Biden in Tokyo says US would send military if China invades Taiwan
President Joe Biden said on Monday that the United States would come to the military defense of Taiwan if China invaded and attempted to take control of the self-governing island by force. “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said during a Tokyo press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Both leaders said they always support the “One China” policy which recognizes that there is only one Chinese government. China considers Taiwan as part of its territory while Taiwan considers itself an independent and sovereign nation. The United States has long tried to find difficult common ground that aims to support Taiwan without infuriating China. Biden, who is on a five-day trip to Asia, on Monday announced the dozen founding partners of his Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, an attempt to deepen economic engagement and cooperation in the region and help counter the crisis. China’s growing economic and military influence. “We are writing the new rules of the 21st century economy,” Biden said.
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Former Vice President Pence to headline rally for Georgia governor, putting him at odds with Trump
Former Vice President Mike Pence will headline a rally for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Monday, on the eve of the state’s disputed Republican primary. Pence’s appearance puts him at odds with former President Donald Trump, who is battling to defeat the incumbent GOP governor. Kemp infuriated the former president when he refused to overturn the result of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election in favor of Trump. Trump endorsed Kemp’s opponent, Republican Sen. David Perdue, in February. In April, Trump’s Save America PAC donated $500,000 to a super PAC dedicated to preventing Kemp’s re-election, Politico reported.
Russia seeks to expand its domain north of Mariupol
After capturing the strategic southern city of Mariupol, its first major victory of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military is focusing its efforts on the Donbass region to the north in a bid to expand the territory that Moscow-backed separatists hold since 2014. Russia has made further gains in the region and is trying to conquer Sievierodonetsk, the main Ukrainian-controlled city in Luhansk province, which is part of Donbass along with Donetsk province. Ukraine’s military said on Sunday that Russian forces launched an unsuccessful attack on Oleksandrivka, a village outside Sievierodonetsk. In a morning report from the General Staff over the weekend, Russia said it was preparing to resume its offensive towards Sloviansk, a city in Donetsk province that is key to Russia’s goal of capture all of eastern Ukraine.
Launch of the first NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program
The inaugural NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program will take place Monday and Tuesday at the league’s spring meetings in Atlanta. Each team has nominated promising prospects from its coaching staff and executive offices and will send them to the program. Leadership and development sessions will be offered, as well as windows of opportunity for aspiring head coaches and general managers to have face-to-face meetings with team officials with hiring authority. The program comes as the league continues to struggle with its diverse hiring practices. The last two hiring cycles have seen an improvement for general managers, with the number of senior talent evaluators increasing to seven following the hiring of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Minnesota and Ryan Poles in Chicago. However, the number of minority head coaches remains at five in a league whose player corps is around 75% black.
Jury selection begins for trial in Judy Huth’s civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby
Almost 50 years after an alleged encounter at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, Judy Huth’s civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby – accusing him of groping her as a teenager – will go to trial this week. Jury selection will begin Monday at the Santa Monica Courthouse for Huth v. Cosby, with the trial starting as soon as a jury is chosen. Huth, 64, is suing Cosby for sexual assault. She sued in 2014, alleging she was groped by the comedian/TV star in 1974 when she was 15 and visiting the Playboy Mansion, where Cosby was a frequent visitor. Cosby denied his allegations. Huth filed the lawsuit shortly after Cosby became the target of five dozen allegations from women who accused him of drugging and raping them in encounters dating back to the mid-1960s.