Russia-Ukraine war: US top diplomat says Putin's attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure will not divide allies
Joe Biden approves Kentucky emergency declaration
Last week, storms devasted part of Kentucky, leaving casualties in its wake. US President Joe Biden immediately approved an emergency declaration for the state, ordering federal agencies to assist in response efforts.
The White House released a statement announcing Biden’s approval of the emergency declaration for Kentucky. The state was hit by a swarm of tornados last week, killing 70 people, as well as destroying a candle factory and fire station in Kentucky town. The storms also devastated a nursing home in Missouri and killed two workers in an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, according to Reuters.
“It’s a tragedy. And we still don’t know how many lives were lost and the full extent of the damage,” Biden told reporters.
When pressed whether he thought climate change was part of the cause of the storms, Biden said he would ask the Environmental Protection Agency and other related agencies to look. The US leader also spoke with the governors of the five states that were affected by the storms. Aside from Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee were also affected. Biden expressed his condolences to the casualties from the storms in the affected states.
Biden’s approval also authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts in the affected Kentucky counties of Breckenridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Hickman, Hopkins, Lyon, Meade, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Shelby, Spencer, and Warren. DHS FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell also appointed John Brogan as the Federal Coordinating Officer for the Federal disaster relief efforts.
In other related news, Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, where both leaders aired their concerns on a number of issues, most especially the situation with Ukraine. The Kremlin said over the weekend that the two leaders have agreed to speak again, with Putin looking to meet Biden again in person at some point.
In a video released on Russian state television, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian leader was not very optimistic after his call with Biden due to their differences regarding the “red lines” that Russia has warned the West not to cross. Peskov added that Putin told Biden that despite the buildup of Russian troops at the border it shares with Ukraine, they did not pose a threat.