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The Real Face of Donald Trump

December 1, 2016

We all know the face of the 45th President of the United States of America, who’s been elected on November, 8th; but do you really know his programme? his political party? or even his life before the presidential election?

BIRCH RUN, MI - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference before delivering the keynote address at the Genesee and Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day Event August 11, 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. This is Trump's first campaign event since his Republican debate last week. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

BIRCH RUN, MI – AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference before delivering the keynote address at the Genesee and Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day Event August 11, 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. This is Trump’s first campaign event since his Republican debate last week. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Donald Trump :

  • Born and raised in New York in 1946 (70 years old). Trump is of German ancestry on his father’s side and Scottish ancestry on his mother’s side; all four of his grandparents were born in Europe.
  • Son of Fred Trump, property developer in New York and co-founder of Elizabeth Trump & Son
  • Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968
  • In 1971 he was given control of his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm and later renamed it The Trump Organization, rising to public prominence shortly thereafter.
  • President of the organization in 1973. That year, he and his father drew wider attention when the Justice Department alleged that they were discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent apartments, rather than merely screening out people based on low income as the Trumps stated.
  • Well-know for building his Empire and his reputation alongside prestigious towers which are usually named “Trump”. Most of them, such as the Trump Tower, are situated in New York’s state; there are mostly skyscrapers but there’s also casinos, for instance The Big Casino in Atlantic City, The Trump Taj-Mahal
  • Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series.
  • He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began.
  • He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.
  • Listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 113th in the United States, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Trump himself claimed his net worth was over $10 billion
  • Personal life : Trump has five children by three marriages, and has eight grandchildren. Trump’s troubled marriage to Ivana (his first wife) and affair with actress Marla Maples had been reported in the tabloid press.
  • Religion: In February 2016, following a visit to Mexico, Pope Francis said the following when asked about Trump: “A person who thinks only about building walls—wherever they may be—and not building bridges, is not Christian (…) I’d just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way (…) We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt”. Consequently, Trump responded that it was “disgraceful” for the Pope to question his faith, suggesting that the Mexican government was “using the Pope as a pawn” for political purposes, “because they want to continue to rip off the United States.”Trump added that “if and when” Islamic State attacks the Vatican, the Pope would have “wished and prayed” Trump were President.
  •  Sexual misconduct allegations : Two days before the second presidential debate, a 2005 recording surfaced, made on a studio bus while preparing to film an episode of Access Hollywood. On the tape, Trump is heard bragging about forcibly kissing and groping women  : “I just start kissing them”, he says, “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything … grab them by the pussy.”
  • Donald Trump’s program vs shocking words :
    Trump’s updated program :

    Protect the economic well-being of the lawful immigrants already living here by curbing uncontrolled foreign worker admissions

    ·         Select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.

    ·         Vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values, institutions and people, and temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.

    ·         Enforce the immigration laws of the United States and restore the Constitutional rule of law upon which America’s prosperity and security depend.

    Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.

    What he said :

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

    “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

    During the last Republican debate, he said he no longer wanted to prohibit the sale of assault rifles. He is also a life member of the National Riffle Association (NRA). After the November 13 attacks, Trump had published a series of tweets on the subject: “If the people so violently slaughtered in Paris had had rifles, at least they would have had a chance to defend themselves.” Is it not interesting that the tragedy of Paris took place in one of the most firm countries in the world concerning the control of firearms?
    Favorable to abortion. He gradually hardened his position and now says “pro-life”. He wants to cut subsidies to health facilities that practice abortion.
    Against the protection of the planet and the environment One sentence summarizes his position: “The concept of climate change was created by and for the Chinese to make the US industry uncompetitive.” He talks about global warming as a “very expensive bullshit” and believes that “our planet is freezing.”

    He wants to cut them off at the EPA, the environmental protection agency he sees as “an obstacle to growth and employment”.

    The billionaire wants to repeal the so-called Obamacare law, which guarantees affordable medical coverage to all Americans. It proposes a mechanism for saving health accounts and wants to replace Medicaid, which offers health insurance to the most deprived, by subsidies paid to the States and then distribute them.

    Shanel

    LATEST UPDATE:

    Donald Trump rages at efforts to force election recount, claiming ‘millions voted illegally’ for Hillary Clinton (The Telegraph)

    However, Trump’s election is challenged. Indeed, it has been proven that Clinton won the popular vote with 2.2 million votes more than him. Some states such as  Wisconsin started to recount the votes. Trump also contested the results of the election and claimed he won the popular votes. According to him, the voices that Hillary won were from illegal votes from illegal immigrants and dead people. But those allegations have not been proven yet.

