Ireland Officially Overturns Abortion Ban

AIWA! NO!//Ireland officially overturned its constitutional amendment banning abortion. But the work isn’t done yet.

Irish President Michael Higgins signed a repeal of the country’s Eighth Amendment Tuesday. It valued the life of the fetus and mother equally, effectively banning abortions.

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Irish President Michael Higgins

In 2013, Ireland loosened the restrictions to allow abortions under certain conditions, such as if a woman’s life is at risk.

The repeal comes after a nationwide referendum in May where the country’s citizens voted overwhelming to do away with the ban.  2018-09-19 (6).png

Now Irish lawmakers need to pass new rules governing abortions.

According to the BBC, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar plans to introduce that legislation in early October, which could make abortion services available next year.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court Legalises Private Use Of Cannabis

South Africa’s top court legalises private use of cannabis

The Constitutional Court has ordered the parliament to draft new laws within 24 months to reflect the order.

South Africa's top court legalises private use of cannabis
Members of the Rastafarian movement and traditional healers greeted the ruling with loud applause [File: Reuters]

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//South Africa’s highest court has legalised the private use of marijuana, upholding a lower court’s ruling that found the criminalisation of cannabis was unconstitutional.

In delivering the Constitutional Court’s unanimous verdict, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday declared the law banning marijuana use in private by adults “is unconstitutional and therefore invalid”.

“It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” he said in Johannesburg.

The court also ordered parliament to draft new laws within 24 months to reflect the order.

However, the judgement did not specify the amount that can be used by an adult in private use.

Activists, including members of the Rastafarian movement and traditional healers, greeted the ruling with loud applause.

Outside, pro-cannabis campaigners lit pipes and rolled joints to celebrate the news, filling the air with the distinctive aroma of marijuana.

“I’m happy I won’t be getting any more criminal records for possession,” Ruaan Wilson, 29, told AFP before pausing for a puff.

“Now, we can get police to focus on real drugs and thugs,” he added.

Activists held marches over the years to demand that the law be changed [File: Reuters]

A court in Western Cape had ruled in March 2017 that a ban on cannabis use by adults at home was unconstitutional, a move that effectively decriminalised it in the province, which includes Cape Town.

But the ministers of justice, police, health and trade challenged that finding, arguing that there was “objective proof of the harmful effects of cannabis”.

Activists have held marches over the years to demand that the law be changed to allow people to smoke “weed”, which is called “dagga” in South Africa.

But opponents fear crime connected to drug abuse and users graduating to harder drugs.

File: Results from the latest NOI Poll showed that 9 in 10 Nigerians believe the highest abusers of drugs and substance are teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years old.It has also emerged true from this poll that the most abused substance in Nigeria is marijuana.
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They also cite medical research which suggests a link between heavy use of marijuana and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

The country’s Medical Research Council has already launched trials to help guarantee quality, consistency and standards, according to local media.

“We have used cannabis to treat anxiety, colic in children and as an antiseptic in secret for many years,” said Phephsile Maseko, of the Traditional Healers Organisation.

“Now we will be able to develop the plant even further.”

Previously, possessing, growing or using marijuana for personal use – even in small quantities – exposed users to fines of up to hundreds of dollars as well as jail time. Penalties for selling it were far higher.

London Born Thandie Newton Wins First Emmy

The actress was visibly shocked and emotional at the awards ceremony last night.

The actress took home the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role as “Maeve” in Sky Atlantic’s Westworld.

Westworld is due to return to screens for a third season.

The 45-year-old was visibly shocked and even swore during her speech.

“I don’t even believe in God but I’m going to thank her tonight,” she said.

She went on to say: “I am so blessed. I am so f*****g blessed.” She covered her mouth immediately after using the expletive.

The timing of the award had a special significance for the mother-of-three – she received it on the same night of her daughter’s 18th birthday.

She said: “My daughter Ripley turns 18 today and I get to guide you and love you and protect you, which is my north star, I love you so much baby,” she said. “Thank you, thank you for this.”

