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Joe Biden forgives $1.2 billion in student loans as White House battle looms

Courtesy: Geo News

White House emphasises that this initiative will particularly benefit community colleges

President Joe Biden’s administration is making headlines by cancelling $1.2 billion in student loans for approximately 153,000 individuals as part of a program aimed at fulfilling promises to enhance debt forgiveness, The New York Post reported.

The move follows the Supreme Court’s rejection of a broader $430 billion student loan forgiveness plan last June, prompting Biden to explore alternative approaches to address the issue.

The White House emphasises that this initiative will particularly benefit community colleges and other borrowers with smaller loans, expediting their path to freedom from student debt.

Under the new repayment plan, individuals who initially borrowed $12,000 or less and have made payments for at least ten years will see their federal student loan balances forgiven.

Those registered in the SAVE program are expected to receive emails on Wednesday, notifying them of the $1.2 billion federal student loan debt forgiveness.

As the presidential race gains momentum, Biden’s administration aims to underscore its efforts in alleviating student loan debt, potentially using this cancellation as a strategic move to connect with voters.

The administration’s commitment to addressing student loan challenges was reiterated in a statement: “From day one of my Administration, I vowed to fix student loan programs so higher education can be a ticket to the middle class—not a barrier to opportunity.”

Despite originally planning to start in July, the administration initiated the debt forgiveness process in February, accelerating its timeline.

While many federal loan debt cancellations predate Biden’s presidency, his administration has surpassed others in cancellations, partly due to efforts to rectify past administrative issues and temporarily expand certain debt relief programs.

1- Header image: US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy at the IBEW Local 26 in Lanham, Maryland, US, February 15, 2023. —Reuters

Courtesy: Geo News White House emphasises that this initiative will particularly benefit community colleges President Joe Biden’s administration is making headlines by cancelling $1.2 billion in student loans for approximately 153,000 individuals as part of a program aimed at fulfilling promises to enhance debt forgiveness, The New York Post reported. The move follows the Supreme Court’s rejection of a broader $430 billion student loan forgiveness plan last June, prompting Biden to explore alternative approaches to address the issue. The White House emphasises that this initiative will particularly benefit community colleges and other borrowers with smaller loans, expediting their path to freedom from student debt. Under the new repayment plan, individuals who initially borrowed $12,000 or less and have made payments for at least ten years will
World De Santis, Haley, Tim Soctt? Trump shortlists six ‘solid’ names on for vice president

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Candidates include Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and more

Former President Donald Trump confirmed during a Fox News town hall event in Greenville, South Carolina, that he is considering at least six individuals for his vice presidential shortlist.

Host Laura Ingraham presented the potential candidates, including former GOP primary rivals Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, along with Rep Byron Donalds (R-Fla), South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), and former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who shifted to the political right in 2022.

In response to Ingraham’s question about whether all six are on his shortlist, Trump affirmed, “They are. Honestly, all of those people are good. They’re all solid.” He particularly highlighted Sen. Tim Scott, acknowledging his positive contribution and endorsement after dropping out of the race.

During the event, Trump expressed admiration for the qualities of the mentioned candidates, emphasising their strength as potential running mates. As the South Carolina primary approaches, Scott has been actively campaigning for Trump, who faces competition from the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley.

While Trump has identified these six names, additional speculation includes Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), whom he has reportedly praised as another possible vice presidential choice. The acknowledgment of these candidates underscores the dynamic landscape of Trump’s considerations for his potential running mate in future political endeavours.

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Candidates include Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and more Former President Donald Trump confirmed during a Fox News town hall event in Greenville, South Carolina, that he is considering at least six individuals for his vice presidential shortlist. Host Laura Ingraham presented the potential candidates, including former GOP primary rivals Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, along with Rep Byron Donalds (R-Fla), South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), and former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who shifted to the political right in 2022. In response to Ingraham’s question about whether all six are on his shortlist, Trump affirmed, “They are. Honestly, all of those people are good. They’re all solid.” He particularly highlighted Sen.
Elon Musk nominated for Nobel Peace Prize — Does he deserve it?