    Zoé

The American elections

December 1, 2016

Reaction to Trump’s and Clinton’s campaigns:

clinton-vs-trump

Trump’s meetings have attracted many people. But some of those meetings were marked by incidents and violence between Trump’s supporters and protesters. Indeed, Trump has been accused of inciting violence at his meetings. Many violent altercations have been listed between Hillary’s and Trump’s supporters. Trump has said some controversial statements about Muslims, Mexicans, women, journalists and his rival Hillary Clinton, whom he wanted to imprison if he was elected. Lots of people were shocked by his words, but others were admiring his honesty.

Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s wife, also added controvesy to his campain in one of her speeches in which she was copying word for word one of Michelle Obama’s speeches of 2008. During his campain, Trump has stirred a controversy on the social media, where he was discredited and hated by many people. Indeed, Trump has been a reality TV star and a billonaire without any political experience, unlike his rival Hillary Clinton.

However, Clinton has been controversial too. Indeed, the FBI have been investigating about some emails, which made her popularity rating decrease. Moreover, she wasn’t that much appreciated by the Americans as she had had a lot of scandals  during all her political career. Moreover, her husband’s scandals also stained her reputation; she has an image of cold and distant woman, who belongs to the political elite. Despite all her efforts to change her image and all the support of stars and  the European countries, she didn’t succeed and many people who voted for her did it to avoid Trump’s election.

Zoé

Reaction on election day:

Just before the American elections, China gave its opinion about what would happen. For Beijing, it did not matter who would win because for them “the United States is sick”. For them, it will not be a “victory of the democracy” but “one of the worst pages of 200 years of historical presidential elections in America”.

On the D-Day, the Democrats’ candidate Hillary Clinton was at the top of the surveys with 45.3% against 42% for Trump. The Republicans’ candidate had only once been ahead of her in  the surveys and it was in July. Moreover, the American Newspaper USA today took part,for the 1st time, in inviting people to “vote against Trump”. In the newspaper Miami Herald they invited to vote for “her” and “not him”. They simply added “enough said”.

tl-miami-herald-maya

People, in general were displeased with both candidates. Some people would not vote because they said that if Clinton became president, they would be at war with Russia against Iran. And if it was Trump, the Blacks’ living conditions would become difficult.

On the frontpage of the New York Times, we can see that they cannot bear this election anymore : “After a Long and Bitter Compaign, Voters Get Their Say”.

In Saudi Arabia, they don’t know which one will be better: they are against Obama because he was too much of an interviensionist and Clinton thought the same and on the other hand Trump is islamophobic, hates foreigners and takes pride in his sexual aggression.

In Russia, the fact that Trump was elected is great and they are thrilled. Trump and Putin seem to be close. Europeans and Saudi Arabians think that this alliance is a bad thing for Syria, Afghanistan… because they are still really powerful and an alliance between these two powers could cause some damages such as many more bombs sent onto these countries/ cities. The thing that frightens people the most concerning this alliance is the fact that both are for the nuclear weapon. Consequently, they are afraid of a third world war against Isis for example, but this time it would be much more violent.

Moreover, people all around the world (including America) think that because of Trump, in about 2 years, they will not be leading the world anymore, and that China or Russia will be at the top.

Maya

A trip that changed my life : Cuba

November 17, 2016

Have you ever wished to dance salsa on a public place with a group of musicians surrounding you, and hearing the children’s euphoria?

Have you ever wanted to discover a city by night, by walking into the streets and discover a new atmosphere, a festive atmosphere which makes you happy?

All these  things define the amazing country of Cuba: the country of music, dance and mojitos of course🙂

So, I had the chance to go on a trip to Cuba for 10 days during Easter holidays last April. I went there with my mother, my step father and his parents and my sister.

First of all, I am going to explain to you in detail all the steps of this incredible trip and the good addresses you must go to (small tips🙂 ).

We took the plane on April 18th at the Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris for a 10-hour flight (so looong),  and then we arrived in La Havana, Cuba’s capital, where our driver from the tourist agency waited for us. Something you must know, you can’t change your money before your trip but only on site,  and there is only one exchange counter so you have to wait; 30 minutes if you are lucky or 1h30.

