration on his cellphone on Wednesday 

Family members of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris attend the inauguration of Joe Biden

Family members of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris attend the inauguration of Joe Biden

He closed with another call for unity.

‘My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath, before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you,’ he said.

‘Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division, of light, not darkness, a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answer the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch, but thrived,’ he added. 

Biden concluded his 20 minutes of remarks with: ‘So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May god bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.’ 

Joe and Jill Biden greeted their predecessors in the White House with hugs and handshakes as they exited the inauguration platform. The couple shared a particularly long hug with Barack and Michelle Obama, who they were close to in the eight years Biden served as Obama’s vice president.

They also greeted George W. Bush and Laura Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The former first couples will join the Bidens at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a show of bipartisan unity.  

He closed with another call for unity. 'My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath, before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you,' he said

He closed with another call for unity. ‘My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath, before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you,’ he said

Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill Biden after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States

Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill Biden after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States

President Joe Biden is hugged by his wife Jill Biden after delivering his inaugural address

President Joe Biden is hugged by his wife Jill Biden after delivering his inaugural address 

Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as her husband Doug Emhoff and President Elect Joe Biden look on

Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as her husband Doug Emhoff and President Elect Joe Biden look on

Jennifer Lopez with Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Jennifer Lopez with Vice President Kamala Harris during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Lady Gaga sings the U.S. National Anthem at the beginning of the swearing in ceremony

Lady Gaga sings the U.S. National Anthem at the beginning of the swearing in ceremony

Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Singer Garth Brooks greets Joe Biden after singing Amazing Grace during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Singer Garth Brooks greets Joe Biden after singing Amazing Grace during the inauguration of Joe Biden

Guests and spectators attend the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President Joe Biden

Guests and spectators attend the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President Joe Biden

READ JOE BIDEN’S FULL INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, and my distinguished guests, my fellow Americans, this is America’s day. This is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew. And America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.

We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. 

So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries. As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know, and I know the resilience of our constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime in service.

I’ve just taken the sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people, who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.

Once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of

businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. 

A cry for survival comes from planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear, and now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat. 

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. Unity. In another January, on New Year’s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, ‘if my name ever goes down into history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.’

‘My whole soul is in it.’ Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. 

Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things.

We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward — reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know that the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured. Through civil war, the great depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifices, and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us — enough of us — have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do that now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together.

And so today, at this time, in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again.

Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated, and even manufactured. 

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this, and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand, in the shadow of the Capitol dome, as it was mentioned earlier, completed amid the civil war, when the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. Yet, we endured. We prevailed.

Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where, 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today, we mark the swearing of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change!

Here we stand, across the Potomac, from Arlington Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion, rest in eternal peace. And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Not ever. 

To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you’ve placed in us. To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans. 

And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did. 

Many centuries ago, St. Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans?

I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and, yes, the truth. The recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit.

And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad, they lay in bed wondering, can I keep my health care, can I pay my mortgage. Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it.

But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like — look like you or worship the way you do or don’t get their news from the same source as you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus — rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we are willing to stand in the other person’s shoes — as my mom would say — just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here’s the thing about life: there’s no accounting for what fate will deal you.

Some days, when you need a hand. There are other days when we’re called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be. That’s what we do for one another.

And if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree. My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to preserve — to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.

We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise you this. As the Bible says, ‘weep, ye may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ We will get through this together. Together. Look, folks, all my colleagues that I served with in the house and the senate up here, we all understand, the world is watching, watching all of us today. So here’s my message to those beyond our borders.

America has been tested, and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. 

And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. We’ll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.

Look, you all know, we’ve been through so much in this nation. In my first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost in this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans — moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We’ll honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be.

So, I ask you, let’s say a silent prayer for those who have lost their lives and those left behind and for our country.

Amen. Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once. Presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested.

Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain. I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion, is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour?

Will we meet our obligations, and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must. I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will. And when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America, the American story, a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It’s called ‘American Anthem.’ And there’s one verse that stands out, at least for me.

And it goes like this: ‘The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day. What shall be our legacy? What will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through. America, America, I gave my best to you.’ Let’s add. Let’s, us, add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation.

If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us, they gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land. My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America.

And I’ll give all, all of you, keep everything you — I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal injuries but the public good. And together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.

May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch, but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebears, one another, and generations to follow.

So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasked of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America. 

Biden also exchanged salutes with General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A military honor guard saluted the new president as he departed as ‘Stars & Stripes’ played.

The Bidens held hands as they walked through the Capitol building after the ceremony

Biden had cued up a batch of executives for signing late Wednesday afternoon to begin the effort to roll back elements of the Trump agenda and demonstrate a restoration to the last Democratic administration.

Biden was planning to sign orders to stop construction of Trump’s border wall, end the ban on immigration from majority Muslim nations, and reenter the Paris climate accord.

Others would get the U.S. back into the World Health Organization, require mask use in federal buildings, and end a 1776 commission conceived as a way to push back against ‘woke’ efforts to take down confederate statues and otherwise reexamine the nation’s monuments and memory.

Biden, 78 and the oldest person sworn in as president, inherits a divided country, wracked by the virus, with millions on unemployment, and huge swaths of Republicans doubting the legitimacy of his election.

Biden was joined on the West Front of the Capitol by predecessors and lawmakers from both parties – including now-former Vice President Mike Pence, who had overseen the counting of Biden’s 306 to 232 electoral vote win in a normally perfunctory count that was interrupted by the riot.

Biden made the coronavirus pandemic a central part of his campaign, and there were reminders all around him of the difficult circumstances the nation faces. Attendees had their chairs spaced out in an effort at social distancing. Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and other guests wore masks in an effort to limit the spread of the virus that has killed 400,000 Americans.

Just as evident was the constitutional crisis the nation faced, with figures from both parties present as a show of unity and continuity. Former President Barack Obama, who put Biden on the ticket, was there with former first lady Michelle Obama, who made impassioned pleas for Biden’s election.

Biden made the coronavirus pandemic a central part of his campaign, and there were reminders all around him of the difficult circumstances the nation faces. Attendees had their chairs spaced out in an effort at social distancing

Biden made the coronavirus pandemic a central part of his campaign, and there were reminders all around him of the difficult circumstances the nation faces. Attendees had their chairs spaced out in an effort at social distancing

Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrive in the Crypt of the US Capitol for Biden's inauguration ceremony to be the 46th President of the United States

Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrive in the Crypt of the US Capitol for Biden’s inauguration ceremony to be the 46th President of the United States

Supporters of President Joseph Biden celebrate as they listen to him speak during the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Supporters of President Joseph Biden celebrate as they listen to him speak during the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Supporters of U.S. President Joe Biden celebrate after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States

Supporters of U.S. President Joe Biden celebrate after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States

Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden arrive before the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden arrive before the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Former President Barack Obama and former First lady Michele Obama arrive at the U.S. Capitol for Wednesday's inauguration

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are seen arriving at the Capitol for Joe Biden's inauguration

Former President Barack Obama and former First lady Michele Obama, Former President Bill Clinton and his wife former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are seen arriving at the Capitol for Joe Biden’s inauguration 

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura are seen before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura are seen before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in

A general view as attendees arrive to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday

A general view as attendees arrive to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday 

General view of audience during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

General view of audience during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Trump’s contempt for Obama and birther claims helped fuel the president’s rise. Also there was former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. Bush had been astonished by some of Trump’s rhetoric at Trump’s inaugural address four years ago, and his own dynasty fell victim to Trump’s political attacks on his brother, Jeb.

During the day’s events, a series of speakers pointed to the Capitol riot, praising the peaceful transition in a capitol locked down by 25,000 National Guard forces brought in to maintain security.

‘This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what it always does,’ said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one of a bevy of Democrats Biden defeated in his road to the White House.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri noted that there was ‘one political party more pleased today’ just as ‘on every inaugural day’ – than the other.

Biden had lined up other gestures to demonstrate unity of purpose – and his own firm control of the government after Trump spent months calling the election ‘rigged’ and claiming he had won.

After attending mass with Republican and Democratic leaders, Biden planned to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. He was to be accompanied by predecessors Obama, Bush, and Clinton.

His return to the White House would also reestablish norms. After Trump has been out of sight for days, releasing canned video farewell remarks, Biden was to allow reporters into the Oval Office when he signed orders.

His new White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, was to hold an on-camera briefing Wednesday night.  

Earlier that morning, Biden orchestrated a demonstration of faith and political power before he took the oath of office – attending mass with congressional leaders from both parties.

Biden and the powerbrokers who will help steer or stall his agenda joined for the service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, where funeral services were held for President John F. Kenned in 1963. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet the crowd before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 - snubbing Biden's inauguration

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet the crowd before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 – snubbing Biden’s inauguration 

Trump gives his farewell speech at Andrews Air Force Base in the last hours of his Presidency. He said it had been an ‘honor and a privilege’ 

The pair spoke briefly to the media before they boarded Marine One. Trump will give a lengthier speech at Joint Base Andrews

The pair spoke briefly to the media before they boarded Marine One. Trump will give a lengthier speech at Joint Base Andrews

They met in a city under heavy military guard amid security threats following the MAGA riots January 6.

He was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Tuesday that President Trump ‘provoked’ the crowd that ransacked the Capitol and has not said how he will vote on impeachment. Also joining was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who reportedly infuriated Trump with his remarks on the floor of the House where he blasted Trump’s conduct but still voted not to impeach him.

McCarthy was one of the more than 100 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. ‘The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,’ Mr. McCarthy said on the House floor Wednesday. ‘What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.’

He was also joined by Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump may have been an accessory to murder through his actions connected to the MAGA riot at the Capitol, and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, who will oversee Trump’s impeachment after he leaves.

His visit came just minutes after President Donald Trump departed the White House and stepped aboard Marine One for the last time – without engaging in any of the brash ‘chopper talk’ with the press that had become his trademark. Instead, the president flew to a staged rally on a military base where Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner other family members and other remaining supporters gathered. Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’ was playing when Trump landed. 

Biden will be the nation’s second Catholic president. The cathedral is just blocks away from the White House – although getting there would require circumventing a massive security presence with fencing and members of the 25,000 strong National Guard force protecting the city.

The demonstration of unity – a prelude to what was set to occur at the West Front of the Capitol – separated the powerful lawmakers who remain from President Trump, who set up his own separate departure while skipping many of the traditional gestures of continuity. Trump didn’t host Biden at the the White House; the first lady didn’t host Dr. Jill Biden; Trump skipped the inauguration altogether and left Washington before Biden was to take office.

Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, departed Blair House across the street from the White House just after Trump wrapped up remarks to his family and supporters at Joint Base Andrews, telling them: ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’

The Bidens traveled by motorcade to St. Matthews. He has regularly attended mass during the campaign and during the transition.

Biden wore a mask – as he seeks to mobilize Americans to mask-up for 100 days to try to stem the spread of infection.

Biden’s act of ritual and supplication came after the Bidens and President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff on Tuesday attended a memorial to the 400,000 victims of the coronavirus at the Lincoln Memorial. 

In the split-screen coverage of the transition brought on by Trump’s failure to linger, while the Bidens were gathered inside the cathedral for mass, Air Force One took off with Trump’s rally soundtrack playing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’  

Members of the National Guard gather near the U.S. Capitol before the inauguration at the Capitol

Members of the National Guard gather near the U.S. Capitol before the inauguration at the Capitol 

As seen from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, preparations are made before the inauguration of Joe Biden

As seen from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, preparations are made before the inauguration of Joe Biden 

Just two weeks ago to the day, the Capitol was the target of violence and unrest. Today it will be the backdrop for a new president

Just two weeks ago to the day, the Capitol was the target of violence and unrest. Today it will be the backdrop for a new president 

A-Rod and Lady Gaga were seen arriving at the inauguration. Lady Gaga will be performing, as well as A-Rod's fiancee Jennifer Lopez

A-Rod and Lady Gaga were seen arriving at the inauguration. Lady Gaga will be performing, as well as A-Rod's fiancee Jennifer Lopez

A-Rod and Lady Gaga were seen arriving at the inauguration. Lady Gaga will be performing, as well as A-Rod’s fiancee Jennifer Lopez 

Donald Trump vowed ‘we will be back – in some form’ as he left Washington D.C. for the last time Wednesday, flying off on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago to snub Joe Biden – then claiming credit in advance for the new administration’s success.

‘Have a good life,’ he told a crowd of a few hundred supporters at Joint Base Andrews, after listing his ‘achievements’ in a speech which began after a 21-gun salute.

In the front row, Ivanka Trump cried, while behind the maskless crowd chanted ‘thank you Trump,’ before the first family climbed the stairs to Air Force One for the final time. 

The military ceremony had the atmosphere of a Trump rally: Gloria was played as Air Force One taxied, and then the YMCA as Trump hugged and kissed his children.

‘We love you. We will be back in some form,’ he told the crowd of cheering supporters before signing off: ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’  

The farewell resembled one of Trump’s infamous campaign rallies, ending with ‘YMCA’ – the song Trump would depart to – as supporters cheered ‘USA, USA, USA.’

The president paused at times in his remarks. While he did not show tears, he appeared to feel the weight of the occasion while taking time to enjoy the final moments of his time in office. He notably did not mention the name of incoming President Joe Biden.

‘Hail to Chief’ played as Trump and Melania – who was wearing a Chanel jacket, sunglasses and carrying a $60,000 black crocodile Hermes Birkin bag – walked from Marine One to the platform where the president addressed the crowd. 

‘We love you,’ the supporters yelled as Trump took the stage after arriving while his children watched on proudly. 

‘We accomplished a lot,’ Trump said. ‘We worked hard. We left it all – as the athletes would say – we left it in the field.’   

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden 

President-elect Joe Biden his greeted by former President Barrack Obama

President-elect Joe Biden his greeted by former President Barrack Obama

Jill Biden, wife of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden arrives for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S

Jill Biden, wife of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden arrives for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S

Harris and Douglas Emhoff arrive at the United States Capitol for the inauguration of Joe Biden as US President

Harris and Douglas Emhoff arrive at the United States Capitol for the inauguration of Joe Biden as US President

Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris, incoming US First Lady Jill Biden, US President-elect Joe Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President

Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris, incoming US First Lady Jill Biden, US President-elect Joe Biden arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President

Donald Trump left the White House on Marine One for the final time Wednesday, pumping his fist and giving a thumbs-up as he walked with Melania to the start of a new life. 

The only people gathered outside to wish him goodbye were the press, to whom he briefly spoke to them before getting on board.

In a glaring split-screen moment defining the end of the Trump years, Joe Biden was about to leave Blair House, the White House’s official guest house, to go to mass with his wife Jill and Congressional leaders.

Trump was flying to Joint Base Andrews to speak in front of Air Force One to a small crowd of supporters. 

The pair stopped briefly to speak to the media before they boarded the helicopter with a stream of staffers hurrying behind them. Melania was dressed in all black and wore sunglasses. 

Trump’s early departure for Florida has caused a logistical and security nightmare since he is taking with him the nuclear codes. They will then be flown back to DC to be handed over to Biden this afternoon. 