Courtesy: Geo News

Norwegian MP Marius Nilsen commended Elon Musk as a ‘stout proponent for free speech

Elon Musk has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Marius Nilsen, a member of the libertarian Progress Party, who commended Musk as a ‘stout proponent for free speech,’ Daily Mail reported.

Nilsen praised Musk’s commitment to dialogue and expression of diverse views in an increasingly polarised world.

The nomination specifically highlighted Musk’s defence of free speech and his contributions to global connectivity through projects like Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet constellation.

Nilsen acknowledged Starlink’s role in aiding Ukrainian resistance fighters to communicate and coordinate during Russia’s invasion.

Nilsen emphasised Musk’s impact on society, stating that Musk’s various tech companies aimed at bettering societies and increasing knowledge have made the world a more connected and safer place.

The nomination aligns with the classical liberal views of Nilsen’s Progress Party, which values dialogue and critical thinking.

The Nobel Peace Prize nomination places Musk among prominent activists, including David Attenborough, Julian Assange, Pope Francis, and others.

The award accepts nominations from individuals meeting specific criteria, and the winner will be selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Musk’s commitment to free speech became evident during his takeover of Twitter in 2022, where he restored banned accounts and championed the platform as a free marketplace of ideas.

Despite some controversies surrounding Musk’s actions, Nilsen believes that Musk’s contributions to free speech and global connectivity are valuable for world prosperity and peace.

The article also provides context on Musk’s previous accolades, including the Order of Defence Merit by Brazil, Time’s Person of the Year in 2021, and the Oslo Business for Peace Award in 2017. Musk’s ventures, such as Starlink, have played a crucial role in various global contexts, including aiding Ukraine during the conflict.

The Nobel Peace Prize has a history of controversy, and the article briefly mentions past recipients and instances of protest against certain decisions. The nomination of Elon Musk adds another layer to the ongoing dialogue surrounding the criteria for the prestigious award.

1- Header image: esla CEO Elon Musk gets in a Tesla as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China on May 31, 2023.—Reuters/file
Courtesy: Geo News Norwegian MP Marius Nilsen commended Elon Musk as a ‘stout proponent for free speech Elon Musk has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Marius Nilsen, a member of the libertarian Progress Party, who commended Musk as a ‘stout proponent for free speech,’ Daily Mail reported. Nilsen praised Musk’s commitment to dialogue and expression of diverse views in an increasingly polarised world. The nomination specifically highlighted Musk’s defence of free speech and his contributions to global connectivity through projects like Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet constellation. Nilsen acknowledged Starlink’s role in aiding Ukrainian resistance fighters to communicate and coordinate during Russia’s invasion. Nilsen emphasised Musk’s impact on society, stating that Musk’s various tech companies aimed at bettering societies and increasing knowledge
Russian CEO bags autographed Trump sneakers in $9,000 bid at Sneaker Con

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP/X

“I’ll be wearing these one-of-one Donald Trump-signed sneakers,” says Philadelphia-based businessman

A Philadelphia-based Russian businessman won an autographed pair of Donald Trump’s new golden sneakers after making a major bid a day after the ex-president of the United States announced its launch on Saturday, the New York Post reported.

Roman Sharf, the owner and chief executive officer of luxury watch dealer, Luxury Bazaar, on Sunday walked away with an autographed pair of Trump’s “Never Surrender” high-tops after placing a winning bid of $9,000 at Philadelphia’s Sneaker Con.

Trump announced the launch of his new shoe line during a surprise appearance at the event on Saturday, a day after a New York judge ordered him to pay $355 million for allegedly inflating his net worth to dupe banks and insurers.

A video shared on social media shows Sharf smiling and speaking to members of the crowd as he showed off the golden sneakers after outbidding other buyers.

The shoes, which feature an American flag detail on the back, cost $399 and are limited to just 1,000 pairs. The sneakers reportedly sold out less than two hours after the launch.

“We are going to have a winning celebration come this November, and I’ll be wearing these one-of-one Donald Trump-signed sneakers,” Sharf said after winning, according to Times Now World.

