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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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