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DEMOCRACY
Trump, the water bottle, and Marco Rubio's revenge
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 15, 2017


Trump urges athletes released by China to thank him
Washington (AFP) Nov 15, 2017 - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday prodded three US college basketball players to publicly thank him for their repatriation from China.

Tweeting after his return from almost two weeks in Asia, Trump championed his role in urging Xi Jinping to secure the trio's release from shoplifting charges.

Trump had personally asked Xi to intervene to free UCLA players LiAngelo Ball -- the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie star Lonzo Ball -- and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, who were arrested last Tuesday in Hangzhou.

ESPN reported that they were nabbed on suspicion of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store and later freed on bail but ordered to remain in the picturesque Chinese city.

"Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!" Trump mused.

The three players are due to give a press conference in California later Wednesday.

Trump has had an uneasy relationship with prominent black athletes, criticizing individuals in the NBA and NFL for protesting before games or suggesting they may not visit the White House while he is in office.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. And wet.

US President Donald Trump awkwardly reached for a water bottle during a televised speech Wednesday -- in a scene that surely handed sweet satisfaction to Marco Rubio, the Republican senator and Trump's one-time rival for the White House.

Trump -- and many others -- had relentlessly mocked Rubio for taking an indecorous swig four years earlier, as he delivered a speech rebutting Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

Now fate has come full circle.

Several minutes into a White House speech summarizing his just-completed trip to Asia, Trump bent down to reach for water on a lower shelf of his podium.

Realizing no bottle was there, he popped up to announce: "They don't have water. That's OK."

When an aide signalled that there was a bottle to Trump's right, the president leaned over, stared resolutely forward as he twisted off the cap, lifted the bottle to his lips with two hands, and took a sip.

Then the internet exploded.

Posts flooded Twitter to recall how Trump repeatedly ridiculed Rubio back in 2013 over his watery gaffe, and Wednesday's footage quickly made it on to cable news.

"Next time Marco Rubio should drink his water from a glass as opposed to a bottle -- would have much less negative impact," Trump tweeted in February 2013.

Again on the campaign trail in February last year, Trump imitated Rubio on stage, and called him a "choke artist" over his water woes.

"Help me, I need water. Help!" Trump mocked, as he held up a bottle of water, took a swig, then casually threw it over his shoulder.

Rubio, who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for their party's presidential nomination, wasted no time turning the tables.

"Similar, but needs work on his form," Rubio quipped in a tweet. "Has to be done in one single motion & eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his 1st time."

DEMOCRACY
Sacked Catalan leader freed on bail in Belgium
Brussels (AFP) Nov 6, 2017
Catalonia's sacked separatist leader Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers were released with conditions in Belgium on Sunday after turning themselves in to face a Spanish warrant for their arrest. A judge ordered the five, who fled Spain earlier this week after being accused of rebellion and sedition, not to leave Belgium until their extradition case is heard. It is the lat ... read more

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Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com


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