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

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden will meet with New York mayor, Eric Adams, to talk about the strategy against gun crime.  

DIGITAL ASSETS

 “Censored,” a collaborative NFT project between digital crypto artist Pak and Julian Assange, has been announced. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

As more letters of no confidence roll in, Prime Minister Boris Johnson becomes less secure in his position.

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Putin and Xi Jinping are forming an alliance against the West, according to the Kremlin. A new geopolitical twist ahead of tomorrow’s start of the Beijing Olympics, which the US is boycotting this year. Putin and Xi are scheduled to meet in what will be the first in-person meeting for the Chinese president since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Yury Ushakov, Putin’s aid, the Russian and Chinese presidents are planning a number of gas agreements, a move designed against potential economic and other sanctions the US and other allies are planning to impose on Russia. “A joint statement on international relations entering a new era has been prepared for the talks,” Ushakov said.

The US has sent 3000 additional paratroopers to Eastern Europe, the Pentagon has announced. 1000 service members from the US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which is based in Germany, will reposition to Romania, 1,700 service members from Fort Bragg will be stationed in Poland, and approximately 300 service members from Fort Bragg will be in Germany.  

“These are not troops that will go into Ukraine.They’re not fighting in Ukraine. This is us, the United States, abiding by our commitments under Article 5 to support, reassure our partners in the region,” said Psaki. 

Russia responded by describing the move as a “destructive” step.

“Be very open-eyed about Russian propaganda and what they’re putting out there. We know what is happening on the border,” Jen Psaki said behind the White House podium. “ Everybody can open their eyes and see they have gathered more than 100,000 troops at the border.  They have also built up troops in Belarus at another border.  That has not changed,” she added. ”We have not seen de-escalatory actions.”

BREAKING THIS MORNING:

Novak Djokovic met the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, the first official meeting between the two since the world tennis champion was deported from Australia. Djokovic said that he felt the need to meet with Vucic and thank him personally for all the support he and the country gave him during the ordeal he went through in Australia. Djokovic said that in the next seven to ten days he will speak publicly about what he went through during his detention and the trial in Australia. He asked the media and public for patience. 

An attempt by Der Spiegel and the BBC to discredit Djokovic COVID test certificates as forged, failed

“The prosecution acted according to the regulations, checks were performed, and it was determined that Novak Djokovic was tested several times and that the certificates on the test results from 16 December 2021 and 22 December 2021 are valid,” the statement from state prosecutors read.

THE STATE OF THE PANDEMIC IN THE US

  • The FDA has received Pfizer’s application for a vaccine for children aged six months through four years. 
  • The current seven-day daily average of cases is about 446,400 cases per day, a decrease of about 36 percent over the previous week.
  • The seven-day average of hospital admissions is about 17,100 per day, also a decrease of about 14 percent over the previous week. 
  • The seven-day average daily deaths are about 2,300 per day, which is an increase of about 4 percent over the prior week.

ON THIS DAY

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, color, or a previous slave status.

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

In the morning, Biden and Harris will attend the National Prayer Breakfast at the United States Capitol Visitor Center.   

Then, Biden will travel to New York to meet with Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York, with whom he will talk about gun crimes and community violence. The meeting will take place at NYPD Headquarters where Biden is making an announcement today about his efforts with the Department of Justice to tackle violent crime in America, which has been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic. 

The Department of Justice has launched five gun trafficking strike forces, including one in New York City, and it has implemented a nationwide strategy to combat violent crime.

Today, the US Department of Justice is making a set of new actions :

• Direct every US Attorney’s Office nationwide to increase resources dedicated to district-specific violent crime strategies. 

• Crack down on the “Iron Pipeline” – the illegal flow of guns sold in the south, transported up the East Coast, and found at crime scenes in cities from Baltimore to New York City. 

• Launch a National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative, which will train a national cadre of prosecutors. 

• Pursue unlawful gun sellers.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Julian Assange is entering into the world of NFTs with an anonymous digital crypto artist Pak (formerly known as Murat Pak). Their collaborative NFT project is titled “Censored,” and will be released on February 7. According to Pak, “Censored” consists of two parts, a dynamic 1/1 and a dynamic open edition, for people to bid on.  

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$38,528.41

Ether (ETH):$2,759.06

SOL:$109.82

LUNA: $52.78

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Across the Pond, in the UK, more letters of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johsnon are coming in. Tobias Ellwood, Anthony Mangnall and Gary Streeter went ahead to submit their letters to the 1922 Committee, moving the needle a bit closer to the finish line of 54 letters of no confidence needed to trigger a vote. 

“The defining mission of the PM and this government is to level up the whole of the UK. On the very day we are setting out steps to make this happen, a handful of egos want to make it all about them. It’s selfish, doing Labour’s work, and it’s really not helping their constituents,” Nadine Dorries said in a tweet, coming to Johnson’s defense. 

And that’s a wrap for this Thursday morning, February 3, 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...