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In India, Trump Project Buyers Offered Dinner with Trump Jr.

Potential customers of high end property in India are being enticed by an unusual offer: the chance to spend an evening with the son of the American president if they decide to invest in residential projects licensed by the family’s company.

 

Donald Trump Junior’s week-long visit to India starting Monday could not escape attention: full, front page newspaper advertisements in the country’s most prominent newspapers have posed the question: “Trump is here. Are you invited?” and “Trump has arrived. Have you?”

 

Trump Jr. has been in charge of the Trump Organization along with his brother Eric since their father became president.

 

The advertisements, which featured large photos of Trump Jr, said that those signing up before 22nd February to buy apartments could join him for “a conversation and dinner.”

 

His first stop will be Gurugram, a business hub on the outskirts of New Delhi, where local firms under a license from the Trump Organization are developing two 47-story towers bearing the Trump brand name. The more than 250 super-luxury units in the residential blocks are selling for approximately $1 million to $1.5 million each.

 

India is the Trump Organization’s biggest overseas market, earning the family up to $3 million in royalties in 2016.

 

The hope of the business partners is that the high profile visit of the American president’s son could give sales a boost at a time when India’s real estate market is witnessing a downturn — property prices have dipped nearly 30 percent following a crackdown on untaxed money by the government. In Gurugram, home to several luxury projects, many prominent builders are stuck with hundreds of unsold flats.

Referring to the visit, Samir Juneja at PropEquity, a real estate data analytics company says “There is this big marketing push which is working pretty well.” According to him, the association of the projects with the American president’s family does help. “The brand has been created and now it happens to get a further fillip that it happens to be the president’s.”

But there is criticism of the sales trip since the advertisements began appearing on the weekend. Patrick French, a British historian who is currently Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in India tweeted, “For the last however many days every newspaper in India has been wrapped in this abominable invitation to dinner with Trump Jr.”

A retired professional in Gurugram, Umesh Sood, was not sure if the sales pitch of a dinner and conversation with Trump Jr. would actually prompt people to put their money down.

 “You are not meeting the president, you are meeting the son with the same name, without the powers, without the pomp.”

Questions have also been raised over issues of conflict of interest. The New York Times quoted Daniel S. Markey, who worked on South Asia policy for the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, as saying that “The idea that the president’s son would be going and shilling the president’s brand at same time Donald Trump is president and is managing strategic and foreign relations with India – that is just bizarre.”

Two of the organizations four Indian projects, in Mumbai and Pune, were launched before Donald Trump was elected president. The Kolkata and Gurugram projects were launched later, but the deals had been signed before his election. The Trump Organization announced it would not launch any project outside the US after he became president.

Trump Jr. is the second child of Donald Trump to visit India. Ivanka Trump visited in November, in her capacity as a member of Trump administration, to address a global entrepreneurship summit.

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Trump Blasts Oprah Over 60 Minutes Episode

U.S. President Donald Trump blasted media mogul Oprah Winfrey on Twitter on Sunday night over a segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes program and again said he hoped she would face him as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race.

Actress and television host Winfrey, now a contributor to the CBS program, led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a wide ranging discussion about Trump’s first year in office.

Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Winfrey has told various media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, that she is not running for president, but has considered it, after there was much recent media speculation.

The panelists ranged from voters who said “I love him more and more every day,” to others questioning Trump’s stability, saying, “All he does is bully people.”

Winfrey made no declarative statements for or against the president in the program. But she did ask questions ranging from whether the country is better off economically to whether respect for the country is eroding around the world.

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Trump Blasts Oprah Over 60 Minutes Episode

U.S. President Donald Trump blasted media mogul Oprah Winfrey on Twitter on Sunday night over a segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes program and again said he hoped she would face him as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race.

Actress and television host Winfrey, now a contributor to the CBS program, led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a wide ranging discussion about Trump’s first year in office.

Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Winfrey has told various media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, that she is not running for president, but has considered it, after there was much recent media speculation.

The panelists ranged from voters who said “I love him more and more every day,” to others questioning Trump’s stability, saying, “All he does is bully people.”

Winfrey made no declarative statements for or against the president in the program. But she did ask questions ranging from whether the country is better off economically to whether respect for the country is eroding around the world.

