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U.S. Senate confirms ex-Chicago Mayor Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan

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By Reuters
U.S. Senate confirms ex-Chicago Mayor Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan
U.S. Senate confirms ex-Chicago Mayor Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">WASHINGTON</span> – The U.S. Senate early Saturday confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan, despite questions about the murder of a Black teenager by a white police officer when Emanuel was mayor of Chicago.</p> <p>The Senate approved Emanuel by a vote of 48-21 in a middle-of-the-night session, with three of Biden’s fellow Democrats voting against his nomination.</p> <p>Emanuel is a former member of the House of Representatives and was the first White House chief of staff when President Barack Obama was president and Biden was vice president.</p> <p>Supporters backed him for the post in Tokyo because of his long record in public service at a time when Washington is looking to Asian allies such as Japan to help push back against a rising China. </p> <p>Detractors said they would not back Emanuel because of his handling of the shooting seven years ago of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who died after police office Jason Van Dyke fired his weapon multiple times.</p> <p>Then-Mayor Emanuel’s handling of the case was criticized, especially because a video showing the shooting was not released for more than a year.</p> <p>Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and jailed for nearly seven years and four Chicago police officers were fired over McDonald’s death, which highlighted racial tensions in the United States’ third-largest city.</p> <p>Biden nominated Emanuel in August. At his confirmation hearing in October, Emanuel said he thought about McDonald’s death every day and that, as mayor, he was responsible and accountable.</p> <p/> </div>