U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Will Travel to Europe

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to Germany to attend the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors' meeting May 19–20. Prior to the meetings that will be held in Bonn, Yellen will visit Warsaw—the capital of Poland—and Brussels—the capital of Belgium—on May 14 and 16, respectively.

The Department of Treasury issued a statement saying that Yellen will inform her counterparts of the priorities of the US regarding its principle of multilateralism and economic recovery. It was also stated that Yellen would discuss the issue of increasing financial pressure by the US and its allies on Russia to end its so-called 'special operation' in Ukraine. 

Secretary Yellen will also discuss the issues of global tax policies and combating the climate crisis, strengthening international health services, and addressing the rising threat of global food insecurity resulting from Russia's war.

The statement from the Department of Treasury also mentioned that Yellen aimed to cooperate with partners and allies in these global matters and expected the same from them.

According to journalist Ali Cinar,Secretary Yellen also briefed the Senate Banking Committee on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s 2021 report yesterday. Secretary Yellen's highlights:

-Banning abortion would be ‘very damaging’ to U.S. economy

-Supply disruption continues to hit energy markets.

-Russia's Occupation of Ukraine Increased Uncertainty in the Economy.

-Digital assets can pose risks to the financial system

-There is potential for continued volatility and inequality in global growth as countries continue to grapple with the pandemic.

Call on Congress to Split COVID and Ukraine Supplemental Funding

President Joe Biden stated that he was willing to have Congress pass two separate bills to secure funds to 33 billion dollars aid Ukraine and 10 billion dollars COVID-19.

President Biden called on Congress to prioritize aid for Ukraine first, then focus on securing extra funds to combat COVID-19.

The  Democrats in the US Congress unanimously support prioritizing the Ukraine aid bill. The House of Representatives can pass the bill—higher than the $33 billion requested by President Biden—as early as next week. Senate leaders also signaled that they were ready to take swift action.

On April 28, Biden asked Congress to pass a $33 billion aid package that included more than $20 billion of military aid for Ukraine. This proposition significantly increases the US funds allocated for the war against Russia.

The new plan includes an additional $3.4 billion in military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance.

Both Democrats and Republicans support providing more aid to Ukraine and promise to take swift action to approve the emergency funds. But the Ukraine aid bill was prolonged due to the discussions regarding the addition of COVID-19 aid  and resources to enforce tighter migration controls to the package.

'Funds to support Ukraine with weapons will run out in two weeks.'

The Department of Defense issued a statement saying that the US would soon run out of funds and could only provide weapons to Kyiv for two weeks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was pleased with the decoupling of the Ukraine aid from the COVID-19 funding. McConnell advocated for the separation of the two bills in his speeches in the Senate.

But confident Democrats wanted COVID-19 funding and Ukraine aid to be included in the same package.

Dick Durbin—the number two Democrat in the Senate—stated that 'It would have been so much better for us to protect the United States as well as worked to protect Ukraine.'

President Biden also called for swift action on COVID-19 funding. Biden said, 'Without timely COVID-19 funding, more Americans will die needlessly.'

According to Ali Cinar,President Biden hosted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in the White House Situation Room on Tuesday afternoon.The House  will vote on 40 billion dollar Ukraine supplemental aid  tonight.

The $40B Ukraine supplemental includes $19.8B for DoD, ~$3.4B more than Biden sought. That includes: -$8.7B to replenish stocks -$6B for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative -$3.9B for EUCOM support -$600M for Defense Production Act -$550M for critical munitions and exports'

White House Correspondents' Association Held Its Annual Dinner.

The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, which was canceled due to the pandemic, took place in Washington, DC. The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner didn't take place for four years due to the 45th President, Donald Trump, boycotting it for two years because of COVID-19. President Biden cracked jokes about returning to everyday life during his speech as the guest of honor. He made fun of his approval ratings and praised the journalists covering the war in Ukraine.

