Biden news – live: President hosts final day of climate summit as Trump calls LeBron James ‘racist’

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Earth Day: Greta Thunberg testifies to US politicians on climate crisis
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LIVE – Updated at 12:04

Joe Biden is gearing up for the second and final day of his Earth Day climate summit, which is expected see leading Democrats, business executives and union bosses discuss their vision for a transition to a cleaner and more sustainable US economy.

The US president kickstarted proceedings on Thursday by unveiling a new pledge to cut US emissions in half by 2030, but climate activists with Extinction Rebellion remained unimpressed by his “bull****” plans, dumping cow manure near the White House in protest.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has sought to accuse LeBron James of making “racist” remarks, after the NBA star wrote a now-deleted social media post calling for accountability and justice after the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

In a rambling statement, the former US president – notorious for using dog-whistles and slurs while seeking and holding office – lashed out at the sportsman’s “racist rants”, which he claimed were “divisive, nasty, insulting and demeaning”. 

His verbal attack came after Mr James deleted a tweet about the Ohio killing which had captioned a picture of police officer Nicholas Reardon with the words “you’re next”. The Los Angeles Lakers star said that his post – published hours after former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year – had been “used to create more hate”.

Meanwhile,

Read more:

  • Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates to feature at climate summit
  • Trump accuses LeBron James of ‘racist rants’
  • What happened at the climate summit yesterday?

US can tap into $38bn of existing funds to help communities hit by demise of coal, new report suggests

12:04 , Andy Gregory

A new report from a White House-appointed group published today suggests that the US government can tap into $38bn from existing federal funds to revitalise communities hard-hit by the closure of coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

“The coal and power plant workers who built our nation can play a huge role in making America’s clean energy future a reality, and this report outlines just the first steps the Biden Administration is taking to make sure they have those opportunities – right in their communities,” said US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm, a member of the working group.

Reuters reports that the US Energy Department has also announced $109.5m in new funds to jumpstart “next-generation industries” such as carbon capture projects on existing industrial and power plants, and critical mineral extraction from waste streams that will create jobs directly in affected communities.

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11:53 , Andy Gregory

We’ll be covering the events of today’s climate summit as they happen.

You can watch along here, and at the top of this article.

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Swipe alt-right: Capitol riot suspect arrested after bragging about it on dating app Bumble

11:28 , Andy Gregory

A New York man has been arrested for allegedly taking part in the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, after bragging about his involvement on the dating app Bumble.

Robert Chapman, from Carmel in New York State, was arrested by the FBI on Thursday in connection to the riot, with the bureau claiming in his charging documents that he had sent a message allegedly boasting that he “made it all the way into Statuary Hall”.

James Crump has this report:

© Provided by The Independent

Capitol riot suspect arrested after bragging about it on dating app Bumble

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Markets react to reports of Biden tax hike plans

11:22 , Andy Gregory

Joe Biden’s focus may be on climate today, but reports suggesting he is planning to unveil tax hikes for America’s wealthiest residents have sent waves across financial markets the world over.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the president will next week lay out plans to more than double the capital gains tax paid by those earning more than $1m per year to nearly 40 per cent as part of a range of changes aimed at creating more funding for education and childcare.

Wall Street’s S&P Index lost 0.9 per cent overnight, while stock markets in Asia had a varying reaction to the news. The crypto market is also reported to have felt some impact, with Bitcoin crashing 10 per cent on Friday morning and Ethereum falling 11 per cent from record highs of the day before.

© Provided by The Independent

Bitcoin price drops by a quarter as it crashes below $50k

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AMA: Put your climate questions to The Independent’s correspondent

10:42 , Andy Gregory

Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle will shortly be hosting an “Ask Me Anything” session to coincide with Earth Day and Joe Biden’s virtual summit, which has seen a host of new pledges and announcements.

You can submit your questions now, and follow along from 1pm as Louise responds here:

© Provided by The Independent

Earth Day 2021: Ask The Independent’s Climate Correspondent anything

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Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg to help sell Biden’s hopes for climate-friendly transition

10:29 , Andy Gregory

Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg will be among a range of billionaires, chief executives and union bosses brought out on the second and final day of Joe Biden’s climate summit as he seeks to sell Democrats’ vision for a green transformation of the US economy.

Transport secretary Pete Buttigieg, US trade representative Katherine Tai, and Mr Biden’s climate advisers are also lined up to lead a panel discussing “the economic benefits of green recovery and long-term decarbonisation”.

Mr Biden had argued on Thursday that the climate crisis “presents one of the largest job creation opportunities in history”.

The Republican Party, however, remain closely aligned to the arguments pushed by Donald Trump in his now-reversed withdrawal from the Paris Agreement – with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claiming on Thursday that Democrats’ plans to transition to clean energy were costly, ineffective, and would simply mean “putting good-paying American jobs into the shredder”.

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LeBron James would be ‘relegated to the outskirts of society’ if his surname were Trump, Kayleigh McEnany claims

10:06 , Andy Gregory

Donald Trump’s former press secretary is among Republicans criticising LeBron James for his comments about the police shooting in Ohio.

On her Fox News show, Kayleigh McEnany said this week: “Let’s say his name was LeBron Trump, and he was a right-wing activist,” she continued. “He would be banned from Twitter and he would lose his job, likely. He’d lose all his sponsorships and he would be relegated to the outskirts of society.”

Ms McEnany accused the NBA star of “putting a target on” the police officer identified as firing the shots which killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant – with his now-deleted tweet, posted hours after the Derek Chauvin verdict, having claimed: “You’re next.”

During her tenure as Mr Trump’s press secretary, Ms McEnany defended the then-president on more than one occasion in which he faced accusations of inciting violence, including in response to the fatal 6 January storming of the Capitol and during last year’s protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

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LeBron James says tweet was ‘being used to create more hate’

09:37 , Andy Gregory

Here’s LeBron James’s response to the backlash to his now-deleted tweet telling the police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant: “You’re next”.

James wrote on Wednesday: “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”

My colleague Akshita Jain has the details in this report:

© Provided by The Independent

LeBron James explains why he took down tweet telling Ohio police officer ‘you’re next’

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Trump accuses LeBron James of ‘racist rants’

09:24 , Andy Gregory

Here’s the truly bizarre statement from Donald Trump attempting to label LeBron James’ past comments as “racist”.

“LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League,” the statement released by Mr Trump’s office said.

“His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning. He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”

The former president’s attack follows much Republican criticism of the NBA star’s now-deleted tweet this week.

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US stages climate comeback after Trump but fails to elicit specific targets from largest polluters

09:17 , Andy Gregory

Joe Biden will be hoping to build on yesterday’s momentum as he seeks to drive America’s comeback on the world stage and make his case for a green transformation of the US economy.

Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle has this report on what happened as world leaders convened virtually for the first day of Mr Biden’s summit.

© Provided by The Independent

US stages climate comeback after Trump’s term of inaction but fails to elicit specific targets from largest polluters

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09:10 , Andy Gregory

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of US politics, as Joe Biden’s climate summit enters its second day.

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