US Congress passes hate crime legislation

The US Congress has passed a bill aimed at preventing hate crimes based on racial discrimination and bias. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have been on the rise in the United States, amid the spread of the coronavirus.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives approved the bill on Tuesday by a vote of 364 to 62. The bill passed the Senate in April.

Observers say it is difficult to prove that individuals who attack people of Asian descent were motivated by prejudice. Therefore, many incidents have not been recognized as hate crimes.

The bill calls for police officers across the United States to receive training in order to reinforce the crackdown on hate crimes.

It also calls on the Justice Department to set up a new post dedicated to stopping hate crimes, and to give police departments guidance on gathering data about a victim's race and other factors.