Jorge Mesa

Jorge Mesa

Trump calls Omarosa 'a lowlife' after memoir claims racial slurs

Donald Trump has called Omarosa Manigault Newman “a lowlife” in his first public response to the former White House aide’s tell-all book.

In excerpts from the book entitled Unhinged, which were first reported by the Guardian, Manigault Newman claimed the president had used the “N-word” repeatedly, and also used racial slurs to refer to George Conway, the half-Filipino husband of the top White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

Manigault Newman, who had previously appeared with Trump on his reality television show The Apprentice, also said in the book that she believed he was “a racist, a bigot and a misogynist”.

The remarks were a break with comments made during the campaign when the former reality television celebrity vowed that those who had criticized Trump would bend the knee to him. “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” Manigault Newman said in an interview with PBS in 2016. “It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

Asked about the allegations at a photo-op with the group Bikers for Trump on Saturday in Bedminster, New Jersey, the president said: “Lowlife ... She’s a lowlife.”

Manigault Newman was dismissed from the White House in December, 2017. At the time, a source familiar with her departure told the Guardian that she had long been uncomfortable defending the Trump administration as the most prominent African American woman in the White House. Her tenure culminated when the chief of staff, John Kelly, summoned her to the White House situation room to fire her.

Afterwards, Trump praised Manigault Newman on Twitter, saying: “Thank you Omarosa for your service! I wish you continued success.”

On Friday, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, issued a statement on the book, saying it was “riddled with lies” and condemning Manigault Newman for not praising Trump.

“Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations,” said Sanders.

 

  • Published in World

A look at Vietnam’s ‘Golden Bridge,’ a colossal pair of hands lifting a golden walkway

In the mountains of central Vietnam, a colossal pair of hands lifts a golden thread of walkway high above the clifftops, as if the mountain itself has sprouted limbs.

“I feel like I’m walking on clouds,” said Vuong Thuy Linh, a tourist from Hanoi. “It’s so unique”.

Cau Vang or the “Golden Bridge” in Vietnam’s Ba Na Hills has attracted scores of tourists since it opened in June, eager to see a novel piece of architecture famed for its unusual design.

The pedestrian walkway, designed by TA Landscape Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, sits at over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level and extends over the treetops from the edge of a leafy cliff face, offering tourists uninterrupted views of the majestic landscape beneath.

The Ba Na Hills, a popular getaway for the French during the colonial occupation of Vietnam, received over 2.7 million visitors last year, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

But it is the Golden Bridge and its supports – two huge stone-colored human hands styled in such a way that it looks as if the jungle is struggling to reclaim them – which have garnered the most attention from visitors.
 
“The two, smooth, giant hands look real,” said Truong Hoang Linh Thuy, another tourist.
 
  • Published in World

Great Celebration of Cuban Culture Ends in the US (+Photos)

With the last presentation of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), a major festival dedicated to the Caribbean nation that combines music, dance, plastic arts, design, theater, and cinema ends today in the US capital.

The classic Giselle, one of the most demanded works within the company's repertoire, will be a luxury closing for Artes de Cuba: from the island to the world, the event inaugurated last May 8 at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, where some 400 artists from the island and other countries came together.

Dancers Viengsay Valdés and Dani Hernández will incarnate this afternoon the leading roles of the pinnacle of Romanticism, which already had four functions since last Thursday with other figures of the company such as Grettel Morejón, Sadaise Arencibia, Patricio Revé, Raúl Abreu, and Rafael Quenedit.

In addition to playing the main roles in this last day, Valdés and Hernández interpreted the central characters last Tuesday, when the BNC began its presentations at the event dedicated to the Caribbean country with the work Don Quixote, which was also staged on Wednesday.

The Opera House of the cultural institution is the space that has hosted each of these staging, which had the special incentive for those present to have the presence of the Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, director of the BNC and one of the most eminent dance figures worldwide.

Together with this company, which in its different functions has won great cheers from the capital's public, Artes de Cuba had previous days with the presence of two other dance groups: Malpaso, with its contemporary style; and Irene Rodríguez centered on flamenco dancing.

Likewise, the music had a great presence, with proposals ranging from classical works to jazz and popular dance, with the Lyceum Mozartiano from Havana, Yissy and Bandancha, the group Los Van Van, the López-Nussa Family and the Miguel Faílde Orchestra, among others.

