July 27, 2020
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World Tour

Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is postponing her wedding in July because of a European Union summit on the future of the bloc’s budget. It is the second time she has rescheduled the ceremony. Last year, her fiance Bo Tengberg postponed it because of national elections on June 5, resulting in her Social Democrats to form a one-party, minority government.

Hollywood As the world grapples with COVID-19, makers of the upcoming sci-fi movie ‘b’ have hit upon a casting eureka: by roping in a robot. As producers worry themselves sick over safety, this AI robot, Erica, will lead in a $70 million film--the first to rely on an artificially intelligent actor. Japanese scientists Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa created Erica.

Pakistan Imran Khan, in a speech on the floor of the National Assembly, called Osama bin Laden a “shaheed”. He had earlier called bin Laden’s liquidation an “extra-judicial killing”. A slip of the tongue? No, slips that are uniquely Imran. Samplers: ‘Germany and Japan share a border’ and ‘Africa is a country’. And we laughed at George W. Bush.

Foreign Hand

The books are coming thick and fast and, amidst election season, they are hurting Donald J. A New York City judge has dismissed a suit by the US president’s brother that sought to halt the publication of a tell-all book by Trump’s niece, saying the court lacked jurisdiction. The injunction was sought to prevent Mary Trump and the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, from releasing it, as scheduled, in July. Mary is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr, the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. An online description of her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse”.

Robert Trump’s lawyers argued that Mary and others had signed a settlement agreement that would prohibit her from writing the book. That decades-old settlement included a confidentially clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship”, unless they all agreed. It related to the will of Donald Trump’s father, New York real estate developer Fred Trump.

The book with the knockout title comes when the president’s former national security advisor and conservative hawk John Bolton’s unpublished book, Room With A View, is causing embarrassment as it includes disclosures that go to the heart of the abuse-of-power charge against Trump. In it, Bolton has elaborated on one of the main charges against Trump—that the US president wanted to freeze $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until Kiev helped with probes into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He has further accused the Republican president of sweeping misdeeds, including explicitly seeking Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aid to win re-election in November. “I don’t think he’s fit for office,” Bolton told ABC News in an interview.

The embattled president has also protested New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ in front of Trump’s eponymous ‘Tower’ in Manhattan. Trump tweeted that de Blasio “wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign”.  Trump did indeed live in Trump Tower before he took office as president, but has spent little time there since. He changed his official residence to Florida last year. His business empire is still headquartered there.

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