On Tuesday night, Trump made one of his final acts in office granting pardons to dozens of rappers, millionaires and strategists, including his old friend Steve Bannon. 

As he makes his way to Florida on Wednesday morning, Biden will begin his day by attending mass with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He will then watch stars including Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga serenade him on the Captiol before delivering his address to the nation and being sworn in.  

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic and fears of a security threat, the mall – where thousands normally line up to greet the new President and First Lady – will be closed to the public.  

A smaller-than-usual crowd of guests including former Presidents and lawmakers will attend the inauguration ceremony in a socially-distanced manner instead.   

Donald and Melania Trump leave the White House on Wednesday morning for the last time to be taken to Air Force One 

Marine One lands at the White House to collect President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for the last time to take them to Joint Base Andrews where they will board Air Force Once to fly to Mar-a-Lago ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration

Marine One lands at the White House to collect President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for the last time to take them to Joint Base Andrews where they will board Air Force Once to fly to Mar-a-Lago ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration 

A moving truck drives away from the West Wing of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, on Wednesday January 20

A moving truck drives away from the West Wing of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, on Wednesday January 20 

Aids carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump leaves the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Aids carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump leaves the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

White House staff members carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump leaves the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

White House staff members carry boxes to Marine One before President Donald Trump leaves the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

The White House was plunged mostly in darkness on Wednesday morning as the Trumps moved out ahead of Biden's inauguration

The White House was plunged mostly in darkness on Wednesday morning as the Trumps moved out ahead of Biden’s inauguration  

The only lights on were in the Residence and parts of the West Wing, where movers were seen loading up trucks

The only lights on were in the Residence and parts of the West Wing, where movers were seen loading up trucks

Some staffers were seen working at the White House before the sun rose on Wednesday morning

Some staffers were seen working at the White House before the sun rose on Wednesday morning 

The empty office of the White House press secretary is empty in the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington

The empty office of the White House press secretary is empty in the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington

In the Lower Press Office, staffers left behind magazines with Trump on the cover

In the Lower Press Office, staffers left behind magazines with Trump on the cover 

A keyboard and mouse are wrapped in plastic waiting for the new Press Secretary on Wednesday morning

A keyboard and mouse are wrapped in plastic waiting for the new Press Secretary on Wednesday morning 

A newspaper addressed to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany lies on a table in an empty Upper Press Office area prior to U.S. President Donald Trump's departure ahead of the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden

A newspaper addressed to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany lies on a table in an empty Upper Press Office area prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s departure ahead of the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden

The office of the White House press secretary sits empty prior to U.S. President Donald Trump's departure ahead of the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden, in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2021

The office of the White House press secretary sits empty prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s departure ahead of the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden, in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2021

 

In place: The red carpet is laid down at the steps to Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews for the flight to Mar-a-Lago

In place: The red carpet is laid down at the steps to Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews for the flight to Mar-a-Lago

Trump PARDONS Steve Bannon: President grants clemency to 143 people including White House strategist who ‘defrauded MAGA fans out of $25M’, Lil Wayne, Kodak Black and convicted politicians

Donald Trump has granted clemency to Steve Bannon as part of a wave of 143 pardons and commutations announced early Wednesday morning during the president’s final hours in office.

Bannon, 67, helped Trump win the election in 2016 and was a senior White House adviser. In August last year he pleaded not guilty to charges that he defrauded MAGA donors to ‘We Build the Wall,’ an online campaign that raised $25 million.

Pardoning Bannon in a list that dropped shortly after midnight the White House said: ‘President Trump granted a full pardon to Stephen Bannon. Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project.

Donald Trump  has pardoned Steve Bannon. The former White House Chief Strategist, center, exits the Manhattan Federal Court on August 20 last year after he was accused of defrauding donors in a $25 million border wall fundraising campaign

Donald Trump  has pardoned Steve Bannon. The former White House Chief Strategist, center, exits the Manhattan Federal Court on August 20 last year after he was accused of defrauding donors in a $25 million border wall fundraising campaign

‘Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.’

The top names on Trump’s pardon list 

STEVE BANNON – Former Trump strategist who was charged with swindling the president’s supporters in a fundraising bid for the infamous Mexico border wall 

LIL WAYNE – Rapper who had voiced support for Trump and faced up to 10 years in prison for illegally possessing a .45 caliber handgun 

KODAK BLACK – Rapper who was serving a nearly four-year prison term for making a false statement to buy a firearm. Received a commutation rather than a pardon

KWAME KILPATRICK – Detroit mayor from 2002-08 who had his 28-year prison sentence on corruption charges commuted by Trump   

KENNETH KURSON – Friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who was charged with cyberstalking during a heated divorce 

ANTHONY LEVANDOWSKI – Google self-driving car engineer who faced prison for stealing 14,000 files of trade secrets before moving to Uber 

ELLIOTT BROIDY – GOP fundraiser who pleaded guilty in a scheme to lobby the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the looting of a Malaysian wealth fund 

MICHAEL ‘HARRY O’ HARRIS – Founder of Death Row Records who had served 30 years for conspiracy to commit murder. Had his sentence commuted 

RICK RENZI – GOP congressman from Arizona 2003-09, served three years in prison for corruption, money laundering and other charges

DUKE CUNNINGHAM – California GOP congressman 1991-2005, served prison time for accepting $2.4million in bribes from defense contractors

ROBIN HAYES – GOP congressman from North Carolina 1999-2009, convicted of lying to FBI agents during a bribery investigation   

And some of those not on the list…

JULIAN ASSANGE – Wikileaks founder facing 18 charges over release of military and diplomatic secrets 

RUDY GIULIANI – Trump’s personal lawyer who had spearheaded efforts to defy the election result 

JOE EXOTIC – Zookeeper and subject of Netflix series ‘Tiger King’ who hired a hitman to try to kill a rival

DONALD TRUMP – The president had boasted he could pardon himself, but legal scholars thought it doubtful. There were also no pardons for Trump relatives 

Scroll down for the full list  

Trump has also pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses, as well as former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges.

He will also pardon Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for Trump who pleaded guilty last year to violating foreign lobbying laws, Ken Kurson, a friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who was charged last October with cyberstalking during a heated divorce and Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing the internet giant’s self-driving car files ahead of joining Uber.

But notable names not on the list were Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Tiger King’s Joe Exotic, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani or any members of the Trump family, all of whom were rumored to be under consideration.

It also ended years of speculation that Trump would try to immunize himself, an unprecedented and legally questionable step which he had previously claimed he had the power to take.

The list was issued just hours before Trump leaves the White House for the last time and the pardon power, nuclear codes and other trappings of the presidency are transferred to Joe Biden, who will take the oath of office at noon Eastern time.

Leaving under the cloud of a second impeachment and the riot he provoked at the Capitol two weeks ago, Trump wished luck to the new administration in a ‘farewell address’ last night but did not mention Biden by name and still has not accepted in public that he legitimately lost the election.

Bannon had fallen out with Trump after he was quoted calling the president’s son Don Jr. ‘treasonous’ and his daughter Ivanka ‘dumb as a brick’. Trump said then: ‘Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency.’

But the two men have since rekindled their relationship as Trump sought support for his unproven claims of voter fraud, an official familiar with the situation said. White House officials are said to have advised Trump against pardoning Bannon.

Bannon can still be charged in state court in New York, where a pardon would not help him, said Daniel R. Alonso, a former prosecutor now at the Buckley law firm. Fraud prosecutions are frequently brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Alonso said.

‘Steve Bannon is getting a pardon from Trump after defrauding Trump’s own supporters into paying for a wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for,’ Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on Twitter. ‘And if that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Thank God we have only 12 more hours of this den of thieves.’

Bannon was in August last year pulled from a luxury yacht and arrested on allegations that he and three associates ripped off donors trying to fund a southern border wall.

The organizers of the ‘We Build The Wall’ group portrayed themselves as eager to help the president build a ‘big beautiful’ barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, as he promised during the 2016 campaign.

They raised more than $25million from thousands of donors and pledged that 100% of the money would be used for the project.

But according to the criminal charges, much of the money never made it to the wall. Instead, it was used to line the pockets of group members, including Bannon, who served in Trump’s White House and worked for his campaign.

He allegedly took over $1 million, using some to secretly pay co-defendant Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran who lost both legs in a mortar attack in Iraq and the founder of the project, and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses. 

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Chrissy Teigen calls Donald Trump ‘absolute psychopath’ on Instagram

Lady Gaga almost upstaged the new president as she sported a spectacular outfit complete with an over-sized gold dove ‘peace’ brooch as she sang the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ to the A-list Inauguration Day crowd that included A-Rod and the Obamas. 

Gaga, 34, sported a custom-made silkccouture black top and billowing red skirt, with a huge gold bird pinned on her top, as she sang the National Anthem into a gold microphone. 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris looked on with their hands on their hearts as Gaga sang, accompanied by the US Marine band.

Gaga later explained her decision to wear a dove as a symbol of peace on Twitter: ‘A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other.’ 

The brooch was custom-made by Schiaparelli to go with the outfit.

Her emotional performance came moments before Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first Latina Supreme Court Justice – to become the first female, person of color and Indian American to serve as vice president of the United States.  

J-Lo then took to the stage where she wowed the crowd by adding lines from ‘Let’s get loud’ song into her version of ‘America the beautiful’, before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

Dressed head to toe in white Chanel with Jimmy Choo Max platforms, the 51-year-old performed a unique medley of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘America the Beautiful’ where she threw in a ‘Let’s Get Loud’ moment and a message to the American public in Spanish.

‘One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,’ she said in Spanish.  

Country music star Garth Brooks took to the stage to perform ‘Amazing Grace’ after Biden delivered his first address to the American people as president where he told the nation ‘my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation.’

Former presidents, sports stars and iconic singers descended on Washington DC Wednesday to be part of the historic moment and dozens more including Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry will join the evening celebration of a Celebrating America special.

The inauguration was dramatically scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic and the January 6 attack on the Capitol, with only around 1,000 attendees – down from the typical numbers of around 200,000. 

But while the absence of large crowds is a marked difference from Trump’s inauguration, the line-up of big names is another – as many stars turned down an offer of an invite or the chance to perform at 2017’s event.     

Lady Gaga sported a spectacular outfit as she sang the Star-Spangled Banner in front of an A-list crowd that included J-Lo, the Obamas and A-Rod who had headed to the US Capitol for inauguration day celebrations

Gaga sported a black top and billowing red skirt, with a gold bird pinned on her top, as she was accompanied down the steps to sing the Star-Spangled Banner

Gaga sported a black top and billowing red skirt, with a gold bird pinned on her top, as she was accompanied down the steps to sing the Star-Spangled Banner

Gaga later explained her decision to wear a dove - a symbol of peace - on Twitter: 'A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other'

Gaga later explained her decision to wear a dove – a symbol of peace – on Twitter: ‘A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other’

J-Lo then took to the stage where she wowed the crowd by adding lines from 'Let's get loud' song into her version of 'America the beautiful'

J-Lo then took to the stage where she wowed the crowd by adding lines from ‘Let’s get loud’ song into her version of ‘America the beautiful’

J-Lo and Kamala Harris on the steps of the US Capitol moments after Harris was sworn in as vice president

J-Lo and Kamala Harris on the steps of the US Capitol moments after Harris was sworn in as vice president 

Country music star Garth Brooks took to the stage to perform 'Amazing Grace' after Biden delivered his first address to the American people

Country music star Garth Brooks took to the stage to perform ‘Amazing Grace’ after Biden delivered his first address to the American people

Earlier in the morning, Chrissy Teigen played spot-the A-lister from her apartment window as she got ready for inauguration day celebrations after vowing that ‘today marks the end of ‘our great national f**k-up’. 

‘Good morning it is me reporting live from my window sill bringing you all of the hot action, the riveting energy that is encompassing… okay nothing is happening but I am up early, I’ve been up for hours now,’ Teigen said in an Instagram story where she was seen with her hair in a towel looking out of her window toward the Capitol.

‘I have been up for hours now as I am kike a kid on Christmas Day. But a kid on Christmas who is stuck in a bubble right next to a Christmas tree.’

In a follow-up story, Teigen shared footage of the back of J-Lo and A-Rod walking toward the Capitol as she played at being a news reporter and said in a voiceover: ‘Breaking news, breaking news. It is J-lo and A-Rod. Oh finally I have got you something.’ 

Teigen later revealed they were staying inside during the inauguration until ‘we get our results’ ahead of her husband John Legend’s performance in the evening celebrations. 

Dozens of celebrities arrived for inauguration day celebrations joining Lady Gaga who called ‘for a day of peace’ and J-Lo who posed with National Guard troops during Tuesday’s dress rehearsals ahead of their performances. 

Ex-Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez – and J-Lo’s partner – was pictured at the West Front of the US Capitol earlier Wednesday morning where he was seen taking photos on his smartphone and chatting to other attendees. 

Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists with President-elect Joe Biden after she was sworn in

Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists with President-elect Joe Biden after she was sworn in

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington DC

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington DC

Her decision to wear a dove - a symbol of peace - appeared to be a nod to her earlier plea on social media for 'peace for all Americans'

Her decision to wear a dove – a symbol of peace – appeared to be a nod to her earlier plea on social media for ‘peace for all Americans’

Her emotional performance came moments before Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor - the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Pictured Gaga with Biden, Harris and their families

Her emotional performance came moments before Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Pictured Gaga with Biden, Harris and their families 

Lady Gaga hugs former President Barack Obama after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden at the Capitol

Lady Gaga hugs former President Barack Obama after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden at the Capitol

Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

Jennifer Lopez performs during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States

The 51-year-old performed a unique medley of 'This Land Is Your Land' and 'America the Beautiful' where she threw in a 'Let's Get Loud' moment and a message to the American public in Spanish

The 51-year-old performed a unique medley of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘America the Beautiful’ where she threw in a ‘Let’s Get Loud’ moment and a message to the American public in Spanish

J-Lo sings to US Vice President Kamala Harris after her swearing-in during the inauguration

J-Lo sings to US Vice President Kamala Harris after her swearing-in during the inauguration

Singer Garth Brooks greets Joe Biden after singing Amazing Grace during the inauguration ceremony

Singer Garth Brooks greets Joe Biden after singing Amazing Grace during the inauguration ceremony 

Brooks also performed during former President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 and turned down a chance to play at Trump's in 2017

Brooks also performed during former President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and turned down a chance to play at Trump’s in 2017 

Brooks walks to the stage to perform. He joked earlier this week that he would be the 'only Republican' attending it

Brooks walks to the stage to perform. He joked earlier this week that he would be the ‘only Republican’ attending it 

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration after Biden's speech to the nation

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration after Biden’s speech to the nation 

Gorman is the nation's first-ever youth poet laureate. 'Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it,' she said

Gorman is the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate. ‘Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,’ she said

President Biden’s ‘American Anthem’ 

While Lady Gaga stole the show singing the American National Anthem ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, President Joe Biden quoted a different song named ‘American Anthem’ during his inaugural address to the nation.

