President Trump

President Trump Visits Younger Brother in Hospital in New York – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump visited his younger brother, Robert S. Trump, on Friday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

Robert Trump, 72, two years younger than the president, has been ailing for months and is said to be gravely ill. He was also hospitalized in June.

“I have a wonderful brother,” the president said Friday during a news conference at the White House. “We’ve had a great relationship for a long time, from Day 1, a long time ago, and he’s in the hospital right now, and hopefully he’ll be all right.” But the president added that Robert Trump was “having a hard time.”

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, added in an email that “Robert is very special” to the president. She did not say why Robert Trump was in the hospital.

Upon landing in New York City, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that he was there to visit his brother, but he added a plug for his re-election campaign by attaching a photograph of the front page of The New York Post that featured an interview he gave to the newspaper. “We’re going for New York on November 3rd,” the president tweeted. He was at the hospital for just under an hour.

As the youngest son in the strict household of Fred C. Trump, Robert Trump was shielded from some of the pressure exerted by his disciplinarian father over his older brothers. In “The Art of the Deal,” Donald Trump writes of stealing his younger brother’s blocks and gluing them together. “That was the end of Robert’s blocks,” he writes, proudly.

Even though Robert Trump was never groomed to take over the family company, he loyally went to work for it after his father handed the reins to Donald Trump. Robert Trump served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, and he helped oversee its casinos in Atlantic City, N.J.

Trump Organization employees referred to Robert Trump as the “nice Trump,” according to Gwenda Blair, a Trump family biographer. But after a blowout fight in 1990 with his older brother after the opening of the Taj Mahal casino, he stopped reporting directly to Donald Trump.

“Donald pointed the finger at Robert,” Ms. Blair said. “When the opening weekend was botched and the slot machines got jammed up, he blamed Robert for that. Robert stormed out and never worked for him again directly.”

After that, Robert Trump was sidelined in the company. “You could consider him the quietest of Trumps,” said Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer. “He was glad to stay out of the spotlight. He had a very low-key role in the Trump Organization itself. I could never tell quite what he did, but it was not public-facing.”

But Robert Trump remained loyal to his family, serving as its unofficial spokesman and consigliere.

He has in recent months led the family in its unsuccessful bid to block the publication of a memoir by their niece Mary L. Trump — the daughter of their deceased older brother, Fred Trump Jr. — that described decades of family dysfunction and brutality that she claimed turned Donald Trump into a reckless leader. It was the president’s younger brother who requested the restraining order in a filing in Queens County Surrogate’s Court.

Before that, Robert Trump was the one who spearheaded the family response in 1999 when Mary Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, sued for their father’s share of the family estate.

Robert Trump was already ill when he helped the president in the more recent lawsuit. “It seemed Robert was being dragged out of a sickbed to somehow contest this,” Mr. D’Antonio said. “He was willing to be used by Donald, but never eager to be out front.”

Robert Trump, who for years was married to Blaine Trump, a New York City socialite, was more accepted in society circles than Donald Trump ever was, Mr. D’Antonio said. But he always toed the family line that the Trumps were devoted to one another.

The president’s decision to visit Robert Trump in the hospital is different from how he handled news in 1981 that his older brother, Fred Trump Jr., was in grave shape. According to Mary Trump’s account, Donald Trump went to the movies the night Fred Trump Jr. died.

But Ms. Blair said that in light of the crack that Mary Trump’s memoir has put in the Trump family lore, the president would have had no choice.

“It’s very much part of the Trump family legend that they are a tight-knit, loyal group,” she said. “That is the family modus operandi. Mary Trump has recently suggested otherwise, but I think as part of the response to that, Donald Trump would have no choice but to go.”

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championships President

NCAA president says no fall championships this year, except FBS football — for now – CNN

(CNN)The NCAA has officially canceled fall championships — a decision that could potentially push fall sports to the spring.

