|(Photo: Star Tribune)|
Biden plays golf for 1st time as president
Biden, once an avid golfer, played Saturday at the Wilmington Country Club, not far from his Delaware home where he was spending the weekend. It was his first time playing golf since taking office in January.
The president played with senior advisor Steve Ricchetti and Ron Olivere, father-in-law of Biden’s late son Beau, the White House said. Biden’s handicap index is just over 6, according to the United States Golf Association. But he has not logged a round since 2018.
Biden is a member of the country club and played golf frequently as vice president. But his ability was mocked by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said once at the GOP convention that “Joe Biden told me that he was a good golfer.”
“And I’ve played golf with Joe Biden,” Kasich continued. “I can tell you that’s not true.”
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, played frequently, totaling over 300 rounds in his four years at office including during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Trump also would only play at country clubs he owned in Florida, Virginia and New Jersey, according to abc News.
France's Macron says 'clear red lines' should be drawn with Russia
World powers should draw "clear red lines" with Russia and consider possible sanctions when they are crossed, French President Emmanuel Macron told the U.S. news network CBS in an interview.
"This is the only way to be credible," Macron said, according to a video excerpt of the interview, which was recorded on Friday and due to be aired later on Sunday.
"Sanctions are not sufficient in themselves but sanctions are part of the package," he said, adding that he also agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden's willingness to open a dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a time of tension.
|(Photo: Chronicle Herald)|
Macron's comments come amid some of the worst friction between the Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
The United States last week imposed an array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs on purchases of its debt, in response to what it said was Moscow's interference in last year's U.S. election, cyber hacking, and bullying of Ukraine, among other issues. It also expelled 10 Russian diplomats.
In response, Russia on Friday told 10 U.S. diplomats to leave and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations, as reported by The Chronicle Herald.
Russia will face consequences if Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in prison, White House warns
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the Biden administration warned the Russian government to not let jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny die in custody.
“We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community,” Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
“We have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies,” he added.
Navalny flew to Russia from Berlin earlier this year after spending nearly half a year recovering for a nerve agent poisoning that took place last August. He was arrested at passport control and later sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny makes a heart gesture during a hearing into an application by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service to convert his suspended sentence of three and a half years in the Yves Rocher case into a real jail term. (Photo: Getty Images)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a separate statement that the sanctions would “send a clear signal” to Russia that the use of chemical weapons and human rights abuses carry hefty consequences.
“Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms,” Blinken wrote.
As reported by CNBC, Kremlin has repeatedly denied having a role in Navalny’s poisoning.
Russian authorities have previously said that they have offered Navalny proper medical care but that he continues to refuse it. The prison has declined to allow a doctor of Navalny’s choice from outside of the facility to administer his treatment.
On Saturday, physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said that test results he received from Navalny’s family show that the jailed critic has elevated levels of potassium, which can trigger a cardiac arrest. Navalny also has heightened creatinine levels that indicate potential kidney failure.
In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, the Russian ambassador to the U.K. accused Navalny of dramatizing his condition in order to attract attention.
In an address Thursday, Biden said he was prepared to take further actions against Moscow.
“If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so,” Biden said from the White House.
Russia expels 20 Czech diplomats in retaliation for Prague expulsions
Russia on Sunday announced the expulsion of 20 Czech diplomats a day after Prague's "unprecedented" decision to expel 18 Russian diplomats identified as secret agents.
Moscow said 20 employees of the Czech embassy had been declared "persona non grata" and must leave the country by the end of Monday.
The expulsions were unveiled after the Czech ambassador in Moscow, Vitezslav Pivonka, had been summoned by the Russian foreign ministry.
"Pivonka had been told that 20 employees of the Czech embassy in Moscow had been declared 'persona non grata'," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"They have been ordered to leave our country by the end of April 19, 2021," the ministry added, calling the Czech government's decision to expel Russian diplomats a "hostile act".
On Saturday, Czech authorities said they would expel 18 Russian diplomats identified by local intelligence as secret agents of the Russian SVR and GRU security services that are suspected of involvement in a 2014 explosion.
Czech police also said they were seeking two Russians in connection with the blast that killed two people, and who carried passports used by suspects in the attempted poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018.
Moscow alleged the move bore a "trace" of involvement by Washington, AFP said.
Gold price forecast – gold continues to reach higher
Gold markets have rallied a bit during the trading session on Friday again, as we continue to see a recovery in this market.
Gold markets have rallied significantly during the trading session again on Friday, as we continue to see gold recover from extreme lows. That being said, I want to see how this market behaves on a pullback in order to tell whether or not there are buyers willing to get involved and support it. The US dollar of course will have its say as to where we go next, as a stronger dollar can work against the value of gold. However, most importantly we need to pay close attention to the yields in America, because quite frankly the yields in the treasury markets have been a major driver of where the greenback goes. As the greenback rises, it most certainly will put downward pressure on the gold market, according to FX Empire.
|(Photo: Financial Express)|
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