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Trump, Macron ‘bromance’ draws late night laughs in US

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Firm handshakes, warm embraces, kisses, even a bit of grooming: the “bromance” between US President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron has provided plenty of material for America’s late night TV comedians.

“Trump and Macron have an interesting relationship,” comedian Jimmy Kimmel said on his talk show on ABC.

“Trump very much needs a friend, because most of his old ones are going to prison,” Kimmel said, in a reference to the US president’s legal woes.

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“And Donald Trump, really, he cannot keep his hands off this guy,” Kimmel said before showing television clips of affectionate embraces between the pair.

One exchange which has drawn particular attention took place in the Oval Office, when Trump brushed off what he said was “dandruff” on Macron’s jacket.

“We have to make him perfect,” Trump said. “He is perfect.”

For Kimmel, tongue firmly in cheek, it was a “historic moment.”

“To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time a world leader ever publicly brushed dandruff off another world leader,” Kimmel said.

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Several comedians contrasted the supposedly frosty relationship between Trump and his wife, Melania, to his warm friendship with Macron.

“Compared to holding hands with Melania, he and Macron just performed the kama sutra together,” said “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on CBS. “Which one is he married to again?”

Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central said Macron “seems to have the recipe for handling Trump.”

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“You could really feel that Macron was connecting with Trump,” Noah said. “And we all know that Trump is not the sentimental type.

“But clearly Macron made Trump feel a way he’s never ever felt before — human.”

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“I know it’s a cliche but that’s a bromance,” Noah said. “That’s more affection than he’s ever shown Melania.”

Noah ended the segment with a mock black-and-white silent movie with a romantic soundtrack showing the Trump-Macron interactions which he called “L’affaire des Mains” — “The Affair of the Hands.”

Comedian Seth Meyers showed footage on his “Late Night” show on NBC of the 71-year-old Trump and 40-year-old Macron sharing an interminable handshake — similar to one the pair had shared last year.

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“President Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron to the White House at 5:15 pm this evening — and they are still shaking hands,” Meyers said.


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Marriott ceases Cuban operations after new Trump sanctions

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Marriott has been ordered by the US Treasury Department to close its Four Points Sheraton hotel in Havana by the end of August and abandon plans to open others in Cuba, a spokeswoman for the American hotel group told AFP on Friday.

"We entered the Cuban market in 2016, with permission from the US government," the spokeswoman said.

"Our operating license was reviewed and renewed in 2018. We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba."

Marriott's entry into the Cuban market came during the administration of US president Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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California says film, TV production can resume June 12

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California will allow film, television and music production to resume from June 12 if conditions permit after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the governor's office said Friday.

Film and television productions in the Golden State have been shuttered since mid-March.

The reopening will be subject to approval by local health officers, the California Public Health Office said.

"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers," it said.

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Susan Collins skipped Trump’s visit to Maine after president threatened colleague Lisa Murkowski

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Protesters were expected to meet President Donald Trump on his Friday afternoon visit to Maine, but Senator Susan Collins, caught in the middle of a hotly contested re-election race this fall, did not.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Instead, the embattled Republican senator will be in Washington, where she has "several federal and non-federal events on her schedule," a Collins spokeswoman told NBC News.

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