He later shared on social media he plans to eventually pass the shoes down to his children.

“But for now will display in the office,” he wrote on X.

Roman Sharf | CEO of Luxury Bazaar@romansharf
Passing these down to my kids, but for now will display in the office

Sharf is “one of the world’s biggest grey market watch dealers” trading luxury watches without brand authorisation.

His business employs 30 staff members and generates $130 million in annual sales, according to WatchPro.

Trump was met with loud boos and cheers from the crowd when he introduced the shoe line on Saturday.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” he told the crowd. “I have some incredible people that work with me on things, and they came up with this, and this is something I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years. I think it’s gonna be a big success.

1- Header image: This combination of images shows a screengrab of a video where the CEO of Luxury Bazaar Roman Sharf (left) talks to a crowd showing his Trump sneakers and Donald Trump holding the sneakers on stage at Sneaker COn in Philadelphia, US, on February 18, 2024. — X/@JackPosobiec, AFP/File

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP/X “I’ll be wearing these one-of-one Donald Trump-signed sneakers,” says Philadelphia-based businessman A Philadelphia-based Russian businessman won an autographed pair of Donald Trump’s new golden sneakers after making a major bid a day after the ex-president of the United States announced its launch on Saturday, the New York Post reported. Roman Sharf, the owner and chief executive officer of luxury watch dealer, Luxury Bazaar, on Sunday walked away with an autographed pair of Trump’s “Never Surrender” high-tops after placing a winning bid of $9,000 at Philadelphia’s Sneaker Con. Trump announced the launch of his new shoe line during a surprise appearance at the event on Saturday, a day after a New York judge ordered him to pay $355 million for allegedly inflating his net
Alexei Navalny’s wife warns Putin of payback after husband’s reported death

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Alexei Navalny’s wife, Navalnaya says: “We cannot trust Putin and the Putin government. They always lie”

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, asserts that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his associates will face repercussions if Navalny’s reported death, announced by the Russian prison service, is confirmed, Reuters reported.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Navalnaya expresses skepticism towards the news, citing distrust in Russian government sources.

“We cannot trust Putin and the Putin government. They always lie,” said Navalnaya, who was solemn and tearful.

Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia look on during a support rally in central Moscow September 6, 2013. —Reuters

“But if this is true, I want Putin, his entire entourage, Putin’s friends, his government to know that they will bear responsibility for what they did to our country, to my family, to my husband. And this day will come very soon.”

She emphasises that Putin’s regime, known for dishonesty, will be held accountable for its actions against her family and country.

Navalnaya urges international unity against what she denounces as Russia’s “horrible regime,” insisting on personal responsibility for the atrocities committed in recent years.

She called on the international community to unite against what she called Russia’s “horrible regime”.

“Both this regime and Vladimir Putin must bear personal responsibility for all the terrible things they have been doing to my country, to our country, Russia, in recent years,” she said.

1- Header image: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny embraces his wife Yulia on October 16, 2013 (left) and Yulia Navalnaya attends the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany on February 16, 2024. Reuters

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Alexei Navalny’s wife, Navalnaya says: “We cannot trust Putin and the Putin government. They always lie” Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, asserts that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his associates will face repercussions if Navalny’s reported death, announced by the Russian prison service, is confirmed, Reuters reported. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Navalnaya expresses skepticism towards the news, citing distrust in Russian government sources. “We cannot trust Putin and the Putin government. They always lie,” said Navalnaya, who was solemn and tearful. Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia look on during a support rally in central Moscow September 6, 2013. —Reuters “But if this is true, I want Putin, his entire entourage, Putin’s friends, his government to know that
Russian emigres gather across Europe to mourn Navalny, denounce Putin

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters

Hundreds of protesters, many of them Russian emigres, gathered in cities across Europe and beyond on Friday to express their outrage over the death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Often gathering outside Russian embassies, they chanted slogans critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they blamed for the activist’s death, holding up signs calling him a “killer” and demanding accountability.