Image result for thandie newton
Thandie Newton Wishes Daughter a Happy Birthday During Acceptance Speech | Emmys 2018 – Video | Hollywood Reporter

Newton was up against Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski and Alexis Blediel of The Handmaid’s Tale, Lena Headey of Game of Thrones, Milly Bobby Brown of Stranger Things, and Vanessa Kirby of The Crown.

The first time Emmy award winner was nominated last year for the same role but lost out to The Handmaid’s Tale actress Reed Morano.

During her speech she also expressed her appreciation for her co-stars and Westworld colleagues.

She said: “To work with the people that I have gotten to work with…The cast and crew of – I can’t believe I’m here – the cast and crew of Westworld, I love you all so much.”

Newton wore a pink slim-fitted floor length gown with a one shoulder cape detail by designer Brandon Maxwell.

Westworld is due to return to screens for a third season.

British talent and Game Of Thrones win big at a memorable Emmys

Happy Days star Henry Winkler won an award – 42 years after he was first nominated for an Emmy. The veteran actor, 72, scooped the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series gong for his role as acting coach Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry. He was first nominated in 1976 for playing Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli in Happy Days. Charlie Brooker won an Emmy for the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror.

Claire Foy won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for The Crown.Photo: AP

British talent won big at the Emmys during a memorable ceremony that saw one winner propose to his girlfriend on stage and Game Of Thrones win the battle of the heavyweights to regain its crown.

At the most prestigious awards show in US television, Welsh star Matthew Rhys won the lead actor in a drama series prize for his role in FX’s The Americans, while English actress Claire Foy scooped the equivalent award in the female category for her portrayal of the Queen in Netflix’s The Crown. It was Foy’s final chance to win an Emmy for her role as the Queen before she hands over to Olivia Colman for season three and she appeared visibly emotional on stage. Foy’s co-star, Matt Smith, missed out on a supporting actor prize while Benedict Cumberbatch lost out to Rhys for lead actor.

2018 Primetime Emmy Awards – Show
Claire Foy led the British charge at the Emmys, winning a prize for her role in The Crown Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

London-born Thandie Newton won the supporting actress in a drama series for her part in HBO’s sci-fi western Westworld, fending off competition in a category packed with British stars, including Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, Game Of Thrones’ Lena Headey and The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby.

Game Of Thrones – back at the Emmys after a one-year absence due to the timing of its previous season – won the prize for outstanding drama series.

HBO’s fantasy epic came out on top from a category including The Crown, Stranger Things, The Americans, This Is Us, Westworld and last year’s winner, The Handmaid’s Tale.

2018 Primetime Emmy Awards – Show
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys won the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for The Americans at the Emmys Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards took place in Los Angeles and provided one of the most memorable moments in recent awards show history when a director popped the question during his acceptance speech.

Glenn Weiss won the outstanding directing for a variety special and told the audience the prize was “bittersweet” because his mother had died two weeks previously.

2018 Primetime Emmy Awards – Show
Glenn Weiss proposes to Jan Svendsen Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

He said his mother had “loved” his partner, Jan Svendsen, adding: “You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife.”

The room erupted into cheers before Weiss invited his partner to the stage. He explained the ring was the same one his father had given to his mother 67 years ago before popping the question.

The crowd again erupted into loud cheers and the camera panned on to members of the audience wiping tears from their eyes.

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Television Academy


What’s better than winning at the ? Getting engaged while winning an Emmy. Congrats to Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special winner @glenn_weiss (@TheAcademy)!

Referencing the earlier on-stage proposal during his acceptance speech, Rhys said his girlfriend Keri Lynn Russell told him, “I will punch you clean in the mouth” if he followed suit.

Elsewhere, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel won big, scooping five gongs in the comedy categories, for supporting actress, outstanding writing, directing, lead actress and outstanding series.

Hosts for the evening Michael Che and Colin Jost opened the ceremony with jokes about alleged sexual abuse in Hollywood, following allegations against high-profile figures such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

Che said it was an “honour to be here sharing this night with many, many talented and creative people in Hollywood”, adding: “Who have not yet been caught.”

2018 Primetime Emmy Awards – Show
Happy Days star Henry Winkler won an Emmy, 42 years after he was first nominated Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Happy Days star Henry Winkler won an award – 42 years after he was first nominated for an Emmy.

