US President Joe Biden opened the first overseas trip of his term

US President Joe Biden opened the first overseas trip of his term with a declaration that “the United States is back” as he sought to reassert the nation on the world stage and steady European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor. Biden has set the stakes for his eight-day trip to Europe in sweeping terms, believing the West must publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. It is an open repudiation of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

His first stop was a visit with US troops and their families at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the UK, where he laid out his mission for the trip. “We’re going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and issues that matter the most to our future,” he said. It was a short stop on his way to Cornwall for the G7 meeting. Shortly before the president spoke, people briefed on the matter said the Biden administration had brokered an agreement with Pfizer to purchase 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to be donated to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union over the next year.

 

A Moscow court outlawed the organisations founded by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by labelling them extremist, in a move said to be designed to bar Kremlin critics from running for parliament in September. The Moscow City Court’s ruling, effective immediately, prevents people associated with Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his sprawling regional network from seeking public office. Many of Navalny’s allies had hoped to run for parliamentary seats in the September election.

The ruling sends a tough message one week before President Vladimir Putin holds a summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva. The extremism label also carries lengthy prison terms for activists who have worked with the organisations, anyone who donated to them, and even those who simply shared the groups’ materials. Navalny, Putin’s most ardent political foe, was arrested in January upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

 

More than 800 suspected criminals were arrested worldwide after being tricked into using an FBI-run encrypted messaging app, officials said. The operation, jointly conceived by Australia and the FBI, saw devices with the ANOM app secretly distributed among criminals, allowing police to monitor their chats about drug smuggling, money laundering and even murder plots. Officials called it a watershed moment. Targets included drug gangs and people with links to the mafia.

Drugs, weapons, luxury vehicles and cash were also seized in the operation, which was conducted across more than a dozen countries. This included eight tonnes of cocaine, 250 guns and more than $48m in various worldwide currencies and cryptocurrencies. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the operation had "struck a heavy blow against organised crime" around the world. European Union police agency Europol described Operation Trojan Shield/Greenlight as the "biggest ever law enforcement operation against encrypted communication".

 

A pickup truck attack that killed four members of an immigrant family shook Canada, a country where immigrants are largely accepted. The country’s prime minister called it a hate crime directed at Muslims. The victims — two parents, two children and a grandmother — were on an evening walk when the driver of the truck struck them at an intersection in London, Ontario. The sole survivor was a 9-year-old boy, who was hospitalised.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament. “If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital? How can we look families in the eye and say “Islamophobia isn’t real”?

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