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White House Easter egg roll: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania welcome 20,000 Kids for Celebration

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Donald Trump stands with his son Barron and wife Melania. VOA
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Washington, April 18, 2017: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania on Monday welcomed more than 20,000 children and parents to the White House to hunt for Easter eggs and participate in egg-rolling races, a tradition that dates back to 1878.

The annual “Easter Egg Roll” revolves around children, who set about finding hidden coloured eggs in the garden bushes around the presidential residence and later roll them toward a finish line aided only by wooden spoons.

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“On behalf of the president and (our son) Barron, we wish you great fun and beautiful days coming ahead of us,” Xinhua news agency quoted the first lady as saying.

Specifically, the first lady was in charge of the activities, just like every year, and this was the 139th egg race hosted at the White House, although it was the first time the Trumps had been involved.

A military band was on hand to perform for the guests and White House personnel and volunteers worked “tirelessly” to create a “memorable” experience for all concerned.

Melania and Barron, who traveled to Washington from New York — where they are living until the 10-year-old finishes the school year — appeared with Trump, accompanied by a human-sized white Easter rabbit, on the Truman Balcony to address the invited guests.

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“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before, and we are right on track … I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive,” Trump said just before blowing the whistle to launch the egg rolling race.

The children attending the event, some wearing red caps with Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” on them, took part in the race and egg hunt, decorated cookies, wrote thank-you letters to US soldiers and participated in other fun activities.

The smaller children also received visits from several Easter bunnies, along with Elmo from Sesame Street, Peppa Pig and Dr. Seuss, among other well-known personalities, who strolled through the crowd on the White House lawn and entertained them.

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The president and his family, meanwhile, sat at the decoration workshop tables and helped children compose letters to the troops, along with greeting the guests.

The first lady also took part in another traditional aspect of the Easter event, reading portions of “Party Animals,” written by Kathie Lee Gifford, to the kids.

This year, due to rain in the forecast, the White House had announced that the event would be somewhat curtailed, with only 20,000 guests on hand rather than the more than 35,000 of previous years.

A total of some 18,000 Easter eggs were made available to the kids, however, by the White House.

Also on hand for the event were the president’s two older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, along with their families. (IANS)

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White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

No direct talks yet between Trump, Kim: White House

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The White House has denied any direct talks yet between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, though Washington has spoken to Pyongyang “at the highest levels”.

The White House statement on Tuesday came minutes after Trump seemingly hinted that he has already spoken with Kim, Xinhua news agency reported.

When asked by reporters if he had spoken directly with Kim, Trump had said “yes”.

In the statement, issued after the confusing incident, the White House said, “In regards to talks with leader Kim Jong-un, the President said the administration has had talks at the highest levels” and added that they were not with him directly.

On Tuesday afternoon, Trump himself also said that Washington and Pyongyang have already started direct talks at “very high levels,” without specifying how “high” the level was.

Kim Jong-un And Donald Trump
Kim Jong-un And Donald Trump

“We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels with North Korea,” Trump said. He might have hinted at CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s reportedly top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as his envoy.

The trip made by Pompeo was an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between the leaders of the two countries. No official confirmation of Pompeo’s visit has come yet.

Trump was expected to meet Kim in May or early June. The venue of the meeting was still to be decided. Trump said that five sites were being weighed and none of them were located in the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has thawed over the last few months. The South and North have agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit on April 27, the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides in 11 years.

“They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war,” said Trump on Tuesday, referring to the summit.

The 1950-1953 Korean war ended in an armistice. The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war.  IANS