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Trump Gets the Royal Treatment with State Visit to the United Kingdom

U.S. President Donald Trump is in Britain for a visit that includes meeting with the royal family

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Trump, Royal Treatment, United Kingdom
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (2L), U.S. President Donald Trump (L), First Lady Melania Trump (C), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2R) and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pose for a photograph ahead of a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, June 3, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump is in Britain for a visit that includes meeting with the royal family, a state dinner and talks with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

The day full of pomp and circumstance began with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth greeting Trump and his wife Melania after they arrived at Buckingham Palace by helicopter Monday. After a welcoming ceremony that included a 41-gun salute, the Trumps had a private lunch with the queen and a tour of the palace art gallery.

Trump, Royal Treatment, United Kingdom

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, left, pose for a photo with Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall prior to afternoon tea at Clarence House, in London, June 3, 2019. VOA

The rest of the day included inspecting the Guard of Honor formed by the Grenadier Guards, a tour of historic Westminster Abbey, and tea with Prince Charles at his London home, Clarence House.

But the highlight of the day was the white-tie-and-tiaras state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Besides the queen and her husband Prince Philip, other royals in attendance included Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

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Also at the dinner were Trump’s four adult children — Donald Trump Jr.; Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner; Eric Trump and his wife, Lara; and Tiffany Trump.

Trump said in this toast that the liberation of millions from tyranny in World War II “forever sealed” the bond between Britain and the United States.

Trump, Royal Treatment, United Kingdom

U.S President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania and Britain’s Prince Andrew, second left, places a wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior during a tour of Westminster Abbey in central London, June 3, 2019. VOA

In her toast, the queen said, “Tonight, we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come.”

Noticeably absent from the Trumps’ day was Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the American-born wife of Prince Harry who is on maternity leave after giving birth to a son last month. She had been critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Before leaving Washington, Trump said his trip would be “very interesting” and that he thinks the United States and Britain have an opportunity to work out a “very big trade deal” in the near future.

Trump wades into Brexit debate

His visit comes as Britain is in the midst of political turmoil, as May is scheduled to resign on Friday after failing to complete Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Trump, Royal Treatment, United Kingdom
U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth review items from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace, June 3, 2019. VOA

That process will be inherited by her successor, with no clear path to a resolution among sharply divided parties.

Trump has publicly backed former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and told reporters late Sunday he may meet with Johnson and pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage while he is in London.

‘Stone, cold, loser’

What is certainly not on his agenda is a meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who wrote in The Observer newspaper that welcoming Trump for a state visit is “un-British.” He cited Trump’s sharing of tweets from a “British far-right racist group,” the president’s rejection of scientific evidence of climate change, and Trump “trying to interfere shamelessly” in the race to replace May.

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When asked if he would be open to meeting with Khan, Trump said Sunday, “No, I don’t think much of him.”

Upon landing in London, Trump continued his attack on Khan, calling him a “stone cold loser” who “has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom.”

Trump’s trip will also include D-Day commemoration ceremonies in both Britain and France, and a stop in Ireland. (VOA)

Next Story

Trump EPA Finalizes Rollback of Key Obama Climate Rule that Targeted Coal Plants

The new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule gives America's 50 states three years to develop their own emissions reduction plans

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Trump, Obama, Climate
EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks with the media at the Environmental Protection Agency, June 19, 2019, in Washington. VOA

The Trump administration is rolling back rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the United States as scientists continue to warn countries to rapidly cut emissions to prevent the most drastic effects of climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it had finalized rules to replace the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s initiative to cut global warming emissions from coal plants.

The new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule gives America’s 50 states three years to develop their own emissions reduction plans by encouraging coal plants to improve their efficiency.

By contrast, the Clean Power Plan was designed to slash power plant carbon emissions by more than one-third from 2005 levels by 2030 by pushing utilities to replace coal with cleaner fuels like natural gas, solar and wind.

Trump, Obama, Climate
The Trump administration is rolling back rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. VOA

The Obama-era plan was never enacted, however, because of lawsuits filed by Republican states and hundreds of companies. The Supreme Court halted its enactment in February 2016.

“States will be given the flexibility to design a plan that best suits their citizens environmental and energy needs, according to a summary of the new rules,” according to a summary of the ruling.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said at a Washington news conference, “Our ACE rule will incentivize new technology which will ensure coal plants will be part of a cleaner future.”

But environmentalists, many Democratic lawmakers and some state attorneys general have labeled the new rules the “Dirty Power Plan,” maintaining they will lead to increases in carbon emissions and other pollutants over the next few decades.

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“At a time when Americans are urging us to take meaningful climate action and reduce our carbon footprint, today’s Dirty Power Plan is a failure of vision and leadership,” said Joe Goffman, executive director of Harvard University’s Environmental & Energy Law Program.

Even the EPA’s own regulatory analysis last year estimated Trump’s ACE rule would kill an additional 300 to 1,500 people each year by 2030 because of more air pollution from the U.S. power grid.

Trump has, nevertheless, dismissed scientific warnings on climate change, including a report this year from scientists at more than a dozen federal agencies noting that global warming from fossil fuels “presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life.”

Trump promised early in his presidency to kill the Clean Power Plan as part of an effort to revive the ailing coal industry, contending it exceeded the federal government’s authority.

Trump, Obama, Climate
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it had finalized rules to replace the Clean Power Plan. Pixabay

Wednesday’s announcement to overturn Obama-era climate rules is part of a broader Trump administration effort to roll back “a multitude of health, safety environmental and consumer protections at the behest of corporate interests,” the non-profit consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen concluded in a report released in May.

The report said shortly after Trump took office in early 2017, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sent the Trump administration a list of 132 regulations that “concerned” members and detailed their “preferred course of action to address its concerns on each of the regulations.”

The report concluded that “Regulatory agencies have granted or are working on granting 85 percent of the wishes related to rulemakings on a list of deregulatory demands submitted” by NAM.

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The new rule is expected to take effect within 30 days. (VOA)