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Trump and Melania pose with two children dressed as them as they welcome kids for Halloween party 

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trump and melania pose with two children dressed as them as they welcome kids for halloween party

Donald and Melania Trump skipped passing out the candy at this year’s Halloween celebration at the White House and waved to the trick-or-treaters instead at a down-sized event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first couple came out to the music of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,’ holding hands and waving to the crowd. 

They did not wear face masks as they greeted the children, who walked in a line in front of them at the South Portico of the White House. 

It was a parade of angels, astronauts, pirates, cartoon characters, skeletons, witches, unicorns and tyrannosaurus rex. 

Spooky music – from the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme song to the ‘Phantom of the ‘Opera’ – played in the background as costume parade marched by the first couple. 

34833644 8878299 image a 46 1603669833850

34833644 8878299 image a 46 1603669833850

LOOK-A-LIKES: Children dressed as the Presidential couple pose in front of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at a Halloween celebration at the White House

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: President Trump asked the boy if he was dressed as a hot dog; he was

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: President Trump asked the boy if he was dressed as a hot dog; he was

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: President Trump asked the boy if he was dressed as a hot dog; he was

SCARY: First Lady Melania Trump looks a little startled to see a giant tyrannosaurus rex

SCARY: First Lady Melania Trump looks a little startled to see a giant tyrannosaurus rex

SCARY: First Lady Melania Trump looks a little startled to see a giant tyrannosaurus rex

TRICK OR TREAT: This little Spiderman came up to the Trumps to trick or treat, not realizing the first couple weren't handing out candy this year

TRICK OR TREAT: This little Spiderman came up to the Trumps to trick or treat, not realizing the first couple weren't handing out candy this year

TRICK OR TREAT: This little Spiderman came up to the Trumps to trick or treat, not realizing the first couple weren’t handing out candy this year

The White House was lit up for the occasion with the Trump Balcony a glow. A giant ‘Halloween 2020’ sign hung from the South Portico balcony, leaves in the different colors of autumn circled the columns, and an array of chrysanthemums cascaded down the East and West staircase. 

And, of course, there were many, many pumpkins.

A light mist fell as the children made their way through, adding to the festive atmosphere. 

Most of the children and guests wore masks. 

Social distancing measures were supposed to be in place but things got off to a rough start. 

After the Trumps came out, the excited guests crowded around the first couple to take photo and photo until staff got them to move along.

‘Move along, keep the line moving,’ staff called as people stopped to take out their phones.

But, from there, things went more smoothly.

34833552 0 image a 45 1603669641129

34833552 0 image a 45 1603669641129

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany brought her 11 month year old daughter, who was dressed as a mouse

President Donald Trump salutes a child dressed as a soldier

President Donald Trump salutes a child dressed as a soldier

President Donald Trump salutes a child dressed as a soldier

A group of unicorns stop to talk to the first couple

A group of unicorns stop to talk to the first couple

A group of unicorns stop to talk to the first couple

Instead of handing out candy, President Trump and Melania Trump waved to the kids as they walked by

Instead of handing out candy, President Trump and Melania Trump waved to the kids as they walked by

Instead of handing out candy, President Trump and Melania Trump waved to the kids as they walked by

PICTURE TIME: First lady Melania Trump leans into President Donald Trump to pose for a socially distant selfie

PICTURE TIME: First lady Melania Trump leans into President Donald Trump to pose for a socially distant selfie

PICTURE TIME: First lady Melania Trump leans into President Donald Trump to pose for a socially distant selfie

COSTUME PARADE: Children paraded by the president and first lady, who just waved instead of handing out candy due to the coronavirus pandemic

COSTUME PARADE: Children paraded by the president and first lady, who just waved instead of handing out candy due to the coronavirus pandemic

COSTUME PARADE: Children paraded by the president and first lady, who just waved instead of handing out candy due to the coronavirus pandemic

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows greats guests on the south lawn of the White House during the Halloween celebration

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows greats guests on the south lawn of the White House during the Halloween celebration

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows greats guests on the south lawn of the White House during the Halloween celebration

A child dressed as a porcupine walks to be greeted by the Trumps

A child dressed as a porcupine walks to be greeted by the Trumps

A child dressed as a porcupine walks to be greeted by the Trumps

Children – in an array of costumes ranging from super heroes to scary – marched in front of the Trumps, some stopped to wave, some hid behind their, and others just looked confused by the group of cameras recording every move.

