OTHER developments


President Donald Trump barreled into a global summit in the Swiss Alps on Thursday, threatening to stop U.S. aid to the Palestinians and dismissing as a “false rumor” the idea that there are tensions in the U.S. relationship with Britain. Trump’s debut appearance at the glitzy World Economic Forum was hotly anticipated, with longtime attendees of the free-trade-focused event wondering how the “America First” president would fit in. Crowds clustered around Trump as he entered the modern conference hall, the president telling passers-by that he was bringing a message of “peace and prosperity.”

The Trump administration will soon release its long-anticipated public works plan, trying to fulfill a campaign pledge but set to fall short of some ambitious goals. As a candidate, Trump promised to generate at least $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. As president, he is relying on state and local governments to pony up a significant share of the total. Trump told mayors at the White House this week that he would present his proposal after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

A federal judge in Maryland hinted Thursday that he may take up a case questioning whether Trump’s business empire violates the “emoluments” clause of the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte expressed skepticism about the government’s defense of the president’s handling of his expansive business interests. If the case is allowed to proceed, it could reveal much about Trump’s business and personal finances, possibly forcing him to reveal tax and other financial information in the course of legal discovery.

Donald and Melania Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from a New York museum for their White House private quarters. Instead, The Washington Post reports, the Guggenheim Museum’s chief curator came up with a pointedly satirical counter-offer: a working solid-gold toilet made by an Italian artist.

Source: Associated Press

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