Joe Biden inherits a deeply divided America, perhaps that’s why he gave a nod to Abraham Lincoln

With each inauguration of a new US president, we often hear about their predecessors.

Perhaps it’s because of the former presidents in attendance at the actual ceremony — or this year, the one who was not.

Joe Biden’s inauguration was a chance for “46” to put his own stamp on the role. But if you paid attention, you likely heard him reference another president: Abraham Lincoln.

What were the main throwbacks?

Aside from symbolic nods — such the service for COVID-19 victims at the Lincoln Memorial on January 19 — there were also two strong links back to Lincoln in President Biden’s inaugural address.

This line from Joe Biden referenced one of the most enduring phrases from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: the “better angels”.

US President Joe Biden used his inauguration speech to call for unity across the political divide.(Reuters: Patrick Samansky)

In the face of America’s challenges (at the time, civil war), it was a deeply personal call from the President to the best parts of human nature — positive, constructive, good elements of people’s characters.

You can read the full transcript here.

We also heard President Biden refer to the Emancipation Proclamation, a feature of Lincoln’s first term.

“When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote: ‘If my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it,'” cited Biden.

Abraham Lincoln issued the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, several years into the Civil War. It declared that all slaves in the rebellion states would be free.

Many see the document as a turning point in the conflict. It wasn’t just about preserving the Union anymore; it was also about the (eventual) abolition of slavery — positioning it as essential to any post-war America.

It would become a defining feature of Lincoln’s presidency.

Why would Biden link to Lincoln?

To put it very simply: he can (somewhat) relate.

Although he will lead at a completely different time, much like president Lincoln, Joe Biden is grappling with the challenge of a deeply divided country.

For Abraham Lincoln it was the destructive, painful Civil War that saw years of bloody battles and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Washington Mall
The statue of Abraham Lincoln sits in the memorial at the Washington Mall.(ABC News: Michael Vincent)

More than a century on, President Joe Biden steps up at another volatile moment in US history.

Deep political divisions have long existed in the US, but four years of a Donald Trump presidency seemed to exacerbate tensions.

Just days before the inauguration, those tensions would be on violent display, with deadly riots at the very place Joe Biden would take the oath of office.

By his second inauguration in 1865, Abraham Lincoln had shifted his focus to a solemn call for healing.

“Let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

His legacy as a man who brought the country together — a “Saviour of the Union” — is one that has long endured; in some ways held up as the prime example for his successors.

Joe Biden used his own presidential campaign to build a similar image of himself as a leader that would unify and heal, often referring to the election as a battle for the “soul of the nation”.

These sentiments were echoed in last week’s inaugural address.

“And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.”

In the same way that Lincoln called people to appeal to their “better angels”, Biden too called for tolerance and humility — and a fresh start.

“Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another.”

“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path.”

The challenge ahead

These nods to Lincoln bring an element of familiarity back to US politics and with it, potentially, a sense of return to stability after years of turbulence.

What remains now is the reality of the challenges that lie ahead.

With the pandemic far from under control, the number of lives lost will continue to grow. Add to that the severe and ongoing economic impact.

Beyond that, there is the task of unpicking four years of leadership that sowed mistrust in the media and allowed misinformation to flourish.

The resistance will be fierce — 74 million people voted for Donald Trump. Many are still openly disputing the election’s result.

This week, under the gaze of the 16th president, Joe Biden began his own long process of leading healing, with a memorial for the 400,000-plus American lives lost to COVID-19.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden honour COVID-19 in ceremony at Lincoln Memorial
The new Biden administration signals a shift in approach to COVID-19 — starting with a memorial service.(News Video)

It was a moment of strong symbolism that bound two different periods of deep loss for the country.

Abraham Lincoln did not get to see his own push for unity through. Just 42 days into his second term, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

But his lessons endure almost like a presidential blueprint: appealing to the best parts of people and as a leader, being steadfast in the fight for what is right.

