Twitter Had Lots Of Theories About Those Flashing Red Lights On The White House

Late on Sunday, videos and photos of flashing red lights seemingly going off inside the White House started making their way around Twitter.

A local Fox station, which had its camera feed pointed at the White House, said the flashes could be seen around 8:30 p.m. EDT from windows on the executive mansion?s second-floor. ?The lights seemed to be strobing inside the building,? the news station wrote on its Facebook page. ?We?re working to find out what those were.?

No explanation was immediately available from the White House, so naturally Twitter users started offering up some thoughts:

Fox 35 anchor Tom Johnson tweeted that the lights eventually turned off, and it could have been a reflection of sirens or from something happening on the street.

Apparently, Johnson?s speculation was correct. The New York Post reported Monday that the Secret Service said a medical incident occurred outside the White House grounds, and the lights were a reflection from the emergency vehicles responding to the matter.

?The red lights had nothing to do with the White House,? the newspaper quoted a Secret Service spokesperson as saying.

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Merkel Merely Being Honest With U.S., Spokesman Says

Chancellor Angela Merkel believes firmly in strong German – U.S. relations and is simply being honest with the United States when she flags up policy differences with Washington, her spokesman said on Monday.

Merkel sent shockwaves through Washington and London by saying on Sunday that Europe must take its fate into its own hands, implying that the United States under President Donald Trump and Britain after its Brexit vote were no longer reliable partners.

She made the comments after Trump criticised major NATO allies over their military spending and refused to endorse a global climate change accord at back-to-back summits last week.

?The chancellor?s words stand on their own – they were clear and comprehensible,? her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told a regular government news conference in Berlin on Monday, adding: ?It was a deeply convinced trans-Atlanticist who spoke.?

After the meetings of NATO and the G7 group of wealthy nations, Merkel told a packed beer tent in Munich that the days when Europe could completely rely on others were ?over to a certain extent?.

?I have experienced this in the last few days,? she said. ?And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbours wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.?

Merkel?s remarks, made to her Christian Democrat party?s Bavarian allies, were particularly striking as the chancellor, a fan of the United States as a teenager in Communist East Germany, has always been known as a resolute Atlanticist.

Seibert stressed that this remained the case.

?Those of you who have reported on the chancellor for a long time will know how important German-American relations are to her,? he told the news conference.

?They are a firm pillar of our foreign and security policy, and Germany will continue to work to strengthen these relations,? he said, adding that Merkel had said before that Europe must take its fate into its own hands.

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?Because trans-Atlantic relations are so important to this chancellor, it is right from her viewpoint to speak out honestly about differences,? Seibert said.

In Vienna, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny was asked whether difficult political relations between Europe and the United States were causing any downside risk for the world economy. He replied: ?No. I have to say, this is an advantage that central banks have relative to the governments…?

Nowotny described ECB cooperation with the U.S. Federal Reserve as ?very good, very intensive.?

?Fortunately central banks are independent and not dependent on the short-term political discussions,? he said.

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Trump Had At Least 15 Chances To Address The Portland Attack On Twitter. He Didn’t.

President Donald Trump has been tweeting regularly throughout the weekend, but not once has he mentioned the fatal stabbing in Portland, Oregon that left two men dead after they confronted a man spewing hatred to two Muslim girls.

On Friday, Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were stabbed to death while traveling on one of Portland?s MAX trains. They both stood up to confront a man verbally attacking two girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

Police say Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who has ties to white supremacist groups, targeted the girls for ?religiously and racially motivated reasons.? When confronted by Best and Namkai-Meche and a third man, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, Christian violently attacked them with a knife. Fletcher survived the stabbing but remains in the hospital with serious injuries. 

Since the fatal attack made national news on Saturday, Trump has sent more than a dozen tweets. Not one of those tweets mention Portland, the two men being hailed as ?heroes,? or a condemnation of the attacker?s actions that are being investigated by police as a hate crime.

Instead, Trump has focused his public comments on deriding the news media, congratulating Republicans on a congressional win in Montana and his recent trip to the Middle East and Europe.

Trump?s most recent tweets appear to address the seemingly never-ending Russia scandal troubling his administration. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Russia?s ambassador Sergey Kislyak told Moscow officials that Trump?s key advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner discussed possibly setting up a secret communication channel between the then-incoming president?s transition team and the Kremlin. 

Twitter users have noticed the omission of the tragedy in Portland from Trump?s tweets, most notably by former ?60 Minutes? host Dan Rather. The newsman wrote an impassioned letter pleading with the president to acknowledge the attack.

?Perhaps Portland, Oregon is off your radar. It is, after all, a rather liberal place. It?s even a ?sanctuary city,? Rather wrote. ?But it is still an American city. And you are its president.?

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