“We cannot now at this point have fall NCAA championships,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday via Twitter.
Last week, the NCAA Board of Governors announced that if 50% of eligible teams in a particular sport, and a particular division, cancel their fall season, there will be no fall NCAA championship in that sport.
On Wednesday, that became official when the Big East decided to postpone its fall season until 2021.
Though the NCAA’s decision puts every fall sport, including FBS football, into a tailspin, it doesn’t mean that fall sports simply won’t happen, Emmert said.
For one, the NCAA doesn’t control FBS football, the conferences do. So, for now, FBS football is still a go.
As for the other NCAA sports, Emmert said the NCAA has been in contact with Division I commissioners and they are mulling ways to move forward with championships in the spring.
“If schools and conferences want to move forward, and try and have it and more than half of them want to do it — and that’s surely the indication now — then let’s do it,” he said. “We can use the fall, as I said, to keep kids healthy, keep them engaged with their coaches and their athletic departments. Focus on their academic success. Work with them and let them practice and stay ready to play, then let’s go compete at that time.”
Emmert mentioned the possibility of using bubble sites — similar to what the WNBA and NBA are doing now — in an attempt to keep players safe. Still, he said winter and spring sports have the highest priority, because they lost their championships last March.
The decision by the NCAA comes amid dire warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that if recommended coronavirus measures aren’t followed, the US risks the worst fall in public health history.
The virus has infected more than 5.2 million people in the US and killed over 166,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Wednesday, there were 55,910 reported new cases and 1,499 deaths — the highest number of fatalities since May.

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President Trump

President Trump backs Trevor Lawrence, more in #WeWantToPlay movement – TigerNet

Clemson was in the White House in January 2src19 after the 2src18 national championship.

Clemson was in the White House in January 2019 after the 2018 national championship.

President Donald Trump voiced his support for the #WeWantToPlay movement by sharing Clemson QB
Trevor Lawrence‘s late Sunday tweet.

Lawrence and players across the nation are pushing for these tenets:

– Playing football this season.

– Establishing universal mandated health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college-athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

– Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.

– Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

– Use student’s voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: ultimately create a college football players association.

– Have a representative of the players of all Power 5 conferences.

“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled,” Pres. Trump posted on Twitter Monday.

Lawrence and players were motivated to action in the wake of multiple reports of conferences postponing fall sports. The Big Ten is expected to vote soon on the matter and the PAC-12 could follow, while reports are rampant on different directions for the remaining Power 5 conferences such as the ACC.

Both Syracuse coach Dino Babers and Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said Monday that the latest they have heard is that the ACC is moving forward with its current plan for football. Clemson is slated to practice on Monday and open the season on Sept. 12 at Wake Forest.

The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
August 10, 2020

Tuesday could be a significant day in CFB history.

Pac-12 and Big 12 presidents meet. Big Ten presidents meet tonight for a final vote, per @Graham_Couch.

Others: ACC has scheduled meeting Wednesday, and SEC presidents, as we reported, are meeting today but no vote expected.

— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger)
August 10, 2020


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Lebanon President

Lebanon president: Beirut explosion either due to negligence or missile, bomb – USA TODAY


Lebanese activist Ralph Baydou walks through the devastation in Beirut, Lebanon as civilians help to clean up after the explosion.


Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Friday there are two possible causes of Tuesday’s explosion that killed nearly 150 people – either negligence or “external intervention” by a missile or bomb.

He also rejected the United Nations human rights commission call for an international investigation.

It’s believed that the blast occurred when a fire ignited 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the port. The cause of the initial fire is unknown.

Aoun said Friday that he asked France for satellite images to see if there were warplanes or missiles in the air at the time of the blast. This differs from the main narrative of recent days, which focused on investigating Lebanese port and customs officials for negligence.


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Also Friday, Lebanon’s state news agency said investigative Judge Ghassan Khoury placed chief of the customs department Badri Daher under arrest. Daher said he warned officials about the ammonium nitrate numerous times over the years.

IN-DEPTH: Before and after images of the Beirut blast site

Aoun told journalists that he received information weeks ago about the dangerous material and “immediately ordered” military and security officials to take care of it. Aoun’s comments were the most senior confirmation that top politicians had been aware of the stockpile.

“The material had been there for seven years, since 2013. It has been there, and they said it is dangerous, and I am not responsible,” said Aoun, who took office in 2016. 

At least 10 times over the past six years, authorities from Lebanon’s customs, military, security agencies and judiciary raised alarm that a massive stockpile of explosive chemicals was being kept with almost no safeguard at the port in the heart of Beirut, newly surfaced documents show, according to the Associated Press.

‘A titanic job’

Aoun said the Lebanese government’s investigation into the cause of the explosion is concentrating on 20 people. Port officials have been put under house arrest. 