In his first speech as commander-in-chief, Biden vowed to commit his ‘whole soul’ to bringing the nation together and that together the US can ‘write the next great chapter’ in the ‘story’.

He said this story could ‘sound a lot like’ the song ‘American Anthem’ before he recited his favorite verse from the tune.  

‘We’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America, the American story,’ Biden said. 

‘A story that might sound a lot like a song that means a lot to me, it’s called ‘American Anthem’. There’s one verse that stands out, at least for me.’  

He quoted the song: ‘The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day.

‘What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?

‘Let me know in my heart when my days are through. 

‘America, America I gave my best to you.’ 

The anthem was written by songwriter Gene Scheer in 1998 and was first performed  by Denyce Graves in 1998 for then-President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton at the Smithsonian Institution at the launch of the Save America’s Treasures initiative to preserve nationally significant historic properties and goods.

It was then performed by artist Graves at George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2005. 

Many others have also taken on the song over the years including Patti Labelle, Nathan Gunn and Norah Jones.

Jones’ version is perhaps most well-known today after it featured in the 2007 World War II documentary ‘The War.’  

The former New York Yankee posted a selfie on Twitter of himself standing in front of the Capitol steps where Biden and Harris will take their oaths. 

He captioned the tweet ‘#inauguration2021’.

Garth Brooks was seen heading from his nearby hotel to the inauguration Wednesday morning after he confirmed Monday that he would join the star line-up. 

Brooks, who also performed during former President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and turned down a chance to play Trump’s, sported a cowboy hat and face mask as he prepared to take the stage. 

He had joked that he would be the ‘only Republican’ attending the event. 

Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at the Capitol around 10 am Wednesday to watch Obama’s former vice president take office as president. 

They both sported black face masks while Michelle wore a plum suit by Sergio Hudson as they headed into the grounds.  

In a follow-up Instagram story, Teigen later showed more scenes out of the window while sitting in a dressing gown. 

She said she was reporting ‘on the weather’ and showed people outside with a big banner. It was not clear what was on the banner but Teigen said she thought she saw the word ‘jail’.

In another video she announced that ‘John has decided to join’ as she showed the singer sitting on the floor watching the television. 

‘It’s happening,’ she whispered as she showed Biden walking into the Capitol on the television screen in their room.  

Gaga tweeted earlier Wednesday that it would be an ‘honor’ to sing the National Anthem during the ceremony. 

‘Singing our National Anthem for the American People is my honor. I will sing during a ceremony, a transition, a moment of change—between POTUS 45 and 46. For me, this has great meaning,’ she tweeted.

‘My intention is to acknowledge our past, be healing for our present, and passionate for a future where we work together lovingly. 

‘I will sing to the hearts of all people who live on this land. Respectfully and kindly, Lady Gaga.’ 

On Tuesday Gaga said inauguration day is a ‘day for dreaming of our future joy as a country’ in an emotional social media post. 

Chrissy Teigen was celeb spotting for her hotel earlier Wednesday and spotted Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

Chrissy Teigen was celeb spotting for her hotel earlier Wednesday and spotted Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

Teigen shared footage of the back of J-Lo and A-Rod walking toward the Capitol as she played at being a news reporter and said in a voiceover: 'Breaking news, breaking news. It is J-lo and A-Rod. Oh finally I have got you something'

Teigen shared footage of the back of J-Lo and A-Rod walking toward the Capitol as she played at being a news reporter and said in a voiceover: ‘Breaking news, breaking news. It is J-lo and A-Rod. Oh finally I have got you something’

Former New York Yankee A-Rod posted a selfie on Twitter of himself standing in front of the Capitol steps where Biden and Harris will take their oaths. He captioned the tweet '#inauguration2021'

Former New York Yankee A-Rod posted a selfie on Twitter of himself standing in front of the Capitol steps where Biden and Harris will take their oaths. He captioned the tweet ‘#inauguration2021’

Garth Brooks leaves his hotel as he gets ready to perform at Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday

Garth Brooks leaves his hotel as he gets ready to perform at Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday

Michelle and Barack Obama arrive at the US Capitol Wednesday to see the former president's former vice president be sworn in as president

Michelle and Barack Obama arrive at the US Capitol Wednesday to see the former president’s former vice president be sworn in as president 

She shared a snap of herself standing inside the grand dome of the Capitol while dressed in a white outfit and cape with her hair swept back in a dramatic updo as she urged for ‘peace’.

‘I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,’ she wrote. 

‘A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. 

‘A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.’   

She and J-Lo were both seen at the Capitol on Tuesday running through dress rehearsals and speaking to members of the National Guard. 

J-Lo posted a selfie Tuesday with members of the National Guard on her social media as she said it was ‘an honor’ to spend some time with ‘these brave men and women’.     

Singer Lady Gaga arrives for the inauguration ans walks down the West Front of the US Capitol

Singer Lady Gaga arrives for the inauguration ans walks down the West Front of the US Capitol 

Gaga almost upstages Joe Biden in her outfit as outgoing vice president Mike Pence looks on

Gaga almost upstages Joe Biden in her outfit as outgoing vice president Mike Pence looks on 

Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence watch Gaga perform the national anthem

Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence watch Gaga perform the national anthem 

Mike Pence attended the inauguration despite Donald Trump breaking tradition and refusing to attend

Mike Pence attended the inauguration despite Donald Trump breaking tradition and refusing to attend

Harris is flanked by her family including husband Doug Emhoff and her two stepchildren Cole and Ella

Harris is flanked by her family including husband Doug Emhoff and her two stepchildren Cole and Ella 

Gaga took to the stage to sing the National Anthem - something she described as 'an honor' on Twitter

Gaga took to the stage to sing the National Anthem – something she described as ‘an honor’ on Twitter 

Jennifer Lopez is escorted to the stage for her performance. She was dressed head-to-toe in white Chanel

Jennifer Lopez is escorted to the stage for her performance. She was dressed head-to-toe in white Chanel 

During J-Lo's performance she shouted a message about unity in Spanish to the crowd gathered for the historic moment

During J-Lo’s performance she shouted a message about unity in Spanish to the crowd gathered for the historic moment

Vice President Kamala Harris claps as J-Lo performs to the crowd during the historic moment in American history

Vice President Kamala Harris claps as J-Lo performs to the crowd during the historic moment in American history 

The Obamas walk down the Capitol steps before Biden and Harris arrive to take their oaths

The Obamas walk down the Capitol steps before Biden and Harris arrive to take their oaths 

The former president and former first lady attended the event to watch Joe Biden and Kamala Harris be sworn in

The former president and former first lady attended the event to watch Joe Biden and Kamala Harris be sworn in 

Barack Obama and Lady Gaga talk after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were swore in to lead the country

Barack Obama and Lady Gaga talk after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were swore in to lead the country

Loved up couple Jennifer Lopez and former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez leave the Capitol after the inauguration

Loved up couple Jennifer Lopez and former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez leave the Capitol after the inauguration 

Garth Brooks emerged in his signature cowboy hat to perform at the inauguration before he took the hat off to sing

Garth Brooks emerged in his signature cowboy hat to perform at the inauguration before he took the hat off to sing

Brooks, who announced he would be performing at the inauguration just two days earlier, sang 'Amazing Grace'

Brooks, who announced he would be performing at the inauguration just two days earlier, sang ‘Amazing Grace’

‘What an honor to spend a few moments with these brave men and women. Thank you for your service and sacrifice,’ she posted. 

‘I honor you today and everyday. Tomorrow I sing for you and all Americans.’

The video showed six national guardsmen and the singer posing together in their face masks with some giving a thumbs-up to the camera. 

J-Lo was running through a dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s celebrations singing on the steps of the Capitol.  

Trump left the White House for the last time Wednesday giving a speech where he vowed ‘we will be back – in some form’ before flying off on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago – not long before Biden and Harris arrived at the Capitol.  

Inauguration Day promises to be a star-studded affair from start to finish with performances by many stars throughout the day. 

In a follow-up Instagram story, Teigen later showed more scenes out of the window while sitting in a dressing gown

In another video she announced that 'John has decided to join' as she showed the singer sitting on the floor watching Biden walking into the Capitol on the television screen in their room

In a follow-up Instagram story, Teigen later showed more scenes out of the window while sitting in a dressing gown. In another video she announced that ‘John has decided to join’ as she showed the singer sitting on the floor watching Biden walking into the Capitol on the television screen in their room (right)

Lady Gaga said it would be an 'honor' to sing the National Anthem during Wednesday's ceremony

Lady Gaga said it would be an ‘honor’ to sing the National Anthem during Wednesday’s ceremony

Former Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez (center) arrives to the West Front of the US Capitol for the inauguration

Former Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez (center) arrives to the West Front of the US Capitol for the inauguration

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were seen arriving at the Capitol around 10 am Wednesday

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were seen arriving at the Capitol around 10 am Wednesday 

Former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez takes a photograph with his phone

Former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez takes a photograph with his phone

A-Rod, who is engaged to Jennifer Lopez, greeting Barack Obama as they both arrived for the ceremony

A-Rod, who is engaged to Jennifer Lopez, greeting Barack Obama as they both arrived for the ceremony 

Country music star Garth Brooks was seen heading from his nearby hotel to the inauguration after he confirmed Monday that he will be joining the star line-up

Country music star Garth Brooks was seen heading from his nearby hotel to the inauguration after he confirmed Monday that he will be joining the star line-up

In an emotional social media post she posed under the Capitol dome and called for 'a day of peace for all Americans'

In an emotional social media post she posed under the Capitol dome and called for ‘a day of peace for all Americans’

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez took a selfie with a group of Maryland National Guard soldiers following an inauguration ceremony rehearsal Tuesday

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez took a selfie with a group of Maryland National Guard soldiers following an inauguration ceremony rehearsal Tuesday 

Impassioned post: Chrissy Teigen has warned that 'history will not be kind' to outgoing president Donald Trump (pictured on Tuesday in front of the Washington Monument)

Impassioned post: Chrissy Teigen has warned that ‘history will not be kind’ to outgoing president Donald Trump (pictured on Tuesday in front of the Washington Monument) 

In the evening, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks will host a primetime special, with actresses Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington also set to introduce segments, including one called ‘stories of young people making a difference in their communities.’

A swath of musical performers are also slated to take center stage. Among them is rock legend Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard.     

According to the inaugural committee, each of the artists will perform from ‘iconic locations across the country’. 

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom were spotted Tuesday night in DC ahead of the event where Perry will perform.  

The pop star also tweeted a photo of some patriotic microphones with one adorned in stars and stripes and another like the torch held aloft by the Statue of Liberty over New York.  

The evening special is due to last 90 minutes and will be available to watch on numerous networks and cable TV channels, including NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and MSNBC. It will also be streamed live on the committee’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch pages. 

In Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania, soul jazz trombonist and hip-hop funk icon Jeff Bradshaw and rock and roll band Low Cut Connie will be performing in the afternoon.       

Lady Gaga greets National Guard soldiers Tuesday as she leaves the US Capitol after rehearsing for Wednesday's inauguration

Lady Gaga greets National Guard soldiers Tuesday as she leaves the US Capitol after rehearsing for Wednesday’s inauguration

J.Lo took time to sit with her crew in preparation for Wednesday's big performance at the inauguration

J.Lo took time to sit with her crew in preparation for Wednesday’s big performance at the inauguration

Jennifer Lopez sings as rehearsal takes place as National Guard troops provide security at the U.S. Capitol

Jennifer Lopez sings as rehearsal takes place as National Guard troops provide security at the U.S. Capitol 

Chrissy penned: 'Our great national f**k-up is over, but the shame will last forever' in a lengthy social media message

Chrissy penned: ‘Our great national f**k-up is over, but the shame will last forever’ in a lengthy social media message 

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom were spotted Tuesday night in DC ahead of the event where Perry will perform. The pop star tweeted a photo of some patriotic microphones

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom were spotted Tuesday night in DC ahead of the event where Perry will perform. The pop star tweeted a photo of some patriotic microphones

Teigen traveled to Washington D.C. Tuesday with her husband John Legend, 41, ahead of his performance Wednesday.  

In a social media post Tuesday night the model, 34, warned that ‘history will not be kind’ to ‘absolute psychopath’ Trump as she said inauguration day marks the end of ‘our great national f**k-up’ but warned ‘the shame will last forever’.   

Posting a picture of herself wearing a face mask in front of the Washington Monument to Instagram, the model shared an impassioned message.

Chrissy penned: ‘Our great national f**k-up is over, but the shame will last forever. 

‘With 2 impeachments, the creation of 3 million LESS jobs, 403,000 dead, a record low approval rating and god knows how many crimes, we can officially say Donald J Trump is the greatest at being the f**king worst. 

‘Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have the guy with barely enough well done steak with ketchup fueled brainpower to power a lightbulb who doesn’t even know how to close an umbrella run the country.’

Chrissy signed off her impassioned post with: ‘History will not be kind to you, you absolute psychopath. But I never was anyhow.’   

Lady Gaga is escorted to the stage to perform the national anthem in her spectacular inauguration day outfit

Lady Gaga is escorted to the stage to perform the national anthem in her spectacular inauguration day outfit

She boomed out the song while sporting a custom-made Schiaparelli couture black and red gown

She boomed out the song while sporting a custom-made Schiaparelli couture black and red gown 

She matched the gold dove brooch with her gold microphone as she sang 'Star-Spangled Banner'

She matched the gold dove brooch with her gold microphone as she sang ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

Garth Brooks performs at the inauguration while Kamala Harris and her family and the Obamas watch behind

Garth Brooks performs at the inauguration while Kamala Harris and her family and the Obamas watch behind 

Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris watch and smile as J-Lo walks to the stage to perform at the inauguration

Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris watch and smile as J-Lo walks to the stage to perform at the inauguration 

J-Lo and A-Rod leave the Capitol after her performance where she added in some Spanish and part of her song 'Let's get loud'

J-Lo and A-Rod leave the Capitol after her performance where she added in some Spanish and part of her song ‘Let’s get loud’

Teigen has long been an outspoken adversary of Trump and found herself in a Twitter war with the outgoing president in 2019 where he referred to her and husband John as a ‘boring musician’ and ‘his filthy mouthed wife’. 

Earlier this month, the Sports Illustrated led a slew of celebrities celebrating Trump’s permanent suspension from Twitter after his supporters rioted through the United States Capitol. 

‘AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHH,’ wrote Chrissy, who was previously blocked by Trump on Twitter.  

In a past interview, the model even admitted to taking ‘pride’ in her ‘ trolling’ of the US President.   

She said: ‘I’ve actually been a big Donald Trump hater for a long time. If you go back, I’ve been trolling him for about five to seven years now. I’ve been doing this forever and I take pride in that.

‘I can’t believe somebody could actually do this all day, every day, and still be president. It’s insane.’

Elsewhere, Chrissy also revealed on her Instagram that she had been ‘scolded’ for sharing too much information ahead of Biden’s inauguration later on Wednesday.

The model has travelled to Washington, D.C., with her husband John, their two children Luna, four, and Miles, two, and her mother Vilailuck Teigen.   