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Trump Stays Quiet on Shooting Victims, Fumes Over Russia

President Donald Trump spent the holiday weekend hunkered down at his Florida estate, watching cable television news, grousing to club members and advisers and fuming over the investigation of Russian election meddling.

 

In a marathon series of furious tweets from Mar-a-Lago, Trump vented about Russia, raging at the FBI for what he perceived to be a fixation on the Russia investigation at the cost of failing to deter the attack on a Florida high school. He made little mention of the nearby school shooting victims and the escalating gun control debate.

The president has grown increasingly frustrated since the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday charged 13 Russians with a plot to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump viewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s declaration that the indictment doesn’t show that any American knowingly participated as proof of his innocence and is deeply frustrated that the media are still suggesting that his campaign may have colluded with Russian officials, according to a person who has spoken to the president in the last 24 hours but is not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

 

Trump was last seen publicly Friday night when he visited the nearby Florida community reeling from a school shooting that left 17 dead and gave rise to a student-led push for more gun control. White House aides advised the president against golfing so soon after the tragedy. Instead, he fired off tweets Saturday and Sunday and met with House Speaker Paul Ryan Sunday afternoon.

Trump fumed to associates at Mar-a-Lago that the media “won’t let it go” and will do everything to delegitimize his presidency. He made those complaints to members who stopped by his table Saturday as he dined with his two adult sons and TV personality Geraldo Rivera.

 

Initially pleased with the Justice Department’s statement, Trump has since griped that Rosenstein did not go far enough in declaring that he was cleared of wrongdoing, and grew angry when his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, gave credence to the notion that Russia’s meddling affected the election, the person said.

 

Amid a growing call for action on guns, the White House said Sunday the president will host a “listening session” with students and teachers this week, but offered no details on who would attend or what would be discussed.

 

On Monday, 17 Washington students plan a “lie-in” by the White House to advocate for tougher gun laws. Students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are planning a march on Washington next month to pressure politicians to take action on gun violence.

 

On Twitter, Trump stressed that the Russian effort began before he declared his candidacy and asserted that the Obama administration bears some blame for it. He also insisted he never denied that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 U.S. campaign, although in fact he has frequently challenged the veracity of the evidence.

The president declared “they are laughing their asses off in Moscow”at the lingering fallout from the Kremlin’s election interference.

James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the president was not focusing on the bigger threat.

 

“Above all this rhetoric here, again, we’re losing sight of, what is it we’re going to do about the threat posed by the Russians? And he never – he never talks about that,” said Clapper. “It’s all about himself, collusion or not.”

 

Trump tweeted about the nation’s “heavy heart” in the wake of the shooting in Parkland and noted the “ncredible people” he met on his visit to the community. But he also sought to use the shooting to criticize the nation’s leading law enforcement agency.

Trump said late Saturday that the FBI “missed all of the many signals” sent by the suspect and argued that agents are “spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.”

 

The FBI received a tip last month that the man now charged in the school shooting had a “desire to kill” and access to guns and could be plotting an attack. But the agency said Friday that agents failed to investigate.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and frequent Trump critic, called that tweet about the FBI an “absurd statement” on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that the “FBI apparently made a terrible mistake, and people should be held accountable. But we need leadership out of the executive.”

 

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Trump Stays Quiet on Shooting Victims, Fumes Over Russia

President Donald Trump spent the holiday weekend hunkered down at his Florida estate, watching cable television news, grousing to club members and advisers and fuming over the investigation of Russian election meddling.

 

In a marathon series of furious tweets from Mar-a-Lago, Trump vented about Russia, raging at the FBI for what he perceived to be a fixation on the Russia investigation at the cost of failing to deter the attack on a Florida high school. He made little mention of the nearby school shooting victims and the escalating gun control debate.

The president has grown increasingly frustrated since the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday charged 13 Russians with a plot to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump viewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s declaration that the indictment doesn’t show that any American knowingly participated as proof of his innocence and is deeply frustrated that the media are still suggesting that his campaign may have colluded with Russian officials, according to a person who has spoken to the president in the last 24 hours but is not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

 

Trump was last seen publicly Friday night when he visited the nearby Florida community reeling from a school shooting that left 17 dead and gave rise to a student-led push for more gun control. White House aides advised the president against golfing so soon after the tragedy. Instead, he fired off tweets Saturday and Sunday and met with House Speaker Paul Ryan Sunday afternoon.