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So then, we directly went to the hotel, the Seville Hotel in the center of la Havana. This hotel was really pleasant as it had an open patio in the center of the building where you could drink or eat something. Just before having dinner, we took a mojito in the patio and a group of musicians sang and played local instruments in front of us, if you are curious, the song was this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaVnA88oNTg a good one for salsa;) The atmosphere was very festive and nice!

Then, as Cuba is celebrated for its fish and lobsters, we directly went to a specialized restaurant on the seaside. And indeed, we can say that Cuba has very good lobsters (you must taste them😉 ). The tiredness came very quickly so we came back to the hotel to have a big rest (thank you jetlag!)

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The next day, we started our day by visiting the historical district of the city; it is composed of a big square where small merchants sell old books, vintage posters of Cuba (I bought one with a guitar drawing) and small things you can find in secondhand stores; a castle in rocks with the whole history of Cuba detailed on boards; you can also find in the district a lot of narrow streets, bars and shops but of course no American or international firms. Cuba keeps its charm and attractivity thanks to local stores and vintage cars (dating back to the 60s). Indeed, the atmosphere is still present and we really  feel like having a flashback into the 60s! It is amazing and really unfamiliar and exotic.

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Then we had lunch in a small local restaurant and kept visiting in the afternoon.

For our 3 days in La Havana, we rented a car for 1 day to go to Cienfuegos  (a small village  2 hours away from the capital). There, we visited the theatre, which is very famous and incredible, and the cathedral. Don’t forget to walk along the seaside! It’s beautiful, you have a view on the translucid sea and the colonial colored houses. Have lunch in one of the house-restaurant (local inhabitants have a restaurant in their house) along the big avenue that crosses the village. Finally, after visiting Cienfuegos, we came back to La Havana to our hotel.

The 2 following days, we just visited the city and lost ourselves in the maze of narrow streets and took (a lot of) pictures.

After these 3 days in La Havana, we took the car and drove to Trinidad, but as it’s a 5-hour ride, we stopped on the way in the Valley of Vinales. There, we did a short hike in the mountains and visited a traditional factory of tabacco and especially of cigar. We had the chance to attend the whole process of fabrication and it’s incredible!

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                                          the house of an inhabitant of the Valley of  Vinales

At the end of the hike, we had lunch in an elevated restaurant in the trees, this was very funny and a real change of scenery. Then we continued our drive to Trinidad where we slept in a guest house.

cuba

                                                                           A street in Trinidad

Trinidad is a small village where cars are not used as the roads are paved with cobbles; indeed people move in the city on horseback or on motocycles. The streets are very colorful and nice and the local persons too. Cubans are in general very friendly with tourists but may be a little bit too intrusive. So during our first day, we visited all the musuems of the city (4 exactly) and we had dinner at La Casa de la Musica where you can listen to groups of musicians while eating. The atmosphere is very nice and you can see the joy on people’s faces🙂 And then we came back to our house.

The next day, we went to the beach  30 minutes away, so we took a taxi because the road indications  are terrible there! We had a beautiful view on the Caraibean sea and its translucid color! We felt like being in a postcard.

After these 2 days in Trinidad, we went to Varadero, the seaside resort of Cuba.

paradisus-varadero

So of course, it means that all the tourists spend some time in this beautiful place. For us, we stayed in the Paradisus Varadero hotel for 3 days and then took our flight back to Paris in la Havana.

cub

The hotel was absolutely amazing as it was on the beach and had 3 pools, a bar in the pool so you could have a drink while sitting on a “chair” in the water (a very good concept); we could also do many activities such as salsa lessons and go to an indoor bar for the night. Everything is organized so as to have a good time and just take a break from stress and the pollution of the city. However, I won’t recommend you to stay 2 weeks in this place as you don’t visit the country and don’t discover the real culture of Cuba; I think 4 or 5 days is enough🙂

Finally, on April 28th we said our farwells to this incredible country and came back to Paris. This trip was indeed very enriching and nice but it also allowed me to be more open-minded on the way people live in latin countries. I will for sure recommend you to go to Cuba and to enjoy the simple lifestyle of local inhabitants, which I miss so much.

Valentine

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Musicals are coming to France !

November 10, 2016

Last year the musical Cats came to Paris at the Theatre Mogador. This musical doesn’t have a very complex story but its great songs have made it the musical with the most spectators in the world.

