President signs

President Signs Spending Stopgap Measure, Averting Government Shutdown – NPR

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Democrats latest COVID bill a political stunt as negotiators attempt to reach a relief agreement before the election.


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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Democrats latest COVID bill a political stunt as negotiators attempt to reach a relief agreement before the election.


Updated 1 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump signed a short-term spending bill into law early Thursday, about an hour after current funding levels expired and averting a federal government shutdown.

Hours earlier the Senate voted 84-10 to approve the bill, which extends current funding levels and keeps the federal government open through Dec. 11

In theory, parts of the government were unfunded for about an hour, but the White House did not address the discrepancy in a brief statement following the signing.

With government funding resolved, coronavirus relief is the only major legislative goal remaining for Congress ahead of the election in November. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attempted Wednesday to rekindle negotiations on that aid.

The pair said the talks were productive but failed to reach an immediate agreement.

“We have work to do and we’re going to see where we end up,” Mnuchin said. “We’re going to go back and do a little bit more work.”

Trump On Defensive Over White Supremacist Group After Debate Comments

Shortly after the meeting Pelosi released a statement that the House would move forward with a vote on a fresh version of House Democrats’ earlier COVID relief bill, but a vote planned for Wednesday evening was postponed.

The new legislation is a $2.2 trillion package that would send another round of direct payments to individuals and revive the expired $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits.

“Today, Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” Pelosi said. “We will be proceeding with our vote tonight on the updated Heroes Act in order to formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the House legislation Wednesday, calling it a political stunt and questioned whether the talks between Mnuchin and Pelosi could be productive.

“I think its safe to say we’re far apart,” McConnell told reporters. “I think Secretary Mnuchin and the Speaker will continue to speak but we are very, very far apart.”

McConnell said the bill contains many of the same provisions Republicans rejected in the previous legislation, including banking rules for cannabis-related businesses and a temporary lifting of the cap on state and local tax deductions that included in the 2017 GOP tax rewrite.

“The latest bill from the Speaker is no more serious than any of their political stunts going back months. ” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Democrats say the legislation is a scaled-back version of their $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that passed the House in May. This latest bill trims costs by reducing the duration of most benefits.

The legislation would revive the $600 unemployment benefit through January and lift caps on how long people are allowed to file for unemployment. The bill also refreshes the popular Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, money for food security programs and $436 billion in relief for states, local governments, tribes and territories.

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President Trump

Mary Trump Sues President Trump and Family, Claiming Fraud – The New York Times

Two months after she claimed in a tell-all book that her family cheated her out of her inheritance, Ms. Trump made similar allegations in a civil suit in Manhattan.

Credit…Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

In her best-selling memoir, Mary L. Trump, President Trump’s niece, told a family story that detailed the ways in which she claims her relatives — the president among them — tricked, bullied and ultimately cheated her out of an inheritance worth tens of millions of dollars.

On Thursday, more than two months after the book was published and a little more than one month before the election, Ms. Trump told her story again — this time in a lawsuit.

The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accused Mr. Trump, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and their brother Robert Trump, who died in August, of fraud and civil conspiracy. It seeks to recover the millions of dollars Ms. Trump claims to have lost.

In its first sentence, the lawsuit says that, for the Trumps, “fraud was not just the family business — it was a way of life.” Beginning in the 1980s, the suit contends, the president and his siblings took control of the New York City real estate empire their father, Fred Trump Sr., had built and “exploited it to enrich themselves” to the detriment of everyone around them.

Ms. Trump, 55, claims to be one of her family’s victims. Her suit describes a plot against her, broken cinematically into three separate acts: “The Grift,” “The Devaluing” and “The Squeeze-Out.”

It recounts a narrative that began in 1981, when Ms. Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr., unexpectedly died, leaving her, at age 16, with a valuable minority stake in the family empire. The story ends nearly 40 years later, when Ms. Trump says she learned that President Trump and his siblings “used their position of power to con her into signing her interests away.”

The White House has previously cast doubt on Ms. Trump’s book, which contains similar allegations, and has said the memoir was “in Ms. Trump’s own financial interest.”

