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Amid Controversy over Donald Trump’s 2005 Sex Tape, Trump and Hillary Clinton Debate again

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, retracted his support for Trump but stopped short of calling for him to drop out of the presidential race

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FILE - The first presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump, left, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2016. VOA
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Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are headed to their second U.S. presidential debate late Sunday, even as key Republicans are demanding that he drop out of the race after a 2005 tape recorded him making lewd comments about women and boasting how he groped them.

Trump said Saturday there was “zero chance” that he would quit the race for the White House a month before the November 8 election and apologised for his comments. But Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state looking to become the country’s first female president, has yet to make a public statement on Trump’s self-proclaimed sexual exploits and is poised to confront him at the debate in the Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Students playing the roles of the candidates go through a rehearsal for the second 2016 U.S. presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2016. VOA
Students playing the roles of the candidates go through a rehearsal for the second 2016 U.S. presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2016. VOA

‘A distraction’?

Meantime, Trump, a brash real estate tycoon making his first run for elected office, said the controversy is “nothing more than a distraction,” although national political surveys had shown his support slumping even before the existence of the tape became known on Friday. Clinton is holding more than a four-percentage-point advantage and gaining ground in key battleground election states.

Trump, in his taped apology, suggested that he will attempt to pivot from his bawdy conduct to cast aspersions on Clinton, claiming that she enabled infidelities by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and disparaged women who alleged that the country’s 42nd chief executive had made unwanted sexual advances on them over several decades. Clinton was impeached for lying about an affair with an intern in the White House, but not convicted, and then finished out two terms in office in 2001.

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“I’ve said some foolish things,’ Trump said, “but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”

A Trump supporter, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, told CNN Sunday that Trump would not hesitate to talk about “the women that Bill Clinton raped, sexually abused and attacked.”

On his Twitter account Sunday, the embattled Trump declared, “Tremendous support [except for some Republican ‘leadership’]. Thank you.”

Calls for Trump to drop out

Call Several Republican elected officials called for Trump to drop out of the race to become the country’s 45th president when President Barack Obama leaves office in late January, but there was no immediate consensus how he would be replaced on the national ticket even if he were inclined to quit.

Meanwhile, absentee and early voting has already started, with about 400,000 ballots cast in recent days. States across the country have already printed ballots with Trump’s and Pence’s names listed as the Republican candidates and ballots mailed to military service personnel stationed overseas.

FILE - Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Sept. 10, 2016. VOA
FILE – Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Sept. 10, 2016. VOA

Key Republicans, including his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, condemned Trump’s 2005 comments that were recorded on a live microphone while he was on a backlot of a Hollywood set just before a cameo appearance on a television soap opera.

“I do not condone his remarks and I cannot defend them,” Pence said as he backed out of a planned campaign appearance Saturday in Wisconsin, where he had been expected to fill in for Trump.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, retracted his support for Trump, but stopped short of calling for him to drop out of the presidential race.

The 2012 nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who like McCain lost to Obama, denounced Trump’s sexual braggadocio, saying, “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”

On the tape, Trump, a 70-year-old one-time television reality show host, said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” and described how he would grab women’s genitals.

FILE - YouTube screen grab from video obtained by The Washington Post of lewd conversation about women between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. VOA
FILE – YouTube screen grab from video obtained by The Washington Post of lewd conversation about women between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. VOA

His crude language left newspapers and media outlets across the U.S. grappling with how to depict his language, with some printing his words verbatim and others using a variety of euphemisms.

The disclosures come on top of long-known Trump slurs against women the Clinton campaign has collected in several ads for her candidacy.

Trump’s polling numbers have dropped following his first debate performance with Clinton in late September, in which she kept him on the defensive for his business practices, his refusal to release his U.S. tax returns, and his long support for the debunked theory that Obama was born in Kenya and is not a U.S. citizen.

Since then, The New York Times disclosed three pages from his 1995 returns showing that he claimed $916 million in business losses that year, a deduction of such staggering proportions that he could have legally avoided paying income taxes for an 18-year stretch. Trump called his tax avoidance “brilliant.” (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)