https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/worl ... japan.html
Trump’s Ringside Evening in the Sumo Arena
The sumo ring is a sacred space where rules have applied for centuries. Foreign leaders do not often step inside, but President Trump came bearing a trophy.
By Katie Rogers
May 26, 2019
TOKYO — As the leader of the free world, and a man never shy around the spotlight, President Trump is rarely a spectator to the events surrounding him. Leave it to a bunch of sumo wrestlers to steal his thunder.
On Sunday, inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan, a stadium near the Sumida River in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced Mr. Trump to Japan’s national sport. It was the last day of an annual grand tournament, and most of the 11,000 fans in attendance sat on mats and cheered the loinclothed wrestlers as they barreled into each other with forces that seemed to defy physics.
Mr. Trump’s experience was different. After a day of creature comforts like golf and a double-cheeseburger lunch as part of Mr. Abe’s four-day charm offensive, the president settled into a low-backed chair near the raised ring to take in the final few bouts. It was one of several exceptions the Japanese made to sumo’s rigid rules to accommodate their guest.
The president watched intently at times as the fleshy men stomped their feet or threw handfuls of salt around the ring to cleanse the dirt, and he periodically asked Mr. Abe or his aides questions about what was happening before him. But he did not always visibly react to decisive moments during the bouts or to some of the more ceremonial parts of the evening.
During his time at the sumo stadium, there were signs of support — a large Trump 2020 sign greeted the president as he approached the arena. And Mr. Trump seemed to make an entrance similar to those at any “Make America Great Again” rally — he clapped, fist-pumped and waved, greeting the attendees as if they had assembled on his behalf.
But within seconds, the crowd’s attention turned back to the tournament at hand, the first since Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, ascended the throne this month. It quickly became clear that this event, rooted in sumo’s ancient traditions, would not be as Trump-focused as the president’s past visits to televised professional wrestling spectacles in the United States.
The sumo ring is a sacred space, where the same set of rules and rituals has applied to its inhabitants for centuries. Women are not allowed. Neither are shoes. And foreign leaders are not usually given their own mini-ceremony during a tournament, called a basho.
Mr. Trump arrived in Tokyo as the first American president to come bearing his own trophy for a sumo champion — a four-foot-tall object called the President’s Cup. So when the last match ended, a wooden set of stairs was wheeled up to the sumo mound — another innovation for this day — and Mr. Trump approached clad in slippers fashioned to look like real shoes.
The president bowed slightly as he entered the ring, and with the help of a kimono-attired sumo official, he handed the trophy to the champion. Moments earlier, Mr. Abe had presented his own Prime Minister’s Cup — a smaller man lifting an even bigger hunk of metal by himself and drawing smiles from the crowd.
Mr. Trump then addressed the champion, Asanoyama, a wrestler in the lower ranks of Japan’s top tier of sumo who had sealed his victory the day before. “In honor of your outstanding achievement as sumo grand champion, I hereby award you the United States President’s Cup,” Mr. Trump told the wrestler. The president grinned briefly and clapped.
“In honor of your outstanding achievement as sumo grand champion, I hereby award you the United States President’s Cup,” Mr. Trump told the wrestler.
The president later summed up his day, which included dinner with his hosts at a hibachi restaurant. “That was an incredible evening at sumo,” he said. “We brought that beautiful trophy, which you’ll have hopefully for many hundreds of years.”
Discussion relating to current events, politics, religion, etc
DJT is getting as big as the sumo wrestlers; I love the look on Melania's face.
And Denmark is going to pay for the wall surrounding Greenland . . .
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... directive/
Trump aides look into U.S. purchasing Greenland after directives from president
By Damian Paletta August 15 at 8:55 PM
President Trump has pushed top aides to investigate whether the U.S. government can purchase the giant, ice-smothered island of Greenland, two people with direct knowledge of the directive said.
The presidential request has bewildered aides, some of whom continue to believe it isn’t serious, but Trump has mentioned it for weeks. The two people with knowledge of the presidential demand spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal such White House planning.
As with many of Trump’s internal musings, aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.
Among the things that have been discussed is whether it is even legal, what the process would be for acquiring an island that has its own government and population, and where any money to purchase a giant landmass would originate.
Trump’s interest in acquiring Greenland was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Greenland is 2.2 million square kilometers, with 1.7 million of that covered in ice. It has considerable natural resources, such as coal and uranium, but only 0.6 percent of the land is used for agriculture. It has around 58,000 residents, making it one of the world’s smallest countries by population.
It is a self-governing country that is part of the kingdom of Denmark. Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark in two weeks.
Trump has touted his career as a real estate developer during the 2016 presidential campaign and made clear that he has retained an eye for real estate opportunities during his tenure in the White House. For example, he has said that North Korea could build famous hotels and resorts along its oceanfront properties, even though many foreigners are afraid to visit the country out of fear for their lives.
Typically, Congress must appropriate money before the White House can use it, but Trump has already shown a willingness to get around those restrictions.
Some on Thursday night responded to the news with incredulity; others, with support.
“This idea isn't as crazy as the headline makes it seem,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said in a tweet. “This a smart geopolitical move. The United States has a compelling strategic interest in Greenland, and this should absolutely be on the table.”
Most, however, responded with mockery.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) shared a news story about Trump’s idea and mused: “A Great place for his ‘presidential’ library.”
And Jonah Goldberg, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted that MAGA — the acronym for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — is “an an anagram of Make Greenland American Already.”