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A broken ethernet cable is seen in front of a US flag and TikTok logo.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

The clock is ticking for … TikTok

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a law that could see TikTok banned nationwide unless its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, sells the popular app within a year. The law was motivated by national security concerns.

TikTok promptly vowed to challenge the “unconstitutional” law in court, saying it would “silence” millions of Americans – setting the stage for a battle over whether the law violates First Amendment rights.

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Jess Frampton

Will US aid help turn the tide of the Russia-Ukraine war?

Paraphrasing a quote often misattributed to Winston Churchill, the United States Congress finally decided to do the right thing … but not a moment too soon, and only after trying everything else first.

Last Saturday, the House of Representatives overcame months-long opposition from the far-right wing of the Republican Party and okayed a fresh military assistance package for Ukraine. Totaling nearly $61 billion, this is the largest single aid package the besieged nation will have received since the war’s onset. The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday night and was signed into law by President Joe Biden a few hours ago. Some of the newly appropriated American weapons systems and ammunition will begin flowing into Ukraine and reaching the frontline within days.

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Pro-Palestine protesters hold placards expressing their opinion as they participate in a sit-in demonstration at New York University.

SOPA Images

Campuses in crisis vs. Capitol Hill calm

Across the US, college students have been protesting, sleeping outside, and even getting arrested for trying to force their schools to divest from companies with ties to Israel. Meanwhile, it's been business as usual on Capitol Hill, where the Senate approved a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan late Tuesday. The bill, which includes $17 billion in wartime assistance to Israel plus $9 billion for humanitarian aid in Gaza, is now heading for President Joe Biden's desk, where it is expected to be signed.

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Europe welcomes US Ukraine package, but pushes to add even more aid
Europe welcomes US Ukraine package, but pushes to add even more aid | Europe In :60

Europe welcomes US Ukraine package, but pushes to add even more aid

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm.

What's the European reaction to, finally, the decision by the US House of Representatives to give green light to military aid to Ukraine?

Well, obviously enormous satisfaction. We've been waiting for quite some long time. But it has to be said, however important this is, that it will take some time for it to reach the battle lines in the east of Europe. It's not enough. And, in the days before the US decision, that was a decision by the European head of state, the government, to increase European aid. There's already very substantial European aid packages there, of course, but more is needed primarily in the terms of our defense. Germany immediately decided to commit to further battery of Patriots. And, discussions are underway among European capitals to further Patriots and other deliveries that are necessary in order to, make certain to Mr. Putin that they will never win at some point in time, they simply have to cave back. And the last week was an important one.

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House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks to reporters during a weekly press conference at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 16, 2024.

REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy/File Photo

The toughest job in America?

It’s a bit surprising that anyone wants to be Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Six months ago, Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by fellow Republicans after he dared to cooperate with House Democrats on funding the government. His replacement, Mike Johnson, now faces a battle to retain the gavel as he attempts to navigate between Democrats and an increasingly fractured GOP with rabble-rousers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene raising objections to foreign aid and threatening the Speaker’s job.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden attend a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium February 1, 2024.

REUTERS/Johanna Geron

The EU stares down Orban

Serial political blackmailer Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, upset other EU leaders in December by vetoing a plan meant to provide Ukraine with a multi-year €50 billion EU aid package. The EU must, Orban insisted, pledge to revisit the plan each year the money was scheduled for disbursement – with any member retaining the right to veto the plan midstream.

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US President Joe Biden delivers a prime-time address to the nation about his approaches to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian assistance in Gaza, and continued support for Ukraine in their war with Russia, on Oct. 19, 2023.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

Biden seeks urgent aid package for Israel, Ukraine

President Joe Biden, having just returned from Israel, addressed the United States on Thursday night, making a plea for steadfast American support of both the Jewish State and Ukraine.

At this “inflection point in history,” Biden said, Hamas terrorists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are trying to annihilate a neighboring democracy.

“I know these conflicts can seem far away,” he said, warning that unchecked aggression from terrorists and dictators continues to spread.

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