Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Biden's Pick For Top Bank Regulator Withdraws After Republicans Accuse Her Of Being A Communist.

President Joe Biden’s pick to serve as the country’s top banking regulator withdrew her nomination after Republican attacks about her Soviet upbringing and concerns among moderate Democrats.

Saule Omarova, a Kazakh-American law professor, had been tapped by the White House to be the next head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a position that has wide oversight of the U.S. banking system.

The White House said on December 7 that she had pulled herself from consideration after her nomination was put in doubt by several Republican senators who falsely accused her of being a communist, as well as legitimate concerns from moderate Democrats about her positions on banking reform.

During her confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Banking Committee, several Republican senators grilled her on her upbringing, asking her about her time in Komsomol, the communist youth organization that millions of Soviet teenagers belonged to, often as a way of enhancing their employment and academic prospects.

Born in Soviet Kazakhstan, Omarova immigrated to the United States in 1991 and later became a U.S. citizen.

Senator Pat Toomey (Republican-Pennsylvania) pressed Omarova on her undergraduate studies at Moscow State University, before the Soviet collapse, where she wrote a paper about Karl Marx. Another senator, John Kennedy (Republican-Louisiana), said: “I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”

Democrats rushed to Omarova's defense, saying some of the criticism bore the hallmarks of the Red Scare that plagued the United States after World War II.

Omarova responded to the comments by lawmakers by saying that she is not a communist, doesn't "subscribe to that ideology," and "could not choose where I was born.”

“My family suffered under the communist regime,” she said. “I grew up without knowing half of my family; my grandmother herself escaped death twice under the Stalin regime. That is what is seared in my mind. That’s who I am. That's what I remember. I came to this country. I’m proud to be an American.”

In the statement announcing that the White House was withdrawing her nomination, Biden said Omarova was subjected to “inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale.”

With reporting by AFP and Reuters

Related news
President Toqaev Consolidates Power As Kazakh Ruling Party Leader.

President Toqaev Consolidates Power As Kazakh Ruling Party Leader.

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has replaced predecessor Nursultan Nazarbaev as the leader of the ruling Nur-Otan party, the latest in a series of moves to consolidate his power and marginalize his predecessor following deadly anti-governmen...

Radio Free Europe

Kazakh Lawmakers Look To Further Curtail Former President's Power.

Kazakh Lawmakers Look To Further Curtail Former President's Power.

Lawmakers in Kazakhstan have proposed stripping former President Nursultan Nazarbaev of more of his lifetime privileges after deadly protests swept across the country, in part fueled by anger over the accumulation of vast wealth by the former lead...

Radio Free Europe

Kazakh Political Activist's Early Release Request Denied.

Kazakh Political Activist's Early Release Request Denied.

A court in the northern Kazakh city of Petropavl has rejected a request for early release filed by Asqar Qaiyrbek, who was sentenced for organizing activities of the banned Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) opposition group.

Radio Free Europe

US ambassador delivers written response to Russia's demand.

US ambassador delivers written response to Russia's demand.

The U.S. and NATO formally responded that they would not meet Russia's demands, which includes NATO pulling back forces from Eastern Europe, amid escalating military tensions on the Ukraine border.

Scientists watch new omicron subvariant of COVID-19.

Scientists watch new omicron subvariant of COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that scientists are already developing a universal COVID-19 vaccine that could resist current and future variants, but he stressed that it will take time.

Prince Andrew formally responds to sexual assault allegations.

Prince Andrew formally responds to sexual assault allegations.

In an 11-page document, Prince Andrew did admit he met Jeffrey Epstein in 1999. His legal team claimed that Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit doesn't stand because she allegedly recruited women for Epstein.

Our leaders are turning a blind eye to this: NY governor candidate.

Our leaders are turning a blind eye to this: NY governor candidate.

NY governor candidate Rob Astorino tells ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ he is running to ensure the law is enforced and his community is heard. #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Chan...

Hallie Jackson NOW - Jan. 26 - NBC News NOW

Hallie Jackson NOW - Jan. 26 - NBC News NOW

Interest rates are likely to increase as the Fed is trying to turn rising inflation in the other direction, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he will be retiring putting President Biden in a position to nominate his first justice cand...

Chunk of concrete crashes into driver's windshield

Chunk of concrete crashes into driver's windshield

A driver escaped serious injury after a huge chunk of concrete fell from a Massachusetts freeway overpass and crashed through his windshield.