Biden speaks on the Israel-Gaza ceasefire saying it will begin in less than two hours – live | US news


New York governor announces $5m Covid vaccine lottery incentive

New Yorkers could win up to $5m from the New York state lottery if they get vaccinated against Covid-19 at a state-run clinic, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday.

The new incentive, called the “Vax & Scratch”, will allow those who get vaccinated to receive a $20 lottery ticket for the $5m Mega Multiplier Lottery.

Thirteen winners will get a monetary prize ranging from $20 to $5m.

New York’s initiative is one of many incentives that have been recently launched across the US as officials search for new ways to boost the dwindling demand for Covid-19 vaccines.

Ohio offered a similar incentive two weeks ago, where residents who received their first jab could win one of five $1m prizes. Thus far, Ohio has seen an increase in vaccinations after weeks of decline.

In New Jersey, residents 21 and older can get a free beer after receiving their first vaccination. In Alabama, residents who received a vaccine or Covid test were able to take a free drive on the famed Talladega Superspeedway.

Joe Biden’s goal is to have at least one vaccine dose administered to 70% of the country’s adult population by 4 July. But despite an early surge in demand, vaccination rates have been dropping in recent weeks.

At least 38.1% of Americans are fully vaccinated. In New York, at least 42.9% of the population has received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.

These were Biden’s first substantive remarks on this bout of Israeli-Palestinian violence after 11 days of bombing, rockets, and bloodshed, during which he has been increasingly criticized by the left of his party for not putting pressure on Israel to restrain its bombing of Gaza in the face of mounting civilian deaths.

He defended his administration continuing “quiet relentless diplomacy” towards a peace settlement. Such a settlement has looked exceedingly remote in recent days, but Biden insisted there was “a genuine opportunity to make progress”.

Some of the harshest criticism of Biden’s approach has been over his refusal, on four occasions, to join a common UN security council position calling for a ceasefire. In his remarks this evening, he said the US would work with the UN, but by that he meant the UN agencies, involved in reconstruction work in Gaza.

And with an eye to critics on the right he stressed that work would be done in partnership with the Palestinian Authority, rather than with Hamas, the dominant political force in Gaza.


Joe Biden said he was told the ceasefire will begin in less than two hours


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Biden to soon deliver remarks after ceasefire announced in Gaza


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