President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other top federal office-holders will be offered
over the next week-and-a-half to guard against an outbreak that could cripple the functions of government, USA Today reported. COVID-19 vaccines
The shots will be offered to officials across all three branches of government, including leaders at the White House, in Congress, and on the Supreme Court, officials said. White House staff members who work in close proximity to Trump are also expected to get early vaccines.
Dozens of staffers and visitors to the White House have tested positive for the virus throughout the pandemic, including the president.
Two government officials confirmed the vaccination plan, speaking on condition of anonymity because details on who, when, and where are still being worked out. They said the plan will roll out over the next 10 days.
One goal of the program is to build public confidence in the vaccine.
Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have volunteered to take vaccines as a show of confidence. It is unclear when, or even if, Trump will receive a vaccination; the president was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October. But aides have said Trump is willing to take the vaccine in public to build public confidence in the medicine.
It was not clear if President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and other members of Biden's transition team would be offered vaccinations during the early rollout.
Biden wants the U.S. back in the Iran nuclear deal
An Obama-era nuclear deal that was scrapped amid escalating tensions between the Trump administration and Iran could soon be revived, according to U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to restore the pact.
The deal, which initially lifted sanctions off Iran in exchange for a limit on their nuclear capabilities, has been a smoke point in international relations since its abandonment two years ago.
Some have called for its restoration in order to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East, while other world leaders, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said restoring such a deal would be a mistake.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on President-elect Joe Biden last month to “compensate for past mistakes” and return to the deal as outlined in 2015.
(Photo: The Economists)
Biden has expressed interest in reviving the nuclear deal, as long as Iran agrees to renew its compliance to the JPCOA’s terms.
If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” Biden previously said in an op-ed to CNN.
However, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said Iran would not be re-negotiating any new terms, adding that the U.S. would need to pledge to uphold its own “commitments” to UN resolution UNSCR 2231, which urges the full implementation of JPCOA, before talks to rejoin can begin, according to Global News.
Leaders to push Brexit trade talks beyond Sunday deadline
London and Brussels agreed on Sunday to “go the extra mile” in coming days to try to reach an elusive trade agreement despite missing their latest deadline to avert a turbulent exit for Britain from the European Union’s orbit at the end of the month.
According to Reuters, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the EU’s executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen had given negotiators a Sunday deadline to find a way to resolve an impasse on arrangements that would guarantee Britain zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market.
On Sunday they mandated negotiators to continue, although Johnson sounded a downbeat note on prospects for a breakthrough.
Britain quit the EU in January but remains an informal member until Dec. 31 - the end of a transition period during which it has remained in the EU single market and customs union.
Johnson said the two sides would try to be as creative as possible but Britain could not compromise on key “red lines” so the most likely option was no deal, with trade reverting to the non-concessionary terms set by the World Trade Organization.
A final Brexit without a trade deal would damage the economies of Europe, send shockwaves through financial markets, snarl borders and sow chaos through the delicate supply chains across Europe and beyond.
The two sides have struggled to agree on fishing rights in British waters and EU demands that Britain face consequences if in the future it diverges from the bloc’s rules for fair competition - what it calls a level playing field.
Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said that despite recent comments from the British side, he understood that there was largely agreement on maintaining existing standards.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief ambassadors from the bloc on Monday morning about the state of negotiations. The envoys will then review the situation, Sebastian Fischer, an EU spokesman for Germany, which holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, said on Twitter.
14 migrants found dead off of Venezuela's eastern coast
Fourteen people believed to have traveled from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago were found dead in waters near the South American nation’s coast, Venezuelan authorities said on Sunday, hours after Trinidad and Tobago confirmed the first bodies being found.
At least 40,000 Venezuelans live in Trinidad and Tobago, the majority fleeing their country’s economic crisis, unemployment and lack of basic public services, often traveling in small rickety boats above their capacity, with limited supplies of fuel and food, as reported by Reuters.
The bodies were found on Saturday, 7 nautical miles off the Venezuelan coastal town of Guiria, the Venezuela government statement said.
It added that the first 11 bodies appeared late on Saturday afternoon, while the bodies of two men and one woman appeared on Sunday. No one has come forward to formally report the disappearances, it said.
Fourteen people believed to have traveled from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago were found dead in waters near the South American nation’s coast (Photo: US News and World report)
Venezuelan authorities are investigating, the statement added, and they have not ruled out the possible involvement of criminal groups in the Guiria area.
Venezuela’s prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trinidad and Tobago’s coast guard said it had not intercepted any vessels in the past week leaving from Guiria and that authorities were working with Venezuela in a joint search effort.
Gold price prediction – prices rise closing the week unchanged following weak PPI
Gold prices edged higher on Friday, as the dollar moved higher and US yields edged lower. The labor department reported US Producer Price came in at the lowest reading since April, and softer than expected. For the week gold prices were nearly unchanged after rallying 3% in the prior week.
Gold prices rebounded on Friday and finished the week unchanged. Prices made a higher high and a higher low but were unable to push through resistance. Prices are testing support near the 10-day moving average at 1,835. Resistance is seen near the 50-day moving average at 1,875. Short-term momentum has turned negative as the fast stochastic generated a crossover sell signal. The current reading on the fast stochastic is 66, down from 73. Medium-term momentum is positive but is decelerating as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) histogram prints in the black with a decelerating trajectory, which points to consolidation.
(Photo: Indian TV News)
According to the Labor Department, the producer price index up 0.1% in Novembere after increasing 0.3% in October. That was the smallest gain since April. In the 12 months through November, the PPI advanced 0.8% after increasing 0.5% in October. Expectatinos had been for PPI to grain 0.2% in November and rising 0.8% on a year-on-year basis. Excluding food, energy and trade services components, producer prices inched up 0.1%. The core PPI climbed 0.2% in October. In the 12 months through November, the core PPI gained 0.9% after rising 0.8% in October.
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