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US President Donald Trump to make special Earth-to-space call from the Oval Office on April 24

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Donald Trump. Wikimedia

Washington April 20, 2017: US President Donald Trump will make a special Earth-to-space call from the Oval Office to personally congratulate NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for her record-breaking stay aboard the International Space Station on April 24, NASA has said.

Trump will be joined by daughter Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins for the 20-minute call which will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website and Facebook page at 10 a.m. EDT.

Commander of the station’s Expedition 51 crew, Whitson will officially set the US record Monday for most cumulative days in space, surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days.

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Additionally, she is the first woman to command the space station twice, and holds the record for most spacewalks conducted by a female astronaut.

Whitson will be joined for President Trump’s call by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who is scheduled to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Thursday.

The call will be made available to schools, museums, and other organisations across the nation and globally, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday. (IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Rebuts Soros, Says no ‘Special Relationship’ with Trump

Facebook has announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won't ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook has refuted allegations by billionaire philanthropist George Soros that there is a special relationship between the social networking giant and US President Donald Trump.

Soros slammed Facebook at Davos last month, accusing the social networking giant of helping to re-elect Trump in the 2020 US election.

“While we respect Mr. Soros’ right to voice his opinion, he’s wrong,” Facebook said in a statement.

“The notion that we are aligned with any one political figure or party runs counter to our values and the facts. We continue making unprecedented investments to keep our platform safe, fight foreign interference in elections around the world, and combat misinformation,” Facebook said.

Soros reiterated his comments in an opinion piece in The New York Times on Friday.

“Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media,” he alleged.

“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook,” the 89-year-old said during a speech at a dinner hosted by his non-profit Open Society Foundation at Davos.

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FILE – President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 4, 2019. VOA

“It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” Soros added.

Earlier in January, Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s re-election in 2020.

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“He (Trump) didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

Facebook has announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won’t ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent. (IANS)