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Trump to make first trip to U.K. in July

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will travel to the United Kingdom in July for his first official visit since taking office, following months of speculation that both sides were avoiding a visit over concerns that he would be met with mass protests.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the trip to a briefing room full of children in honor of “take your child to work day.”

The working visit with British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled for July 13, Sanders said.

Downing Street confirmed the visit shortly after in a statement: “He will hold bilateral talks with the Prime Minister during his visit. Further details will be set out in due course.”

Last July, thousands took to the streets from Manchester to Cardiff, and even outside Downing Street in London, chanting “shame on May” following reports that an official visit by Trump was in the making. Over one million people also signed a petition boycotting a visit by the American president.

May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump at the White House just weeks after his inauguration.

Trump, an outspoken supporter of Britain’s exit from the European Union, has not warmed to May the way he has to President Emmanuel Macron of France, who visited the White House this week for the first official state visit under the Trump administration.

May has expressed her concerns over destabilizing actions by the Russian government and has urged Trump to take a tougher stance on Moscow. She is a staunch opponent of Trump’s rebuke of the Iran nuclear deal and her government was stunned by Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and has since been pressing for a permanent exemption.

Trump has also engaged in a war of words with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who in May 2016 became the first Muslim to be elected mayor of a major Western capital. After his election, Khan tweeted criticism of then-candidate Trump’s rhetoric, saying his “ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe. It risks alienating mainstream Muslims.”

Trump later challenged Khan to an IQ test during an interview on ITV and has since accused the mayor of lax counterterrorism and immigration policies. Trump’s attacks on Khan prompted May to call out his accusations as “wrong.”

But officials say the relationship has improved in recent months as the longtime allies find areas for cooperation amid shifting policies.

Last month, the Trump administration joined European Union nations, Canada and Ukraine, expelling 60 Russian diplomats and closing the consulate in Seattle, in response to Russia’s alleged use of a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy living in the United Kingdom.

The White House described the move as being one “in solidarity with its closest ally, the United Kingdom.”

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EU vaccine FARCE: MEPs hatch plot to skip queue for Covid jabs using taxpayer cash

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THE European Parliament is planning to open up vaccination centres to hand out priority jabs to MEPs, it has emerged.

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Guard troops back inside Capitol after furor over move to parking garage

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National Guard troops were allowed back into the Capitol to rest after being asked to move, a request that sent some to a parking garage, officials said.

Senators expressed outrage Thursday evening after Politico reported that Capitol Police had asked the troops to move their rest area and some ended up in the garage.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, said that by 10:30 p.m., Capitol Police had apologized to the Guard personnel, who had been allowed back into the complex Thursday night.

Army Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, commander of the inauguration task force, confirmed that troops were out of the parking garage and back in the Capitol and will take breaks near Emancipation Hall going forward.

Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost her legs after the helicopter she was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in 2004, said that forcing the troops out of the Capitol was “unreal.”

“I can’t believe that the same brave servicemembers we’ve been asking to protect our Capitol and our Constitution these last two weeks would be unceremoniously ordered to vacate the building,” Duckworth wrote in a tweet.

Thousands of Guard troops remain in Washington after being called in to help secure Wednesday’s inauguration of Joe Biden, and after a deadly riot by a pro-Trump mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Washington, D.C., National Guard said earlier Thursday that they were asked to move its rest area by Capitol Police.

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“As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area. They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities,” the D.C. Guard said.

“We remain an agile and flexible force to provide for the safety and security of the Capitol and its surrounding areas,” it said.

Security detail requires a rest and break so troops can get out of the weather, the D.C. Guard said.

Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment after senators said the situation had been resolved and that an apology had been issued.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, vowed to get to the bottom of the situation.

Some lawmakers had offered to let troops stay in their office spaces.

“Congress is in session, but buildings are still closed to public, so there’s plenty of room for troops to take a break in them,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, who is also a veteran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, tweeted.

In the days following the riot and preceding the presidential inauguration, troops were seen resting in between shifts on the marble floors of the Capitol.

National Guard troops from across the country were sent to Washington to provide support. Almost 26,000 were sent.

Approximately 10,600 were on duty Thursday afternoon, and arrangements were being made to send 15,000 home as soon as possible, the National Guard Bureau said.



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Brexit red tape FURY as UK retailers could be forced to 'BURN' goods stuck in EU

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BRITISH retailers could end up abandoning or even burning goods stuck in the European Union due to post-Brexit red tape, an industry boss has warned.

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