In his 14-minute long speech, President Biden said, 'I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID-19. We're here to show the country that we're getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone had to prove they were fully vaccinated and boosted.' He also stated, 'just contact your favorite Fox News reporter. They are all here. Vaccinated and boosted.'

President Biden also made fun of the 45th President, Trump. He said, 'This is the first time a president has attended this dinner in 6 years. It's understandable. We had a horrible plague followed by two years of COVID. Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year. Now, that would really have been a real coup.' The President's remarks drew laughs.

President Biden also mentioned the 'Let's go, Brandon' phrase, which is used as a cover for an obscene joke against him. 'But Republicans seem to support one fella, some guy named Brandon. He's having an excellent year. I'm kind of happy for him!' said he.

President Biden caused laughter when he said, 'A special thanks to the 42% of you who actually applauded. I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.'

President Biden underlined the vital role journalism plays in the American democracy, stating, 'I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that you, the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century. You are the guardians of the truth.'

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah began by making fun of journalists, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump, and former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. He quipped by saying, 'It is a great honor to speak tonight at the nation's most distinguished superspreader event.' South African Noah told Biden that he was confused as to why he was chosen as the comedian for the night. But then he said, 'I was told you get your highest approval ratings with a biracial African guy standing next to you,' to which Biden responded with applause and a smile. 

2,600 Guests

Ministers, members of Congress, directors of corporations, and specific Hollywood figures were among the 2,600 guests. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, Kim Kardashian, Martha Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, and Caitlyn Jenner were among those who participated in the dinner. All participants were required to show proof of vaccination via the My Bindle application, and they also had to take antigen tests. An extensive medical team was on standby during the dinner.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha also took part in the dinner. But one of the country's most famous names—81-year-old Dr. Anthony Fauci—actually planned to participate, only to change his mind midweek, stating that the risks of doing so outweighed the benefits.

During his presentation, WHCA President Steven Portnoy of CBS News mentioned that Biden took part in the dinner for the first time in 1974.

There were two emotional moments during the traditionally routine awards ceremony. The first was the presentation of a new award to two young journalists, Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne. Portnoy also introduced Debra Tice, the mother of freelance journalist and former Marine lieutenant Austin Tice who was kidnapped in Syria nine years ago. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to increase pressure in order to secure the release of Tice and other US citizens being illegally detained abroad. Portnoy also mentioned the arrest and imprisonment of Russian opposition writer and Washington Post writer Vladimir Kara-Murza and commemorated the journalists who were killed in Ukraine while talking about the war. 

The WHCA was founded in 1914, and as of today, it has about 500 active members. The association has been organizing the annual dinner since 1921.

 

New York City Mayor Adams Hosts Iftar Dinner with Turkish Dishes

New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted an Iftar Dinner for members of the Muslim community of New York City - which constitutes the majority of Muslims living in the US. Meat-free Turkish dishes were served during the reception. 

This was the first reception of New York's ambitious new Mayor Adams since recovering from COVID-19, and he hosted an Iftar Dinner for Muslims living in and around New York.

The Iftar dinner reception has been held at the Mayor's residence Gracia Mansion up until now. For the first time, this dinner took place in one of the historical landmarks of the US, the "Surrogate's Court." The "Beaux-Arts" style building was designed to be fireproof to provide maximum protection for the paper records of the city. The steel-framed structure has a granite exterior, and it is made up of seven floors with exquisite marble interiors.

Meanwhile, Adams - who was elected by a significant margin with support from the Muslim and Jewish communities and has worked tirelessly since the day he was elected - is expected to announce his bid for the 2024 candidacy in case President Joe Biden doesn't run a second time. 

Around 300 members of the Muslim community and consuls general of Muslim-majority countries attended the dinner, which took place for the 14th time. Numerous female leaders of the Muslim community were also in attendance.

What is the Uniting for Ukraine program of the United States?

President Joe Biden recently announced a program called Uniting for Ukraine, which aims to accelerate the applications of Ukrainians who fled their countries and sought asylum in the United States.

