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Sean Spicer unveils Melania Trump waxwork at Madame Tussauds New York

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Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer stands next to waxworks of First Lady Melania Trump as well as the President at Madame Tussauds New York City in April 2018

Hector Retamal | Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer stands next to waxworks of First Lady Melania Trump as well as the President at Madame Tussauds New York City in April 2018

Spicer said the statue was convincing. “I’m not kidding, I looked at a photo I had with the first lady before I left and I mean — it’s pretty remarkable how lifelike it is, and the same thing with the president. It’s impressive,” Spicer said Wednesday, NBC News reported.

“She’s a very gracious and fashionable woman,” he added. “I don’t think the American people have fully appreciated the level of intellect she has and her political savviness.”

Spicer, who is promoting his book “The Briefing,” added that Melania was concerned about his next move after his resignation last July.

“I had an opportunity to go over and say goodbye and it really meant a lot… And she wanted to make sure she had an opportunity to sit down and talk for a little bit… ‘How you doing, what’s next, let me know what I can do to support,'” he said.

The Times Square attraction is less than a mile from Trump Tower, and the waxwork will soon get closer to the family’s current home as it moves to Washington at the end of May.



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Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely to be effective against UK variant

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A picture taken on January 15, 2021, shows a pharmacist holding with gloved hands a phial of the undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19, stored at -70 ° in a super freezer of the hospital of Le Mans, northwestern France as the country carry on a vaccination campaign to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Jean-Francois Monier | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — The coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech is likely to be just as effective against a highly transmissible mutant strain of the virus that was first discovered in the U.K., according to a study by the two companies.

The research, published Wednesday on preprint server bioRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed, showed “no biologically significant difference in neutralization activity” between the laboratory tests on the original strain of the coronavirus and the variant known as B.1.1.7.

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Biden inauguration Day: Europe cherishes Trump’s departure

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European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen addresses European lawmakers on the inauguration of the new President of the United States.

FRANCISCO SECO | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — The European Union is rejoicing the arrival of President-elect Joe Biden after four fractious years under the leadership of Donald Trump.

Just hours before the President-elect takes an oath to serve as the 46th President of the United States, European officials were not afraid of expressing their happiness at Biden’s forthcoming inauguration and ambitions for the new administration. 

“This day brings good news: The United States is back and Europe stands ready to reconnect with an old and trusted partner,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission said on Wednesday.

“Joe Biden’s oath will be a message of healing for a deeply divided nation and it will be a message of hope to a world waiting for the U.S. to be back in the circle of like-minded states,” von der Leyen also said in Brussels, adding that “after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”

The U.S. and the EU have been at odds over several issues, from international trade to climate change, since President Trump arrived at the White House in January 2017. The president’s combative style and unilateral actions were not welcomed by European officials, who were used to coordinating some policies with the United States. 

However, the EU is hoping that a Biden administration will mean more cooperation going forward.

“It is more than a transition, it is an opportunity to rejuvenate the transatlantic relationship,” Charles Michel, European Council president, said on Wednesday.

The European Union announced in December a plan on how to improve the transatlantic relationship. This is focused on four major policy areas: health response, climate change, trade and tech, and security.

But European officials are also aware that when it comes to digital taxation, for instance, it might be hard to reach an agreement overnight.

“We have our differences and they will not magically disappear,” Michel also said at the European Parliament.

Earlier this week, European finance ministers discussed with the former economic advisor to the Obama administration, Larry Summers, the future of the transatlantic relationship.

According to one EU official, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the talks, Summers said this will be the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall that there will be such a close relationship between the U.S. and the EU.

However, Summers also tried to manage expectations, suggesting that it may take a bit longer than expected for the new administration to settle in and appoint all the necessary officials it needs.

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Oaktree’s Howard Marks on unrealized capital gains tax, Janet Yellen

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