Trump fumed to associates at Mar-a-Lago that the media “won’t let it go” and will do everything to delegitimize his presidency. He made those complaints to members who stopped by his table Saturday as he dined with his two adult sons and TV personality Geraldo Rivera.

 

Initially pleased with the Justice Department’s statement, Trump has since griped that Rosenstein did not go far enough in declaring that he was cleared of wrongdoing, and grew angry when his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, gave credence to the notion that Russia’s meddling affected the election, the person said.

 

Amid a growing call for action on guns, the White House said Sunday the president will host a “listening session” with students and teachers this week, but offered no details on who would attend or what would be discussed.

 

On Monday, 17 Washington students plan a “lie-in” by the White House to advocate for tougher gun laws. Students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are planning a march on Washington next month to pressure politicians to take action on gun violence.

 

On Twitter, Trump stressed that the Russian effort began before he declared his candidacy and asserted that the Obama administration bears some blame for it. He also insisted he never denied that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 U.S. campaign, although in fact he has frequently challenged the veracity of the evidence.

The president declared “they are laughing their asses off in Moscow”at the lingering fallout from the Kremlin’s election interference.

James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the president was not focusing on the bigger threat.

 

“Above all this rhetoric here, again, we’re losing sight of, what is it we’re going to do about the threat posed by the Russians? And he never – he never talks about that,” said Clapper. “It’s all about himself, collusion or not.”

 

Trump tweeted about the nation’s “heavy heart” in the wake of the shooting in Parkland and noted the “ncredible people” he met on his visit to the community. But he also sought to use the shooting to criticize the nation’s leading law enforcement agency.

Trump said late Saturday that the FBI “missed all of the many signals” sent by the suspect and argued that agents are “spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.”

 

The FBI received a tip last month that the man now charged in the school shooting had a “desire to kill” and access to guns and could be plotting an attack. But the agency said Friday that agents failed to investigate.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and frequent Trump critic, called that tweet about the FBI an “absurd statement” on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that the “FBI apparently made a terrible mistake, and people should be held accountable. But we need leadership out of the executive.”

 

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Anti-Corruption Police Arrest Latvian Central Bank Chief

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis assured the country and Europe “there is no sign of danger,” after anti-corruption police arrested the head of the Latvian central bank Saturday.

“For now, neither I, nor any other official, has any reason to interfere with the work of the Corruption Prevention Bureau,” Kucinskis said.

Neither Kucinskis nor the police gave any reason why central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics was arrested. But a police spokeswoman said there will be an announcement “as soon as possible.”

The Latvian government plans an emergency meeting Monday.

Along with heading the Baltic nation’s central bank, Rimsevics is also one of 19 governors on the European Central Bank.

The U.S. Treasury Department has proposed sanctions against a major Latvian bank for alleged money laundering linked to North Korea’s weapons program.

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Anti-Corruption Police Arrest Latvian Central Bank Chief

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis assured the country and Europe “there is no sign of danger,” after anti-corruption police arrested the head of the Latvian central bank Saturday.

“For now, neither I, nor any other official, has any reason to interfere with the work of the Corruption Prevention Bureau,” Kucinskis said.

Neither Kucinskis nor the police gave any reason why central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics was arrested. But a police spokeswoman said there will be an announcement “as soon as possible.”

The Latvian government plans an emergency meeting Monday.

Along with heading the Baltic nation’s central bank, Rimsevics is also one of 19 governors on the European Central Bank.

The U.S. Treasury Department has proposed sanctions against a major Latvian bank for alleged money laundering linked to North Korea’s weapons program.

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Washington Refocuses on Russia Probe after Latest Indictments

Washington is refocused on the Russia probe after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians accused of mounting a massive social media trolling campaign to help Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports President Trump unleashed a tweetstorm claiming personal vindication in the Russia investigation — something Democrats and others strongly contest.

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