I'm Stuart Mackintosh with the BBC News. Hello. The Democratic Party presidential contender, Joe Biden, has promised to spend tens of billions of dollars to help people of color overcome economic inequality if he wins the election in November. In a speech in his hometown of Wilmington, Mr. Biden promised to boost opportunities for black, Latino and native American businesses. From Los Angeles, Peter Bowes reports. Joe Biden said he would launch a historic effort to create and expand small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas. It would involve a surge in funding for low income housing, more money spent on infrastructure in black communities, and help for small firms owned by minorities. Mr. Biden said Donald Trump had split the country on racial grounds and was intentionally stoking the flames of division.
The former Vice President's remarks follow weeks of racial unrest and a health crisis that's disproportionately affected America's black and hispanic communities. Democrats in the US Senate have published a report highly critical of the way Mike Pompeo has run the State Department. It alleges the department is weakened by ongoing vacancies at senior levels, disrespect for the work of career employees and the loss of expertise. It also accuses the Secretary of State of failing to defend his staff from attacks by political appointees.
President Trump has hailed a deal with the technology company Kodak has an important step towards achieving pharmaceutical independence for the United States. His administration has approved a $765 million loan to Kodak to produce chemical components for essential drugs, a new field for a company best known for camera and film. Mr. Trump said it was part of his plan to bring manufacturing home to America. Today, my administration has taken a momentous step toward achieving American pharmaceutical independence, very very big step, a focus of our campaign to bring America's critical supply chains and medical manufacturing back to the USA. We've been working on this for a long time. This is a core of our strategy to protect our people from the horrible coronavirus.
The top US diplomat in Kabul, Ross Wilson, has welcomed a new ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents, voicing hope that the two sides could quickly begin negotiating for peace. His comments came after the Taliban announced a ceasefire during the muslim religious festival Eid al-Fitr. The former boss of the
Mexican state oil firm Pemex has gone on trial on bribery and corruption charges. Emilio Lozoya was extradited from Spain last week. He's accused of receiving a $3 million bribe for authorizing Pemex's purchase of a rundown factory at an inflated price. Mr. Lozoya denies the charges. World news from the BBC.