Biden administration officials stated that the new program, which took effect at the top of this week, will complement existing legal pathways available to those fleeing from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

On April 21, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas stated that "the US Department of Homeland Security will continue to provide relief to the Ukrainian people while supporting our European allies who have shouldered so much as the result of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine."

What is the Uniting for Ukraine program?

The program allows US citizens and legal residents to sponsor Ukrainian refugees under different immigration statuses. The online portal is open to potential sponsors or organizations, and it accepts applications. The portal has received more than 4 thousand sponsorship requests so far, according to CNN.

Who qualifies under the program?

Ukrainians or immediate family members of Ukrainian citizens are eligible for application. Potential applicants must have been residents of Ukraine as of February 11, and they must have a sponsor in the United States.

What are the requirements of the program?

Ukrainians who wish to join the program must pass security checks, including giving fingerprints, going through an FBI name check, and passing through biometric screening, and meet public health requirements such as having the proper vaccinations before entering the United States.

Those approved will be allowed to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds. These people will be allowed to stay in the United States for two years, and they will be able to apply for work permits.

A DHS statement said that "the United States strongly encourages Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States who do not have and are not eligible for a visa to seek entry via Uniting for Ukraine from Europe. This will be the safest and most efficient way to pursue temporary refuge in the United States."

Who qualifies as a sponsor?

US citizens and other residents who hold lawful status in the United States, foreign nationals who are beneficiaries of Deferred Enforced Departure, Temporary Protected Status, or Deferred Action, among others, can sponsor Ukrainians.

Sponsors must prove that they have the necessary resources to give financial support to the refugees. They also need to pass security and background vetting "in order to protect against exploitation and abuse." Ukrainian applicants will receive authorization only after every condition is met. These conditions include proving that the person or organization intending to sponsor them has the financial means to support them.

Who is not eligible for the program?

Ukrainian citizens already residing in the US are not allowed to participate in the Uniting for Ukraine program.

 More detailshttps://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine

President Biden warns Chinese Leader against helping Russia

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have spoken to each other for the first time regarding the situation in Ukraine.

Following the discussion, Chinese state television stated that Chinese President Xi had said that the war would not benefit anyone and that Washington and Beijing needed to do their part for world peace. During the discussion, which lasted one hour and 50 minutes, Chinese President Xi told President Biden that known people from the U.S. had certainly sent very inappropriate messages to Taiwan demanding its independence and that this was very dangerous.

On the other hand, a statement made by the White House expressed that President Biden had stated, "There will be consequences if China provides financial support to Russia while this country is continuing its relentless attacks on the cities and civilians of Ukraine." It was further explained that President Biden had told Chinese President  Xi that the U.S. stance on Taiwan had not changed and the U.S. was currently in favor of the status quo continuing and that they would not support anyone who was against this. In addition, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry, in its statement, thanked Biden for his support for protecting the status quo of the Taiwan strait and maintaining the security of Taiwan.

Beijing commented on Xi's warning that sanctions only cause the suffering of common citizens.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the news that China is considering providing aid to Russia directly in the form of military equipment is alarming.

"I agree that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine."

Secretary of State Blinken said that he agreed with President Biden's statement that war crimes were being committed in Ukraine.

Secretary Blinken said, "Personally, I agree that targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction over the past three weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise."

Having expressed that American experts are in the process of documenting and evaluating evidence of possible war crimes being committed in Ukraine, Blinken said, "Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime."

The U.S. Secretary of State also said, "We believe Moscow may be setting the stage to use chemical weapons and then falsely blame Ukraine in order to justify escalating its attacks on the Ukrainian people." He also said that it is likely that Russia is planning to systematically kidnap local officials in Ukraine and replace them with puppets, a tactic that may have already been staged.

Secretary Blinken also said Russian journalists for the state media are resigning from their jobs, as "they can't stomach parroting Putin's lies anymore."

