Trump, first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors -White House

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend the Kennedy Center Honors in December, the White House announced yesterday, after several honorees said they would boycott a White House reception before the show.

The Kennedy Center also said in a statement the White House reception “will no longer take place.”

The White House said the president and first lady would not take part in the Kennedy Center Honors “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

The announcement came after television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade said they would not attend the White House reception that was set to take place prior to the Dec. 3 annual gala event. The other honorees are singer Gloria Estefan and rapper LL Cool J.

The awards are presented each year in December to recognize honorees for their lifetime contributions to the arts.

All five honorees are expected to attend a Dec. 2 dinner and awards ceremony at the State Department, the Kennedy Center’s chairman, David Rubenstein, and its president, Deborah Rutter, in a statement.

The Kennedy Center “respects” the decision made by the Trumps, they said. “In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the administration graciously signalled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees,” Rubenstein and Rutter said.

De Lavallade, an African-American actress, dancer and choreographer, said in a statement on her website that she was honoured to receive the award and would attend the show.

But, she said that she would not go to the White House “in light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in.”

Her comments come after the president blamed “both sides” for violence that erupted last week between counter-demonstrators and neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white nationalists holding a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Trump’s comments prompted a slew of resignations from presidential councils, including all 17 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

In a New York Times article on Aug. 3, Lear was quoted as saying that he would forgo the White House reception because, “This is a presidency that has chosen to neglect totally the arts and humanities — deliberately defund them — and that doesn’t rest pleasantly with me.”

Comments  

Kurds press historic independence vote despite regional fears

ERBIL, Iraq,  (Reuters) – Iraqi Kurds are expected to vote for independence in a referendum on Monday that neighbouring countries and Western powers fear could break up the country and stir broader regional ethnic and sectarian conflict.

Hurricane Maria skirts Turks and Caicos as Puerto Rico endures fresh flooding

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, (Reuters) – Hurricane Maria, the second major hurricane to wreak havoc in the Caribbean this month, skirted by the Turks and Caicos Islands yesterday and was blamed for fresh flooding on Puerto Rico two days after ravaging the U.S.

T&T relief supplies reach Dominica

(Trinidad Express) T&T Coast Guard vessel TTS MORUGA CG 27 arrived in Dominica on Thursday with approximately 2.28 tonnes of food items donated and collected from various stakeholders at locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

T&T man will stand trial for kidnapping, molesting girls

(Trinidad Express) TECHNICIAN Reeshie Surajbally has been committed to stand trial in the High Court on the charge of kidnapping and sexually touching two girls in Barrackpore last year.

U.S. Senator McCain opposes Obamacare repeal bill, a possible fatal blow

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said yesterday he opposes the latest Republican bill to dismantle Obamacare, dealing the measure what could be a fatal blow given the party’s slim Senate majority.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×