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By Allan Smith

Tiger Woods won the prestigious green jacket on Sunday, and soon he will have another award to add to his collection — the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Monday that he would be awarding Woods the medal after Woods won the Masters Tournament on Sunday.

“Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!” Trump wrote.

Trump did not say when the ceremony would take place. The president watched the final round of the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia from his golf club in Virginia.

It was Woods’ fifth Masters victory and his first since 2005. It was his first major tournament victory since the 2008 U.S. Open and came after a series of back surgeries and personal struggles led many to question whether he would ever capture another major title.

Woods became the second-oldest Masters champion, after Jack Nicklaus, who won in 1986 at 46.

Trump, who played a round of golf with Woods earlier this year, joined a chorus of supporters online in praising Woods over the weekend, tweeting Sunday that Woods “is looking GREAT!” before congratulating him as “a truly Great Champion!” following his win.

Presidents of both political parties have awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to prominent sports figures. Last year, Trump awarded it to the former NFL stars Roger Staubach and Alan Page and baseball legend Babe Ruth. Before he left office, President Barack Obama awarded the medal to basketball stars Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and longtime baseball announcer Vin Scully.



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Politics

Nigel Farage says his party will FIGHT next General Election

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THE Brexit Party is planning to take on the Tories and Labour in the next general election, Nigel Farage said yesterday.

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‘They have to get the shot’

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By Dartunorro Clark

President Donald Trump on Friday urged parents to get their children vaccinated after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week record-high cases of measles since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

“They have to get the shot. The vaccinations are so important,” Trump said outside the White House on his way to Indianapolis to address the NRA. “This is really going around now, they have to get their shot.”

New cases of measles reported in New York, New Jersey and California bring the total number of infections in the U.S. to at least 695 so far in 2019 according to new numbers released by CDC.

Nearly 300 students and employees at two Los Angeles universities were under quarantine Thursday and Friday after possible exposure to measles.

Trump’s comments on Friday differed from his past remarks on vaccinations.

At a 2015 Republican presidential candidate debate hosted by CNN, Trump said that he wanted to change the vaccine schedule for children, erroneously linking autism to vaccines.

“Autism has become an epidemic…I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time,” he said.

In a March 2014 tweet, Trump questioned why a child “gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines.”

“Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes — AUTISM. Many such cases!” he tweeted.

On Wednesday, New York City and suburban Rockland County confirmed an additional 37 measles cases, and California reported seven new cases. The second-highest number for measles cases in the U.S. was 667 in 2014, according to the CDC.

In New York City and Rockland County, there have been 590 cases since the measles outbreak began in October 2018. Los Angeles reported its first five cases on Monday.

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Trump says no money paid to North Korea to have Otto Warmbier returned

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By Adam Edelman

President Donald Trump on Friday denied that his administration had paid any money as part of a deal to get North Korea to return Otto Warmbier, whom the regime had detained.

“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump tweeted.

The tweet came in response to a Washington Post report on Thursday that North Korea had issued a $2 million bill to the U.S. for the medical care of Warmbier, who was returned to the U.S. in an unconscious state.

The regime, The Post reported, demanded that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay the bill before Warmbier was allowed to be returned to the U.S.

State Department official Joseph Yun, who had traveled to North Korea in 2017 to help retrieve Warmbier, was instructed to sign the agreement by Trump and did so, The Post said. The bill was sent to the U.S. Treasury Department and remained unpaid throughout 2017. The Post said it was not clear whether the bill was later paid.

Responding to questions from NBC News about the report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday, “We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration.”

Warmbier, 22, was arrested for taking a propaganda banner from a hotel while on a visit to Pyongyang in January 2016. The University of Virginia student from Ohio was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

The North Korean government released him in June 2017, and when he returned to U.S. soil, doctors found him to be in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. He died days later; the exact cause of death is still not known.

His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, were told he had been in a coma since shortly after being sentenced.

In February, Trump was slammed by politicians on both sides of the aisle after he absolved North Korean Kim Jong Un of blame in the death of Warmbier. Following a summit with Kim, Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, that it “just wasn’t to (Kim’s) advantage to let that happen.” He added: “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”

The president later tweeted that his comments had been misinterpreted and said, “Of course I hold North Korea responsible.”



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