January 22, 2021

‘This is not a third Obama term’: Biden sits for his first post-election interview – as it happened


1.24am GMT01:24

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12.58am GMT00:58

Los Angeles bans restaurant dining and plans stay-at-home order

Los Angeles is shutting down restaurant dining and plans to adopt a new stay-at-home order as California faces record Covid-19 infections, a potential shortage of hospital beds and an expected surge in cases tied to the holidays.

LA officials announced on Sunday that the county would be prohibiting dining at restaurants for at least three weeks starting on Wednesday, and urged residents not to travel or gather in groups for Thanksgiving this week. With a record of 6,124 new cases reported on Monday in LA and an alarming increase over the last week, the county is expected to launch another lockdown, officials said on Monday.

The new restrictions, which will be discussed on Tuesday, are hitting the largest county in the US as the state experiences by far the highest level of Covid spread since the start of the pandemic.

California reported a record of more than 15,000 new Covid cases statewide on Saturday, and another 14,000 cases on Sunday. LA county has been a Covid hotspot in the state for months and now has a record surge, with a five-day average of more than 4,500 people reporting new infections each day – a number that has nearly doubled in just two weeks, the LA Times reported.

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12.42am GMT00:42

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12.33am GMT00:33

12.23am GMT00:23

Biden on NBC: ‘this is not a third Obama term’

11.36pm GMT23:36

Who are Joe Biden’s top cabinet picks?

Anthony Blinken – secretary of state

Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state marks a sharp break with the Trump administration. The former deputy secretary of state is a committed internationalist, who spent some of his childhood in Paris and is fluent in French. He views US engagement with the world, and particularly Europe, as vital. He was a member of Bill Clinton’s White House staff in the 1990s and served under President Barack Obama. In 2019 he expressed strong opinions about Brexit, saying: “This is not just the dog that caught the car, this is the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog. It’s a total mess.”

Janet Yellen – treasury secretary

The 74-year-old economist was the first woman to chair the US Federal Reserve, and looks set to achieve another first: becoming the country’s first female treasury secretary. Professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, a former assistant professor at Harvard and a lecturer at the London School of Economics, Yellen is an expert in labour markets and has highlighted the economic impact of uneven growth in the jobs market. Donald Trump declined to reappoint her after his election, making her the first central bank chief not to serve two terms since the Carter administration.

Alejandro Mayorkas – secretary of homeland security

Described by the former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro as “a historic and experienced choice to lead an agency in desperate need of reform”, the Cuban-American lawyer served as the deputy secretary of homeland security for nearly three years under Obama. Formerly Obama’s director of US citizenship and immigration services, if confirmed, the 61-year-old would be the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the department.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield – US ambassador to the United Nations

The Louisianian was formerly assistant secretary of state for African affairs under the Obama and Trump administrations. She was also the US ambassador to Liberia under George W Bush and Obama. Of her appointment, Thomas-Greenfield, 68, has said: “My mother taught me to lead with the power of kindness and compassion to make the world a better place. I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my career in foreign service and, if confirmed, will do the same as ambassador to the United Nations.”

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11.10pm GMT23:10

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10.55pm GMT22:55

10.38pm GMT22:38

Biden: ‘We do not want a guarded border’ between UK and Ireland

10.20pm GMT22:20

Late afternoon summary