On Thursday, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, defended the president at a news conference, saying, “The only fraud committed there was Mary Trump recording one of her relatives and she has really discredited herself.”

Lawyers for the president and Robert Trump did not respond to requests for comment. Ms. Trump Barry also did not return a telephone call from a reporter.

The family lawsuit was the latest legal action to make claims against the president in his personal capacity. Earlier this month, the Justice Department moved to assume responsibility for defending Mr. Trump against a defamation suit brought against him by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who has alleged he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

In August, the New York attorney general’s office revealed in court papers that it had intensified an investigation into whether Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud by overstating assets to get loans and tax benefits.

In a statement issued by her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, Ms. Trump said her family had betrayed her by “working together in secret to steal from me” and by “conning me into giving everything away for a fraction of its true value.”

“I am bringing this case,” she added, “to hold them accountable and to recover what is rightfully mine.”

When Fred Trump Jr., the president’s older brother, died from an alcohol-induced heart attack in the early 1980s, he left Ms. Trump, his daughter, a profitable portfolio that included a stake in nearly 1.8 million square feet of prime Trump family real estate in Brooklyn and a portion of a group of property partnerships known as the Midland Associates Group.

Because Ms. Trump was a teenager at the time and had only a “cursory knowledge” of the value of her holdings, the portfolio was overseen by Mr. Trump and his siblings, who, the lawsuit says, had a fiduciary responsibility to look after her interests.

Instead, the suit maintains, Ms. Trump’s aunt and uncles embarked on “a complex scheme” to siphon money away from her by, among other things, taking “exorbitant management fees, consulting fees, and salaries” from the companies she had a stake in and by issuing loans to themselves from businesses she controlled that “included no terms of repayment.”

At the same time, the suit contends, Mr. Trump and his siblings worked with a “friendly appraiser” to “grossly understate the value of Mary’s interests,” even as they “fostered the impression that everything was OK.”

In 1999, when Fred Trump Sr. died and his will was to be executed, Mr. Trump and his brother and sister sought to gain control of Ms. Trump’s portion of the empire, according to the suit.

That October, for example, Robert Trump met Ms. Trump in the Drake Hotel in Midtown Manhattan and threatened that he and his siblings would “bankrupt” Midland, the partnership group she had a stake in, if she did not comply with their demands, the lawsuit says. The suit quotes Robert Trump as telling his niece that the move to destroy the company was designed to leave her financially liable for debts she could not afford.

Initially refusing to give in to her family, Ms. Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, contested Fred Trump Sr.’s will in March 2000, saying it was not fair to them. But according to the lawsuit, her aunt and uncles “ratcheted up the pressure.”

At Ms. Trump Barry’s suggestion, the suit contends, the family cut off health insurance payments to Ms. Trump and her brother — “an act of unfathomable cruelty,” because one of Fred Trump III’s children had cerebral palsy and required round-the-clock nursing care.

Finally, as Ms. Trump’s legal fees began to mount, Mr. Trump and his siblings “exploited the opportunity” and tried to “squeeze Mary out of her interests altogether,” the suit maintains. They told her they would not settle the probate case or reinstate her health care unless she relinquished her stake in Midland and her Brooklyn real estate holdings, according to the suit.

Even then, the suit claims, they provided Ms. Trump with inaccurate financial statements and “valuations riddled with deliberate falsehoods” in an effort to drive down the amount they had to pay her.

The Trump family “not only deliberately defrauded Mary out of what was rightfully hers, they also kept her in the dark about it — until now,” the lawsuit says.

Ms. Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” sold more than one million copies in its first week despite a lengthy effort led by Robert Trump to stop its publication. A clinical psychologist, Ms. Trump has since become a fixture on the talk-show circuit, describing her family’s internal dynamics and fiercely criticizing the president.

Aishvarya Kavi contributed reporting.

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Donald President

President Donald Trump Visits Burned Building In Kenosha | NBC News NOW – NBC News

President Donald Trump Visits Burned Building In Kenosha | NBC News NOW – YouTube

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Former President

Former President Barack Obama launches scathing attack on Donald Trump – BBC News – BBC News

Former President Barack Obama launches scathing attack on Donald Trump – BBC News – YouTube

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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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