The veteran actor, 72, scooped the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series gong for his role as acting coach Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry.

He was first nominated in 1976 for playing Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli in Happy Days.

Charlie Brooker won an Emmy for the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror.

Emmys 2018: Is Game of Thrones Poised for an Upset at the Emmy Awards?


AIWA! NO!//The biggest night in TV has arrived with the 2018 EmmysSaturday Night Live‘s Colin Jost and Michael Che are hosting the 70th annual awards show, honoring the best in TV. With the Creative Arts Emmys already making history last weekend, with four black actors sweeping the guest categories for the first time, we’re excited to see what tonight brings.

Even though Game of Thrones was out of the race last year, the series’ penultimate season garnered the most nominations out of any show this year (22!), while Westworld, SNL, and The Handmaid’s Tale were close behind. And with Veep out of the running this year due to hiatus, will Atlanta and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have a shot at the biggest prizes? Follow along as we update the winners live throughout the night. See the full list of winners and nominees below!chris-rock-tamborine-netflix









Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans
The Crown
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy, The Crown
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Keri Russell, The Americans
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Ed Harris, Westworld
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Anne Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Heady, Game of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklange, Game of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
David Harbor, Stranger Things
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Matt Smith, The Crown

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Jeremy Podeswa, Game of Thrones – “The Dragon and the Wolf”
Alan Taylor, Game of Thrones – “Beyond the Wall”
Jason Bateman, Ozark – “The Toll”
Daniel Sackheim, Ozark – “Tonight We Improvise”
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things – “Chapter Nine: The Gate”
Stephan Daldry, The Crown – “”Paterfamilias”
Kari Skogland, The Handmaid’s Tale – “After”

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones – “The Dragon and the Wolf”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve – “Nice Face”
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things – “Chapter Nine: The Gate”
Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg, The Americans – “Start”
Peter Morgan, The Crown – “Mystery Man”
Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale – “June”

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Silicon Valley

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney, Mom
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Larry David, Curb Your Enthuiasm
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Bill Hader, Barry
William H. Macy, Shameless

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Zazie Beetz, Atlanta
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – WINNER
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson, Baskets 
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Henry Winkler, Barry – WINNER

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Donald Glover, Atlanta – “FUBU”
Hiro Murai, Atlanta – “Teddy Perkins”
Bill Hader, Barry – “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Jesse Peretz, GLOW – “Pilot”
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley – “Initial Coin Offering”
Mark Cendrowski, The Big Bang Theory – “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – “Pilot”

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Donald Glover, Atlanta – “Alligator Man”
Stefani Robinson, Atlanta – “Barbershop
Alec Berg, Bill Hader, Barry – “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Liz Sarnoff, Barry – “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley – “Fifty-One Percent”
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – “Pilot”

Outstanding Limited Series

Genius: Picasso
Patrick Melrose
The Alienist
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Laura Dern, The Tale
Michelle Dockery, Godless
Edie Falco, Law and Order: Truce Crime
Regina King, Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels, The Looming Tower
John Legend, Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesse Plemmons, Black Mirror “USS Callister”

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sara Bareilles, Jesus Christ Superstar Live 
Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Judith Light, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter, American Horror Story: Cult
Merritt Wever, Godless
Letitia Wright, Black Museum: Black Mirror

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeff Daniels, Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon, Jesus Christ Superstar
John Leguizamo, Waco
Ricky Martin, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series

Scott Frank, Godless
David Leveaux, Alex Rudzinski, Jesus Christ Superstar Live
Barry Levinson, Paterno
Edward Berger, Patrick Melrose
Ryan Murphy, Versace – “The Man Who Would Be Vogue”
Craig Zisk, The Looming Tower – “9/11″
David Lynch, Twin Peaks

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series

Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus, American Vandal – “Clean Up”
Scott Frank, Godless
David Nicholls, Patrick Melrose
Tom Rob Smith, Versace – “House By the Lake”
David Lynch, Mark Frost, Twin Peaks
William Bridges, Charlie Brooker, USS Callister (Black Mirror)

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Amazing Race
The Voice
Top Chef

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home with Amy Sedaris
Drunk History
I Love You, America
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show

Africa, the world’s youngest continent; 60 percent of Africa is under 25 years old

This is no accident. Sixty percent of Africans are under the age of 25. The median age is 19. (By comparison, in North America it’s 35.) And the number of young people in Africa is expected to grow in the decades ahead.

