Donald Trump has left the White House for the final time of his presidency, ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Mr Trump has taken a helicopter to the nearby Andrews base, where he is now speaking, and will then board the Air Force One plane for Florida. He is the first president to snub his successor’s inauguration since 1869.
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has managed to cling to power, but he will plow ahead with an even more fragile government as the country battles to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and recession. The victory ends the turmoil triggered by former prime minister Matteo Renzi, who last week yanked his small Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition.
Rescue teams on Wednesday drilled new holes down a gold mine in China’s Shandong province, searching for more survivors after an explosion 10 days ago and preparing an escape passage for a group known to still be alive, state media reported. A total of 22 workers were trapped underground in the Hushan gold mine on the outskirts of Yantai, on China’s eastern coast, following the Jan. 10. blast.
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne are among the people being pardoned or granted clemency by Donald Trump in the final hours of his presidency. The outgoing president granted clemency to 143 people on Wednesday. “Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” the White House said in a statement.
On his way out the door, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hit China with new sanctions by declaring that China’s policies on Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang Province constitute a “genocide.” Pompeo made the determination on Tuesday just 24 hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. There was no immediate response from the incoming Biden team.