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Snarling ‘Trump baby’ blimp could soon fly in US: activists

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The blimp portraying Donald Trump as a snarling baby that flew over London last week during the U.S. president’s European tour could soon be in New Jersey’s skies after activists said they had raised enough money to bring it to the United States.

Anti-Trump activists by mid-day Monday had raised more than $8,000 on GoFundMe.com, more than the $4,500 they said they had needed to get the diaper-wearing helium balloon to Bedminster, New Jersey, home of the Trump National Golf Club that the president regularly visits.

Organizer Didier Jiminez-Castro said he hoped the balloon would spur enthusiasm for Democratic candidates in November’s congressional elections.
“Baby Trump will give that punch, that energy that we need for the midterms – it’s going to get people out of the house,” Jiminez-Castro said in a phone interview.

He told New Jersey media he expects the blimp to be in Bedminster, a suburb about 35 miles (56 km) west of New York City, by mid-August.

He urged donors to share extra funds with @babytrumptour, which got requests for a blimp visit from more than 300 U.S. cities, including St. Louis and Austin, Texas.

On the GoFundMe page, Jiminez-Castro said he sought to bring the blimp to the United States because “he mention(ed) he does not feel welcome with the Baby Trump in display and we need to get under his skin as much as we can.”

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During his first official visit to the United Kingdom, Trump said he avoided London due to the blimp and the tens of thousands of protesters that took to the streets to decry his policies.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” the Sun newspaper quoted Trump as saying.

Trump on Monday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, capping a European visit in which he criticized NATO allies’ military spending and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she refused to take his advice about Britain’s exit from the European Union.

It’s unclear whether Trump will actually see the blimp since the Federal Aviation Administration places flight restrictions on airspace over Bedminster whenever the president visits.

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An FAA spokesman referred questions to the U.S. Secret Service. Secret Service officials did not respond to a request seeking comment.

Bedminster Township Administrator Judy Sullivan said there are no local permits required to fly a blimp.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg, additional reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Susan Thomas

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Trump considering withdraw from 68-year-old treaty with Japan: report

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President Donald Trump has been privately talking about withdrawing from the postwar defense treaty with Japan, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is telling confidants the treaty is unfair to the U.S. because it promises to help if Japan was ever attacked, but doesn't require Japan to come to America's defense, the sources told Bloomberg.

So far, the president hasn't taken any step toward pulling out of the treaty, which was signed in 1951, and administration officials insist that move would be highly unlikely.

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2020 Election

Rep. Ted Lieu: Impeachment is coming — and so is a Democratic president

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Donald Trump recently called “impeachment” a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word,” but his continued stonewalling of legitimate congressional oversight requests are moving more and more House Democrats to embrace that “filthy” concept. That was the very point made by Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a progressive Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee during our recent conversation on “Salon Talks.” That committee would be the starting point for an actual impeachment inquiry of the president.

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US kicks off Mideast plan, with Palestinians boycotting

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After a wait of two and a half years, the US administration is launching its Middle East peace plan Tuesday -- with an economic initiative that the Palestinians are boycotting.

For this most unconventional of US presidents, Donald Trump's Middle East peace-making bid is unlike decades of previous US attempts.

There is no talk of land swaps, a Palestinian state or other political issues that have vexed diplomats for decades.

The Trump administration says it will get to the political issues later.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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