Africa’s population has been on the increase over the past 50 years. The continent is home to over 1.2 billion people, over 60% of whom fall below the age of 25. The population of Africa is projected to double by 2050 to around 2.4 billion people.
To view the virtual reality film below, click here to open in YouTube.

This is no accident. Sixty percent of Africans are under the age of 25. The median age is 19. (By comparison, in North America it’s 35.) And the number of young people in Africa is expected to grow in the decades ahead.Africa is the most youthful continent in the world, with 226 million youth (aged 15–24) in 2015, or roughly 20% of the glo...

The other thing that always strikes me during my trips to Africa is the unbridled optimism of this young generation. Even in the face some tough health and development challenges, most of the youth I meet have a positive outlook about the future.

Africa’s growing youthful population: reflections on a continent at a tipping point – but investing in developing Africa’s young population is central to the region’s socio-economic development.

This is also no accident. Young people are often the most optimistic people I meet. They are ambitious. They think in innovative ways and are eager to learn the newest technologies. They are also willing to take risks. To see Africa through their eyes is to see a continent brimming with potential and opportunity.Youth in agribusiness: Promoting job creation in Africa Leveraging Investment and innovations for Africa’s youth and susta...

Later this month, I’ll be in New York to talk about Africa’s future at the second annual Goalkeepersevent. Ahead of the gathering, I wanted to share some of the stories of Africa’s next generation of leaders. Here is a collection of 360-degree videos about five young Africans helping to shape Africa’s future in the fields of agriculture, health, development, sports, and wildlife conservation.

The youngest continent graph

All the president’s seatmates: two days with Trump on Air Force One


Washington Bureau Chief Linda Feldmann offers an insider’s view of traveling with the president. Whether he’ll speak – on the record – is the most anticipated perk.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Washington bureau chief Linda Feldmann (c.) and the rest of the press pool listen to President Trump aboard Air Force One on their way to Fargo, N.D, Sept. 7.

By  Anticipation was high as we boarded Air Force One last Thursday for a two-day trip with President Trump to Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The day before, The New York Times had published an anonymous op-ed by a “senior administration official” claiming a “resistance” to Trump policies from the inside. And the day before that, tidbits from Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” had come out, portraying a chaotic White House under an unstable boss. What would Mr. Trump say to us, the reporters traveling with him – and hanging on his every word? The president didn’t have to say anything. But chances were high, we felt, that he’d want to come back to the press cabin. Which he did – the next morning, right after takeoff from Billings, Mont. And he did not disappoint. Key quotes from our Q&A session, transmitted by us to our editors and the entire Washington press corps after we landed in Fargo, N.D., created instant headlines.  “Trump says Justice Department should investigate who wrote anonymous New York Times op-ed,” said the news alert on my phone.

I was about two feet away from Trump when he said that in response to a reporter’s question, and I had that “wow” feeling that comes from seeing news happen right in front of you. When you cover the White House, there’s nothing like up-close, off-camera interaction with the president.

But when I tell family and friends I just spent two days flying around the country on Air Force One, they aren’t just interested in Trump. They also want to know about the plane, the setting for many a historic event and Hollywood film. In fact, there’s more than one Air Force One. We flew in a big one, a Boeing 747, with first-class accoutrements – big seats, a basket of fruit and candy ever present, various toiletries and a big stack of terrycloth hand towels in the restroom.

Sequestered in the back of the plane, the 13 members of the traveling press “pool” – a rotating group of reporters, photographers, and a TV crew – are kept away from the president and accompanying staff and guests. But flying on Air Force One does have its privileges. Tray tables stowed away for takeoff? Not necessary. Seat belts never buckled? Not a problem. Electronic devices still on? Don’t worry about it.

We pool reporters love that we can stay on our phones well after liftoff, keeping connected with the outside world a few extra minutes. Though once the signal fades to black, we’re truly trapped in the presidential bubble. There’s no WiFi inside the press cabin.

