What could it mean? Twitter erupts with sarcastic suggestions after Trump refers to himself as ‘President T’

Donald Trump has sparked yet another Twitter drama after referring to himself as ‘President T’ in a post questioning the loyalty of a senator, prompting users to make sarcastic suggestions of what the ‘T’ could possibly stand for.

In the Monday tweet, Trump accused Republican Senator Ben Sasse of “going rogue” after he sharply criticized the president’s executive orders aimed at providing coronavirus relief while bypassing Congress.

Trump dubbed Sasse a “RINO” – which stands for ‘Republican in name only’ – and said he exploited “President T’s” support to get himself elected.

Before long, ‘President T’ was trending across the Twitterverse as users entertained themselves by jokingly attempting to figure out what the ‘T’ might stand for.

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Some of Trump’s detractors went straight for the most predictable ones: Words like ‘Traitor’, ‘Tik Tok’ and ‘Thug’ were popular suggestions.

Other users decided to get a bit more creative, with one suggesting he could have meant a golf tee, while others offered that they would prefer a “President B,” referring to Trump’s election opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.

Some fantasized about TV personality Mr. T taking over as president.

A few also took issue with the president referring to himself in third person and with only an initial, suggesting he was trying to be a “cool kid” at school.

Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, did not seem to notice anything funny in his tweet – and were more inclined to share his frustration with Sasse and the lack of “loyalty” from some Republicans.

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Slovakia expels 3 staff at Russian embassy, Moscow ‘will retaliate’

Slovakia has expelled three staff at the Russian embassy in Bratislava, the Slovak Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“According to information from the Slovak intelligence services, their activities were in contradiction with the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” Reuters quoted a ministry spokesman as saying in an emailed statement.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday it will respond in kind to Slovakia’s expulsion of Russian diplomats, RIA Novosti reported.

The diplomatic workers were declared persona non grata on August 6, according to Slovak media.

More arrests as protests against Belarus presidential election resume in streets of Minsk

Several metro stations were closed and a heavy police presence was evident in downtown Minsk as demonstrators took to the streets again to protest against the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko. Many were arrested.

On Monday evening, protesters gathered in small groups around the Victory Square, the epicenter of last night’s rallies, which is surrounded by various public buildings. A strong police presence was documented in the area. More than a hundred opposition supporters assembled at the nearby Jubilee Hotel and police were arresting some of them, local media reported.  

Riot police have used flash-bangs to disperse demonstrators, local outlets and social media videos indicate. By local reports, some 30 people have been detained in the first hour of the protests. 

Demonstrators blocked Kalvaryjskaya street, a major thoroughfare in western Minsk, near the intersection with the First Ring road. There were reports of “explosions” as police moved to disperse them.

The Minsk Metro closed six downtown stations at 6:25pm local time, “to ensure the security of passengers.” A Ruptly agency stringer said the situation in downtown Minsk was getting “dangerous.” 

RT Russian correspondent Kostya Pridybaylo was detained by the police after taking a photo of them gathering at the Palace of Sports in Minsk, but was released shortly after being transported to a different part of town.  

“We were treated, one might say, gently,” he said. 

Another journalist, Semyon Pegov, remains under arrest. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is personally involved in efforts to secure his release, as well as several other Russian journalists detained during Sunday’s unrest, MFA spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. 

Arrests were also made in the northeastern city of Vitebsk, where a protest melted away under a heavy rainstorm. In the western city of Brest, riot police patrols were in evidence at the intersection where protesters clashed with authorities on Sunday, while major streets and cafes remained closed. 

Protests erupted on Sunday evening after President Alexander Lukashenko announced he had been reelected with almost 80 percent of the vote, while opposition candidates accused him of election fraud. 

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Over 3,000 people were detained in the initial clashes. On Monday, the Investigative Committee of Belarus said that more than 80 were arrested, “most of them young and in a state of drug or alcohol intoxication.” Some of them face charges of rioting, and punishments of up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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Millions of tourists & overcrowded hospitals: Crimea advertises for doctors as hospitals struggle to cope with Covid-19 infections

With the summer holiday season in full swing, some tourists seem to have taken coronavirus with them to the coast. That’s prompted Crimea to search for more doctors as infections in crowded resorts are overloading local hospitals.

With Russia’s international borders partially closed, the Black Sea peninsula is experiencing a mass influx of travelers looking to have a domestic warm-weather beach holiday. In July, 1.43 million tourists visited Crimea, and hotels and boarding houses reported that they were 80 percent occupied.

According to official data, Crimea recorded 32 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, and 27 on Friday. On July 14, the number of cases sat a just 7. With a swollen summer population and an increasing rate of infection, the peninsula is in dire need of extra help.