It tells the story of a cats’ tribe, the Jellicle cats who want to determine which cat will go to the Jelliclesphere (it seems quite complicated but in fact it is really simple). The musical is like a great cast  in which every cat  tells us about his life. They want to convince us they deserve to go to the Jelliclesphere so they sing and dance, and I must admit that they do it wonderfully.

cats

I went  to see Cats one year ago in November and it was great, brilliant and I got out with stars in my eyes. The only problem  is that it was in French ! Indeed, this theater present lots and lots of musical but they always translate them in French if it isn’t. It was a bit strange to hear some legendary songs  like Memory transformed into  Ma Vie. The lyrics were very poetic  but it was quite strange to my ears. The woman who interpreted Grizabella (Prisca Demarez) was very talented in singing and dancing. This role fitted her wonderfully.

I think my favorite version of Memory is Elaine Page’s version; here’s the link :       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqx3LDawgS8 

This year,the Theatre Mogador is welcoming a musical I have waited for a long time : The Phantom of the Opera !

phantom-of-the-opera

It is absolutely incredible because the original story of this musical takes place in France in the Garnier Opera House. For the 30th anniversary of this musical, they decided to play it in Paris !

So here’s the plot : Christine Daaé is dancing in the choir and a mysterious man teaches her how to sing. This man is called Erick, but he is also known as the Phantom. He composes operas for the Opéra populaire. When the greatest diva of the opera Carlotta doesn’t want to sing her part, Christine is chosen to replace her. After the representation she meets Raoul, who was her friend when they were kids. They fall in love with each other, but the Phantom is very possessive and wants Christine to follow him in the catacombs of the Opera. Raoul will have to fight against that mysterious man who seems to have much more powers than he thought to save his love.

This musical which was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber is very popular in the UK and in the USA. The part of Christine was initially written for Sara Brightman but the most popular actress who has played this part is Sierra Boggess (Lloyd Webber once said that she is the best Christine of all times ), and I am very excited because she accepted to relearn this part in French and to play it in Paris (as I said, in this theater, the lyrics are always in French). Sierra said that playing this part again in Paris was the coolest thing that could have ever happened to her.

But unfortunately, a fire started on the 25th September in the theater. Some elements of the stage set are damaged, and they won’t be able to play this musical in  2016 so they will do more representations in 2017. This must have been really difficult to overcome these complications, but I am sure they will do a beautiful show in 2017 and I will, of course, see it in live for the first time.

I have discovered The Phantom a few months ago when I watched the dvd of the 25th anniversary in London ( with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo in the leading parts) and I loved it so much, I couldn’t stop listening to my favorite songs of the musical (Think of me, Angel of Music, The Music of the Night, All I ask of you, Wishing you were somehow here again and Phantom of the Opera).

I give you some youtube links of my favorite versions of these songs :

Phantom of the opera                                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fKKiaSLLEY 

Think of me                                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvnA8p4lww 

The music of the night                                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvnA8p4lww

All I ask of you                                               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQcYQgQkS8

Wishing you were somehow here again   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSRNjnpM7y4

Angel of Music                                               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd33pB9NVfE 

Lloyd Webber is really a great composer, the melodies are quite simple but very beautiful and can be remembered very easily. I also love the fact that the style of English musical and particularly the singing is quite close to the one of the opera.  Indeed, in England the singer must perform with more vibrato than in France and I find it much more beautiful.

Gabrielle.

American University of Paris

November 5, 2016

I’m going to talk about, I hope, my future college next year named AUP (American University of Paris).

This college is based in Paris, next to the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower ( 7th district of Paris).

One of the university’s slogan is “Paris is your campus”. Indeed, there is not one building but 7 different buildings  in the same block in Paris, they are around 5 minutes to each other, in there you have many classes, places to study on your own and a lunch room with sofas and bars sometimes music…

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                                  admissions building                                                       classes building

Moreover, this university proposes many different classes in many different sectors : communication, journalism, fashion, business, law, art history… and all the classes are in English!

During your second year, you have the right to choose what classes you want and it can be totally varied like fashion class and then law class in the same day. You also choose how many classes you want and consequently your timetable can be very busy or conversely quite free.

Then, about student’s life, there are many associations in partnership with some labels like UNICEF, and they propose you some missions; also associations of students to help each other for complicated classes; you can also be a part of a cinema group or photography group where many different equipements are provided.

What is very interesting is that 60% of the students are Americans, and only 12% are French students and the rest are from all around the world ( Morocco, Bulgaria..) which allows a wide cultural diversity in the same classes, in the university. It also permits students to perfect their English and to finally become bilingual at the end of their university years.