Chrissy posted several behind-the-scenes snaps and videos ahead of husband John’s performance on TV special, Celebrating America. 

Frenzy: Donald Trump lashed out in Twitter war with celebrity couple in 2019

War: He referred to Chrissy and husband John as a 'boring musician' and 'his filthy mouthed wife'

Twitter war: Chrissy has long been an outspoken adversary of Trump and found herself in a Twitter war with the outgoing president in 2019 where he referred to her and husband John as a ‘boring musician’ and ‘his filthy mouthed wife’ 

'Scolded': Elsewhere, Chrissy also revealed on her Instagram that she had been 'scolded' for sharing too much information ahead of Biden's inauguration later on Wednesday

‘Scolded’: Elsewhere, Chrissy also revealed on her Instagram that she had been ‘scolded’ for sharing too much information ahead of Biden’s inauguration later on Wednesday  

Family: The model has travelled to Washington, D.C., with her husband John, their two children Luna, four, and Miles, two, pictured, and her mother Vilailuck Teigen

Family: The model has travelled to Washington, D.C., with her husband John, their two children Luna, four, and Miles, two, pictured, and her mother Vilailuck Teigen  

Taking to her Instagram Story on Tuesday night, Chrissy admitted that she had been ‘scolded’ for sharing too much information and told her fans to ‘act surprised’.

She said: ‘I got in trouble for sharing too much so act surprised tomorrow and don’t tell your friends.’

Chrissy also tweeted: ‘LMAO apparently that was all supposed to be a secret and I got scolded so act surprised tomorrow I’m crying.’

The star had shared several clips of John rehearsing surrounded by military members and posted pictures of herself posing with the National Guard at the Capitol.

Emotional: Chrissy has posted several behind-the-scenes snaps and videos ahead of husband John's performance on TV special, Celebrating America

Emotional: Chrissy has posted several behind-the-scenes snaps and videos ahead of husband John’s performance on TV special, Celebrating America 

Whoops! Shortly after sharing the brief performance clip, Chrissy returned to Twitter to share that she got in trouble for giving her fans a teaser

Whoops! Shortly after sharing the brief performance clip, Chrissy returned to Twitter to share that she got in trouble for giving her fans a teaser 

Obviously the reprimand was not harsh because Chrissy did not remove the video or updates from her social media.

The star also hit back at critics who complained about the family’s in-person inauguration attendance and the fact John isn’t performing virtually amid the pandemic. 

There is also heightened security in the city due to the recent riots at the United States Capitol, which have made the city nearly impossible to navigate for local residents.  

Chrissy hit back with: ‘For f**ks sake why are you guys always always mad at me, all I wanna do is make you happy or at least leave you with a neutral feeling of indifference.

'True heroes': The star had shared several clips of John rehearsing surrounded by military members and posted pictures of herself posing with the National Guard at the Capitol

‘True heroes’: The star had shared several clips of John rehearsing surrounded by military members and posted pictures of herself posing with the National Guard at the Capitol

Performance: John will perform on TV special, Celebrating America, which will commemorate the inauguration of Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris

Performance: John will perform on TV special, Celebrating America, which will commemorate the inauguration of Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris 

Chrissy also reminded those upset at D.C.’s current lockdown restrictions that it is not directly her fault, but that she feels their frustration during such a volatile time.

‘This is not my fault but I’m sorry you’re frustrated. I just like to share what we are up to and whatnot,’ she explained.

John will perform on TV special, Celebrating America, which will commemorate the inauguration of Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris.

Eva Longoria and Little Fires Everywhere actress Kerry Washington will also be involved in the 90-minute show hosted by Tom Hanks.

Other stars included in the line-up are Demi Lovato, Jon Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake. 

Hitting back: The star also hit back at critics who complained about the family's in-person inauguration attendance and the fact John isn't performing virtually amid the pandemic

Hitting back: The star also hit back at critics who complained about the family’s in-person inauguration attendance and the fact John isn’t performing virtually amid the pandemic 

In a different tweet, she wrote: 'For f**ks sake why are you guys always always mad at me, all I wanna do is make you happy or at least leave you with a neutral feeling of indifference.'

In a different tweet, she wrote: ‘For f**ks sake why are you guys always always mad at me, all I wanna do is make you happy or at least leave you with a neutral feeling of indifference.’  

Lady Gaga pictured with Joe Biden in 2017. She performed the national anthem at his inauguration Wednesday

Lady Gaga pictured with Joe Biden in 2017. She performed the national anthem at his inauguration Wednesday

Categories
Headlines UK London Newcastle

What IS holding up Britain’s great Covid vaccination push?

Fears Britain’s great Covid vaccination rollout had stagnated were sparked yesterday after official data revealed the number of doses dished out had fallen for three days in a row.   

And with less than a month to go until Number 10’s target of vaccinating 14million of the most vulnerable people expires, pressure is growing on officials to pick up pace. 

In order to meet the lockdown-easing goal, the UK must average more than 350,000 doses a day from now until February 15. 

Fewer than 210,000 vaccines were administered on Monday but yesterday’s figure — which is reported today — is above 300,000 in England alone. Department of Health bosses will provide a UK-wide vaccine update later this afternoon. 

Government sources say there are ‘a lot of moving parts’ which contributed to the slowdown, including constraints on supply, staffing shortages within the NHS and difficulties contacting the remaining over-80s and covering care homes among the factors.   

Here, MailOnline delves into some of the factors that could be hampering the roll-out.

IS A LACK OF SUPPLY TO BLAME?

Pfizer — the manufacturer of one of the three Covid vaccines approved in the UK — has warned supplies would be dented this month and the next.

The drug giant is revamping its factory in the Belgian town of Puurs to allow it to pump out up to 38million doses each week. Currently it can manufacture 25million shots each week.

The American firm last Friday warned Britain to expect delays this month and into next month while upgrades were made at its factory, which supplies doses to all of Europe.

Norway was told it would receive 17 per cent fewer doses (36,075 compared to 43,875) this week than expected due to the hold-ups, giving clues about how Britain might be impact by the delays.  

However, Britain does not provide details of daily deliveries, so it’s impossible to tell how much the scheme is being hampered in the UK.

BioNTech, the German firm partnered with Pfizer to manufacture the vaccine, said that supply would revert to normal levels from January 25. But German health chiefs warned the issues would last for three to four weeks.

Ministers have always said that supply will be the ‘constraining factor’ in the vaccine rollout.

AstraZeneca said its 2m dose a week target — based on the UK’s total order of 100m divided by 52 weeks — was achievable by the end of this month but, again, there is no way to tell if it is meeting that supply yet.

Government sources have dismissed claims there are 21million doses of vaccines already in the country, although they refused to give details of stocks saying it would be a security risk. 

Pfizer's supplies have been dented by a factory upgrade at its plant in Belgium (pictured) which will continue into next month

Pfizer’s supplies have been dented by a factory upgrade at its plant in Belgium (pictured) which will continue into next month

IS AN UNFAIR DISTRIBUTION OF VACCINES TO BLAME? 

Data shows huge regional differences in the number of people vaccinated against Covid.

For example, the English region leading the vaccine race, the Midlands, has given 764,557 first doses to its population of 10.6million.

Whereas the number of people being immunised in London was the second lowest in England (423,733), despite cases remaining among the highest in the country.

It has meant areas such as Slough and Newcastle have successfully immunised 100 per cent of their elderly care home residents while London has barely protected half.

The exact reason for the regional disparities has not been explained by No10.

But it has been blamed on a simplistic formula that did not take into account the size of GP practices and the number of patients on their registers.

London mayor Sadiq Khan told the Guardian that ‘the government’s original distribution formula meant that London missed out on its early fair share of the vaccine’.

He added that the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi ‘assured me that supply and distribution will increase, and an amount of the vaccine that reflects our size, density and the level of need in our city is delivered’. 

More than 4million Britons have now had their first dose — but rates vary across the country

More than 4million Britons have now had their first dose — but rates vary across the country 

IS THE HOLD-UP BECAUSE OFFICIALS HAVE TO TEST BATCHES?

Each batch must be tested for quality by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), part of the UK’s medical regulator. The process takes at least five days. 

A sample from each vaccine batch – which can contain hundreds of thousands of doses – is biologically tested for quality and safety.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says this is essential to ensure each batch is safe and there were no errors in its production. 

Manufacturers must also carry out their own tests on each batch before submitting results as evidence to the NIBSC. Delays in providing these details – or any failure to meet standards – can slow the whole process down.

Only once both sets of tests have been completed – and the manufacturer’s results deemed acceptable – is a batch released by regulators for use by the NHS.

But as more doses are produced and delivered laboratories face a mounting workload as they handle quality control.

There are yet to be any accusations that the tests are slowing down the distribution of the vaccine, although this may be happening if doses cannot be released fast enough for the NHS to administer. 

Covid-19 vaccines pictured being tested before they are rolled out for use. These tests can take days, slowing down the delivery of supplies

Covid-19 vaccines pictured being tested before they are rolled out for use. These tests can take days, slowing down the delivery of supplies

OR COULD PACKAGING THE FINAL DOSES BE BEHIND THE SLOWDOWN?

While the Pfizer vaccines come pre-prepared, some of the Oxford University ones are filled and packed into vials at manufacturing plants in the UK.

There are concerns over shortages of glass vials, but Government sources have insisted this is not the source of the current slowdown.

But experts have warned this could cause issues further down the line, when the UK factories have to start juggling multiple vaccines s well as other non-Covid products.

Categories
Headlines UK Sheffield

Man accused of raping and murdering student Libby Squire, 21, says he ‘felt sorry for her’

CCTV has been released of what prosecution say is the moment a butcher stalked a 21-year-old student before raping and murdering her. 

Pawel Relowicz, 26, allegedly lured Ms Squire into his car as she walking through Hull’s student area while ‘drunk and vulnerable’ after a night out. 

Footage shown at Relowicz’s trial is said to capture the moment the defendant first spotted Ms Squire as she sat on a wall alone on Beverley Road.

He then walked in the shadows in an attempt to avoid raising her suspicions, Sheffield Crown Court heard. 

The prosecution say Relowicz then ‘stalked’ Ms Squire from the opposite side of the street before ‘darting’ over to intercept her. 

He is accused of then driving Ms Squire to the Oak Road playing fields before raping and murdering her. 

Footage shown at Relowicz’s trial is said to capture the moment the defendant (in red)  ‘stalked’ Ms Squire (green) from the other side of the road

The prosecution say Relowicz then 'stalked' Ms Squire from the opposite side of the street before 'darting' over to intercept her

The prosecution say Relowicz then ‘stalked’ Ms Squire from the opposite side of the street before ‘darting’ over to intercept her

According to the prosecution, the 10-minute long footage shows Relowicz ‘intercepting’ Libby after spotting her at the junction between Beverley Road and Haworth Street.

The footage starts with what is believed to be Relowicz parked in Haworth Street, before stepping out of his Vauxhall Astra at 11.55pm on January 31, 2019, and walking in the direction of Beverley Road.

At 11.57pm, a red arrow (Relowicz) and a green arrow (Libby), allegedly shows the two of them stood near each other at the bus stop at the junction with Beverley Road and Haworth Street.

It is then claimed by the prosecution that Relowicz can be seen walking away from Libby and walking across Beverley Road in the direction of Beresford Avenue.

For the next few minutes, Ms Squire can be seen wandering near to the bus stop and heading towards the nearby Endsleigh Centre.

At 11.59pm, it is claimed Relowicz can be seen emerging from the direction of Beresford Avenue and walking up Beverley Road in the direction of the Endsleigh Centre on the opposite side of the road to Libby.

Ms Squire then disappears into the grounds of the Endsleigh Centre.

At exactly midnight, the figure believed to be Relowicz then crosses Beverley Road towards the entrance to the Endsleigh Centre.

The arrows showing the whereabouts of Libby and the accused disappear, with Libby reappearing from the entrance of the Centre at 12.01pm.

Seconds later the red arrow emerges from the Centre’s entrance and moves towards Libby, with the pair waiting a second or two then walking towards the bus stop.

At 12.02pm, the CCTV appears to show them near to the bus stop, before they walk down to Haworth Street.

The footage then cuts to CCTV in Haworth Street, where the lights on what is believed to be Relowicz’s Vauxhall Astra flash.

Moments later, the prosecution say Relowicz can be seen opening the driver’s door of the vehicle. The red ring around the ankle refers to the black stripes on Relowicz’s jeans previously discussed by the prosecution.

It is claimed the defendant then sits in the driver’s seat with his legs facing to the side and out of the car, with his car door remaining open.

Ms Squire can no longer be seen.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, is accused of raping and murdering 21-year-old student Libby Squire

He told police he 'felt sorry for her' after seeing her crying and offered her a lift home in his car, Sheffield Crown Court heard

Pawel Relowicz, 26, who is accused of raping and murdering 21-year-old student Libby Squire, told police he ‘felt sorry for her’ after seeing her crying and offered her a lift home in his car, Sheffield Crown Court heard

On Tuesday, the jury at his trial also watched CCTV footage which showed his and Ms Squire's movements on the night she disappeared

On Tuesday, the jury at his trial also watched CCTV footage which showed his and Ms Squire’s movements on the night she disappeared

At 12.05pm another vehicle drives down Haworth Street, and past what is said to be Relowicz, with him standing up as it drives out of view of the camera. Relowicz then moves out of view towards Beverley Road.

The CCTV angle switches again to show Haworth Street from the opposite direction at 12.06pm. A figure, believed to be Relowicz, can be seen walking near to the top of Haworth Street at the junction with Beverley Road.

Libby can then be seen walking close by to him.

This part of the footage isn’t as clear, however the prosecution say it shows the moment Libby is seen getting into Relowicz’s car. 

At 12.08pm, a headlight can be seen turning on, with the car pulling out and driving in the direction away from Beverley Road.

The CCTV footage then switches back to that in Haworth Street, and back to 12.07pm, where prosecution say Libby can be seen getting into the passenger’s side of Relowicz’s car.

The red arrow, signalling the alleged movements of the defendant, show Relowicz opening the driver’s side door and sitting in the driver’s seat. The car’s headlights are turned on, and the car drives off away from Beverley Road.     

It came as retired detective constable Claire Jackson, of Humberside Police, read a transcript of Relowicz’s first interviews after he was arrested on suspicion of the abduction of Ms Squire.

CCTV timeline of the night Libby Squire disappeared 

Around 11.20pm on January 31 – Ms Squire and her friends are seen arriving at The Welly nightclub on Beverley Road.

11.21pm – footage from inside the entrance to The Welly shows Ms Squire standing to one side speaking to her friends after being refused entry.

11.26pm – Ms Squire’s friends are seen walking into The Welly and a taxi, containing Ms Squire, is seen setting off behind them.

11.26pm to 11.52pm – Relowicz drives his silver Vauxhall Astra from Cranbrook Avenue to Haworth Street – with a 20-minute stop in Alexandra Road.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said: ‘The journey from Cranbrook Avenue to Haworth Street is not an unbroken journey in time. There’s a period of time when the vehicle stops again in Alexandra Road.’