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In response to the overcrowding, the Republic’s local pandemic headquarters decided to set up a coronavirus-focused hospital, and now they need extra staff.

The new facility was due to open on Monday, but a fully-fledged start has been  hindered by a lack of staff. Speaking to Moscow daily Kommersant, a Crimean government official explained that they are short about 500 doctors and 1,500 paramedics.

“Doctors of any specialty, as well as nurse anesthetists, are urgently needed for work in the coronavirus hospital in Simferopol,” the Crimean Ministry of Health announced. Simferopol is the largest city in the peninsula, with a population of over 330,000 people.

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Crimea’s hospital capacity issues have also been hindered by the late opening of a state-of-the-art medical center, due to open in December 2019, with 730 beds and 3,500 personnel. The start of operations has since been pushed back to the end of 2020.

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Face masks become mandatory in Paris amid W. Europe heatwave

Face masks became compulsory in tourist hotspots in Paris on Monday amid warnings of a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

The requirement came as France along with much of Western Europe sweltered in a heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 35 degrees Celsius (95 F), AFP reports. The heat sent crowds flocking to beaches at the weekend despite health warnings about the risk of infection.

In the Paris region, people aged 11 and over are now required to wear masks in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. These include the banks of the Seine River and more than 100 streets in the French capital.

Several French towns and cities have already introduced similar measures, as well as parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain.

‘It’s not brotherly’: Russian Foreign Ministry condemns neighboring Belarus for violent police attacks on journalists

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has criticized Belarusian law enforcement agencies for their “disproportionate actions” against Russian journalists working in Minsk, covering Sunday’s controversial election.

While reporting on Sunday’s hotly contested Belarusian presidential election – in which incumbent Alexander Lukashenko officially won 80 percent of the vote – several Russian media personnel were detained. Among them were multiple journalists from TV Rain, Maxim Solopov from Riga-based Meduza, and Semyon Pegov, a Russian war correspondent and founder of the WarGonzo project. Earlier, reporters from the US state-run RFE/RL were arrested and deported from the country.

On her personal Facebook page, Zakharova noted that Monday is her fifth anniversary of working as press secretary for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“I didn’t think that, on this day, I would be protecting Russian journalists from the disproportionate actions of security forces in brotherly Belarus,” she wrote.

Zakharova acknowledged that Belarusian laws require journalists to obtain permission to work in state, but explained that the lack of an official pass is no reason to use physical force, calling the response “disproportionate.”

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“Many of them, in good faith, requested accreditation in advance and followed all the rules. They were not given it, and then they were hit on the head with truncheons,” she wrote. “This is definitely not brotherly behavior.”

Following the announcement of Belarus’ election exit polls, which stated that 80 percent of voters re-elected incumbent President Lukashenko, mass protests were held long into the night. The results are widely considered to be falsified, with some suggesting that opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya herself may have a majority.

In Minsk, there were violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, with the country’s security forces using stun grades and water cannons to disperse demonstrators. Over 3,000 people were arrested, and at least one protester was killed.

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‘Woke’ professor panned for calling for phrase ‘the British people’ to be banned because it’s ‘divisive’

Media hungry physicist Brian Cox has found himself at the center of a storm of controversy after calling for the phrase “the British people” to be banned because, apparently, it’s “inflammatory and divisive”.

The professor of particle physics, who is best known for hosting science programs on TV, made the bizarre argument in response to a tweet from Home Secretary Priti Patel, which called for greater cooperation between France and the UK on intercepting migrants crossing the channel to Britain. 

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“I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean,” Patel wrote.

The message sparked a furious reply from the scientist, who attacked the use of the seemingly innocuous phrase, “the British people,” and called for its use to be “banned from political discourse.”

Professor Cox has long been an opponent of Brexit, and even joined the ranks of die-hard Remainers by calling for another vote on the issue, despite UK voters clearly opting to leave the European Union.

It seems dissatisfaction with the prevailing political winds in the UK has left the professor so uneasy about his fellow countrymen that he now believes “the British people” is a loaded phrase.

Many took issue with Cox’s stance, accusing him of flagrant anti-British sentiment. “Woke professor calls for the phrase ‘the British people’ to be BANNED. For all their supposed intelligence, some of our leading academics are truly nuts,” columnist Paul Embery said.

“He would never say this about ‘the French people’ or ‘the German people’, of course,” he added.

Responders also wondered if bitter Remainers would ever accept the 2016 referendum result. Another message noting that Cox had previously used the phrase “European citizens” also racked up thousands of likes.

Professor Cox sought to quell the storm of reaction by issuing a follow up tweet which accused people of “deliberately misunderstanding” his message. However, the negative replies continued to roll in.

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