Misinformation on social media blamed Israel, but Israeli officials have denied any involvement and have offered aid to Lebanon.

France’s No. 2 forensic police official, Dominique Abbenanti, said Friday the explosion “appears to be an accident” but that it’s too early to know. France, which has close ties to its former colony, sent 22 investigators.

French police could question witnesses or suspects, said Eric Berot, chief of a unit involved in the investigation. For now, the French team is dividing up zones to cover with their Lebanese counterparts and will use drones to study the area.

“The zone is enormous. It’s a titanic job,” Berot said. The investigation is complicated by  “the Lebanese situation,” he said, referring to the political and economic crisis.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump called it a “terrible attack” based on the suspicions of U.S. generals he did not name. However, Defense Secretary Mark Esper later said it was likely an accident.

Ammonium nitrate

Tuesday’s explosion had the force of at least 500 tons of TNT, according to a U.S. government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly. The estimate was based on the widespread destruction, said the source, who has experience with military explosives.

REPORTER IN BEIRUT:Forced to bury a dog that made ‘dystopia more bearable’

The blast caused carnage over a 6-mile radius and was felt more than 100 miles away.

Ammonium nitrate has been linked to past industrial accidents, including explosions at a fertilizer plant in Texas in 2013, a Chinese port in 2015 and many others. 

COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?US ports safer but not immune to disaster

It was also used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when a truck bomb containing 2.4 tons of fertilizer and fuel oil killed 168 people in a federal building. It’s a common fertilizer that’s highly explosive.

Storage is critical. Left unchecked, ammonium nitrate can be contaminated by industrial elements such as fuel oil. The chemical can also decompose on its own, generating heat.

An explosion of ammonium nitrate releases gases, including nitrogen dioxide, which is orange or reddish in color.

Beirut disaster videos show a gray cloud rising from the port, in what appears to be a large industrial fire. A building explodes, creating an orange-reddish cloud, followed closely by a white mushroom cloud as a shock wave hits.

Rescue and recovery

The government estimated 300,000 people – more than 12% of Beirut’s population – had to leave homes damaged by the blast. Many have since returned or are staying with loved ones. Officials estimate the explosion caused $10 billion to $15 billion in losses.

On Friday, rescuers continued pulling bodies from the wreckage.

“Our experience shows that we can find people alive until up to 72, 75 or 80 hours after an explosion or an earthquake, so for now we are still in time and we cling on to this hope,” said Col. Vincent Tissier, head of the French rescue team.

Non-governmental organizations in Lebanon before the explosion were already struggling to provide the aid needed to the country. HOPE worldwide is one of those organizations that has been providing assistance to the country since last October. 


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In addition to providing and distributing food, the HOPE worldwide’s Lebanon branch is preparing to renovate and rebuild homes that suffered damaged from the explosion. 

“This is as much as we can (do) as an NGO,” Mofid Tohme, the president of HOPE Worldwide’s Lebanese branch, said. 

Thousands of Lebanese citizens filled the streets in the days after the blast, bringing their own brooms, shovels and other materials to help clean up the streets of Beirut, according to Lebanese activist Ralph Baydou. 

“This is what also what is keeping the state alive,” Baydou said. “Us, the Lebanese citizens stepping in instead of the State.”


A woman gave birth to a boy in near darkness at a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon hospital moments after an explosion rocked the city on August 4.


Contributing: Dennis Wagner, Sarah Elbeshbishi, Anne Godlasky, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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President Trump

President Trump flips on his longstanding attitude toward mail-in ballots – CBS This Morning

President Trump flips on his longstanding attitude toward mail-in ballots – YouTube

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Brazil's President

Brazil’s president tests negative for coronavirus –

Being obese or heavily overweight increases the risk of death from coronavirus, according to a new report from Public Health England.
Obese people are not at greater risk of catching the virus itse…
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President Trump

President Trump Thinks This Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Is a Winner – Motley Fool

Here’s why he could be right.

Keith Speights

Which candidate is winning in the race to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? It depends on whom you ask.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said several weeks ago that an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was “probably the leading candidate.” But President Donald Trump appears to have a different view.

On Wednesday, the president stated: “We think we have a winner.” He was referring to the COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and German biotech BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). Why is President Trump optimistic about the experimental vaccine?