A man holds a placard that reads “Not death, but murder” at a vigil held in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, February 16.—Reuters

Putin’s most formidable domestic opponent, Navalny fell unconscious and died on Friday after a walk at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a three-decade sentence, prison authorities said.

In Berlin, a crowd of 500 to 600 people, according to police estimates, gathered on the city’s Unter den Linden boulevard, chanting in a mixture of Russian, German and English.

Some chanted “Putin to the Hague”, referring to the international criminal court investigating possible war crimes committed in Ukraine. Police used barriers to close off the road between the Russian embassy and the crowd.

“Alexei Navalny is the leader of the Russian opposition and we always kept hope in his name,” said a Russian man draped in a blue-and-white anti-war flag, giving his name only as Ilia.

Russians Anna and Anastasia and Scotland’s Alison pay their respects to Alexei Navalny outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain, February 16.—Reuters/Hollie Adams

In Lithuania, formerly run from Moscow but now a member of NATO and the European Union and home to a sizeable community of emigres, protesters placed flowers and candles by a portrait of Navalny.

“He was always with us, so it is all surreal,” said Lyusya Shtein, 26, a Pussy Riot activist who has lived in Vilnius since leaving Russia in 2022. “None of us yet understand what happened”.

In Russia itself, prosecutors warned Russians against participating in any mass protest in Moscow. Police watched as some Russians came to lay roses and carnations at a monument to victims of Soviet repression in the shadow of the former KGB headquarters.

A woman holds a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as people gather near the Russian embassy in Paris, France, February 16.—Reuters

Rights group OVD-Info, which reports on freedom of assembly in Russia, said that more than 100 people had been detained at rallies in memory of Navalny. Reuters could not immediately verify the report. Groups also gathered in Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sofia, Geneva and The Hague, among others.

More than 100 protesters stood outside Russia’s London embassy, holding placards that called Putin a war criminal, while in Lisbon hundreds held a silent vigil. Pavel Elizarov, a 28-year-old Russian living in Portugal, said Navalny had been “a symbol of freedom and hope.” Near the Russian embassy in Paris, where around 100 protesters gathered, Natalia Morozov said Navalny had also been a symbol of hope for her.

“It’s hard for me to express my emotions, because I’m really shaken”, said Morozov. “Now we no longer have hope for the beautiful Russia of the future”.

Navalny’s death, if confirmed, leaves the scattered groups that oppose Putin without a figurehead, and no obvious candidate to marshal any discontent over his demise into mass protests.

A woman holds a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as people gather near the Russian embassy in Paris, France, February 16.—Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, was in Munich on Friday, where a vigil also took place. She told the Munich Security Conference she could not be sure her husband was dead because “Putin and his government… lie incessantly” but said that if confirmed she wanted them to know “they will bear responsibility.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, at a vigil outside the Russian consulate in New York City, Violetta Soboleva said she had volunteered for Navalny’s presidential campaign in 2017. “I really believed that he’s the one and he can lead Russia to a better future,” said Soboleva, a Russian studying for her doctorate in New York. “And now we’ve lost this future forever.”

1- Header image: People attend a vigil held in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, February 16.—Reuters/Liesa Johannssen

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters Hundreds of protesters, many of them Russian emigres, gathered in cities across Europe and beyond on Friday to express their outrage over the death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Often gathering outside Russian embassies, they chanted slogans critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they blamed for the activist’s death, holding up signs calling him a “killer” and demanding accountability. A man holds a placard that reads “Not death, but murder” at a vigil held in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, February 16.—Reuters Putin’s most formidable domestic opponent, Navalny fell unconscious and died on Friday after a walk at the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a three-decade sentence, prison authorities said. In Berlin, a crowd of 500 to
Trump backs North Carolina GOP chair, daughter-in-law Lara Trump to lead RNC

Courtesy: Geo News

Trump has also asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to assume role of COO at RNC

Former United States president Donald Trump on Monday night announced endorsements for the Republican National Committee (RNC), with Michael Whatley as chairman and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair, CBS News reported.

