President Trump has mostly taken the day off of Twitter on Christmas, with the exception of posting holiday greetings from his family.
Wednesday morning, the president simply tweeted, “MERRY CHRISTMAS,” then followed that up by retweeting a video message from first lady Melania Trump and him.
“The president and I want to wish each and every American a very merry Christmas,” Melania Trump said at the beginning of the video, which was first posted by her account.
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“At this sacred time of year, Christians celebrate the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and rejoice in his love for every person,” the president continued. “We give thanks for the millions of Americans who come together to care for others with compassion and bring the warmth and bliss of this holy season to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and to those in need.”
The message concluded with a prayerful message of thanks to U.S. military and law enforcement.
“As we gather with loved ones this holiday, Americans across this land are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who keep us safe: our military, our police and everyone in law enforcement,” Mrs. Trump said.
The president closed, stating, “We say a special prayer for those military service members stationed far from home, and we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world. On behalf of the entire Trump family, we wish everyone a joyous and merry Christmas and a very happy, happy new year.”
The president also retweeted a Christmas greeting from the White House’s official Twitter account.
The first family has been spending the holiday at the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla. They attended a music-filled Christmas Eve service at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church before celebrating with dinner in the ballroom of his private club. They were expected to remain out of sight Wednesday.
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On Tuesday evening, the first lady answered calls from children across the country as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s “Operation NORAD Tracks Santa” program. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Mrs. Trump spoke with several children and heard items on their Christmas lists.
Grisham said Mrs. Trump “reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very merry Christmas.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
SPAIN’S beaches have been flooded with a sea of white this year as pasty Brits headed out for a Costa Del Christmas.
Benidorm and the Canary Islands have been inundated with winter sun hunters hoping to crack on with the turkey alongside a cold glass of sangria.
Sun worshippers donned Santa hats as they stretched out on Spanish beaches hoping for a golden December glow.
This year, Christmas roasts will be devoured in Benidorm hotels en masse by festive ex-pats.
UK holidaymakers this year amassed almost half a million pounds worth of fines, says Spanish air safety agency AESA who received 216 criminal complaints this year as yet more Brits flooded the airways heading off for winter sun.
A recent study revealed 29 per cent of holiday makers who head abroad are fed up of British Christmases because it’s cold but never snows, and a fifth are tired of it being “always the same”.
And one in ten don’t enjoy being at home for Christmas because they don’t like hosting the celebratory dinner with all the trimmings.
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But the holiday destination favoured by Brits has become a criminal hub after a spate of violent muggings marred the pristine beach fronts.
A group of ex-pats have even set up a vigilante group in Spain’s Costa Blanca to “tackle the thugs”.
The Sun Online has carried a string of stories about vicious attacks on visitors to Benidorm, where a Brit was robbed of £400 by a gang of girls.
Kim Kardashian revealed this week that she doesn’t use traditional wrapping paper for her Christmas gifts.
In a recent Instagram story, the reality TV superstar explained that her family uses a cloth wrapping for their presents instead.
“Each year every family member picks a color and vibe so we know who the gifts are from. This year we chose creamy velvet,” Kardashian wrote.
Although the style was not to everyone’s liking, the idea of using cloth, especially old textiles like clothes, has appeared in a list of Greenpeace Canada tips for zero waste wrapping.
Canadians generate thousands of tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags every year, with most gift-wrapping made out of hard to recycle mixed material which goes straight to landfill, according to Greenpeace.
“It’s far more sustainable to use pieces of fabric you already have or check out local thrift stores to find second hand fabrics to use,” Greenpeace wrote in the blog.
To keep the cloth in place there’s a guide to Japanese Furoshiki folding techniques as the environmental organization also recommends ditching the sticky tape used for wrapping, instead replacing it with string.
For added panache on a holiday gift, the Greenpeace blog suggests pine cones, berries or leaves instead of plastic ribbons and bows.
“Every year Canadians produce 545,000 tonnes of packaging waste, so that’s gift wrapping annually, and the equivalent to 100,000 elephants,” Jane Roussak, the Living Green Living Well coordinator with Green Action Centre told CTV Winnipeg.
Old maps, magazines, newspapers and kids artwork are all suggested by Greenpeace as more sustainable alternatives to wrapping paper.
For those feeling crafty the blog recommends retro-fitting cereal boxes as gift bags.
According to Zero Waste Canada, the average Canadian tosses about 50 kilograms of garbage each holiday season — 25 per cent more than the rest of the year.
While rules for recycling vary from province to province, there are a number of changes anyone can make to be less wasteful.
Many have advocated for gifting experiences, rather than things as a more sustainable option.
