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European Leaders Eye Biden at Upcoming NATO Summit Amid Health Concerns

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Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Fellow Press

As European leaders and top defense officials from 31 NATO countries gather in Washington next week, attention will be firmly on President Joe Biden. Concerns about Biden’s recent debate performance have added to existing worries about the U.S. as an “unpredictable ally.”

President Biden hopes his leadership at the summit will boost his campaign against Donald Trump, addressing concerns about his age and mental acuity. In a recent primetime interview, he stated, “Who’s gonna be able to hold NATO together like me?… We’re gonna have the NATO conference here in the United States next week. Come listen. See what they say.”

However, in private, some European officials have expressed unease about Biden’s “shaky” public appearances and the possibility of a second Trump term. “You can’t just put the genie back in the bottle,” said one European diplomat, referring to concerns about Biden’s age.

Officials usually focused on security policy will be closely monitoring Biden’s behavior during his public appearances at the NATO summit, including a speech at the Mellon Auditorium and meetings with other member and partner countries. Confidence in his team, particularly national security adviser Jake Sullivan, remains, but concerns about Biden’s political future persist.

Biden’s slump in the polls may also affect the administration’s ability to take bold action, especially given this year’s contentious fight in Congress over the $60.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine. “The issue with his age has become a major concern … a distraction from other real issues [for NATO],” said a European official. An administration official noted that the summit has “gone from an orchestrated spectacle to one of the most anxious gatherings in modern times.”

U.S. officials have insisted that Biden is mentally sharp, pointing to his handling of national security issues like the Russian war on Ukraine. A senior administration official emphasized, “Foreign leaders have seen Joe Biden up close for the last three years. They know who they’re dealing with and how effective he’s been.”

Despite these assurances, reports suggest some G7 leaders are concerned about Biden’s physical condition, with one European official claiming Biden was sometimes “out of it.” This sentiment is echoed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who commented on Biden’s recent debate performance, saying, “It was to be expected that in a direct confrontation, in a debate, it would not be easy for President Biden.”

Many European diplomats are preparing for the possibility of a second Trump administration, which has hinted at pulling out of NATO and withholding further aid to Ukraine. European diplomats have been seeking to understand Trump’s policies, engaging with his campaign and conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation.

In anticipation of future uncertainties, NATO countries have been working to “Trump-proof” military aid by having the alliance take over coordination of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group from the U.S. They are also pushing for language in the final NATO communique that would affirm the “irreversibility” of Ukraine’s accession to the alliance.

Camille Grand, a former NATO assistant secretary-general, noted in a policy brief that European leaders should prepare to “defend Europe with less America.” He emphasized the need for Europe to become less reliant on U.S. support for its security, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

Planners are keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s summit in Lithuania, where Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy criticized the lack of a timetable for Ukraine’s NATO accession. “The US team has been making absolutely sure that there wouldn’t be too many or any open issues at the summit to avoid what happened in Vilnius,” Grand said.

The summit is intended to be a smooth event and an opportunity for Biden to shine. European leaders will be watching closely to see if Biden is truly leading, and while some may have concerns, the general mood is likely to be supportive.

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Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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Suspect Located in Triple Crossbow Killings in Bushey

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

Kyle Clifford Found in North London Manhunt Following Deaths of Three Women

A manhunt for Kyle Clifford, 26, who was wanted in connection with the murder of three women in a suspected crossbow attack, has concluded with his capture in north London, police have confirmed. Clifford, a former British Army serviceman, was identified by Hertfordshire police as a suspect in the deaths of Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters, Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, at their home in Bushey.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson of Hertfordshire police revealed that the murders appeared to be “targeted.” Clifford was discovered with injuries and is now receiving medical treatment, though no shots were fired during his apprehension.

The search for Clifford led police to Lavender Hill Cemetery, 16 miles from the crime scene, where a significant police presence was observed. Paramedics and ambulances were also on site near a property searched earlier in the day as part of the manhunt.

Police believe Clifford was known to the victims, and no other suspects are being sought. Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit described the situation as “an incredibly difficult time” for the victims’ family, urging respect for their privacy.

“This investigation is moving at pace, and formal identification of the victims is yet to take place,” DI Jenkins stated. “Following extensive enquiries, the suspect has been located, and nobody else is being sought in connection with the investigation at this time. We have had an overwhelming number of calls and would like to express our gratitude to the members of the public who have contacted us.”

Detectives are appealing for any additional information or video footage related to the case.

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