Presidential handshakes used to be boring and perfunctory part of the job.
But since President Donald Trump’s election, each meeting between the U.S. president and his foreign counterparts turns into a game of macho one-upmanship, with sometimes strange or hilarious results.
Trump’s first handshake with French President Emmanuel Macron, back on May 25, was described as “fierce” by one columnist, with both world leaders strongly gripping one another’s hand and clenching their jaws.
Their parting handshake Friday, after a brief Paris visit by Trump as questions exploded about his family’s meetings with Russia, was possibly the strangest yet.
The men shook hands as they began to walk toward reporters, and Trump patted Marcon’s hand with his left and said something privately to him as they continued walking.
Macron then pumped the president’s hand once more, a bit forcefully, then leaned in toward the taller Trump and said something behind a cupped hand.
Trump paused a moment, then replied as they changed grips on the handshake, and the two men exchanged a few more comments as they gripped hands.
The U.S. president finally patted Marcon’s hand again and then reached out with his left to greet the French first lady.
He kissed Brigitte Macron on the cheek as her husband continued gripping Trump’s hand.
The French president finally released his grip on Trump’s hand after about 25 seconds, and the U.S. president then took both Brigitte Macron’s hands for an awkward two-handed embrace.
The presidents then addressed each other again, patting one another on the shoulder, and then gripped hands once more.
Trump and his wife, Melania, finally walked away from t
It all started with an intense handshake, way back on May 25, amid tension between the two over the Paris climate accord. The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker described their first greeting as “fierce,” as the two seemingly clenched their jaws and refused to be the first to back down.
Google tightens political ads policy in effort to stop abuse
Google on Wednesday updated how it handles political ads as online platforms remain under pressure to avoid being used to spread misleading information intended to influence voters.
The internet company said its rules already ban any advertiser, including those with political messages, from lying in ads. But it is making its policy more clear and adding examples of how that prohibits content such as doctored or manipulated images or video.
"It's against our policies for any advertiser to make a false claim -- whether it's a claim about the price of a chair or a claim that you can vote by text message, that election day is postponed, or that a candidate has died," Google ads product management vice president Scott Spencer said in an online post.
Pope Francis begins Asia tour with visit to Buddhist temple
Pope Francis will visit one of Thailand's famed gilded temples Thursday to meet the supreme Buddhist patriarch, on the first full day of his Asian tour aimed at promoting religious harmony.
The 82-year-old pontiff is on his first visit to Buddhist majority Thailand, where he will spend four days before setting off to Japan.
His packed schedule a day after touching down in Bangkok includes a meeting with the king and the prime minister before leading an evening mass expected to draw tens of thousands of people from across Thailand, where just over 0.5 percent of the population is Catholic.
Hong Kong campus stalemate persists while US congress passes bill of support for democracy protesters
Hardline Hong Kong protesters held their ground on Thursday in a university besieged for days by police as the US passed a bill lauding the city's pro-democracy movement, setting up a likely clash between Washington and Beijing.
Beijing did not immediately respond to the passage in Washington of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which voices strong support for the "democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong people."
But China had already threatened retaliation if the bill is signed into law by President Donald Trump, and state-run media warned Thursday the legislation would not prevent Beijing from intervening forcefully to stop the "mess" gripping the financial hub.