Parents carried those to small to walk on their own. Kids dressed as miniature lions, elephants and a baby Winnie the Pooh got waves from the Trumps.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany carried her 11-month old daughter dressed as a mouse to meet the first couple.

A miniature Donald and Melania Trump – him in a black suit with a red tie, her in a white dress, both in face masks – drew big smiles from the real Trumps, who posed for pics with them.

The two kids posed for several minutes before the girl pulled the boy away to keep moving down the line.

‘He likes the press,’ the president observed. 

The first lady, wearing an orange coat, laced her arm through the president’s to lean in and pose for one socially distanced selfie.

The president gave his signature thumbs up to many of the trick or treaters. One group – wearing the sporting jerseys of the New York teams – got a double thumbs up from Trump, who recently moved his residence to Florida.

And Trump called back to properly meet and take a picture with a child in a wheel chair, bending down to talk to him. 

He also saluted a few children in military costumes, who saluted back. 

The White House was lit up and decorated with leaves and pumpkins for the Halloween celebration

The White House was lit up and decorated with leaves and pumpkins for the Halloween celebration

The White House was lit up and decorated with leaves and pumpkins for the Halloween celebration

The Trumps spent about 35 minutes waving to the kids as they paraded by

The Trumps spent about 35 minutes waving to the kids as they paraded by

The Trumps spent about 35 minutes waving to the kids as they paraded by

One little girl was a bit too shy to come close to the Trumps, who waved at her

One little girl was a bit too shy to come close to the Trumps, who waved at her

One little girl was a bit too shy to come close to the Trumps, who waved at her

The president and first lady in front of the decorated South Portico

The president and first lady in front of the decorated South Portico

The president and first lady in front of the decorated South Portico

The president also said to one child who paused in front of them: ‘you’re a hot dog?’ The boy was indeed dressed as a hot dog.  

The first couple were separated by a row of flowers in planters’ boxes from the crowd but one little SpiderMan walked around the barrier and straight up the Trumps’, holding up his bag to properly trick or treat. 

Alas the Trumps had no candy with them.

The traditional orange bags of treats that the first couple hand out had already been given to the kids, who carried them as they marched along. The bags had been set up on tables off to the sides of the events — that families picked up individually. 

One child skipped the Trumps and walked straight to the cameras to pose, ignoring the president and first lady behind him. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows came out to observe the festivities, bending down to talk to kids and help direct traffic when the line bottle-necked. 

The crowd was excited to be there and happy to see the Trumps. ‘We love you’ and ‘four more years’ were shouted by many adults who walked by. 

‘Thank you,’ the president said to them. 

Trick-or-treating is an annual tradition at the White House going back to 1958 when first lady Mamie Eisenhower first decided to decorate the for the holiday.

Guests at this year’s event were frontline workers, military families and schoolchildren. 

Everyone over the age of two was asked to wear a mask and social distance. And staff working the event had to wear masks and gloves.

NASA had space-related items for kids to observe, as well as a display of an inflatable rockets.

Kids were also able to receive a Junior Ranger badge and paper ranger hat from the Interior Department. The Transportation Department passed out paper airplanes.

The United States Air Force Strolling Strings played traditional Halloween songs and other tunes.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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ROBERT HARDMAN: Forget loo rolls… now we’re talking turkey!

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robert hardman forget loo rolls now were talking turkey

First it was loo roll, then personal protective equipment, baking ingredients, fruit- pickers and, latterly, testing kits.

With every major shortage of every important commodity during this pandemic, the patience of the British people has been tested to the limit. Yet, somehow, we have managed to muddle through.

Until now. For we may be fast approaching a shortage that really could do for this Government.

