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Sean Spicer turns first press conference into ad for Trump hotel: ‘I encourage you to go there’

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Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took time out of his first official press conference on Thursday to “encourage” people to visit Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel.

Although Trump has said that he has turned his business over to his sons, he reportedly made a visit to the Trump International Hotel on Wednesday.

At Spicer’s press conference on Thursday, one reporter pointed out that the president-elect had scheduled another visit to the hotel to “promote the dining room.”

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“I think that’s pretty smart,” Spicer smiled. “I think the idea that he’s going to his own hotel shouldn’t be a shocker. It’s a beautiful place, it’s somewhere that he’s very proud of. And I think it’s symbolic of the kind of government that he’s going to run… ahead of time and under budget.”

“He’s very proud, it’s an absolutely stunning hotel,” the press secretary added. “I encourage you to go there if you haven’t been by.”

“But I don’t think the idea that president-elect Trump is having a reception at the Trump Hotel should be a shocker to anybody.”

Reporters may have difficulty taking Spicer up on the offer to visit the Trump Hotel this week because the media have reportedly been banned from the premises.

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Jan. 19, 2017.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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