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Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to baseball legend Mariano Rivera

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera on Monday.

Trump praised Rivera, the first player to be unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, for his storied career and achievements on the field and off it, where he has donated scholarships and school supplies to low-income communities.

Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees pitches against the Minnesota Twins in Game One of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium.Jared Wickerham / Getty Images file

“Mariano Rivera has made extraordinary contributions to American sports, culture and society,” Trump said. “He is the most dominant relief pitcher in the history of baseball. And more than that, he has lived the American dream and shines as an example of American greatness for all to see.”

A five-time World Series champion and 13-time All-Star, Rivera holds the Major League Baseball record for saves, with 652, in his 19-season career, all with the New York Yankees. Rivera, who earned the 1999 World Series MVP title, was the first Yankee to save 300 games.

Rivera joined a growing list of professional athletes to be awarded the nation’s highest civilian award by Trump — three within the past month alone.

He is the 12th individual to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump’s presidency. Other recent Trump honorees have included NBA Hall of Famers Jerry West and Bob Cousy and golf great Tiger Woods.

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Clint Eastwood distances himself from Trump

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LOS ANGELES — Longtime Republican Clint Eastwood is pulling support from Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the actor-director signaled that he thinks a different candidate would be the better choice.

“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he said.

After endorsing Mitt Romney and famously delivering a speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention to an empty chair that represented Barack Obama, Eastwood never officially backed Trump. In a 2016 interview, he expressed displeasure with Trump and Hillary Clinton, saying there’s “much funny business on both sides of the aisle.”

He praised Trump at the time because he was “onto something” and “secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up.”

“We’re really in a p—- generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist,” he said.

Now, he’s changed his tune a bit on Trump.

While he approves of “certain things” the president has done, he wishes that he would act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names. I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” he said.

Eastwood also touched on the controversy surrounding Olivia Wilde’s character, Kathy Scruggs, in his 2019 film “Richard Jewell.” He showed Scruggs, the real-life reporter who alleged Jewell planted a bomb at the 1996 Olympics, sleeping with an FBI source to get information. Lawyers for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newspaper at which Scruggs worked, called the portrayal “entirely false and malicious, and…extremely defamatory and damaging.” The film was Clintwood’s worst opening in 40 years.

The director defended his right to cinematic freedom and said the newspaper was trying to shroud its “guilt” over a “reckless story.”

“Well, she hung out at a little bar in town, where mostly police officers went,” he said. “She had a boyfriend that was a police officer. Well, we just changed it in the story. We made it a federal police officer instead of a local,” he said.

Even though “Richard Jewell” was involved in a #MeToo-like controversy, Eastwood said he appreciates that the movement has empowered women to stand up “against people who are trying to shake [them] down for sexual favors.”

However, he believes that “presumption of innocence, not only in law, but in philosophy” has been lost in the increase of accusations of sexual misbehavior.

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Brexit trade talks blasted by No10 as UK lashes out at 'divided and distracted' EU

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DOWNING Street has mocked the European Union for its bizarre behaviour in the run-up to Brexit trade talks.

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Buttigieg backer pulls winning card to break tie at Nevada caucus

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LAS VEGAS — It was the luck of the draw for Pete Buttigieg at a Nevada caucus on Saturday. Literally.

At the North Valleys High School caucus site in Reno, Buttigieg’s supporters drew from a card deck the number 3, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ backers picked a 2, breaking a delegate tie between the candidates and making the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor the winner of this caucus location.

The Nevada Democratic Party has used a deck of cards to break ties since 2008. Per party rules, if two caucus groups are tied, then representatives from each candidate draws a single card from a deck in order to break the tie. The winner is the high card, with aces the highest.

If both candidates draw the same card, then the winner is determined by the suit of the card. Spades are the highest suit, followed by hearts, diamonds and clubs.

The Nevada Democratic Party said they had distributed an un-opened deck of cards to all precinct locations and that the deck should be shuffled by a precinct chair at least seven times before being used.

The supporter who drew Buttigieg’s card told NBC News that after an unlucky go at the Blackjack table the night before, her winning draw was a welcomed consolation prize.

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