In short, two months from now, large parts of the country could be facing a Christmas with all the trimmings — but no turkey. Robert Hardman is pictured above at Copas Turkey Farm

In short, two months from now, large parts of the country could be facing a Christmas with all the trimmings — but no turkey. Robert Hardman is pictured above at Copas Turkey Farm

In short, two months from now, large parts of the country could be facing a Christmas with all the trimmings — but no turkey. Robert Hardman is pictured above at Copas Turkey Farm

Indeed, I fear that the mere mention of it may be enough to incite public disorder. However, given that there is still time to resolve this crisis, this is no time to stay silent.

In short, two months from now, large parts of the country could be facing a Christmas with all the trimmings — but no turkey.

A series of Covid-related developments — including a serious shortage of skilled migrant labour and the fact that very few people are either going abroad or eating out this Christmas —mean that demand is going in one direction and supply in the other. And that points inexorably towards a nationwide run on our favourite bird.

Orders are already well ahead of the same stage last year here at the Copas family’s Berkshire farm. 

The Copas family — Tom runs the business with his wife, Verity (pictured together above) and three sisters — sell only to independent butchers and directly to the public, so they have their ear to the ground

The Copas family — Tom runs the business with his wife, Verity (pictured together above) and three sisters — sell only to independent butchers and directly to the public, so they have their ear to the ground

The Copas family — Tom runs the business with his wife, Verity (pictured together above) and three sisters — sell only to independent butchers and directly to the public, so they have their ear to the ground

Around 32,000 birds are having a high old free-range time ahead of what third-generation boss Tom Copas, 36, calls ‘the crunch’, following which these 600 broad acres of paddocks, cherry orchards and barns will suddenly fall silent.

At present, however, there is an incessant chorus of ‘gobble-gobble’ plus the odd tinkle of tambourine — these birds actually have their own musical instruments.

The Copas family — Tom runs the business with his wife, Verity, and three sisters — sell only to independent butchers and directly to the public, so they have their ear to the ground. This year, several patterns are emerging.

‘Not so many people will be on holiday or eating out. They’ll cook at home,’ says Tom. 

‘And we are going to see less ‘home and away’ fixtures, where families might spend Christmas with one side of the family one year and another the next. This year, both sides of the family will want their own turkey.’

Verity has been touched by the number of regular customers getting in touch to wish them well through the pandemic. ‘After the year that many people have had, they are determined to have a proper Christmas and that means a proper turkey,’ she says.

The National Farmers’ Union says that Britain usually eats around ten million turkeys at Christmas, with just over six million of them ‘farm-fresh’ birds reared at home. The rest are mainly frozen imports and special cuts such as crowns and breasts.

This year, though, all the indicators are that we are going to need many more birds from an industry which could be missing up to half its workforce. Hence the looming crisis.

A turkey-free Christmas? We may as well block up the chimney, leave the Christmas tree in the forest and tell the Queen not to bother come 3pm on December 25!

A further consequence of the pandemic is that the Government’s rule-of-six limit on family gatherings means that many families will want a much smaller bird. 

The entry-level model on many farms will weigh around four kilos (9 lb) — enough to feed eight to ten adults.

According to the British Poultry Council, there will be some producers who see no point in spending more money on more food and electricity to fatten up a bird that has already exceeded market size for these reduced Christmas gatherings

According to the British Poultry Council, there will be some producers who see no point in spending more money on more food and electricity to fatten up a bird that has already exceeded market size for these reduced Christmas gatherings

According to the British Poultry Council, there will be some producers who see no point in spending more money on more food and electricity to fatten up a bird that has already exceeded market size for these reduced Christmas gatherings

According to the British Poultry Council, there will be some producers who see no point in spending more money on more food and electricity to fatten up a bird that has already exceeded market size for these reduced Christmas gatherings. 

They may want to slaughter their birds now and stick them all in the freezer, especially with a major manpower shortage on the horizon.

Turkey consumption in the UK (unlike the rest of Europe) is driven by a single day in the calendar. 

