White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

President Biden is to sign an Executive Order on Project Labour Agreements this afternoon.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Miami receives first crypto payout from CitiCoins. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Those around Boris Johnson are jumping ship, rather than going down with it. 

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

The head of ISIS died in a raid in northwest Syria by US special forces. Shortly after U.S. forces arrived on site, ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi,  blew himself up with his family, including four women and six children.

According to NSC, the operation to take out the head of ISIS “has been months in planning.” A month ago, it was confirmed that  Hajji Abdullah was definitely on this site and the President was briefed by the operational commanders.

Biden approved the mission on Tuesday morning, with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley, in the Oval Office.

This mission was particularly challenging because Hajji Abdullah lived in a residential building, with families on the first floor that NCS believed had nothing to do with ISIS and did not know who was living on the third floor.

Hajji Abdullah never left the house. “He commanded by couriers who came and went.  He used these innocent people as his shield,” a Senior administration official revealed. 

President Joe Biden said: “I’m grateful for the immense courage, skill and determination of our U.S. forces who skillfully executed this incredibly challenging mission.”

DEVELOPING THIS MORNING:

Bilateral talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are underway at the Beijing Olympics. 

ON THIS DAY

On February 4, 1913 Rosa Parks, civil rights activist was born.

In other news…

Soprano Nevena Bridgen shares her opulent talent in a world-premier of her music video for Puccini’s “Vissi D’arte.” Bridgen’s artistic vision honors 122 years since Puccini’s Tosca premiered.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Today, Biden will present the January jobs report in the State Dining Room.  

In the afternoon, the President will go to upper Marlboro, Maryland, to deliver remarks and sign an Executive Order on Project Labor Agreements to improve timeliness, lower costs, and increase the quality of federal construction projects. 

In the evening, the President will travel to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he will stay over the weekend. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

The Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, announced that his city received the first $5.26 million payout from CitiCoins.” This is a historic moment for our city to collaborate with an innovative project that creates resources for our city through innovation not taxation,” Suarez shared his excitement on Twitter.

As of yesterday, WWF UK is selling NFTs of endangered species.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$37,925.17

Ether (ETH):$2,834.91

SOL:$105.65

LUNA: $51.01

MIT and Boston FED have released “Project Hamilton,” a central bank digital currency research endeavor.

“This collaboration between MIT and our technologists has created a scalable CBDC research model that allows us to learn more about these technologies and the choices that should be considered when designing a CBDC,” said Jim Cunha, executive vice president at the Boston Fed.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The U.S. has accused Russia of planning a “false flag” operation as an excuse for military action in Ukraine. “One possible option the Russians are considering, and which we made public today,” said Ned Price, “involves the production of a propaganda video – a video with graphic scenes of false explosions – depicting corpses, crisis actors pretending to be mourners, and images of destroyed locations or military equipment – entirely fabricated by Russian intelligence.”

Matt Lee, a veteran reporter with the Associated Press, challenged Ned Price and the State Department for providing “no evidence” about those claims. “This is like Alex Jones territory you’re getting into now. What evidence do you have to support the idea that there is some propaganda film in the making?” said Lee. Price responded by saying, “It is intelligence information that we have declassified.” Still, Lee pressed the State Department Spokesman to show the receipts doubling down that Price only “made a series of allegations and statements.” He asked again, “Where is the declassified information other than you coming out here and saying it?” Price expressed his regret that Lee is “doubting the information that is in the possession of the U.S. Government.”

The conversation went nowhere. “Does the government have the video? Because US officials are describing very specific scenes, but do they actually have a video?” Lee kept asking and asking. 

Across the pond, in the UK, Boris Johnson’s top advisor made their exit yesterday. Director of communications, Jack Doyle, left shortly after the departure of policy head Munira Mirza. They were followed by the chief of staff, Dan Rosenfield, and senior civil servant, Martin Reynolds. Rishi Sunak publicly criticized the Prime Minister’s claims that Sir Keir Starmer had failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile. Still, no one but the MPs can remove the Prime Minister and force him to resign. Will there be enough letters of no-confidence to trigger the vote to remove Johsnon? 

Lord Nazir Ahmed, the former Labour peer, is due to be sentenced today after being convicted of sexual offences against two children in the 70s. He was charged for sexual crimes against a boy under the age of 11 and the attempted rape of a girl.

According to Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, vaccines and the reduced severity of the Omicron variant raise hopes that Europe is entering a “period of tranquility” when it comes to the pandemic. 

And that’s a wrap for this Friday morning, February 4, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...