11.29pm – CCTV footage shows Ms Squire’s taxi turning from Beverley Road on to Wellesley Avenue, where she lived with three other students, the court heard.

11.34pm – Mr Grandidge showed footage of Ms Squire at the door of a house on Wellesley Avenue, near its junction with Beverley Road.

The jury has heard that Ms Squire went into this house after one of its residents heard her crying outside.

11.36pm – Ms Squire is seen leaving the house and walking on to Beverley Road. She crosses the road and continues towards the junction with Haworth Street.

11.39pm – Ms Squire is seen falling to the ground.

Dashcam footage captured by a passing motorist shows Ms Squire on the pavement, ‘very close’ to the kerb.

11.40pm – footage shows a silver Citroen Picasso, containing Roland Jacobs and Alan Jones, stopping and Mr Jacobs getting out and walking to Ms Squire. He is seen helping her up off the ground before sitting her on a wall.

11.49pm – Mr Jacobs and Mr Jones drive away in the Citroen. The jury has heard that Mr Jacobs could not understand Ms Squire, who started to swear at him, and they left after trying to help for just short of 10 minutes.

11.52pm – another passer-by, Lorna Allen, is seen approaching Ms Squire.

11.57pm – Relowicz is seen getting out of his car on Haworth Street and walking on to Beverley Road past Ms Squire, crossing the road, and going out of sight into Beresford Avenue.

11.59pm – Ms Squire is seen walking down Beverley Road. Mr Wright described her as ‘moving from side to side on the pavement’ and Mr Grandidge told the jury she ‘stumbled’ on to the road at one point.

Thirty seconds later, Relowicz leaves Beresford Avenue and walks in the same direction on the opposite side of the road. After around half a minute, he crosses the road and ‘intercepts’ Ms Squire. They both disappear into the grounds of a former nunnery.

12.01am February 1 Mr Wright told the jury that Ms Squire and Relowicz are seen emerging from the grounds after 58 seconds and walking back up Beverley Road.

12.02am one minute and nine seconds later, they reach the entrance to Haworth Street.

12.03am – Relowicz returns to his car and is seen sitting in the driver’s seat with his feet outside the vehicle.

12.06am – a Renault Scenic, which has been parked in Haworth Street, leaves and Relowicz is seen standing up and walking towards Beverley Road.

The jury was shown enhanced footage from a camera on Haworth Street showing two figures walking across the end of the street before appearing to stand together and then moving towards Relowicz’s car.

Footage from another camera showed Ms Squire’s leg stepping into the passenger side of the car before she enters and sits down. Relowicz is then seen coming to the driver’s side and getting into the car.

12.08am – the vehicle leaves Haworth Street and is seen on CCTV footage travelling to Oak Road playing fields.

 

The jury of five men and seven women heard that he was arrested at his home on the evening of February 6 and was interviewed for the first time at 10.13pm that night.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, said Relowicz, who worked as a butcher at Karro Foods, in Malton, North Yorkshire, was shown a picture of Ms Squire and asked if she was alive.

Ms Jackson said the defendant replied: ‘I don’t know? How am I supposed to know?’

When asked where Ms Squire was, he answered: ‘I didn’t abduct her.’

In his next interview, which took place at 1.59pm the following day, Relowicz told detectives: ‘I know nothing and this is the whole truth. I haven’t kidnapped anybody, this isn’t kidnapping is it?

‘I even want to help so that she’s found.’

He told police he parked in Haworth Street on the evening of January 31 because he planned to go for a run, but he saw Ms Squire ‘sitting crying’, the court heard.

He said: ‘I feel sorry for the girl because she was crying.’

The court heard that Relowicz told police: ‘I walked past the girl and she says to me ‘Stop please’. She said ‘I need help’. And I was asking ‘What’s up?’.

‘She went ‘I need to go home, I need my mother’ and she was crying, she was all in tears.’

He added: ‘She was drunk and it seems to me that either she had been taking something or somebody had given her something. She was behaving strangely.’

He said he offered to give Ms Squire a lift home in his car and described how she ‘nearly walked on to the road, where the cars were coming’ and held his hand as they walked, the court heard.

Ms Jackson said he told police he sat in his car to warm it up and, when Ms Squire got in, he fastened her seatbelt for her.

Relowicz told police he asked Ms Squire for directions as he drove and she directed him towards the Oak Road playing fields, where he said he would take his dog and son, the court heard.

But he said he told her to get out of his car because she looked like she might vomit and she fell over in the snow and knelt on the floor, crying, the jury was told.

The court heard that Relowicz told police he drove away and saw Ms Squire walking on the pavement.

He said in his interview: ‘I know nothing more about it. I’ve never seen her since.’

He told police he returned home, sat with his wife, had a bath and watched a film but, at some point, drove to see if Ms Squire was ‘lying anywhere’, the court heard.

He said: ‘I drove but there was nothing lying so I drove round and that was it.’

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

Tuesday’s exchanges came after the Sheffield court heard witness testimony from the last person to see Ms Squire alive.

Sainsbury’s manager Matthew Handisides heard her scream ‘don’t leave me’ just moments before she disappeared, the court heard. 

Mr Handisides saidhe was walking home down Beverley Road in Hull when he noticed the drunken student.

He said his attention was initially grabbed by a car with its headlights on before he was drawn to a ‘movement in the shadows’.

He said: ‘I noticed a young girl or lady on the ground. She was sat with her legs akimbo [with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards].

‘She was yelling, not towards me but to the car or the shadows, ‘don’t leave me’ I made an assessment that she was very intoxicated. 

The ‘don’t leave me’ was more angry or cross rather than pleading or anything like that.’

Mr Handisides said he thought the car was of medium size but that he couldn’t make out its colour or if anyone was inside it because of the light.

He added he assumed the stricken woman was talking to her partner, although there was no mention of one, and carried on walking home.

‘From being a student myself I have plenty of female friends and have seen those kinds of interactions on nights out,’ he said.

‘Although I didn’t see a boyfriend, the way she was saying it was similar to how I’d seen my friends interact with their boyfriends.’

Prosecutor Mr Wright asked if he saw her again, to which the witness replied ‘no’. He also replied ‘no’ when asked if he saw any other man close to her at the time. 

The court also previously heard heard evidence from three of Ms Squire’s friends who were with her hours before she disappeared on January 31.

Her housemate Amelia Cummins said they began drinking while getting ready at home before going on to a house party and a club.

A detective showed Sheffield Crown Court images of Relowicz and Ms Squire, taken from cameras around Hull, East Yorkshire, on the evening of January 31 2019 and into the following morning

A detective showed Sheffield Crown Court images of Relowicz and Ms Squire, taken from cameras around Hull, East Yorkshire, on the evening of January 31 2019 and into the following morning

Detective Constable James Grandidge, of Humberside Police, played a number of CCTV clips to the jury of five men and seven women showing the separate movements of Ms Squire and Relowicz and the moments they were seen together

Detective Constable James Grandidge, of Humberside Police, played a number of CCTV clips to the jury of five men and seven women showing the separate movements of Ms Squire and Relowicz and the moments they were seen together

In a written statement read by the prosecution, she said: ‘We all had a good time, Libby was happy and funny. She was laughing and generally enjoying herself.

‘Libby appeared fine in herself and didn’t appear to have anything worrying her or any concerns.’

Ms Cummins said they began getting ready at around 7.30pm and that Ms Squire drunk two large vodka cranberries followed by a vodka coke and a bottle of wine after moving on to a friend’s house.

At the house, she chatted with a friend from her philosophy course at the University of Hull called Nathan Murphy, the court heard.

In a statement read about by the prosecution, he said: ‘Libby was in good spirits. She was welcoming and friendly.

‘Other than being cold and drunk she seemed fine in all other respects.’

Mr Relowicz, of Hull, denies raping and murdering the philosophy student on February 1 2019

Miss Squire died in Hull two years ago

Mr Relowicz, of Hull, denies raping and murdering the philosophy student on February 1 2019

Ms Squire left the house party for a club at around 11pm, Ms Cummins said, but that she was ‘struggling walking’.

In a statement, Ms Squire’s other housemate Chloe Wise said: ‘As we walked to the club Libby’s level of intoxication became more noticeable.

‘I was of the belief that the fresh air might have hit her.’

After being refused entry to the club for being ‘too drunk’ Ms Cummins and Ms Wise put Libby into a taxi and sent her back to their shared house, the court heard.

The court also heard from two more witnesses who spotted Libby on the street before she vanished.

University of Hull mechanical engineering student Joshua Scott said he was walking home from work at around 11.45am when he saw her.

In a statement read out by the prosecution, he said: ‘The female looked really drunk and seemed unable to stand. She was being loud, either singing or shouting, but she didn’t seem distressed.’

Mr Scott said by the time he got to the woman she was already being helped by Mr Jones, who the court heard from this morning, so he carried on walking home.    

Categories
Headlines UK London

Nine Met Police officers are hit with £200 Covid fines

Nine Met Police officers are hit with £200 Covid fines after being spotted tucking into breakfast INSIDE London café during lockdown… while force was cracking down harder on public

  • Scotland Yard fines and slams officers for failing to lead by example in lockdown 
  • Blow for Met as Commissioner Dick urges public to call police on neighbours 
  • A passer-by caught squad cars outside Chef House Kitchen in south east London
  • Brian Jennings, 44, regularly walks past the cafe, near the Greenwich Patrol Base
  • IT manager said he was annoyed after reading about the tough police crackdown

Nine hypocritical Metropolitan Police officers have been fined £200 each after they were spotted by the public ‘flouting’ coronavirus curbs while tucking into breakfast together inside a London café during lockdown, it was revealed today.

A passer-by spotted several squad cars outside The Chef House Kitchen in Woolwich and took a photograph of the policemen and women tucking into their breakfasts despite a nationwide ban on indoor dining.

The images from Greenwich, which has one of the highest infection rates in the country, caused outrage as Britain sits in the middle of a third national lockdown where up to 1,600 people are dying every day. 

There was also anger because Scotland Yard is in the midst of a crisis  because about 1,700 Metropolitan Police staff are off sick or self-isolating.

Following an investigation into the incident on January 9, it was determined that the officers involved should be issued with fixed penalty notices to the value of £200 each.

Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin, South East BCU Commander, said: ‘Police officers are tasked with enforcing the legislation that has been introduced to stop the spread of the virus and the public rightly expect that they will set an example through their own actions.

‘It is disappointing that on this occasion, these officers have fallen short of that expectation. It is right that they will pay a financial penalty and that they will be asked to reflect on their choices.’ 

A passer-by caught several squad cars outside The Chef House Kitchen while officers sat inside at 9am, despite a ban on gatherings and table service. Nine officers have been  fined £200 each

Brian Jennings, 44, regularly walks past the cafe, near the Greenwich Patrol Base in south east London for exercise and saw them sitting inside eating

Brian Jennings, 44, regularly walks past the cafe, near the Greenwich Patrol Base in south east London for exercise and saw them sitting inside eating

Snitch on your neighbour, Met Police chief says

Britain’s most senior police officer has urged the public to report ‘persistent’ Covid rule flouters to police. 

Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick revealed police in London are receiving ‘hundreds of calls a day’ from concerned people reporting their neighbours for flouting lockdown restrictions. 

She said there is a ‘small minority’ of people failing to comply with the national lockdown with people still holding house parties, and keeping restaurants, pubs and cafes open despite the huge number of daily Covid cases and deaths. 

It comes as Dame Cressida raised concerns that her frontline colleagues were not amongst the first to be vaccinated against Covid amid a rise in spitting attacks on officers. 

Official statistics released yesterday show a further 37,535 cases of coronavirus were recorded across Britain.

Speaking on an LBC radio phone-in, Dame Cressida said: ‘If you do have concerns that somebody is persistently not complying with the restrictions, with the regulations, then, yeah, you should talk to us.

‘If you feel comfortable to do so, then talk to us.’ 

The group were spotted 11 days ago as their boss Cressida Dick vowed to crack down harder on lockdown flouters. The Met Commissioner said it was inconceivable that people didn’t the rules by now.

She has also urged the public to call the police on neighbours if the flout the rules. 

But her own officers were shamed by Brian Jennings, 44, regularly walks past the cafe, near the Greenwich Patrol Base in south east London for exercise and saw them sitting inside eating.

The IT manager from Blackheath said he was outraged by the site after reading of members of the public who fined for going for a walk with a coffee. 

He said: ‘There’s a large police depot on the Thames riverside near me. I walk past it a few times a week because it’s a nice quiet place to take exercise.

‘On the neighbouring industrial estate there’s a cafe. We noticed in the first lockdown and then we noticed it again today that, regularly, first thing in the morning there will be half a dozen squad cars outside and every table full of police officers having breakfast in there.

‘It’s not a one off it’s been going on for a few months. You read about people getting fined in the papers and it seems hypocritical as there [looks like there is little] social distancing in the cafe.

‘It’s a public cafe and it’s open and its serving table service in lockdown – it is not good.

‘It’s about as bad as it gets in the UK with a virus and it’s insensitive and stupid. I think it’s really bad.’

He added: ‘I find the regular, continued flouting of social distancing, and lockdown regulations by the police hypocritical and foolish at this time when the infection rates in Greenwich Borough are among the highest in the UK.’

The Chef House Kitchen refused to comment on the case. 

It comes after police have cracked down harder on rule breaking. Pictured: Kensington Palace Gardens in London

It comes after police have cracked down harder on rule breaking. Pictured: Kensington Palace Gardens in London

The Met Police said at the time: ‘We are aware of the images. A local investigation is underway to identify the officers and establish the full circumstances.

‘Our officers are responsible for enforcing Covid related legislation and it is important that any allegations of breaches by our own staff are properly investigated and the appropriate action taken.’ 

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Tiffany Trump reveals she is ENGAGED to ‘amazing fiancé’ Michael Boulos

Tiffany Trump used her father’s final day as President to announce that she is engaged to her billionaire partner Michael Boulos, while sharing an image of them celebrating their happy news together at the White House.    

The 27-year-old First Daughter shared the news in a gushing social media post on Tuesday, posting a smiling picture of herself and 23-year-old Michael posing outside the West Wing – having seized the opportunity to snag a final White House photo together before President Donald Trump leaves office on Wednesday.

In her post, the Georgetown Law graduate described the engagement as her most ‘special’ White House memory, while paying tribute to her ‘amazing fiancé’, whom she has been dating for just over two years.   

‘It has been an honor to celebrate many milestones, historic occasions and create memories with my family here at the White House, none more special than my engagement to my amazing fiancé Michael!’ she wrote. 

News: Tiffany Trump, 27, used her father’s last day as President to announce her engagement to billionaire Michael Boulos, 23, while sharing an image of them posing outside the West Wing

Timing: The First Daughter chose to share the news on her father's final day in office, describing her engagement as her most 'special' White House memory

Timing: The First Daughter chose to share the news on her father’s final day in office, describing her engagement as her most ‘special’ White House memory 

‘Feeling blessed and excited for the next chapter!’ 