That means the industry is heavily reliant on temporary staff for a hectic process of slaughtering, plucking, eviscerating and packing millions of birds in a matter of days. Farm-ageddon for the turkey trade is just weeks away and, as ever, the UK looks to Eastern Europe.

‘You really do need people trained in butchery, who know what they’re doing — for welfare, for safety and so on,’ says Aimee Mahony, chief poultry adviser to the National Farmers’ Union. She has around 270 members producing fresh, ‘farm-gate’ home-grown birds for the domestic market.

Between them, they rely on around 8,500 part-time staff, half of them Eastern European poultry workers who would normally take a fortnight’s holiday and book a flight to the UK to help out.

It’s good money, many are old friends and everyone gets home in time for Christmas. However, if they will face two weeks of quarantine on the way in — as is currently the case — then they simply won’t come. And that would be disastrous, since many farmers just won’t be unable to process their birds in time for Christmas.

So they are lobbying the Government with a simple request: to be granted exactly the same exemption ministers have already granted to the fruit industry.

Back in late summer, Eastern European workers were allowed to come to the UK and spend their quarantine period picking fruit, provided they remained in a bubble on the farm. Poultry farmers merely want the same deal.

‘The next few weeks are going to be crucial,’ says Aimee Mahony.

Tom Copas is praying that the exemption comes in time for the dozens of workers who have been travelling to Cookham, Berkshire, from Poland and Romania each winter for years. Their digs await.

A while back, his father, Tom senior, had the bright idea of buying up some of the accommodation units that were used by the workers who had built the Channel Tunnel.

His barns are all spotless and ready to go and ‘bubbles’ have been planned. He has even arranged pre-departure Covid tests and private ‘bubbled’ buses across Europe for his seasonal workers, but he still can’t confirm things.

Unlike the big industrial producers who go for ‘wet-plucking’ (whereby a carcass is dunked in scalding water and plucked by machine), traditional farms like this prefer ‘dry-plucking’, much of it by hand.

It produces superior meat, better flavour and allows the turkey to hang properly in cold storage for 14 days. But it requires expertise and it needs to happen on time.

‘It is bang or bust in this business,’ Tom explains cheerfully, ‘but we’ll make it work. We have to!’

There is no chance of an early demise for any of the birds on the Copas family’s farm. 

‘You have got to let the bird grow properly for up to 26 weeks. Otherwise, you don’t get the stores of fat which make it juicy,’ says Tom. ‘People want a proper turkey, not a bag of bones.’

After all the grim uncertainty of 2020, can we not at least feel confident of a turkey on the table on Christmas Day? This industry, unlike others, is not demanding gazillions from the Government. Turkey farmers merely want the same rights as fruit farmers — and fast

After all the grim uncertainty of 2020, can we not at least feel confident of a turkey on the table on Christmas Day? This industry, unlike others, is not demanding gazillions from the Government. Turkey farmers merely want the same rights as fruit farmers — and fast

After all the grim uncertainty of 2020, can we not at least feel confident of a turkey on the table on Christmas Day? This industry, unlike others, is not demanding gazillions from the Government. Turkey farmers merely want the same rights as fruit farmers — and fast

If you had to be a turkey anywhere, this seems a pretty good perch. The birds are divided according to breed and size, ranging from the Devon Bronze, which might weigh in at four-and-a-half kilos (10 lb), to a hefty 10 kg (22 lb) Wirral Black.

Every field is surrounded by two fences, one with a thick mesh and one electric. 

They are not there to keep the turkeys in, but to keep the foxes and mink out. Hence the sight of some faintly bemused alpacas. 

‘A few years ago the foxes killed 350 birds in one week alone, mostly for fun, and you can’t keep dogs with turkeys. Then someone told me that alpacas have a great guarding instinct. They all get on very well and the foxes stay away.’

Turkeys love to peck at anything shiny — they even peck the buckles on my boots; hence the tambourines and children’s xylophones hanging on string. 

It all helps to keep the birds calm. If they are suddenly spooked, they can stampede, which leads to bruising, injury and even suffocation.

For the same reason, all the fields have tall crops to make the birds feel safe from anything overhead.

