Need to know: here are the 4 important national and international news stories from June 9, 2021.
1. Biden’s First Stop
On Wednesday, President Biden traveled to the UK. For his trip, the President is planned to attend the G7 summit, meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, go to NATO, and meet with President Putin.
The goal for the President’s trip is to show America’s commitment to rallying the world’s democracies, coming together to shape the rules of the road for the 21st century, and tackle the world’s biggest challenges, such as climate change and the pandemic.
Today, President Biden, alongside First Lady Jill Biden, spoke to U.S. troops and their families that are stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the UK.
Biden stated, “This is my first overseas trip. This trip to the United States, and then into the G7, then to NATO, the sterile, and then to meet with Mr. Putin, to let him know what I want him to know.” The statement was followed by screams of support from the crowd.
“We’re gonna make it clear that the United States is back,” stated Biden.
For Biden’s meeting later this week Prime Minister Johnson, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed that the two will discuss COVID-19, climate change, and their joint commitment to developing an infrastructure financing mechanism for the developing world that is ‘climate-friendly, high standards, and transparent.’
Biden and Johnson will also discuss global issues that pertain to countries from the Indo-Pacific to the Middle East and maintaining a ‘strong’ embassy presence in Afghanistan.
The two leaders will talk over the 80-year-old Atlantic Charter. “There will be an updated statement of principles between the U.S. and the UK as free societies and free peoples speaking out about what we believe in in this 21st century,” stated Sullivan.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki expressed that there will be more updates about the Charter that will be made ‘publicly’ after the meeting.
2. Billionaires Avoid Paying Taxes
According to a new report by ProPublica, it was revealed that billionaires such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos avoided paying federal income taxes in recent years.
ProPublica obtained IRS data on the tax returns of 25 of the wealthiest people in the United States. The data showed that from the year 2014 to 2018, their net worth increased by $401 billion. In those 5 years, they paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes which, “amounts to a true income tax of 3.4%.”
The report noted that those in the highest tax bracket, individuals who make $628,300 or more, paid a tax rate of 37%.
ProPublica revealed that out of all the billionaires, Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, avoided the most tax, by paying only $23.7 million in federal income taxes, which makes it a true tax rate of only 0.10%.
3. Attorney General Garland Testifies
On Wednesday Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in front of the Senate subcommittees to discuss the Department of Justice’s proposed budget.
Merrick proposed an increase in cyber resources so that the Department of Justice can increase its cybersecurity, amid the increase in ransomware attacks. He requested a total of $1.1 billion. The DOJ budget also includes $35.3 billion to go towards the agency’s Civil Rights division. This comes during the battle for the For People Act, which Senator Manchin does not support, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which Senator McConnel finds ‘unnecessary.’
The Attorney General also defended the Department of Justice’s attempt to prevent the release of a legal memo in relation to the Mueller investigation and the DOJ’s position on supporting former President Trump in a defamation suit from a woman who accused him of rape.
Merrick stated, “The job of the Justice Department in making decisions in law is not to back any administration, previous or present, our job is to represent the American people.”
4. TikTok Executive Order Gone
On Wednesday, President Biden revoked executive orders that targeted popular social media app TikTok, and WeChat, which were signed under former President Trump. Biden signed a new executive order today that will address security concerns about apps linked to foreign adversaries such as China.
Under the new executive order, the Commerce Department will review all apps that are linked to foreign adversaries and will assess what is and isn’t a security risk to Americans. This order comes amid concerns about the risk apps connected to the Chinese military and intelligence pose, and to prevent these apps from stealing personal information from Americans.
Despite Trump’s order in 2020 that attempted to ban TikTok, the app remains one of the most popular apps, specifically among young people.