A source told Page Six that Michael proposed to Tiffany in the Rose Garden at the White house over the weekend, after they flew in from Miami, where they’ve been staying. 

‘The family is delighted,’ the insider said.  

In the photo Tiffany shared, the newly-engaged couple is seen posing together in the West Wing Colonnade, with their arms around each other – while she proudly shows off the large diamond engagement ring that Michael presented her with.   

Bling: The image of the couple taken at the White House features Tiffany's large diamond engagement ring

Bling: The image of the couple taken at the White House features Tiffany’s large diamond engagement ring 

The ring was designed at Samer Halimeh New York the jeweler confirmed to DailyMail.com 

The bride-to-be is dressed in a classic short-sleeved dress, which she accessorized with sparkly black heels. Her long blonde hair is styled straight and loose around her shoulders as she smiles for the camera. 

Meanwhile, Michael is seen sporting a dark suit, gray tie, and an American flag pin showing support for his fiancée’s home country. 

The business development manager, who is the heir to the multi-billion dollar Nigerian conglomerate Boulos Enterprises, was born in Lebanon and grew up in Nigeria before moving stateside to be with Tiffany. 

Michael responded to her engagement post in the comments, writing: ‘Love you honey.’ 

He also proudly announced the joyous news on his Instagram page using the same photo from the White House – likely the last image that the couple posed for before Trump’s presidency comes to an end. 

‘Got engaged to the love of my life! Looking forward to our next chapter together,’ he captioned the photo. 

Mystery: It's unclear if Michael, 23, asked President Donald Trump for his daughter's hand in marriage, but he has spent plenty of time with Tiffany's father in recent months

Mystery: It’s unclear if Michael, 23, asked President Donald Trump for his daughter’s hand in marriage, but he has spent plenty of time with Tiffany’s father in recent months 

Support: Michael spent much time by Tiffany's side while she campaigned for her father across the country ahead of last year's presidential election

Support: Michael spent much time by Tiffany’s side while she campaigned for her father across the country ahead of last year’s presidential election 

The timing of the couple’s announcement sparked several questions on social media, with a few users asking why they chose to reveal the news of their engagement in the final hours of Trump’s presidency, when Tiffany’s family is facing such an uncertain future.

‘Interesting timing, it must be true love,’ one Twitter user commented. 

Happy: Tiffany's mother Marla Maples, 57, celebrated the news on her Instagram Stories

Happy: Tiffany’s mother Marla Maples, 57, celebrated the news on her Instagram Stories 

Another hit out at the law school grad for taking advantage of her father’s final day in office to share her own personal news, writing: ‘Again [Tiffany] read the room, just read the room.’ 

Michael and Tiffany’s engagement certainly comes amid a time of great upheaval for the Trump family – many of whom are expected to put down roots in Florida in the coming months, including the newly-engaged couple who are said to have been looking for properties together in Miami.  

The couple has been staying at the swanky Setai Hotel in Miami’s glamorous South Beach neighborhood, but a source close to Tiffany told DailyMail.com last week that she is on the hunt for a place that the couple can call their own.  

‘She has been in Miami looking at properties,’ the insider revealed. ‘She was staying at the Setai Hotel while she was viewing different options.’ 

President Trump and his wife Melania are planning to retire at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, after they leave White House life behind in January. 

The glitzy town is only a little over an hour north of Miami, where Tiffany’s sister Ivanka Trump has already purchased land to build a property.   

One of the family: Michael has spent an increasing amount of time by Tiffany's side at official White House events, including a Christmas party hosted by President Trump last month

One of the family: Michael has spent an increasing amount of time by Tiffany’s side at official White House events, including a Christmas party hosted by President Trump last month 

Official: Tiffany and Michael started dating in 2018, and she shared her first photo with him in January 2019, after attending the White House Christmas party together

Official: Tiffany and Michael started dating in 2018, and she shared her first photo with him in January 2019, after attending the White House Christmas party together 

Tiffany and Michael have been dating since they met in Mykonos, Greece, in the summer of 2018, and they have both spent plenty of quality time with each other’s parents. 

Just a few months ago, Tiffany’s mother Marla Maples gushed on her Instagram Stories that Michael is ‘like a son’ to her, and she couldn’t be happier about their engagement. 

Shortly after her daughter went public with the news, the 57-year-old shared Tiffany’s post on her Instagram Stories to congratulate the newly-engaged couple. 

‘Celebrating God’s endless blessing of love,’ Marla wrote. ‘May God’s blessings & love always light your path. Love you so much, mom.’ 

Michael has also spent plenty of time with Tiffany’s father, President Trump, whom he has shown great support for.  

He was often by her side on the campaign trail and attended a number of political events with her and her family, including appearances at the White House. 

While Trump likely knows about his daughter’s engagement, he is unable to  congratulate her on Twitter, his main mode of public communication. 

He was banned from the platform over concerns his statements could provoke more violence following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.  

It’s unclear if Michael asked President Trump for his youngest daughter’s hand in marriage, though a source told Page Six it’s ‘highly likely’ considering the proposal took place at the White House. 

Tiffany started dating Michael less than a year after she and her college boyfriend Ross Mechanic called it quits in late 2017. 

Going public: Tiffany was first spotted with Michael at the Taoray Wang show during New York Fashion Week in September 2018

Going public: Tiffany was first spotted with Michael at the Taoray Wang show during New York Fashion Week in September 2018

Not yet: The couple browsed engagement rings at the Samer Halimeh New York store in London in June 2019, but Tiffany only picked up a $663,000 diamond 'friendship' bracelet

Not yet: The couple browsed engagement rings at the Samer Halimeh New York store in London in June 2019, but Tiffany only picked up a $663,000 diamond ‘friendship’ bracelet 

She met Ross, now 26, when they were both undergraduate students at The University of Pennsylvania. They dated for two years and were together throughout her father’s 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent inauguration. 

It’s unclear if politics played a part in her breakup from Ross, who was a registered Democrat at the time. They had taken a trip to Europe together in July 2017, but just two months later they appeared to be living separate lives.  

Rumors of trouble in paradise began swirling in September 2017 when Ross set his once-public Instagram profile to private.  

Five months later, he confirmed the split when he made things ‘Instagram official’ with his new girlfriend, sharing a photo of himself kissing her on his page.  

Tiffany was first spotted with Michael at the Taoray Wang show during New York Fashion Week in September 2018. She reportedly took him to her father’s Mar-Lago estate for Thanksgiving dinner that year.    

She shared her first photo with Michael in January 2019, after attending the White House Christmas party together. 

The majority of their relationship was a long-distance one, with Tiffany attending law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Michael based in London.  

After a year together, they were spotted browsing engagement rings at the Samer Halimeh New York store in London in June 2019, but Tiffany only picked up a $663,000 diamond ‘friendship’ bracelet while at the jeweler’s Knightsbridge store.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the manager of the store, Maan Chakhchir, said the couple is ‘very down-to-earth and clearly very happy together.’

‘They seem very much in love. If they get engaged, I know that Mr. Halimeh would be perfect for designing the ring,’ he said at the time.   

Family affair: Tiffany, Michael, and his parents, Massad and Sarah Boulos, attended a holiday party hosted by President Trump and First Lady Melania at the White House in 2019

Family affair: Tiffany, Michael, and his parents, Massad and Sarah Boulos, attended a holiday party hosted by President Trump and First Lady Melania at the White House in 2019

Nope: Last year, Michael shut down rumors they were engaged after ringing in 2020 at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida

Nope: Last year, Michael shut down rumors they were engaged after ringing in 2020 at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida 

Ex files: Tiffany started dating Michael less than a year after she and her college boyfriend Ross Mechanic (pictured at the Taoray Wang show in February 2017) called it quits in late 2017

Ex files: Tiffany started dating Michael less than a year after she and her college boyfriend Ross Mechanic (pictured at the Taoray Wang show in February 2017) called it quits in late 2017

The couple’s engagement comes one year after Michael shut down rumors that they were getting married. In January 2020, he insisted that the engagement party invitation that was circulating online was fake.  

‘FYI though, the letter/invitation that has spread around in the past two days is not real,’ he wrote on his Instagram Story at the tike. ‘It’s been completely made up…’ 

However, wedding bells were clearly on his mind as they announced their engagement exactly a year later, though some have considered it incredibly poor timing on her part.

Earlier this month, Tiffany came under fire for an ill-timed tweet after she sent a birthday message to her brother Eric Trump amid the siege on the U.S. Capitol.  

‘Happy Birthday @erictrump I love you and I’m so grateful to always have you by my side!’ the president’s daughter tweeted on January 6, just minutes before the 6 p.m. Washington, D.C. curfew went into effect.

She also posted photos of herself with her brother, who turned 37, including one of the pair posing in front of the Washington Monument, which was the scene of unrest.

Social media users were quick to hit out at the president’s daughter, telling her to ‘read the room’.

‘Clearly haven’t spoken to your family or seen the news,’ one person tweeted.

Another simply told her to ‘read the room’ while someone else hit out saying: ‘Kind of a tone deaf and ill timed message isn’t it?’ 

Tiffany’s timing was perhaps all the more bizarre as she fired off the birthday message in between two tweets calling for peace. 

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Property searches double for the Cotswolds in lockdown

The already in-demand Cotswolds have reached new heights of desirability amid the coronavirus pandemic, new research has suggested.

The area’s pretty rural villages have long been a favourite among the rich and famous, with homes in the area owned by Kate Moss, Jeremy Clarkson, David Cameron, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and the Beckhams, to name but a few.

And the desire to stay at home in somewhere more picturesque means the area’s rolling hills and open spaces are even more sought-after, with online searches for properties in the Cotswolds doubling in the second half of last year.

The number of sales agreed in the Cotswolds (pictured) rose 100 per cent in September

Online searches on Rightmove for the Cotswolds rose 102 per cent in the last six months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The property website said the increase in searches came as people looked to relocate for a quieter life in the countryside.

Rightmove explained its focus on the Cotswolds, saying that it saw a big shift in the number of people who were looking to move to the countryside last year, and as one of the country’s most iconic rural regions, it wanted to examine whether the Cotswolds in particular had seen a surge in interest. 

The Cotswolds covers 787 square miles, stretching from just south of Stratford-upon-Avon to just south of Bath near Radstock. It lies across the boundaries of several English counties, including mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but also in parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

The number of sales being agreed by agents in the Cotswolds outperformed the South West as a whole, peaking in September, Rightmove said.

There was a 100 per cent annual rise in the number of sales that were agreed by agents in the Cotswolds in September. 

This two-bedroom cottage in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, is for sale for £555,000

This two-bedroom cottage in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, is for sale for £555,000

The cottage in Chipping Campden has a garden and is for sale via estate agents Knight Frank

The cottage in Chipping Campden has a garden and is for sale via estate agents Knight Frank

Rightmove found that Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire is where house prices increased the most in the Cotswolds in 2020.

Average asking prices in the leafy market town were up 14.8 per cent on 2019, an annual increase of £38,290.

The place with the biggest annual increases in buyer searches in the Cotswolds was celebrity hub Chipping Norton, up by 109.5 per cent, followed by Burford – up 82.3 per cent – and Chipping Campden, up 68.5 per cent.

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: ‘The headline market trend to emerge from 2020 was a huge jump in demand for rural areas and countryside living, and the Cotswolds ticks pretty much every box for home-movers seeking an escape to the country.

‘As a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, brimming with endless walking trails and tight-knit village communities, the Cotswolds represent much of what we hold dear about the great British outdoors.

‘It’s easy to see why the area is a magnet for people looking for a quieter life, and with remote working seemingly here to stay for many, I expect the popularity of the Cotswolds will continue to grow this year.’

This six-bedroom house near Minchinhampton, in Gloucestershire, is for sale for £1,495,000

This six-bedroom house near Minchinhampton, in Gloucestershire, is for sale for £1,495,000

Equestrian facilities: The six-bedroom house (as above) also boasts land and several stables

Equestrian facilities: The six-bedroom house (as above) also boasts land and several stables

Rupert Sweeting, of estate agents Knight Frank, described Cotswolds property viewing and buying as ‘completely frantic’ since the housing market re-opened in May.

He said: ‘In addition to the traditional reasons that have always attracted buyers to the Cotswolds, including the beautiful scenery, good schooling, and well-established transport links, the pandemic has drawn attention to how the Cotswolds can also offer a dreamy countryside lifestyle, strong broadband networks, and space and gardens without compromising convenient facilities.

‘After experiencing being cooped up during the multiple lockdowns with a small or no garden, city dwellers quickly realized the benefits of moving to the countryside.

‘The abundance of well-equipped towns and villages in the Cotswolds means that these urban buyers are able to achieve their dream countryside retreat without having to completely isolate themselves. ‘

He added that having the likes of Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford Farmshop around, while being about an hour and a half from the centre of London is an attraction for many buyers.’

‘The idealisation of the country perfectly reflects how the pandemic has seen people revaluate their day-to-day lives and consequently propelled the Cotswolds’ property market into a frenzy,’ he said.

This two-bedroom house in Wotton-Under-Edge is for sale for £500,000 via estate agents Fine & Country

This two-bedroom house in Wotton-Under-Edge is for sale for £500,000 via estate agents Fine & Country

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Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump ‘PROVOKED’ the MAGA riot in dramatic denunciation of president

Mitch McConnell denounced Donald Trump Tuesday, saying that the president was responsible for ‘provoking’ the MAGA mob who stormed the Capitol and murdered a police officer.

‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,’ the majority leader said on the Senate floor.

‘They tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like,’ McConnell continued.

‘But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation.’

The dramatic and unprompted intervention by the man who will be Republicans’ most senior leader when Trump leaves office came with less than 24 hours of his presidency remaining.

Adding to its resonance, the speech is one of the last acts of his time as Republican majority leader; he will become the minority leader once the two new Georgia Democratic senators are sworn in on Wednesday. 

It takes McConnell much closer to publicly declaring he will convict Trump at his Senate impeachment trial and gives significant cover to members of the GOP caucus to vote to convict too. 

But it also shows the deep divisions inside the Republican Senate, with the only members to make their positions known so far three who say they will not convict: Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Tom Cotton. 

McConnell and Schumer are waiting for Nancy Pelosi to send the single article of impeachment accusing Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection’ to them, which will begin the Senate trial. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday that Donald Trump ‘provoked’ the crowd who stormed the Capitol two weeks ago is his most outright denunciation of the president to date

'The mob was fed lies," McConnell said as the Senate reconvened on Tuesday. 'They were provoked by the president and other powerful people'

‘The mob was fed lies,’ McConnell said as the Senate reconvened on Tuesday. ‘They were provoked by the president and other powerful people’

'The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,' McConnell said of Trump's speech to thousands of his supporters before they descended on Capitol Hill

‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,’ McConnell said of Trump’s speech to thousands of his supporters before they descended on Capitol Hill

McConnell’s break with Trump comes as several Republicans, including former administration officials, turn against the president in the fallout of the Capitol riot by thousands of Trump supporters.

