A Star Is BornAmanda Gorman Meet Joe Bidens 22-year-old inauguration poet

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman "screamed and danced her head off" when she found out she had been chosen to read one of her poems at Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony.

At the age of 22, the Los Angeles-born writer and performer is the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration.

She told the BBC's World Service she felt "excitement, joy, honour and humility" when she was asked to take part in the ceremony, "and also at the same time terror".

Her poem, The Hill We Climb, is a new composition she said she hoped would "speak to the moment" and "do this time justice".

Joe Biden becomes the 46th US president - follow live

"I really wanted to use my words to be a point of unity and collaboration and togetherness," she told the World Service's Newshour programme before the ceremony.

"I think it's about a new chapter in the United States, about the future, and doing that through the elegance and beauty of words."

Gorman completed her poem on 6 January, the day the Capitol in Washington DC was stormed by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Amanda Gorman The poet wore a mask as she arrived at Wednesday's ceremony

Her poem speaks of "a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it" and "destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy".

It continues: "This effort very nearly succeeded/But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated."

She told the New York Times: "Now more than ever, the United States needs an inaugural poem. We have to confront these realities if we're going to move forward."

Speech impediment

Born in LA in 1998, Gorman had a speech impediment as a child - an affliction she shares with America's new president.

"It's made me t

Read more: http://politicsandopinions.com/top-news/165881-a-star-is-born-amanda-gorman-meet-joe-biden-s-22-year-old-inauguration-poet

Biden takes the helm as president facing pandemic divisions

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris address the nation after their historic win. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris 

Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, swearing the oath of office just before noon to take the helm of a deeply divided nation while inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.

Biden's inauguration came at a time of national tumult and uncertainty, a ceremony of resilience as the hallowed American democratic rite unfurled at a U.S. Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago. On a chilly Washington day dotted with snow flurries, a bipartisan trio of ex-presidents along with the elite of nation's government gathered, ensuring the quadrennial ceremony persevered, even though it was encircled by security forces evocative of a war zone and devoid of crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay home, Americans were exhorted, to prevent further spread of a surging virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States. Biden looked out over a capital city dotted with empty storefronts that attest to the pandemic’s deep economic toll and where summer protests laid bare the nation’s renewed reckoning on racial injustice.

And he was not applauded by his predecessor.

Flouting tradition, Donald Trump departed Washington on Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol. Though three other former presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — gathered to watch the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump, awaiting his second impeachment trial, instead flew to Florida after stoking grievance among his supporters with the lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate.

Biden, in his third run for the presidency, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. On his first day, Biden will take a series of executive ac

Read more: http://politicsandopinions.com/top-news/165880-biden-takes-the-helm-as-president-facing-pandemic-divisions

Biden administration outlines immediate executive order plans on Covid climate and immigration

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive orders and make further instructions after he is sworn in as US president undoing policies put in place by outgoing president Donald Trump and making his first moves on the pandemic, climate change and racial justic.

Biden will sign the executive orders and memorandums in the Oval Office in the afternoon, and ask agencies to take steps in two additional areas, said incoming Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Introducing the plans, the Biden-Harris transition team said in a statement:

The president-elect’s day one executive actions will protect workers from Covid-19, including by ensuring that federal employees and contractors wear masks and follow other CDC guidelines, setting an example for employers around the country.

They will provide relief to American workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours or wages slashed through no fault of their own, by extending the pause on student debt and the eviction and foreclosure moratorium.

They will help spur the growth of American manufacturing and supply chains, competitiveness of our industries, and creation of good union jobs by directing agencies to consider revising vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and appliance and building efficiency standards.

And, they’ll take steps to prevent workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and revoke President Trump’s damaging executive order which limited critical diversity and inclusion training in the workplace.

On Covid the president-elect is proposing to:

Launch a “100 Days Masking Challenge” and a mask mandate on federal property and for federal employees. Re-join the World Health Organization reversing the Trump policy to withdraw from the body. Create the position of Covid-19 Response Coordinator reporting directly to the president, and restoring the NSC Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to focus on domestic and global biological threats. Extend the federal eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until

Read more: http://politicsandopinions.com/top-news/165849-biden-administration-outlines-immediate-executive-order-plans-on-covid-climate-and-immigration

Pence McConnell McCarthy To Skip Trump Departure Ceremony For Biden Inauguration Events

Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and Mike Pence stand behind Donald Trump, who is sitting at his desk and speaking with his hands raised.http://politicsandopinions.com/top-news/165784-pence-mcconnell-to-skip-trump-departure-ceremony-for-biden-inauguration-events

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