Blinken added that the most recent remarks from the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, signal that he is moving in the opposite direction from diplomacy. Antony Blinken said, "I haven't seen any tangible efforts from the Russian side to end this war with diplomacy."

President Biden's European Trip

U.S. President Biden will depart from Washington, D.C. on March 23 to attend three crucial meetings in Europe on March 24. He will attend meetings with the Council of the European Union, the Extraordinary Summit of NATO leaders, and the leaders of the G7 countries. The main items on the agenda will be an evaluation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and new steps that can be taken. In particular, discussions will be held on the matter of whether any further sanctions should be imposed in addition to the joint sanctions decided upon by the U.S., the U.K., and the European Union. It is expected that a decision will be made at the NATO summit, which will strengthen the Eastern Flank and Baltic countries in NATO from a military point of view.

The U.S. currently has 100,000 soldiers in Europe, with 14,000 of these in the Eastern European Bloc. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "It will be a very long day" of meetings for President Biden on Thursday, March 24.

Psaki added, "His goal is to meet in person with his European counterparts to talk about, and assess, where we are at this point in the conflict, in the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. To date, we have been incredibly aligned with our European allies, but this does not happen by accident. The President is a big believer in face-to-face diplomacy. So, it is an opportunity to do exactly that."

President Biden announced his visit shortly before signing the draft legislation pledging $13.6 billion of additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as part of the $1.5 trillion government spending measures. This visit is scheduled to take place after Vice President Kamala Harris has completed her visit to the Eastern Bloc NATO countries.

Polish Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, has said that it is likely that Biden will visit Poland while in Europe. According to the U.N., nearly two million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland since the start of the war. Psaki did not have any further details on whether Biden would visit Poland during the trip.

Biden Administration Expresses Appreciation for Turkey

The Biden administration has thanked Turkey for its diplomatic efforts. During a press conference held by Secretary of State Blinken, he confirmed that he was pleased with Turkey's initiatives to bring the Ukrainian and Russian leaders together. He also said that the two NATO allies would continue to act together in coordination against Russia. U.S. Secretary of State Blinken spoke to his Turkish counterpart, Çavuşoğlu, telephonically, while the U.S. Secretary for Defense Austin met his Turkish counterpart, Akar, in person, in Brussels last week.

President Biden is not expected to meet Erdoğan.

During the NATO Leaders' Summit on March 24, President Biden and President Erdoğan were not expected to meet. An in-person meeting is likely to happen during the NATO 2022 Leaders' Summit being held in Spain June 29–30.

Selen Adds to Endorsement List One Week Out from Morris County Republican Convention

 

(Chatham, NJ) - Seven days before the pivotal Morris County Republican Convention in Congressional District 11, Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen continued to add to his endorsement list with a number of key Republican elected officials including from three of the largest towns in the 11th Congressional District. Among the new endorsements Selen for Congress campaign announced today include:

Leyla Öztürk's Book is Available at Kindergartens in Florida

Leyla Ozturk said that her objective is to promote her books nationwide in the United States.”I am working with some professional experts who help me to penetrate the school market in Washington,DC,Texas and New York” she added. She said that it would be good PR project for Turkey that would help to increase the Turkish-American business trade.

After her Science and Technology education at Akdeniz University, she received training in child education and Montessori practices at New York University in  United States. She started her career as assistant at the International Montessori Foundation, after doing her internship at the Hamilton Montesori School in New Jersey. She returned to Istanbul in 2017 and founded the Private Atakent Pink Tower Kindergarten in Istanbul.

Hamptons Hotspot 75 Main Is Getting A Reality Show

The Hamptons may be getting its own version of “Vanderpump Rules.” Bravo had a runaway hit with the show, which followed the behind-the-scenes action at West Hollywood restaurant SUR. Now Page Six is told that Southampton hotspot 75 Main is going to be the setting for a similar show. Owner Zac Erdem and his sexy staff are starring on “Serving the Hamptons,” which will air on Discovery Plus. 

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