“What if we say gift-giving doesn’t matter? This is all about being with people you’re connected with – your loved ones and your family,” Colleen Thorpe, director general of non-profit organization Equiterre told CTV News Montreal.
“We could say buy locally, but after that I would say, don’t give. Give your time and give your energy and your love and think of activities to do, but don’t make it into a holiday of material gifts.”
– With files from CTV News Winnipeg and CTV News Montreal
Peter Jenkinson is the UK’s leading board games journalist. His job takes him all over the world, attending toy fairs and board game expos. His expertise and ability to absorb rule books means that board game publishers often seek his input for their next potential best-seller.
No longer something you drag out of a dusty cupboard to banish Boxing Day boredom, board games are enjoying a mainstream renaissance. This year, we are truly spoilt for choice thanks to continued growth among smaller independent publishers and major innovation from more established board game makers.
Having attended a number of worldwide events devoted to board games over the past 12 months, it’s evident that an entirely new category has arrived on the scene too – shelf-worthy. These board games are so beautifully crafted, you’ll want to keep them on display even when they’re not being played.
So here’s our new favourite games of 2019 – not too taxing on the grey matter but challenging enough to ensure they deliver on fun. Whether you’re looking for something high-tech, fast-paced or family-friendly, you’ll find it here.
1. Bank Attack
A Toronto busker got the biggest payday of his life when a group of people he believed were commuters suddenly tipped him hundreds of dollars as he serenaded them at a subway station.
Mo Guzman, 26, a full-time busker for five years, told CTVNews.ca he was ”shocked and surprised” when people starting dropping $20, $50 and $100 dollar notes in his guitar case.
But all was not as it seems. The money actually came from Toronto marketing company Zulu Alpha Kilo, which wanted to do a good deed for the holidays.
The agency reached out to the Toronto Transit Commission to see if they knew of a busker they could help. The TTC, which holds auditions for subway performers and issues permits for performers, quickly identified Guzman from Burlington.
When cameras arrived on November 26 to film Guzman at King subway station, officials from the TTC told him that he was being filmed for a documentary on subway buskers.
A video posted on Friday shows Guzman’s genuine shock as 40 Zulu Alpha Kilo employees approached and paid him some very generous tips.
Guzman was singing the Motown classic “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” at the time with his beagle Milo by his side. In the video he becomes emotional as a series of cameras catch his candid reaction.
“What is happening right now?” he asks.
The crowd eventually gathers around him and claps to the music, with a few people stepping forward to dance.
Overwhelmed, Guzman addressed the group.
“I just recently had my daughter, she’s like three months old. Just doing my thing as a first time dad and honestly thank you. I’m at a loss for words, I’ve never had an experience like this. I feel truly blessed,” he said.
Guzman told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview that people are usually in “better spirits this time of year,” but this was still far beyond his expectations.
“When I came into the station today I was expecting to play a few tunes, make some people happy, make some people smile,” he said in the video.
“I feel like years of working on the subway and making people smile is paying off in its own way. I feel so fortunate.”
Guzman and his partner welcomed their daughter Malia almost four months ago. He thanked the company and the TTC for the kind gesture.
“I think the most important part of the message is that kindness is contagious,” said Zulu Alpha Kilo founder Zak Mroueh.
Seoul, South Korea — North Korea on Tuesday repeated its assertions the Trump administration is running out of time to salvage nuclear negotiations. A statement attributed to a senior diplomat said it was entirely up to the United States to choose what “Christmas gift” it gets from the North.
The statement came as North Korea continues to dial up pressure on Washington and Seoul ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s end-of-year deadline for the U.S. to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal.
Negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim and President Donald Trump broke down after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.
Working-level talks held in Sweden in October broke down over what the North Koreans described as the Americans’ “old stance and attitude.”
Ri Thae Song, a vice foreign minister handling U.S. affairs, accused Washington of repeating talk offers aimed at buying time without offering real solutions. Ri reiterated earlier North Korean statements that the country has no intentions to continue the nuclear diplomacy unless it gets something substantial in return.
“The dialogue touted by the U.S. is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the D.P.R.K bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.” Ri’s comments in state media referred to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get.”
Kim has said he would seek a “new path” if the United States persists with sanctions and pressure. The North hasin recent months, which experts say potentially expands its ability to strike targets in South Korea and Japan. It has also threatened to lift a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests and resume launches over Japan.
Kim and Trump exchanged crude insults and war threats amid a provocative run in North Korean nuclear and missile tests in 2017, but both leaders have described their personal relationship as good since they began their high-stakes nuclear summitry in 2018.
After the North tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in July 2017, Kim called the missile a “package of gifts” to the Americans for their Fourth of July holiday.