On Monday, former Attorney General Bill Barr told ITV News that the attack on the Capitol was ‘precipitated’ by Trump’s repeated claims of election fraud. He also compared those involved in the mob to Islamic terrorists.

‘That was the thing that precipitated riots on the Hill,’ Barr said when asked if the debate over election integrity contributed to the scene at the Capitol.

‘I’ll leave it to the people who are looking into the genesis of this to say whether incitement was involved,’ Barr said, stopping short of calling Trump’s words ‘incitement of insurrection.’

Hundreds were injured in the riot two weeks ago and five died, including a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who was hit over the head by a protester with a fire hydrant and a female pro-Trump demonstrator, Ashli Babbit, who was shot in the chest in the chaos. 

McConnell also praised law enforcement during his floor remarks Tuesday for already making more than 100 arrested related to the riot.

‘A great deal has already been said about the disgraceful events of January 6,’ the Kentucky Republican said. ‘More will be said in the weeks ahead. I understand the FBI has already made at least 100 arrests and the Justice Department reports more than 275 persons are under investigation, a number that is climbing fast.’

He added: ‘I want to commend the work of the department to swiftly investigate and bring offenders to justice.’

‘I want to reaffirm the huge respect and gratitude that I have and I believe all senators have for the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police, who put their own safety on the line every single day that they clock in and stand guard.’

He paid tribute to Sicknick, the only law enforcement to die as a result of the violent attack, as well as fellow Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood, who died three days after the riotin an off-duty suicide.

‘Neither the institution of Congress nor the American people will ever forget the bravery and the valor of Officer Brian Sicknick, who sacrificed himself to protect this place and those inside,’ McConnell said. ‘We’ll not forget our friend, Officer Howard Liebengood, and we’ll never forget our debt to all the brave USCP officers and their families.

He thanks the National Guard and other law enforcement entities for deploying to Washington to help patrol the nation’s capital in the weeks between the unprecedented attack and Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.As of Tuesday, around 25,000 National Guard members are stationed in D.C. as they prepare for potential attacks surrounding the presidential transition from Trump to Biden. 

The House voted last Wednesday on an impeachment article, but it is still unclear if enough Republicans in the Senate will cross the line to convict the president.

McConnell has already publicly given the OK for his caucus to convict Trump on ‘incitement of insurrection’ after the House voted last Wednesday to impeach the president on this charge.

Thousands of pro-Trump protesters descended on the Capitol Wednesday, January 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from voting to certify the election for Joe Biden

Thousands of pro-Trump protesters descended on the Capitol Wednesday, January 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from voting to certify the election for Joe Biden

The leader also said previously that he is genuinely undecided on which way he will vote.

Roy Blunt said Monday evening that there was a lot of damage done to the GOP’s ‘reputation’ in the Capitol breach earlier this month, but stopped short of saying if he would vote to convict. 

‘What happened here two weeks ago was one of the great stains on the history of the country, in my view. It was outrageous. It was totally unforgivable.’ Blunt told Norah O’Donnell on ‘CBS Evening News’ on Monday.

When asked about the potential of Trump using his last two days to pardon those involved in the storming of the Capitol two weeks ago, Blunt said: ‘I think that’d be disastrous. I think what they did is unpardonable.’

The Missouri senator is one of the two lawmakers put in charge of the inauguration – along with Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. 

McConnell, in the rest of his remarks Tuesday, suggested business will go forward as usual – even as impeachment plows forward and Senate Republicans will lose their majority as the party split comes to 50-50 this month.

‘Tomorrow President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in,’ McConnell said, echoing other lawmakers’ sentiments of a smoother-than-expected transition. ‘We’ll have a safe and successful inaugural right here on the west front of the Capitol, the space that President Bush 41 called ‘democracy’s front porch.’ Then we’ll move forward.’

‘Our work for the American people will continue, as it has for more than 230 years,’ he continued. ‘There are serious challenges that our nation needs to continue confronting, but there will also be great and hopeful opportunities for us to seize.’

He voiced his concern that the federal legislator will be so closely split going into the 117th Congress.

‘Certainly November’s elections did not hand any side a mandate for sweeping ideological change,’ McConnell said. ‘Americans elected a closely divided Senate, a closely divided House, and a presidential candidate who said he’d represent everyone.’ 

Blunt, although condemning the violent descent on the Capitol by around 1,000 Trump supporters, did not say if he would vote to convict Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection’ when the article of impeachment reaches the Senate.

‘THE PRESIDENT PROVOKED THE MOB WITH LIES.’ READ MITCH McCONNELL’S FULL SENATE DENUNCIATION OF TRUMP

The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty.

The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.

And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.

But we pressed on. We stood together, and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night.

We certified the people’s choice for their 46th president.

Tomorrow President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in. We’ll have a safe and successful inaugural right here on the west front of the Capitol, the space that President Bush 41 called ‘democracy’s front porch.’ Then we’ll move forward.

Our work for the American people will continue, as it has for more than 230 years. There are serious challenges that our nation needs to continue confronting, but there will also be great and hopeful opportunities for us to seize.

Certainly November’s elections did not hand any side a mandate for sweeping ideological change. Americans elected a closely divided Senate, a closely divided House, and a presidential candidate who said he’d represent everyone.

So our marching orders from the American people are clear — we’re to have a robust discussion and seek common ground. We are to pursue bipartisan agreement everywhere we can and check and balance one another respectfully where we must.

And through all of this we must always keep in mind that we’re all Americans. We all love this country, and we’re all in this together.

Now, on a related matter, a great deal has already been said about the disgraceful events of January 6. More will be said in the weeks ahead. I understand the FBI has already made at least 100 arrests and the Justice Department reports more than 275 persons are under investigation, a number that is climbing fast.

I want to commend the work of the department to swiftly investigate and bring offenders to justice.

As I’ve stated, January 6 saw failures of institutions, protocols, and planning. Those failures did not just leave Congress itself exposed. They also left the courageous men and women of the Capitol Police themselves in a totally untenable situation.

So today I want to reaffirm the huge respect and gratitude that I have and I believe all senators have for the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police, who put their own safety on the line every single day that they clock in and stand guard.

Neither the institution of Congress nor the American people will ever forget the bravery and the valor of Officer Brian Sicknick, who sacrificed himself to protect this place and those inside. We’ll not forget our friend, Officer Howard Liebengood, and we’ll never forget our debt to all the brave USCP officers and their families.

It is more than just comforting to come to work in a place protected by such fine men and women at risk to themselves. It is also very humbling.

We’re also grateful to the local officers from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, the federal law enforcement officers, the National Guard, the Secret Service, and all the other professionals who helped subdue the criminals and secure the Capitol and are working for peace this week.

Tomorrow a new president and vice president will swear their oaths of offices. They will also do so safely and securely because so many brave men and women have sworn their own oaths to support and defend our Constitution. We salute you all.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt called the Capitol storming two weeks ago 'one of the great stains on the history of the country' – he did not specifically condemn Donald Trump for any involvement in the attack

Republican Senator Roy Blunt called the Capitol storming two weeks ago ‘one of the great stains on the history of the country’ – he did not specifically condemn Donald Trump for any involvement in the attack

Blunt (right), along with Democrat Amy Klobcuhar (left), are in charge of Joe Biden's inauguration. Blunt said Trump pardoning any of those involved in the storming would be 'disastrous': 'I think what they did is unpardonable'

Blunt (right), along with Democrat Amy Klobcuhar (left), are in charge of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Blunt said Trump pardoning any of those involved in the storming would be ‘disastrous’: ‘I think what they did is unpardonable’

Blunt said small fixes, like repainting, had to take place to get the building ready for inauguration after the riots. Federal K-9 units sweep the building Tuesday before the ceremonies at the Capitol Wednesday

Blunt said small fixes, like repainting, had to take place to get the building ready for inauguration after the riots. Federal K-9 units sweep the building Tuesday before the ceremonies at the Capitol Wednesday

Instead of a massive crowd, this year 200,000 miniature flags occupy the National Mall where an audience would usually observe the inauguration

Instead of a massive crowd, this year 200,000 miniature flags occupy the National Mall where an audience would usually observe the inauguration 

GOP SENATORS DEMOCRATS MIGHT CONVINCE TO CONVICT TRUMP

To get a two-thirds majority of every voting senator Democrats need at least 17 Republicans, assuming all Democrats vote to convict. None of the 50-member GOP caucus has said they will vote to convict. Here are some of those in play. 

HATERS AND ESTABLISHMENT 

Mitt Romney (Utah)

Voted to convict before and slammed Trump’s actions after riot.

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Said Trump should quit over the riot. Already survived a primary defeat

Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)

Publicly OKed his caucus voting guilty and says he is genuinely undecided

Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)

Not running again and already condemned Trump’s conduct

Richard Burr (North Carolina) 

Not running and said Trump ‘bears responsibility’

Ben Sasse (Nebraska)

Targeted before by Trump, slammed GOP leaders for violence already

Susan Collins (Maine)

Moderate who said when she acquitted first time Trump had ‘learned a lesson’  

John Thune (South Dakota)

Number two in the Senate caucus, already target of Trump demand for a primary

John Cornyn (Texas)

Just won Texas which is headed purple, not personally loyal to Trump

Roy Blunt (Missouri)

Called riot ‘darkest stain’ and ‘unpardonable.’ State GOP establishment is furious at Josh Hawley 

Richard Shelby (Alabama)

At 86 considered unlikely to run again. Called riot ‘dark day’

Chuck Grassley (Iowa)

Oldest GOP senator at 87 and unclear if he plans to run again  

Kevin Cramer (North Dakota)

Said Trump voters ‘want my head off’ for not overturning election 

Rob Portman (Ohio)

Called attack ‘assault on democracy.’ Up in 2022, never a Trump loyalist

WILD CARDS

James Inhofe (Oklahoma)

Apologized to black voters for planning to overturn election 

Mike Lee (Utah)

Legal conservative, represents state where Trump wasn’t personally popular 

Thom Tillis (North Carolina)

Not up for election until 2026 in purple state 

Marco Rubio (Florida)

Up in 2022 and could face Ivanka; convicting her father might help 

Mike Braun (Indiana)

Friend of Mike Pence, could be moved by calls for him to ‘hang’ 

House Democrats are preparing to deliver the impeachment article to the upper chamber this week as the Senate reconvenes Wednesday – and some are pushing for an immediate trial and vote on whether to convict Trump for his part in the January 6 chaos.

All Senate Democrats will need to vote in favor of convicting and at least 17 Republican will need to cross the line for a successful two-thirds vote. It is still not clear whether that many Republican senators will finally break ties with the president after he leaves Washington on Wednesday.

Democrats were pushing for Trump to resign or Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office before his end date on Wednesday, January 20. When both of those options were exhausted, Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved forward with impeachment – and last Wednesday the House voted to impeach the president for a second time.

They claim Trump is the one to blame for the Capitol storming after he riled up thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House January 6 before they marched over to Capitol Hill and wreaked havoc on the building for six hours.

Trump condemned the violence and vowed following the riot that there would be a peaceful transition of power. He did not, however, concede that he lost the election to Joe Biden.  

‘Is there any doubt in your mind that there will be a peaceful transfer of power?’ O’Donnell asked Blunt. 

‘No. No doubt at all,’ he said. ‘And I think we’re gonna project to the world exactly the message we want to at this very spot where so many bad things happened two weeks ago. I think the world’s gonna see the Constitution and the democracy of our country work.’

O’Donnell pressed Blunt on if he’s disappointed that Trump won’t attend the inauguration of Biden – like is tradition to do when one president exits and another enters.

‘I think the president should have been here, and I’m disappointed,’ Blunt said.

Blunt said not enough damage was done to the Capitol and there wasn’t too much of a threat to move the inauguration to another location.

‘This is not only a moment of importance, but the fact that we do it and where we do it matters,’ Blunt said. ‘And it’s really important to maintain that sense of the continuity of both our Constitution and our democracy.’

‘:A lot of damage was done to our reputation, not much done to the building,’ the Republican continued.

This year’s inauguration, however, is anything but typical. 

Biden will still be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, but Trump will not be in attendance.

The massive crowd that usually attends an inauguration will also not be there, instead taking their place are nearly 200,000 miniature flags placed all over the National Mall.

The president-elect’s inauguration was made private in light of the coronavirus pandemic and persistent threats to lawmakers and the incoming administration following the Capitol storming two weeks ago.

There will be a small, invite-only crowd seated socially-distant from each other. 

As Biden faces the potential of his inauguration being split-screened with Trump’s impending impeachment trial, it’s still unclear how successful the efforts in the Senate will be.

So far, it appears Democrats have at least 13 Republicans they are looking to convince to vote to convict – and there seems to be five other ‘wild cards’ they are looking to flip.

Among those who could cross the aisle to vote for Trump’s conviction are Senators Mitt Romney. The Utah Republican was the only GOP senator to vote to convict Trump on one of the two impeachment articles levied against him in 2019. Romney also has been an frequent Trump critic and has already slammed the president for his actions following the Capitol riot.  

Here state and territory flags are seen on the National Mall to represent all areas of the U.S. during Biden's inauguration

Here state and territory flags are seen on the National Mall to represent all areas of the U.S. during Biden’s inauguration

Around 25,000 National Guard troops descended on Washington D.C. over the last two weeks as they were deployed there from all over the country to patrol the nation's capital in the wake of the chaos

Around 25,000 National Guard troops descended on Washington D.C. over the last two weeks as they were deployed there from all over the country to patrol the nation’s capital in the wake of the chaos

Wild cards include the likes of Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida.

If Trump is convicted, the Senate can vote next on a ban from running for office in the future – perhaps a more impactful punishment considering Trump is very likely to launch a 2024 bid for the White House.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT

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Headlines UK

Curry worker told he couldn’t understand recipes because he is white

White man working in curry factory who was told he couldn’t understand recipes by his British Asian supervisor and should ‘go and work for an English company’ wins race discrimination claim

  • Colin Sorby complained about the comments and wasn’t given anymore shifts 
  • Supervisor Azheem Akhtar believed only British Asians could cook Indian food  
  • He claimed he apologised to Mr Sorby but the tribunal didn’t accept this  

A curry worker who was told he didn’t understand recipes because he was white and should go and work for an English firm has won his claim of race discrimination.  

When Colin Sorby complained about the ‘stereotypical’ comments at one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers, his shifts dried up and he was effectively fired.

The employment tribunal ruled the comments at Mumtaz Foods violated the production worker’s dignity.

His supervisor Azheem Akhtar thought only British Asians like himself should be allowed to work at the company that supplies meals to Indian restaurants and supermarkets, the hearing was told.

Mr Akhtar claimed he apologised, but the tribunal did not accept this as no disciplinary action was taken against him. 

When Colin Sorby complained about the ‘stereotypical’ comments at one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers (Mumtaz factory, pictured), his shifts dried up and he was effectively fired

The tribunal said Mr Akhtar was an ‘unreliable witness’ who was vague and, at times, evasive.  

Mr Akhtar said his offensive comment was a misunderstanding due to language difficulties but the employment judge said he was clearly able express himself in English on everyday matters.  

