Biden emphasizes need for Build Back Better, citing a more just tax system – live

President: ‘Raise your hand if you think the present tax structure is fair’ Democrats seek to revive parts of Biden’s Build Back Better program Senator Joe Manchin doomed the legislation last month Sign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email Joe Biden initially indicated he would not take any questions from … Read more

Schumer insists Senate will vote on voting rights bill ‘win, lose or draw’ – live

William Barr, Donald Trump’s second attorney general and perceived hatchet man until he split from the former president over his lies about election fraud, has a book deal. William Barr’s book. Photograph: AP The publisher of One Damn Thing After Another, due out on 8 March, Harper Collins, promised a “vivid and forthright” read on … Read more

Biden to tout successful passing of infrastructure law after voting rights defeat – live

Even as Democrats filed into their caucus meeting with Biden about changing Senate rules to reform federal elections, a response to GOP-backed state laws designed to restrict ballot access, a good portion of them were unaware they had already lost. Just minutes before the group’s meeting with Biden, [Kyrsten Sinema] slammed the door on weakening … Read more

Covid live: France lifts UK travel ban; teachers in France going on strike over rules for schools

10.43am GMT 10:43 “We had reached such a level of exasperation, tiredness, and anger that we didn’t have any other option but to organise a strike to send a strong message to the government,” said Elisabeth Allain-Moreno, national secretary of the SE-UNSA teachers union in France, where teachers are on strike today. Unions have said … Read more

Biden blames Trump’s ‘web of lies’ for US Capitol attack in first anniversary speech – live

The Associated Press has collected a sampling of what some of the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol in the 6 January attack are saying as they face prison time or are pleading guilty. Some, like Robert Palmer of Florida, directly blame Donald Trump for misleading them, while others remain defiant. “I have realized that … Read more

Covid live news: US sets global record of 1m daily cases; staff absence causing crisis say NHS trusts

The problem with staff absence is that it is unpredictable and lumpy in the sense that you don’t know where somebody is going to get sick and, when somebody does get sick, it’s then more likely that other people in that team will get sick and hospitals and healthcare systems are complex, they’re inter-dependent, so … Read more

Covid news live: minister says ‘nothing in the data’ to suggest more restrictions needed in England; South Korea reports first Omicron deaths

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Italian manufacturing came in at 62.0 in December against a record 62.8 registered in November. December’s reading, which was the 18th consecutive month above the 50 threshold that separates growth from contraction, beat the median forecast of 61.6 in a Reuters survey of 10 analysts. The new … Read more

Covid live news: Omicron accounts for 58.6% of all infections in US; Wales reports 12,378 cases in past 48 hours

2.39pm GMT 14:39 The S&P 500, the US’s benchmark stock market index widely used as a barometer of economic confidence, opened on Tuesday at a record high. It follows four buyant days in global markets as investors shrug off Omicron concerns amid studies of potentially lessened severity and new drugs to treat the virus. Reuters … Read more

Covid news live: almost 1,000 people sent wrong test information in Sydney; UK ministers to meet to discuss new Covid measures

8.17am GMT 08:17 Jedidajah Otte Hello everyone, I’m Jedidajah Otte and I’ll be helming this blog for the next few hours. Feel free to drop me a message if you have anything to flag, you can reach me on Twitter @JedySays or via email. 8.05am GMT 08:05 Oman will not allow employees in the public … Read more

Covid live news: France and Italy see record daily cases; Australia’s Omicron outbreak spreads

2.18am GMT 02:18 The Dominican Republic has identified its first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the health ministry of the Caribbean country said on Saturday and Reuters reports. In a statement on Twitter, the ministry said Omicron had been identified in a person with mild symptoms who had arrived in the country from … Read more