Biden meets Griner, Whelan families at White House | Politics News

Households are pushing US to safe launch of WNBA star Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, held in Russia.

US President Joe Biden has met with the households of basketball star Brittney Griner and former marine Paul Whelan, amid ongoing efforts in Washington to safe two Americans’ launch from detention in Russia.

Biden sat down within the Oval Workplace on Friday with Cherelle Griner, the spouse of Griner, and Elizabeth Whelan, the ex-marine’s sister.

The conferences started shortly earlier than 5pm (21:00 GMT), the White Home stated.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White Home press secretary, stated earlier this week that Biden hoped the face-to-face talks will present the households “that they continue to be entrance of thoughts” for the US administration.

“Whereas I’d like to say that the aim of this assembly is to tell the households that the Russians have accepted our supply and we’re bringing their loved-ones residence, that isn’t what we’re seeing in these negotiations right now,” Jean-Pierre advised reporters.

Griner, a Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) and two-time Olympic gold medallist, was sentenced to 9 years in jail final month over drug fees.

She was arrested in February, days earlier than Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and her case has moved by means of the Russian courtroom system amid frayed relations between Moscow and Washington over the conflict.

Whelan, a Marine veteran, was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2020 on espionage fees.

The US State Division has referred to as the detention of each US residents unjustified.

Earlier on Friday, a White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson stated negotiations with Moscow to safe the 2 People’ launch are ongoing.

“The president felt it was vital to proceed the dialogue with the relations … We’ve got stayed in contact with them all through; we’ve got saved them knowledgeable all through,” John Kirby advised reporters.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in July that Washington made a “substantial proposal” to Moscow to free Griner and Whelan.

A number of US media retailers reported round that point that the Biden administration provided a prisoner trade involving a Russian arms seller detained within the US.

On Friday, Kirby advised reporters that Russia has not responded to that supply, “however that doesn’t imply that we’re not nonetheless in negotiations or we’re not nonetheless making an attempt”.

Moscow stated final month that it was “prepared” to debate a prisoner swap cope with Washington.

In the meantime, Griner’s kin, teammates and supporters have been calling on the US authorities to place its full weight behind the case to push for her launch.

Griner was accused of bringing vape canisters containing hashish oil into Russia, the place she was set to play for a basketball crew in Yekaterinburg.

Regardless of the deteriorating ties between Washington and Moscow, Russia in April freed Trevor Reed, a former US marine. In trade, the US launched Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was serving a 20-year sentence within the US over drug fees.

Biden vows to end social media immunity over ‘spreading hate’ | Racism News

The White Home has repeatedly known as for revoking Part 230, a regulation that shields on-line corporations from legal responsibility over content material posted by customers.

US President Joe Biden has known as on Individuals to talk out towards racism, saying he would ask Congress to do extra to carry social media corporations accountable for spreading hate.

“White supremacists is not going to have the final phrase,” Biden stated on Thursday on the United We Stand Summit of native leaders, consultants and survivors.

Biden stated the US had lengthy skilled a “by means of line of hate” towards minority teams, one which had been given “an excessive amount of oxygen” by politics and the media in recent times.

The occasion additionally recognised communities that suffered hate-based assaults, together with mass shootings at a homosexual nightclub in Orlando in 2016 and at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store earlier this yr, wherein 10 Black folks had been gunned down by an avowed racist.

Hate crimes within the US hit a 12-year excessive in 2020, the final accessible knowledge, the FBI stated final yr.

‘Silence is complicity’

Individuals gave Biden a standing ovation when he stated he needed Congress to “maintain social media corporations accountable for spreading hate”.

“I’m calling on Congress to eliminate particular immunity for social media corporations and impose a lot stronger transparency necessities on all of them,” Biden stated.

The White Home has repeatedly known as for revoking Part 230, a regulation that shields on-line corporations from legal responsibility over content material posted by customers, and has additionally supported ramping up anti-trust and transparency enforcement on expertise corporations.

The White Home occasion comes simply weeks after Biden warned in a speech in Philadelphia that “extremist” Republicans are a risk to democracy.

Biden addressed criticism that the speech was divisive on Thursday.

“Silence is complicity, we will’t stay silent,” Biden stated. “There are those who say we carry this up, we divide the nation. Bringing it up we silence it.”

A number of huge expertise corporations additionally joined in. YouTube stated it was increasing its efforts to fight “violent extremism” by eradicating content material glorifying violent acts for the aim of inspiring others to commit hurt, fundraise, or recruit.

Microsoft stated it was increasing the usage of synthetic intelligence and machine studying instruments to detect credible threats of violence, and use gaming to construct empathy.