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Obama unveils presidential portrait painted by Nigerian

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Barack and Michelle Obama unveiled their official portraits at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery on Monday.

The former US president and his wife selected Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, for the paintings, which will be among the gallery’s collection of presidential portraits.

Wiley and Sherald were the first black artists ever commissioned to paint a president or first lady for the Smithsonian.

“I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman that I love,” Obama said.

“I tried to negotiate less gray hair and Kehinde’s artistic integrity would not allow him to do what I asked. I tried to negotiate smaller ears – struck out on that as well.”

Michelle Obama said she hoped the portrait would have an impact on young girls of colour in the years to come.

“They will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them, hanging on the wall of this great American institution. I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”

The National Portrait Gallery’s tradition of commissioning presidential portraits began with George HW Bush.

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FOREIGN

Trump CANNOT block anyone on Twitter, court rules

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A US court ruling has barred Donald Trump from blocking users from viewing his Twitter profile.
Naomi Reice Buchwald, a district judge, said Trump’s Twitter account — @RealDonaldTrump — is a “designated public forum” open to all US citizens and that blocking users violates their first amendment rights to freedom of speech.
The case against the president was instituted by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven individuals blocked by Trump after they criticised him.
“In sum, we conclude that the blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment,” Buchwald wrote in the 75-page ruling.
“While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the President’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him.”
The lawsuit filed last year also named White House social media director Daniel Scavino among the defendants.
“Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional,” Buchwald added.
Trump, who has over 52 million Twitter followers, is famous for his hyperactivity on the social media platform and is known to regularly block users.
Celebrities Trump has blocked include Stephen King, Rosie O’Donnell and Chrissy Teigen.

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FOREIGN

All six people aboard survive as private jet crashed off the runway and split in two when it landed

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A routine business trip turned into tense drama for six Americans flying from Austin, Texas, to Honduras when the company jet they were traveling in crashed off the runway almost splitting in two, when it landed at Toncontin International Airport in Honduras.
All six people aboard, four passengers and two crew members survived. One of the passengers and a crew member sustained extensive injuries. “Thank God there are no reported human losses, the wounded are stable and cared for,” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said after the crash.
The accident occurred around 11 a.m. local time, according to the Honduran Civil Aviation Agency. Operations at the airport were briefly interrupted but were fully restored later on Tuesday. The four passengers are employees of the Austin-based pawn store company EZCORP.

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Michelle Obama shares romantic throwback photo of her and Barack kissing as she talks about how they tried to make the White House a home for their girls

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The love between the former US President and First Lady is hard to ignore.
Michelle Obama shared another loved up photo of her and Barack Obama, and as with all other photos she shares, this one also came with a message. She spoke of how she and Barack always tried to make a home for their daughters no matter where they are.
She wrote: “Home has always been where our family is…It hasn’t mattered whether we’re lounging on a couch in Chicago’s Hyde Park or, as we are here, in the White House. We did our best to make the White House a comfortable place where our girls could climb trees and host slumber parties, where we’d have dinner together as a family, and where we tried to live by the values our parents instilled in us.”

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