If President Biden’s inauguration was any measure, we may see even more nods to these ideas over the next four years.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this news release about national news called “Joe Biden inherits a deeply divided America, perhaps that’s why he gave a nod to Abraham Lincoln”. This news article is presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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Oxford vaccine may become the first to get Indian regulator’s nod for emergency use

New Delhi: With preparations underway for a possible vaccine-rollout by January, the Indian drug regulator is looking at the UK, which sources believe may give its nod to the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine next week, before deciding on giving emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute that is manufacturing the shots here.

Once the UK drug regulator gives its approval to the Oxford vaccine, the expert committee on COVID-19 at the CDSCO will hold its meeting and thoroughly review the safety and immunogenicity data from the clinical evaluations conducted abroad and in India before granting any emergency authorisation for the vaccine here, official sources said.


The process of granting emergency use approval for Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ may take time as its phase 3 trials are still underway, while Pfizer is yet to make a presentation.

“Going by this, Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’ is likely to be the first to be rolled out in India,”  a source said.

Serum Institute of India (SII) last week also had submitted some additional data required by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the sources said.

Amid fears about the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2 detected in the UK, government officials recently said that it will have no impact on the potential of emerging vaccines that are being developed in India and other countries.


Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Pfizer had applied to the Drugs Controller General of India  (DCGI) seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines early this month.

The subject expert committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on December 9 had sought additional safety and efficacy data for COVID-19 vaccines of SII and Bharat Biotech after deliberating upon their applications.

The application by the Indian arm of US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer was not taken up for deliberation as the company had sought more time for making a presentation before the committee.


The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved by several countries including the UK, the US, and Bahrain.

While considering SII’s application, the SEC had recommended that the firm should submit an updated safety data of phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in the country, immunogenicity data from the clinical trial in the UK and India, along with the outcome of the assessment of the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for grant of EUA.

As for Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, “after detailed deliberation, the committee recommended that the firm should present the safety and efficacy data from the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial in the country for further consideration”, the SEC had said.


The Pune-based SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has made a collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine.

The SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine, under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling licence from the DCGI, officials recently had said.

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Russell gets nod for Sakhir Grand Prix

British driver George Russell will replace Lewis Hamilton for this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 35, was ruled out of the penultimate round of the season after contracting coronavirus.

“Very few people are lucky enough to drive for an @F1 team each year and I’m about to get the chance to drive for two,” said Englishman Russell, 22. on Twitter.

“Unbelievably grateful to Williams and Mercedes for this opportunity.”

Another Englishman, Jack Aitken, will now take Russell’s regular seat at Williams for his Formula One debut.

“I can’t believe this, but I will make my F1 debut with Williams this weekend,” the 25-year-old said.

“Huge thank you to them, and obviously my best wishes to Lewis, and George making the step into the Mercedes.”

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Union Bank to seek shareholders nod to raise up to Rs 6,800 cr equity capital

Union Bank of India (UBI) will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) later this month to seek shareholders’ approval for raising up to Rs 6,800 crore equity capital.

The EGM will be held on December 30, 2020 through video conferencing or other audio visual means to obtain shareholders’ approval for raising of equity capital up to Rs 6,800 crore during the FY2020-21 by way of various modes such as public issue, rights issue, or private placement including Qualified Institutions Placement or preferential allotment to the government, the public sector bank said in a regulatory filing.

“In order to meet the minimum capital and leverage ratio requirements under the Basel III guidelines for expansion of business assets and based on the estimated growth, your directors have decided to raise equity share capital up to Rs 6,800 crore,” UBI said.

The enhanced capital will be utilized for the general business purposes of the bank, it added.

Shares of UBI on Thursday closed 5.27 per cent higher at Rs 30.95 apiece on the BSE.

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Botham proud of grandson Jimbo’s Wales nod

Ian Botham, one of England’s great sporting heroes, reckons he knows exactly who he will be cheering for should his grandson James ever takes the field in a rugby Test against England.