Then there are the delicious meals, prepared in a galley behind the press cabin. They always seem to involve cheese, and are quite hearty, perhaps to keep the Secret Service agents happy. (This observation goes back way before Trump took office, so no judgment on him.) For dinner on Thursday, we were served steak tacos and tres leches cake, with real silverware, tiny glass salt and pepper shakers, and a cloth napkin wrapped in a paper ring featuring the presidential seal. The next evening, on our way back to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland, we got heaping plates of lasagne, salad, and tiramisu.

By now you may be wondering who pays for all this. After previous Air Force One trips, I’ve had readers call me out for flying with the president “on the taxpayers’ dime.” The reality, for all the press on board, is that our employers pay the bill – the cost of the flight, the meals, the ground transportation. It’s expensive, but doable (for us, two or three times a year).

It’s an honor and a privilege to serve in the pool. Our job is to serve as the eyes and ears of the entire White House press corps, and, by extension, the public. The reports that we file are directly transmitted to our colleagues, and not censored by the White House press office. And as much as Trump is known for busting norms, it must be noted that he has continued the practice of bringing representatives of the White House press corps with him on trips. There’s no law saying he has to do that.

True, Trump uses us as props at events – pointing to the back of the arena and calling us “fake news” or more recently, “fakers” (and even more seriously, “enemies of the people,” though that historically ominous slur usually comes by tweet). This treatment is not a joke, and we don’t smile or laugh. We just do our jobs.

Linda Feldmann/TheChristian Science Monitor
Dinner is served: The press pool’s meal aboard Air Force One on September 6, 2018, included steak tacos and tres leches cake.

But there are plenty of good reasons for the press to stay as close to Trump as possible. Getting to ask him questions tops the list. In all my years of flying Air Force One, I had never had a visit with the president. President Barack Obama rarely came back, but Trump – who is more of a schmoozer than his predecessor – does so regularly.

The night before, at our hotel in Billings, some of us badgered Trump aides to bring him back the next day – or better yet, bring us to the front of the plane, where he has an office and other comforts of home. A few pool reporters under Trump have had that privilege.

Sure enough, the next morning, soon after takeoff, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley appeared in our cabin and silently swept his hands upward: Rise up! We knew what that meant. I fumbled for my recorder and iPhone, and seconds later, there was Trump. “This will be off the record,” we were told. That means nothing can be quoted, either by name or more vaguely, such as “senior administration official.” Audio was allowed, but no video.

Trump was in good spirits from the rally the night before, and seemed to enjoy the back and forth with us – on China tariffs, the anonymous op-ed, the Woodward book, North Korea, Robert Mueller.

At one point, Trump temporarily changed the ground rules, suggesting an “off the record” comment could be quoted: “I say ‘off the record,’ but you can use it if you want,” he said of the decline in the Chinese stock market.

Then, as we wrapped up, he was asked the magic question. Can we put everything on the record? After some back and forth, he settled on, “Yeah, just be fair with me.” Then he turned to Mr. Gidley for affirmation. Here’s that part of the “gaggle”:

THE PRESIDENT:  You okay with that, Hogan?  Do I have that?

Q: It’s up to you, Mr. President. (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think we said anything very tricky, Hogan. What do you think?

Q: You said great stuff.


Q: About the country being great.

And so, we got what we wanted: the president, answering questions, on the record.

The rest of the day, fundraisers in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., seemed anticlimactic. We also discovered Friday that a hashtag had emerged from the televised Billings rally: #PlaidShirtGuy, a high school student who stood behind Trump making facial expressions that went viral. Eventually, the young man, Tyler Linfesty, was removed from the rally.

But we in the press pen without telephoto lenses didn’t see that. Thus is life in the presidential bubble – the privileges are many, but the perspective can be narrow.

And what about the future of Air Force One? The current pair, dating to 1987, is being replaced with two new Boeing 747s – and a new look. Instead of the Kennedy-era blue and white color scheme, Trump has ordered red, white, and blue.

“It’s going to be the top of the line, the top in the world,’’ the president told CBS News in July.

But Trump won’t get to use them, at least as president. They won’t be ready until 2024.