Wednesday, June 9th 2021
US President on his way to London
Cicadas slow down the entourage on Biden’s European tour
On his first international trip, the US President wants to discuss a lot of big problems: To do this, he meets Chancellor Merkel, British Prime Minister Johnson and Russian President Putin. Before that, however, small animals block the start of his press plane – thousands of cicadas attack the engines.
A swarm of cicadas delayed the departure of US President Joe Biden’s press plane on his diplomatic tour of Europe for hours. The flight for dozens of journalists accompanying the US president to Europe was originally scheduled to take off on Tuesday evening at 9:00 p.m. local time (3:00 a.m. CEST). Since a swarm of the thumb-sized insects attacked the engine of the machine, another aircraft had to be provided for the increasingly annoyed media representatives. “I will remember this never-ending flight delay in 17 years, cicadas,” CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly jokingly threatened the insects on Twitter.
Billions of cicadas hatch simultaneously in the United States every 17 years. The larvae live in the ground for almost two decades before they emerge en masse and fill the air with deafening noise – in a vast area that stretches from Washington in the east to Illinois in the Midwest and Georgia in the south. The last time the noisy cicadas emerged from the earth, George W. Bush was US President, the online network Facebook had just been founded and Athens was preparing for the Summer Olympics.
Summit marathon with Putin to the final
Biden himself left Washington on Wednesday morning (local time). Air Force One flies him to Great Britain with his wife Jill. On his European tour including the summit marathon, the US President will have to deal with bigger problems than the little insects. The goal of his trip is to make it clear to Russia and China that “Europe and the USA stick together,” said Biden shortly before departure.
The 78-year-old can expect a packed schedule of G7 and NATO summits as well as a meeting with Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin within the next seven days. It all starts with a meeting on Thursday with Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and from Friday both of them will be at the two-day G7 summit in Cornwall.
Before Biden travels to Brussels for the NATO summit on Monday, Queen Elizabeth II receives him at Windsor Castle. An EU-US summit will follow on Tuesday, before the most difficult meeting of the trip awaits at the end, when the US president meets Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.