“When England play Wales there will be no problems for me,” said the Ashes cricket legend who is these days Lord Botham.

“It will be, ‘Come on, Jimbo!””

Botham, who has always been the proudest of Englishmen, told BBC Wales that he was delighted James has been selected to play his first rugby international for Wales against Georgia on Saturday.

It maintains the tradition of the Botham sporting dynasty with James’ dad Liam having been a successful professional in three sports – cricket, rugby union and rugby league.

The 22-year-old Cardiff Blues flanker James is known as ‘Jimbo’ to his family and both his dad and grandad could not be prouder of his selection.

“I will be absolutely delighted when he gets that Wales cap,” said the 63-year-old Botham.

“I have been on the wagon for four weeks and my next drink was going to be Christmas Day.

“But you never know, I might sneak one on Saturday.,

“Nothing will ever give me more pride than when the family does well.

“Liam went to the England squad on tour to South Africa (in 2000) and probably would have played in the last Test if he had not gone down with a bug.”

Botham’s connection with Wales was always strong even before son Liam made his name as a prolific try-scoring Cardiff wing.

“I have a lot of friends in Wales and we have done some (charity) walks there with the hospitals, so I have a strong affiliation with Wales,” he said.

Only called into the Wales squad on Monday, James Botham said he was excited by the prospect of his international debut after just 13 professional games.

“I was just looking at it thinking ‘this can’t be real!’ but it is and I can’t wait to go out there now,” he said.

And he recalled words of advice from his grandfather as he prepared for the Autumn Nations Cup clash.

“He (Ian) says, ‘Be professional about it, ignore the haters you will always get, keep your head down, try and become the best you can, and the perks come with it. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Enjoy yourself – that’s the main thing’,” he said.

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Haylett-Petty gets No.15 nod for Bledisloe

The Wallabies will call on the experience of fullback Dane Haylett-Petty as they look to match the All Blacks on Saturday and level the Bledisloe Cup series.

Haylett-Petty, who has 37 Test caps, will replace Tom Banks at ANZ Stadium after recovering from a groin strain which ruled him out of the two Tests in New Zealand.

The Melbourne Rebels captain offers a strong running game and a cool head with the All Blacks looking to pile on the pressure to secure the trans-Tasman trophy before the fourth and final Test in Brisbane next month.

Haylett-Petty is also more of a playmaker than Banks, with the Brumbies fullback a casualty of a reshuffled backline as the Wallabies look to cover the loss of Matt Toomua.

Veteran Toomua is expected to miss the entire Bledisloe Cup/Tri Nations campaign after limping off Eden Park during the Wallabies loss with a serious groin injury.

His absence was keenly felt as the Australians collapsed from a 10-7 halftime deficit to lose 27-7.

Toomua was integral to the Wallabies’ 16-16 draw in the opening Test in Wellington.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will reveal his third Test line-up at 12.30pm (AEDT) with Irae Simone a possibility to start in Toomua’s No.12 jersey.

It would be the big Brumbies centre’s Test debut.

Simone played in the NZ schoolboys rugby league team and went to school in Auckland with All Blacks centre Jack Goodhue.

Jordan Petaia is set to start at outside centre after coming off the bench in Auckland.

Among other changes, Allan Alaalatoa is tipped to switch with Taniela Tupou and start at tighthead.

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Adelaide Oval finally gets nod for Origin I as Brad Fittler backs Boyd Cordner

“The last thing now is whether we can fly in the day of the game or stay for a couple of days beforehand. That decision will be made soon as well.

“We played in Perth last year, which was an awesome ground – it was the biggest crowd they had at Optus Stadium – and while it will not be the case here, to play on the iconic Adelaide Oval will be fantastic. Apart from Melbourne and the Roosters, I’m not sure too many other players have played there.