President Trump speaking at the White House

Image source:

Encouraging results

The president’s comments came just two days after Pfizer and BioNTech announced encouraging results from a phase 1/2 study of BNT162b1 underway in Germany. The experimental vaccine is one of four coronavirus vaccine candidates the companies are jointly developing.

BNT162b1 produced high levels of neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses in study participants receiving two doses of the experimental vaccine. Neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses hold the potential to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus.

In addition, Pfizer and BioNTech said that BNT162b1 had “a manageable tolerability profile.” There weren’t any serious adverse events reported in the clinical study. However, some participants experienced injection-site reactions and had flu-like symptoms.

These results matched up well with data from a U.S. phase 1/2 clinical study reported earlier this month. However, the earlier results didn’t include the T-cell response observed in the German clinical trial.

Big money

Hours before President Trump lauded Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the U.S. government put a lot of money on the line with the experimental vaccine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense agreed to pay $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of BNT162.

No money has exchanged hands yet, though. The payment will be made after the U.S. government receives the 100 million doses. That can’t happen until the Food and Drug Administration either approves the vaccine or grants emergency-use authorization.

This could be just the beginning of a lucrative deal for Pfizer and BioNTech. As part of the agreement, the U.S. government can buy up to 500 million additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier last week, Pfizer and BioNTech signed a smaller agreement with the United Kingdom. The companies will supply 30 million doses of their COVID-19 candidate, pending successful late-stage testing and regulatory approval. However, no financial details were disclosed.

A winner?

Pfizer and BioNTech expect to begin a phase 2b/3 study very soon, perhaps by the end of July. If all goes well, they anticipate seeking regulatory approvals as early as October.

Investors hoping to become winners from the COVID-19 vaccine race could find both Pfizer and BioNTech stocks appealing. The U.S. government deal alone holds the potential for nearly $12 billion in sales if the option to buy an additional 500 million doses is exercised.

More conservative investors will probably prefer Pfizer. The big drugmaker has a long lineup of approved products already, and wouldn’t be hurt as much if the BNT162 program isn’t successful in late-stage testing. Aggressive investors would probably find BioNTech more to their liking. With a market cap of less than $20 billion, the biotech stock should have plenty of room to run if BNT162 lives up to its potential.

Pfizer and BioNTech aren’t your only choices when it comes to possible COVID-19 vaccine winners, though. As President Trump stated on Wednesday, “We also think we have other companies right behind that are doing very well on the vaccines, long ahead of schedule.”

He’s right that there are other drugmakers with promising coronavirus vaccine candidates. Some of them aren’t “right behind” Pfizer and BioNTech; they’re actually ahead of the two companies in terms of clinical progress.

Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s vaccine candidate could very well be the winner that the president thinks it will be. But it won’t necessarily be the only winner.

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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President Trump

President Trump goes one-on-one with Chris Wallace | Full Interview – Fox News

President Trump goes one-on-one with Chris Wallace | Full Interview – YouTube

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President Trump

Mary Trump Digs At President Donald Trump Over TV Ratings, Boast-Tweets Over Topping Him – Deadline

Talk about adding insult to injury. Author Mary Trump, out flogging her tell-all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, took to Twitter to brag about beating her uncle the President in TV ratings.

On Friday, Mary Trump tweeted 5.23 million v. 5.11 million, comparing her ratings for appearing Thursday on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show to the President’s Sean Hannity Town Hall interview in June.

She added the hashtag ‘#seldomseen’ in reference to Trump’s declaration that she was “a seldom-seen niece.”

Simon & Schuster, publisher of Mary Trump’s book, said it sold a company record of 950,000 copies in combined print, digital and audio editions as of its date of sale earlier this week.

The tweet comes after President Trump lambasted her and former National Security Adviser John Bolton Friday over their tell-all memoirs.

The President’s Friday tweetstorm claimed he was the “ultimate member of The Book of the Month Club,” and claimed Bolton and Mary Trump broke the law by publishing certain details, including his tax information and, in Bolton’s case, alleged national security information.

Trump added that Mary Trump was a “mess” and claimed that his parents couldn’t stand her.

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President Trump

President Trump demotes campaign manager Brad Parscale amid slipping poll numbers – CBS News

President Trump demotes campaign manager Brad Parscale amid slipping poll numbers – YouTube

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