Mr Sorby, described as white British, was recruited by Bradford Management Services, a subsidiary of Mumtaz, in July last year on a zero hours contract. 

After Mr Akhtar made the comments, Mr Sorby was told he was being placed ‘on call’ – a euphemism for being dismissed. He was asked to clear his locker and hand in property.

His supervisor Azheem Akhtar thought only British Asians like himself should be allowed to work at the company that supplies meals to Indian restaurants and supermarkets, the hearing was told

His supervisor Azheem Akhtar thought only British Asians like himself should be allowed to work at the company that supplies meals to Indian restaurants and supermarkets, the hearing was told

He was also advised to look for another job because he was told he would not be offered any more work.

He was initially told by human resources manager Paulo Silva this action was being taken because of his poor attendance and performance. 

When he pressed where these allegations came from, he was told by Mr Silva that they emanated from Mr Akhtar. 

The judge said: ‘The effect of the comment was that due to the fact the claimant was not English he could not cook Asian food properly.

Mr Akhtar claimed he apologised, but the tribunal did not accept this as no disciplinary action was taken against him

Mr Akhtar claimed he apologised, but the tribunal did not accept this as no disciplinary action was taken against him

‘This was a stereotypical assumption that was not predicated on any factual basis.

‘Again, the context is everything. Mr Akhtar was seeking to justify why the claimant’s employment should, effectively, be terminated.

‘The tribunal is satisfied that the remark was made and it was used to justify what was effectively the Claimant’s termination of employment – albeit he was told he was placed ”on call”.’ 

The judge said Mr Akhtar was a long serving employee who described himself as a friend of company director Bilal Akbar.

He believed a white person should not be working for an Asian company and a decision was taken to remove Mr Sorby, the employment judge concluded. 

The tribunal upheld Mr Sorby’s claims for racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation. 

Compensation will be awarded at a remedy hearing on a date yet to be fixed.

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Headlines UK London Sheffield

Coronavirus UK: Border Force fine 30 arrivals £500 for not having negative Covid test

Q&A: Do I need to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test when I arrive in Britain – and what standards must it meet?

What are the new rules for UK arrivals?

All of the travel corridors were scrapped yesterday, so arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for ten days, or receive a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken at least five days after they enter the UK. 

Do I need to get a negative test when I arrive in the UK?

Yes, all arrivals into England – including British citizens – must test negative for Covid-19 up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure. Your test will also be checked by the airline before you board a plane abroad.

What will you have to present at the UK border?  

Border Force officials are carrying out spot checks on those arriving by air, land or sea – but they have so far been checking all arrivals, according to passengers.

Your Covid-19 negative test results must be presented in either English, French or Spanish. Translations are not accepted, and you must provide the original certificate.

The test result must be provided either as a physical printed document or via email or text message, which can be shown on a mobile phone. This must include:

  • your name, matching it on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact details
  • the name of the test device

Anyone arriving without a test result that includes all of the above information will be committing a criminal offence which could see them receive a £500 fine.

What test must you have? 

The test must meet standards of ≥97% specificity and ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml. The Government says this could include tests such as:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (Lamp) tests
  • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device.

Will you have to prove your test meets requirements?

Yes. The Government says it is your responsibility to ensure a test meets minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details – so you must check with your test provider that it meets those requirements. 

You may need proof in the form of a letter from a test provider detailing its specificity and sensitivity levels.

What happens if I don’t have the correct documents? 

New arrivals who flout the rules will face a minimum £500 fine while their flight operator will also be fined.

The passenger will then be let on their way without further action, but will still have to quarantine for ten days like everyone else arriving in the UK. 

Separately, arrivals into England who do not self-isolate can face fines between £1,000 and £10,000. 

What is the difference between the tests? 

PCR tests, nasal and throat swab tests normally take between 12 and 48 hours to return results.

Lamp tests can return results in two hours, and lateral flow tests can generate results in less than 30 minutes.

Whichever test it is must meet the required performance standards listed by the Government. 

Border Force agents will check that the information required is present on the notification. Provided the test meets the set criteria, then it will be accepted. If it does not, you could be fined – even with a negative test result.

What are the concerns over lateral flow tests?

There are fears that lateral flow tests might not be as reliable as PCR tests. But Innova makes a lateral flow test which has a sensitivity of more than 95 per cent for high viral loads – meeting UK Government requirements. 

A trial of one lateral flow test used by the Government found that it detected 79 per cent of cases when administered by a trained professional but only 40 per cent if someone is self-swabbing. This is significantly lower than the more expensive but slower PCR tests which detect 70 to 99 per cent of positive cases. 

Passengers are responsible for ensuring their test meets requirements and may be asked to provide proof.  

Is there a specific list of accepted tests?

No. The Government does not provide a list of approved providers or tests worldwide. The passenger has to check that the test that they use meets the standards. 

What are the exemptions? 

It applies to arrivals who began their journeys in every country of the world, with the following exceptions:

  • Ireland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Ascension
  • Falkland Islands
  • St Helena

There will also be an exemption until 4am on January 21 for people who began their journey in:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • St Lucia
  • Barbados

There are also limited exemptions for the likes of hauliers, young children and train crew members. 

Which countries are subject to travel bans?

Travel to and from all of South America, Portugal and Cape Verde was banned from 4am last Friday.

British and Irish nationals as well as people with residency rights will be exempt, but will have to self-isolate for ten days with their household on returning from any countries on the banned list.

A similar ban was put into place for South Africa on December 23 last year, after another new variant was identified by scientists. On January 9, the rules were also applied to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Seychelles and Mauritius. 

What are the rules on travel from South Africa?

Anyone arriving into the UK who has been in or transited through South Africa in the previous ten days will not be permitted entry to the UK. But British people will still be able to enter via indirect routes from South Africa.

Are there any differences for the US?

There are no specific differences for travellers arriving from the US, although it is understood some airlines are placing their own requirements on passengers.

The US Embassy in the UK states: ‘The test must be a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with Covid-19. Travellers should avoid the antibody tests which look for prior infection.’ 

More than 30 air passengers were fined £500 each by Border Force officials upon arrival in Britain yesterday for not having a valid negative coronavirus test after new rules were brought in for UK arrivals.

The fines at London Heathrow Airport on the first day of the new policy came as travellers continued to face delays after landing in the UK this morning as officials checked each passenger arriving had a negative test. 

Passengers can be fined a minimum of £500 for not complying with the rules, but the Home Office confirmed today that they are then let on their way – meaning dozens of people with Covid-19 could have been let into the UK since the rules were brought in.  

However they must still follow the rules on quarantining for ten days like all arrivals into the UK – and those who breach those regulations can be fined up to £10,000.

The fines for not having a proper test are issued as fixed penalty notices and do not stay on a criminal record. 

Queues again built up today in Heathrow’s immigration hall with some travellers reporting having to wait up to an hour before their documentation was checked at Terminal Two, and up to 30 minutes at Terminal Five. 

All the electronic passport gates were closed forcing overseas as well as British passport holders to undergo a face-to-face check. British and European Union passport holders were funnelled into one queue while other passport holders into another.

They had to present their passports, a negative test – in most cases a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – and locator form listing where their mandatory ten-day quarantine will take place in Britain.

Staff instructed arrivals to keep a 6ft (2m) distance from each other but passengers said people ended up facing each other and cramming together.

Initially, only four officials were checking paperwork but as queues lengthened an additional four Border Force staff were brought in to help.

Molly Jarvis, who arrived on an overnight flight from Atlanta, Georgia, told MailOnline at Heathrow: ‘Lots of people ended up facing each other as they waited. 

‘I was a bit concerned about the social distancing and glad to get out. All the e-gates were closed and when I arrived there were only four people at the passport checks. Another four came out.’

Ms Jarvis, a US citizen who lives in London, said the official looked at the time and date of her negative PCR test, adding: ‘They were very thorough and wanted to check what day I had taken the test.

Since yesterday at 4am, all arrivals into the UK have to have had negative PCR or antigen lateral flow test no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight.

All airlines ask to see the test and those whose results are out of the 72-hour time frame are denied entry.

Student Nitzan Levenberg, 32, arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv, said she had no complaints about a 20-minute wait to present her documents at Heathrow today.

She said: ‘They asked to see all my documents, including my right to stay in the UK. I was in the British and EU queue and it was moving quite quickly.’

Passengers told MailOnline on the first day of the new policy that they had faced queues of 90 minutes at the border, but Heathrow Airport denied this was the case.  

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘People should not be travelling unless absolutely necessary and it is an offence to arrive into England without proof of a negative Covid test or a completed Passenger Locator Form.

‘We have also increased Border Force spot checks on arrival, with passengers subject to an immediate fine of £500 for failing to comply with the new rules. Despite these measures, the vast majority of passengers have been moving through the UK border in good time.’ 

New rules came into force at 4am yesterday meaning all arrivals had to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel.

Passengers are required to show it to check-in staff before boarding their UK-bound flight, and to Border Force guards after landing.

But some travellers found themselves being turned away by their airline and stranded while those allowed to board complained of long, non Covid-secure queues after landing.

NHS worker Ellie Walton, 19, from Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire, was supposed to fly from Madrid to London on Sunday afternoon.

But she missed the connection because her first flight from Cuba to the Spanish capital had been delayed by nearly two hours.

She was told the next flight to London wasn’t until yesterday morning and was given a hotel voucher.

However, when she tried to leave the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport she was told she couldn’t by Spanish border guards ‘because of Brexit’. It meant having to bed down in the airport on Sunday night.

To make matters worse, when she tried to board her new flight yesterday morning she was barred.

This was because she didn’t have a negative Covid test, having thought she’d be returning on Sunday before the UK’s new pre-departure testing rules kicked-in yesterday at 4am.

Miss Walton, a healthcare worker, travelled to Cuba in December when the second lockdown had ended and the tier system was in place.

She went there to spend time with her Cuban boyfriend, Lovany Sanchez, a circus acrobat who had lived in Britain with a visa until the pandemic broke out.

Her mother, Tracey Walton, said: ‘It’s awful, she was crying down the phone. I even looked at flights to go out to Madrid and sort it out myself but you can’t get there.

‘She had a lateral flow test on her because she is a healthcare worker, but the airline said the UK wouldn’t accept it. They were trying to wash their hands of it but they have a duty of care to their passengers.

‘I’m very angry because the government has made it clear they can board and the British embassy were phoning the airline to say she could.’

Government guidance states that UK citizens are allowed to be boarded on planes if they cannot get a test at their transit airport and are being blocked from entering the country it is in.

Mrs Walton said her daughter told her three other Britons were also barred from boarding.

However, after several calls to the British embassy in Spain Mrs Walton said her daughter had finally been allowed on an Iberia plane back to Heathrow last night. 

In another case, Hannah Holland, 23, from Sheffield, was due to land at Heathrow yesterday but was barred by check-in staff in the US.

She was booked to travel on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia via Chicago’s O’Hare airport, which was due to land in London at 8.20am.

But Chicago check-in staff said her rapid ‘lateral flow’ test and accompanying health certificate were not acceptable.

Miss Holland, a dual British-American citizen, had been helping her mother care for her grandfather in Philadelphia. 

She said: ‘I just couldn’t believe it… it was a test I had to pay for at a local, well-respected health clinic in Philadelphia and was specifically for people who had flights that needed more urgent results.’ She added: ‘I was getting really weepy.’

Miss Holland, a volunteer in Africa with the Peace Corps until the pandemic began, managed to get a flight back to Philadelphia and is now considering whether to seek another test to return to the UK or stay there. 

Student Nitzan Levenberg, 32, arriving at London Heathrow Airport on a flight from Tel Aviv this morning, said: ‘They asked to see all my documents, including my right to stay in the UK. I was in the British and EU queue and it was moving quite quickly’

Passengers arrive at London Heathrow Airport this morning one day after the new rules on Covid-19 tests were brought in

Passengers arrive at London Heathrow Airport this morning one day after the new rules on Covid-19 tests were brought in

A passenger leaves Heathrow Airport's Terminal Two this morning with all arrivals having to present negative Covid-19 test

A passenger leaves Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two this morning with all arrivals having to present negative Covid-19 test

An American Airlines spokesman said: ‘The certificate did not specify the name of the test device as required, and therefore travel to the UK could not be permitted as per government guidelines.’

A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘Passengers travelling to the UK must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test which meets the performance standards set out by the Government in the guidance published on gov.uk.

‘The type of test could include a PCR test or antigen test, including a lateral flow test. Anyone who cannot provide the necessary documentation may not be allowed to board their flight.’

As part of the new measures, announced by Boris Johnson on Friday, Border Force have ramped up checks on arrivals at airports and ports.

Arrivals complained that checking all passengers’ negative test health certificates was taking too long. The certificate now has to be checked along with a locator form stating where they will be self-isolating for ten days.

Gabrielle Rivers, 31, a research fellow at Oxford University, flew from Washington to London and was stuck in a queue at border control for two hours before showing proof of her negative result and passenger locator form. 

Passengers wear face masks as they walk through the international arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport's Terminal Two today

Passengers wear face masks as they walk through the international arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two today

Air passengers push their luggage trolleys through the arrivals hall at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal Two this morning

Air passengers push their luggage trolleys through the arrivals hall at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two this morning

She said: ‘I was pretty surprised at the length of the queue. I don’t know how they would expect old people to cope. They are crowding people together in tight spaces, if we didn’t have Covid then, we will now. 

‘It was very rammed. It was pretty heavily regulated. The airlines are being the strictest.’

Eric Campbell, 23, who arrived in London yesterday from Kampala, Uganda, said hordes of people were cramped together at border control.

His £50 PCR coronavirus test was checked as well as his locator form after an hour’s wait. ‘It was chaotic, the line was far too long and there were kids running around everywhere,’ he said.

‘There were only a few people at each desk which is why the border was rammed as they spent a great deal going through each person’s document. It defeats the purpose, but I am glad it’s being done.’

Avis Agustin, 36, a nurse from Singapore, arrived at Heathrow yesterday and was shocked by the large queues, spending an hour in line before border checks. 

An air passenger walks out of Heathrow Airport's Terminal Two this morning as people continue to arrive in Britain

An air passenger walks out of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two this morning as people continue to arrive in Britain

Air passengers wait for a lift in the international arrivals hall at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal Two this morning

Air passengers wait for a lift in the international arrivals hall at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Two this morning

She said: ‘I was confused at people in the queue not social distancing. They are too easy on people here. In Singapore, if you come, you must stay in a hotel for two weeks which the government tells you to.’

Passengers complained that the closure of the self-scan ePassport gates contributed to delays as some said people were pulled out of the queue and fined over incorrect paperwork.

In Terminal Two, suitcases stacked up by carousels as travellers were stuck at border control but by yesterday afternoon the queues had gone.

New rules scrapping 63 ‘travel corridors’ with countries with low infection rates also came into effect at 4am yesterday, meaning all arrivals from those countries now have to quarantine.

The policy will be reviewed on February 15. On Sunday it emerged the government is considering a further crackdown after ministers asked officials to draw up plans which would see travellers forced to quarantine in hotels upon arrival.