Further pampering is due next week when Tom begins ‘firework training’, letting off a few controlled pyrotechnics so that the birds are not suddenly freaked out by any Bonfire Night displays.

So, any top tips for the perfect turkey? ‘Breast side down under loose foil for three-quarters of the time, and then turn it over with the foil off,’ says Tom. ‘And always let it stand for 45 minutes.’

I am already feeling peckish — and a little worried, too.

After all the grim uncertainty of 2020, can we not at least feel confident of a turkey on the table on Christmas Day?

This industry, unlike others, is not demanding gazillions from the Government. Turkey farmers merely want the same rights as fruit farmers — and fast.

Anything else, frankly, is gobbledygook.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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EastEnders director sacked after turning up to work ahead of receiving a positive covid-19 diagnosis

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eastenders director sacked after turning up to work ahead of receiving a positive covid 19 diagnosis

An EastEnders director has been sacked from the set after turning up to work ahead of a positive covid-19 diagnosis. 

Joe Nugent, a first assistant director at the show, took a test for coronavirus after feeling unwell over the weekend of October 10, reports The Sun.

Despite experiencing symptoms of the virus Mr Nugent went into work as normal at the BBC‘s Elstree set in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, for the following Monday and Tuesday.

The director only notified colleagues after his test result came back positive on Tuesday evening – having already spent two days amongst the soaps’ crew and cast. 

Joe Nugent, a first assistant director at the show, took a test for coronavirus after feeling unwell over the weekend of October 10

Joe Nugent, a first assistant director at the show, took a test for coronavirus after feeling unwell over the weekend of October 10

Joe Nugent, a first assistant director at the show, took a test for coronavirus after feeling unwell over the weekend of October 10

One cast member later tested positive for coronavirus following the covid rule breach by Mr Nugent.

A source told The Sun how a show chief had written to staff saying: ‘You will all have heard we had an active Covid case on site.

‘This should serve as a reminder that keeping ourselves and our colleagues safe is an ongoing situation and a shared responsibility.’ 

Although the EastEnders’ cast member who subsequently tested positive for the virus has not been named, Danny Dyer ruled himself out with a series of negative coronavirus tests following the scare.     

The EastEnders' cast were said to have almost staged a 'mutiny' over the news that a positive covid-19 case had been on set

The EastEnders' cast were said to have almost staged a 'mutiny' over the news that a positive covid-19 case had been on set

The EastEnders’ cast were said to have almost staged a ‘mutiny’ over the news that a positive covid-19 case had been on set

One cast member later tested positive for coronavirus following the covid rule breach by Mr Nugent (pictured)

One cast member later tested positive for coronavirus following the covid rule breach by Mr Nugent (pictured)

One cast member later tested positive for coronavirus following the covid rule breach by Mr Nugent (pictured)

An EastEnders source told The Sun that actors nearing the at-risk age bracket had felt ‘livid’ and ‘let down’.

They added: ‘There was talk of a mutiny. He was given the boot, partly to assuage cast members.’

Since filming resumed in June all staff members have been regularly tested for covid-19.

MailOnline has contacted Joe Nugent for comment. 

Danny Dyer ruled himself out with a series of negative coronavirus tests following the scare

Danny Dyer ruled himself out with a series of negative coronavirus tests following the scare

Danny Dyer ruled himself out with a series of negative coronavirus tests following the scare

Socially distanced filming taking place on the set of EastEnders as two actors sit separated for a scene on the same bench

Socially distanced filming taking place on the set of EastEnders as two actors sit separated for a scene on the same bench

Socially distanced filming taking place on the set of EastEnders as two actors sit separated for a scene on the same bench

Last week EastEnders’ new £87 million set took a step closer to completion, as builders finished work on the redesigned Queen Vic pub along with a slew of other businesses on Tuesday.

Snaps show the big-budget set isn’t far from being glimpsed on screens, with the newly-painted tavern boasting a new version of its iconic sign.

Work on the EastEnders’ set has been ongoing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite being a step closer to completion is still not expected to be done until 2023.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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