Details emerge for Trump's convention plans, as Democrats line up music stars
By Joseph Ax and Steve Holland (Reuters) - Vice President Mike Pence will deliver remarks from historic Fort McHenry in Maryland during the Republican National Convention, a campaign official said on Friday, while President Donald Trump said he will likely give his address from the White House. The plans for the convention, which starts on Aug. 24, have already drawn criticism from Democrats and ethics experts, who have raised concerns about the use of federal property for partisan advantage
By Joseph Ax and Steve Holland
(Reuters) - Vice President Mike Pence will deliver remarks from historic Fort McHenry in Maryland during the Republican National Convention, a campaign official said on Friday, while President Donald Trump said he will likely give his address from the White House.
The plans for the convention, which starts on Aug. 24, have already drawn criticism from Democrats and ethics experts, who have raised concerns about the use of federal property for partisan advantage.
Meanwhile, Democrats will showcase some musical star power at their own convention next week, with the likes of John Legend, Common, Billie Eilish and the Chicks - formerly the Dixie Chicks - all set to perform during the four-night event that starts on Monday, officials said on Friday.
Both conventions, which are typically raucous affairs inside packed arenas, have been turned almost entirely into virtual affairs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two events kick off what will be a frenetic two months of campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
Biden, the former vice president, and Senator Kamala Harris of California will formally accept the Democratic nominations for president and vice president at next week's convention, while Trump and Pence will be nominated for a second four-year term a week later.
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, one of only two African-American Republicans in Congress, will be a featured speaker, as well as former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, first lady Melania Trump and Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, according to a Trump campaign official.
By tradition, Trump will speak on Aug. 27, the convention's final night. He told the New York Post on Thursday he planned to deliver his acceptance speech from the South Lawn of the White House after also considering the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Pence will make his acceptance speech on Aug. 26 from another historic site: the Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine in Baltimore. An unsuccessful British attack on the fort was the inspiration for the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Democrats have lined up the party's leading lights for their convention, including former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Billionaire former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, a late addition, will speak on one of the nights, though the schedule has not yet been finalized, according to a source familiar with the programming who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The former New York City mayor, who spent $1 billion of his own money on his abbreviated campaign, has vowed to spend heavily to defeat Trump, though he has not yet announced any specific plans.
Several other former contenders for the nomination will also appear, as the party seeks to present a unified front ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The list includes Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Biden will speak from his home state of Delaware on Thursday, the convention's final night, while Harris will do so on Wednesday.
In an effort to counterprogram the Democratic convention, Trump will travel to the key battleground states of Minnesota, Arizona and Wisconsin on Monday and Tuesday and give speeches attacking Biden, the campaign said.
Preparations were also being made for a possible Trump visit to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24, a campaign adviser said, the day that a small number of Republican delegates will gather there to formally nominate Trump.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Steve Holland; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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.