Trump decides to skip White House press dinner | Reuters
By Mike Stone and Andy Sullivan | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, a high-profile event that draws celebrities, politicians and journalists.'I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year.
By Mike Stone and Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, a high-profile event that draws celebrities, politicians and journalists."I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!", Trump wrote on Twitter.On the campaign trail and in the White House, Trump has had a strained relationship with the press, calling journalists "the enemy of the people" and frequently criticizing outlets and individual reporters whose coverage he does not like. The reporters' group said it would go ahead with its April 29 dinner despite Trump's absence. The Washington event typically draws movie stars, politicians and business leaders to hear a humorous speech by the sitting president.
The dinner "has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic," said Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent who heads the association this year.Ronald Reagan was the last president to sit out the event after he was shot in 1981.Some news outlets such as Bloomberg News and the New Yorker have said they will not host the lavish after-parties that have been a fixture of past events.
On Friday, the White House excluded several major U.S. news organizations, including some it has criticized, from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary.Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of press secretary Sean Spicer, a decision that drew strong protests.
The event occasionally makes news: in 2011, President Barack Obama delivered a scathing evisceration of Trump, joking that the mogul, who sat stone-faced in the audience, would move on from questioning Obama's citizenship to figuring out "did we fake the moon landing."Critics say the event encourages journalists to cozy up to politicians they should cover aggressively. (Reporting by Mike Stone and Andy Sullivan in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.