To be accepted, if you’re not American, you need a test like the Cambridge or the Toefl. They just want to see the level of each student and according to their results, the unversity proposes some English classes to improve your English and be able to follow perfectly the classes.

This university is totally based on the American model; it’s like being in an American school but in Paris. But the downside is that the university is quite expensive. Nevertheless, you can gradually reduce the fees by being involved in the life of the college.

Manon

The Danish Girl

November 3, 2016

tdg

The Danish Girl is a biogrophical movie based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, itself inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The movie was first shown at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival on September 5th, 2015, and then released in the United States to the public on November 27th, 2015. The casting was particularly applauded for the different performances especially the main characters such as Eddie Redmayne as Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe and Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener. Indeed, they received good critics, Alicia Vikander won the Oscar of best actress in a supporting role, Eddie Redmayne was nominated for best actor in a leading role but didn’t win (he already won it the year before for The theory of everything), then the movie was nominated for best costumes and decorations.

As we said before, the movie is inspired by the life of Einar Wegener becoming Lili Elbe, who was the first person who underwent surgery to change his gender. By the way, the novel the movie is based on does not tell the genuine truth about Lili and Gerda’s lives, for example, the characters of Hans and Henrick come from fiction. So, the strory takes place in the mid-1920s in Copenhag, and it shows all the process of the male character changing into a female, as much in a psychological aspect as in a physical one. It all starts when the portrait artist Gerda Wegener asks her husband, the popular landscape artist Einar Wegener, to disguise himself as a female to replace the model, who is late, to pose for a painting she’s working on. Then it turns into disguising himself for a ball and they create the character of Lili. But the more the story goes on the more Lili takes over to finally replace entirely Einar. As viewers, we can see how the transformation evolves very closely and admire the actor’s performance for showing the emotions and the psychological need to turn into a woman for the artist, and also the change of his sexuality. Moreover, the movie is really centered on the couple and how they face together the change of Einar’s sexuality, which changes totally their relationship without taking away the love they have for each other. Finally, the film’s ending is different from the novel in which Lili and Gerda do not stay together; indeed the director downplayed the role of Gerda and Hans love affair because he wanted to tell a beautiful love story that goes through a difficult hardship until the end (Lili does not recover well from her surgery and dies of complications).

Personally, I have a very positive opinion on the movie for several reasons. First, I simply found the movie beautiful in every way, like the pictures, the costumes, the atmosphere of the time and the place and of course the performance of the actors. Then, I found that it is a very touching movie because it treats the kind of taboo subject of transgender in a beautiful way. We are invited into the character’s thoughts and it treats very well the psychological aspect. It’s true that nowadays, the cinema exposes what the society sees as a taboo, like homosexuality for exemple which became sort of a common subject in many movies. But honestly it was hard for me to understand transgender, not in a discriminatory way, but it was just hard to understand why some people would want to change their gender. This movie really had an impact on me, because it made me understand the process, the psychological aspect. I really encourage people to see The Danish Girl, of course it is not in my opinion a movie you will watch a hundred times, but it tells a beautiful story and you may learn something.

Céline

5 great treats for Halloween

October 20, 2016

Halloween is coming and we have to think about how we are going to party for it ! Here are 5 great ideas of treats for your 31st of October :

1.Little cake pops

Cake pops are the new tendancy of these weeks. They are little cakes on a stick, which you can eat fast, on-the-go for example. It’s quite easy to bake and you can choose a lot of different ideas to represent.

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2. Nice cute cupcakes 

Cupcakes are great. A dry cake with a butter cream on top. Just like the cake pops, you can bring them everywhere, but be careful not to spread cream everywhere !

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3. A big big friendly pumpkin cake

A big fat cake is great to make, but it will take you a lot of time and ingredients. Indeed you will need tons of sugar and flour to bake a really high cake.

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4. A frightening cemetery cheesecake

Cheesecake: cream cheese, biscuit and toppings. Oreo cookies can definetely replace the dirt and little cookies with drawings can be the graves. Boo !

graveyard-chocolate-cheesecake-dip

5. The unforgettable mason jar with candy corn !

Candy Corn is “the” Halloween candy. You see them everywhere and they are not simply good to eat, but they are so beautiful that you will want to put them anywhere as decoration.

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Happy Halloween!

Mathilde