Brad Fittler’s Blues are chasing a third straight series win.Credit:Getty

“It’s one of those grounds where it feels like you’re walking around a museum.”

Fittler and Queensland counterpart Kevin Walters flew to Adelaide in February to spruik ticket sales for the game, well before COVID-19 shut down rugby league and the country.

There was talk as late as the weekend that Adelaide officials were banking on about 25,000 fans. Had the pandemic worsened- and border security tightened – league officials briefly entertained neutral venues like Canberra.

Meanwhile, Fittler said he would have no hesitation selecting skipper Boyd Cordner given the tough emotional and physical year he has already endured. Cordner has suffered two concussions and was cleared of a third on the weekend.

Fittler said it was comforting the inspirational back-rower was in top hands at the Roosters.


“I speak with Boyd, I speak to ‘Robbo’ [coach Trent Robinson] fairly regularly, there is also some staff at the Roosters who are also on the staff at NSW … the reason I’m not concerned about Boyd is because he’s at a club that will look after him,” Fittler said.

“The way Boyd approached the last head knock, I’m confident he wouldn’t do it unless he felt 100 per cent.”

Fittler, who is expected to pick an extended squad of 27 players, said he was keen to see Tom Trbojevic play this weekend for Manly, which will be his first game since round six when he tore his hamstring.

Penrith lead the competition but look like having just Nathan Cleary in the NSW side. Coach Ivan Cleary was happy to make a case for teammates Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo and Api Koroisau.

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Keiran Foran’s return to Manly Sea Eagles looks shaky as teen star Josh Schuster gets nod

Kieran Foran’s hopes of a Manly homecoming have taken a hit with a teenage star set to make his NRL debut for the club this weekend.

Josh Schuster was named in jersey No.18 when Des Hasler issued his team list on Tuesday, but the young gun is expected to get his first chance to impress in the top grade against Wests Tigers at Lottoland on Saturday night.

Schuster is considered one of the best young prospects in the game, named the NSWRL SG Ball player of the year in 2019. The NSW under-16 and -18s representative is earmarked as the long-term halves partner for Daly Cherry-Evans and Hasler has opted to give him an opportunity now that his side is out of the finals race.

Schuster’s debut will come just a week after that of Albert Hopoate, who has overcome a series of injury setbacks to finally get his chance. He will go head-to-head with older brother Will if he retains his place for next week’s clash with Canterbury.

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Another nod for Pat Cummins, three bolters named for England tour

Cummins had been sharing the vice-captaincy with Alex Carey but selectors have opted to return to the traditional leadership structure.

Selectors said it was not an indication Cummins is being groomed to take over the captaincy.

“After taking advice and reviewing the leadership of the squad, we have decided to revert back to the traditional captain and one vice-captain set-up,” selector Trevor Hohns said.

“Alex remains a genuine leader within the squad and will continue to provide valuable support to Aaron as skipper.

“Pat is very much in the same category and someone the entire squad has immense respect for as a person and a player. This is not a reflection of succession planning, but rather a decision to return to the traditional leadership set-up that has served Australian cricket so well for generations.

“We now have quite an established and experienced senior playing group who all play an important role in the leadership of the team on and off the field. As has always been the case, all senior players have a strong voice in all aspects of planning, preparation and playing.”

Australia have named a larger-than-usual squad for the tour, knowing they will not be able to fly in replacements at short notice due to the strict biosecurity measures.

‘We are very excited by these young players who we believe are all capable of playing a role in the Australian set-up in coming years.’

Trevor Hohns

Philippe has been picked on the back of explosive performances for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League.

Tasmanian speedster Meredith gets his chance having long been on the radar of selectors, while Sams has been rewarded for his excellent campaign last summer for Sydney Thunder.

“We are very excited by these young players who we believe are all capable of playing a role in the Australian set-up in coming years,” Hohns said.

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis has been welcomed back into the fold after being dumped following last year’s World Cup. Limited-overs specialist Andrew Tye is also back after missing last summer due to injury.