Trump’s endorsement of Whatley, who is the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and his daughter-in-law who will be serving a leadership position in the party for the first time, is expected to shake up the current leadership of the GOP.

The 77-year-old Republican presidential candidate also announced that he asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to move over to the RNC to assume the role of Chief Operating Officer.

“This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart,” Trump wrote in a statement Monday night. “They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee.”

An undated image of Lara Trump with husband Eric Trump. — Reuter/File
An undated image of Lara Trump with husband Eric Trump. — Reuter/File

The RNC’s chair, Ronna McDaniel, won a fourth term as chair in January and has been replaced due to low fundraising numbers and underperformance in recent national elections, despite having been in office since 2017.

In 2023, the RNC had its worst fundraising year in a decade, and it entered 2024 with just $8 million in its coffers, its lowest cash on hand since 2014, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports.

Last week, McDaniel met with Trump in Mar-a-Lago where she told him she’s a “team player”, expressing her commitment to the party’s best interests, including stepping down as chair.

Trump announced he would decide the RNC leadership’s future after the South Carolina primary on February 24.

Whatley, who currently serves as the general counsel at the RNC, has echoed Trump’s unproven claims of fraud following the 2020 election, stating that “we do know there was massive fraud”.

Lara, married to Trump’s second son Eric, was prominently featured on Trump’s campaign trail and was floated as a North Carolina Senate candidate for the 2022 midterm cycle.

LaCivita, a seasoned Republican strategist, has worked on various campaigns, including Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential run and the pro-Trump super political action committee Make America Great Again Inc., before joining Trump’s re-election campaign in 2022.

1- Header image: Former US president Donald Trump with North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley in Greenville, North Carolina, US June 5, 2021. — Reuters
Courtesy: Geo News Trump has also asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to assume role of COO at RNC Former United States president Donald Trump on Monday night announced endorsements for the Republican National Committee (RNC), with Michael Whatley as chairman and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair, CBS News reported. Trump’s endorsement of Whatley, who is the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and his daughter-in-law who will be serving a leadership position in the party for the first time, is expected to shake up the current leadership of the GOP. The 77-year-old Republican presidential candidate also announced that he asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to move over to the RNC to assume the role of Chief
Gunman kills three at Greek shipping company

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

ATHENS: A former employee of a Greek shipping company shot dead three people including its owner before killing himself on Monday in a coastal suburb of Athens, police said.

The shooter, 70, broke into the company’s building in Glyfada and killed two men and a woman on the first floor before barricading himself inside.

“We heard gunshots and I hid under my desk before police officers helped us out of the building,” another employee of the company, whose identity was not revealed, told radio station Skai.

As well as shooting the owner, the gunman killed the owner’s son-in-law, who is a co-director of the company European Product Carriers.

Police were alerted at 10:11 am local time (0811 GMT) by an employee inside the building. The gunman was found dead in the basement with his weapon next to him, having “likely shot himself in the head”, said police spokesperson Konstantina Dimoglidou.

Dimoglidou added that the gunman worked for the owner’s family but did not provide further details.

In a video posted by News247, a company employee claimed the assailant was “of Egyptian origin” and “was targeting the company’s executives for revenge”.

He “ordered us to leave so the employees would not be harmed”, she added. Police earlier said officers entered the building and evacuated two women the shooter had locked in the toilets.

Nearby roads were closed and a large police presence surrounded the building.

European Product Carriers was founded in 1979 and boasts an average fleet of 35 vessels including oil tankers, according to its website.

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP ATHENS: A former employee of a Greek shipping company shot dead three people including its owner before killing himself on Monday in a coastal suburb of Athens, police said. The shooter, 70, broke into the company’s building in Glyfada and killed two men and a woman on the first floor before barricading himself inside. “We heard gunshots and I hid under my desk before police officers helped us out of the building,” another employee of the company, whose identity was not revealed, told radio station Skai. As well as shooting the owner, the gunman killed the owner’s son-in-law, who is a co-director of the company European Product Carriers. Police were alerted at 10:11 am local time (0811 GMT) by an employee

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