For Melania Trump, the shroud of invisibility lifts during a week of public attention

 

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© REUTERS/Carlos Barria First lady Melania Trump looks over at U.S. President Donald Trump as they wait at the West Wing door to welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at the White House in Washington, U.S…

 

Fifteen months after she became first lady, Melania Trump remains a mystery.
In the span of several days ending Tuesday, Melania Trump will have been thrust into a more visible public role than perhaps at any other time in her husband’s presidency. It comes after a lengthy period of relative invisibility that has not only confounded White House tradition but also limited her potential political benefit to a troubled administration.
After hosting the Japanese prime minister and his wife at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida last week, Melania Trump attended the Saturday funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston; the president stayed away. Before the service she smiled and chatted with former President Barack Obama, whom her husband has scorned for years, and, again smiling, joined in a formal picture with all of the former presidents and first ladies who attended the funeral.

Why are the Bushes, Clintons, Obamas and Melania smiling so broadly at a funeral?

 

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The Bush family with the Clintons, Obamas and Melania Trump at Barbara Bush’s funeral. Photograph: Paul Morse/AP

 

It’s an unusual group photo: they’re not family, they’re not friends, and they’re not a team. Rather, the official connection between them is that they have all lived in the country’s most important residence, whether as president or first lady – or in Hillary Clinton’s case, having attempted the double. They are there to honour the missing member of this exclusive club, the woman whose death has brought them to this moment. (The only living members missing are Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who were travelling.)

The warmth between them – Republican George W Bush with arms around both his wife and Democrat Hillary – is the camaraderie you often see between one-time partisan rivals now bonded by having shared a rare and extraordinary experience. (You see something similar in those pictures of duelling heavyweight boxers reunited in retirement.) But there’s something else too.
The picture is not sombre, even though this is a funeral. Obama and Bill Clinton are smiling broadly; W has that lopsided grin that suggests he’s cracked one of his fratboy jokes. They seem relaxed. And the source of that relaxation? Could it possibly be their collective relief that Trump is not there? That, surely, is the one thing this group can agree on.

Zimbabwe is confronting its past head-on. We are ready to embrace the world – SB Moyo

 

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Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Moyo

 

Zimbabwe’s challenges emanate partly from the struggle that all countries, particularly those as young as we are, must go through as they seek to interpret and make sense of their history.Zimbabwe is confronting its past head-on. We are ready to embrace the world.
We can only do so by confronting the past head-on. Contested and painful as it is, our history cannot be changed. We can only learn from it. Most importantly, we need to unlearn the wrong things that we learned in the past.
It is precisely because we are keen to do this that we want to establish relations of friendship, equality and mutual respect, even with those with whom our past relations have been fractious. Our national ethos impels us to seek full readmission into the Commonwealth, whose amity, values and ethics we share, and to reclaim our place in the international community to which we rightly belong

We are aware of not only our international commitments, but also our obligations to our own people. Our government has undertaken to ensure that the Zimbabwe electoral commission will conduct free, fair, non-violent and credible elections, and that the outcome fully respects the will of the people. The political parties that will contest the election are also discussing draft amendments to the electoral laws.

If people don’t know about the Holocaust, it’s because they don’t really care

 

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Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

©303magazine.com

Yes, the Holocaust happened almost 80 years ago, but the most mainstream of movies, from Indiana Jones to Inglourious Basterds, have long used Nazis as a plot device, and there is, I believe, something called the internet. So if people don’t know about the Holocaust, it’s because they don’t really care.

Jürgen Klopp: ‘I have this helping syndrome. I really care about people’

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Does life on this small island seem insular, particularly when the political landscape has shifted dramatically since he arrived? “I’ve heard it said that English people are not looking outwards but I don’t see it. I live in Formby and work in Liverpool. I drive from here to there and sometimes I’m in different cities for games. So I don’t know enough about the country but many people come to Britain because English is the language the world speaks.
“I can’t say Germany is more open. If you ask the wrong people in Germany they would say: ‘Yes, we want a fence to keep foreigners out and, by the way, could you make is as high as the [Berlin] Wall.’ Europe has been strange the last few years. I like to go to Austria for skiing but they only push [immigrants] through to Mrs Merkel.

Being a leader in this situation is not a joy.

There is no easy solution.”

Muslims, immigrants and Trump: Inside the life of Quebec mosque killer Alexandre Bissonnette

 

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A photo from Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette’s Tumblr page attests to his fascination with Donald Trump. The contents of Bissonnette’s computer indicate the killer obsessively read about the U.S. president and a travel ban he imposed on Muslim-majority countries two days before the Quebec City attack.Tumblr

©´NATIONAL POST

Nine days before the shooting, he seemed to be a happy-go-lucky millennial, boasting about his carbonara pasta sauce on his blog. He was just another customer buying a drink at a Couche-Tard dépanneur at 7:37 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2017. Seventeen minutes later, he walked up to a mosque 500 metres away and started his carnage. Security camera footage showed him to be a cold-blooded killer, in some cases executing men with point-blank gunshots to the head. Fourteen minutes after the rampage was over, he cried repeatedly in a call to 911, alternately suicidal and afraid police would kill him …

 

Ukraine’s foreign minister warns G7 of threat to western democracy from Russia

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Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks a joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  Justin Tang / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Russia is using Ukraine as a test ground for its information war against Western democracy, Ukraine’s foreign minister told G7 ministers meeting here on Sunday.“Fundamentally, Ukraine is perceived by many and also by Russia as a sort of test range for testing Russian nonconventional warfare — hybrid war,” Klimkin said.
He called this part of a bigger war “against the democratic transatlantic community.” Supporting Ukraine, he said, should be seen “as a part of a bigger pattern.
“Fighting along with Ukraine would give an immense asset to the whole democratic community in the sense of understanding Russian efforts to destabilize the western world.”