“It’s a squad with great depth and a sprinkle of some exceptional young players,” Hohns said.

“We are very pleased with the final group which was chosen with a view to continuing our recent form in T20 cricket and the longer-term goal of returning to the top in the 50-over game.

“The top and middle order is extremely strong, there’s plenty of accomplished all-rounders, fantastic fast-bowling depth and spin options. The squad also has the cover required to meet all contingencies given replacements are not available for this tour if injury or illness were to occur.

“The NSP believes this squad, along with those who missed out and others who perform well in domestic cricket, offers a solid platform for success in the white-ball game going forward.”

Sixers star Josh Philippe during February’s Big Bash League final.Credit:Getty

The CA board signed off on the tour last week but it was not until Wednesday that the Australian government granted exemptions for outbound travel for the side.

“We are very excited to be heading to England and to get back into the international fray. We congratulate the ECB on leading the resumption of the game in a way that places the health and safety of players and staff at its core,” CA’s interim chief Nick Hockley said.

“We would also like to thank both the Australian government and the Western Australian government, as well as all those who have worked tirelessly to put together a plan that allows for the tour to progress in a biosecure way.”

The series was initially slated for June but was pushed back due to the coronavirus crisis.

England were able to save their international season by arranging matches in biosecure bubbles at Southampton’s Rose Bowl and Manchester’s Old Trafford, both of which have hotels.


Australia’s squad will take a chartered flight from Perth to London on August 23 before heading to Derby, where they will stay and train in a biosecure hub.

Australia will share a flight with England’s players on the way home to Perth on September 17, stopping over in Dubai to drop off the two nations’ IPL stars.

Australia’s players will enter a training quarantine hub in Perth but details are yet to be finalised with the WA government.

Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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Princess Beatrice’s wedding dress was a nod to the Queen

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, for the world charity premiere of the film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, for the world charity premiere of the film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962.Credit:Getty Images

Princess Beatrice’s vintage choice spoke of sustainability while respecting the current climate of the global pandemic. In choosing a British designer, it signalled her support for the British public in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It also follows tradition as Her Majesty chose Norman Hartnell to design her wedding dress for her nuptials to Prince Philip in 1947.

Princess Beatrice, who is understood to be extremely close with her grandmother, paired her vintage gown with the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara worn by Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding day.

The lending of tiaras has become one of the more glamorous royal wedding customs and is often a point of intrigue for royal watchers. Princess Eugenie wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara also lent to her by the Queen for her 2018 wedding to Jack Brooksbank.

Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi were forced to postpone their wedding after England’s national lockdown began on March 23. Since July 4, weddings of up to 30 people have been allowed.

According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, the intimate ceremony was attended by 20 guests including Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the Duke and Duchess of York.

Queen Elizabeth II at the state opening of British Parliament in 1967.

Queen Elizabeth II at the state opening of British Parliament in 1967.Credit:Getty Images

“The couple decided to hold a small private ceremony with their parents and siblings following the postponement of their wedding in May,” the statement said. “Working within government guidelines, the service was in keeping with the unique circumstances while enabling them to celebrate their wedding with their closest family.”

The 31-year-old princess’ nuptials have been overshadowed by questions about her father Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In November, the Duke of York confirmed he was stepping back from royal duties.

The couple’s engagement was formally announced in September 2019. Princess Beatrice chose to wear a floral dress by Australian brand Zimmermann for the formal announcement photographs.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi wed on Friday in an intimate ceremony in Windsor.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi wed on Friday in an intimate ceremony in Windsor. Credit:Royal Communications


“We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement,” Princess Beatrice, who is ninth in line to the throne, said at the time.

“We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to actually be married. We share so many similar interests and values and we know that this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness.”

The princess has become a stepmother, as Mr Mapelli Mozzi has a young son with ex-fiancee Dara Huang.

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