The plastic arts also had a great impact, with exhibitions by some of the most prominent creators of the island, including Manuel Mendive, Roberto Fabelo, and Roberto Diago; and talented figures who reside in the North American territory, such as José Parlá and Emilio Pérez.

The group El Público, with Las amargas lágrimas de Petra Von Kant (The bitter tears of Petra Von Kant), and Argos Teatro, which proposed the play 10 millones (10 million), were the exponents of that branch of performing arts at the event, which according to the organizers, more than a festival, constituted a celebration of Cuban culture.

An exhibition on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, the parade of the Art and Fashion project, and an exhibition of posters were also included among the numerous activities of the event.

  • Published in Culture

Are humans causing cancer in wild animals?

As humans, we know that some of our activities can cause cancer to develop in our bodies. Smoking, poor diets, pollution, chemicals used as additives in food and personal hygiene products, and even too much sun are some of the things that contribute to an increased risk of cancer.

But, are human activities also causing cancer in wild animals? Are we oncogenic -- a species that causes cancer in other species?

Researchers from Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences think so and are urgently calling for research into this topic. In a paper published online today in "Nature Ecology & Evolution," Mathieu Giraudeau and Tuul Sepp, both postdoctoral researchers in the lab of ASU life sciences professor Kevin McGraw, say that humans are changing the environment in a way that causes cancer in wild animal populations.

"We know that some viruses can cause cancer in humans by changing the environment that they live in -- in their case, human cells -- to make it more suitable for themselves," said Sepp. "Basically, we are doing the same thing. We are changing the environment to be more suitable for ourselves, while these changes are having a negative impact on many species on many different levels, including the probability of developing cancer."

In the paper, Giraudeau and Sepp and a team of international researchers, point out many pathways and previous scientific studies that show where human activities are already taking a toll on animals. These include chemical and physical pollution in our oceans and waterways, accidental release of radiation into the atmosphere from nuclear plants, and the accumulation of microplastics in both land- and water-based environments. In addition, exposure to pesticides and herbicides on farmlands, artificial light pollution, loss of genetic diversity and animals eating human food are known to cause health problems.

"Cancer in wild populations is a completely ignored topic and we wanted to stimulate research on this question," shared Giraudeau. "We recently published several theoretical papers on this topic, but this time, we wanted to highlight the fact that our species can strongly influence the prevalence of cancer in many other species of our planet.

"Cancer has been found in all species where scientists have looked for it and human activities are known to strongly influence cancer rate in humans. So, this human impact on wild environments might strongly influence the prevalence of cancer in wild populations with additional consequences on ecosystem functioning," he said.

Even something such as artificial light and light pollution, as well as food meant for humans, are negatively affecting wild animals.

Sepp said: "It is already known in human studies that obesity and nutrient deficiency can cause cancer, but these issues have been mostly overlooked in wild animals. At the same time, more and more wild species are in contact with anthropogenic food sources. In humans, it's also known that light at night can cause hormonal changes and lead to cancer. Wild animals living close to cities and roads face the same problem -- there is no darkness anymore. For example, in birds, their hormones -- the same that are linked to cancer in humans -- are affected by light at night. So, the next step would be to study if it also affects their probability of developing tumors."

While these scientists are urgently calling for studies on cancer and its causes in wild animal populations, they realize that this is no easy subject to study.

"The next step is definitely to go into the field and measure cancer rate in wild populations," said Giraudeau. "We are now trying to develop some biomarkers to be able to study this. I think it would be interesting to measure cancer prevalence in wild animals in human-impacted environments and also in more preserved areas for the same species."

If humans are the cause of cancer in wild animals, then many species may be more threatened than people realize. Yet Tuul said, there is reason to hold out hope.

"To me, the saddest thing is that we already know what to do. We should not destroy the habitats of wild animals, pollute the environment, and feed wild animals human food," shared Sepp. "The fact that everybody already knows what to do, but we are not doing it, makes it seem even more hopeless.

"But I see hope in education. Our kids are learning a lot more about conservation issues than our parents did. So, there is hope that the decision-makers of the future will be more mindful of the anthropogenic effects on the environment."

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