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December 26, 2018

TRUMP-CHRISTMAS

Fake Yule legend?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 7-year-old who talked to President Donald Trump still left out milk and cookies for Santa. That’s after Trump told her it was “marginal” for someone her age to still believe.

Then again, Collman Lloyd of Lexington, South Carolina, told the Post and Courier of Charleston that she’d never heard the word “marginal” before.

Collman had called the NORAD Tracks Santa program on Christmas Eve. Six minutes later, Trump was on the line. His chat with Collman was initially reported as being with a boy named Coleman.

Trump asked, “Are you still a believer in Santa?” She responded, “Yes, sir,” and Trump added, “Because at 7, that’s marginal, right?” She replied, “Yes sir.”

Marginal or not, the next morning the food was gone and presents were under the tree.

HELPFUL HOMELESS MAN

GoFundMe says donors in alleged homeless scam refunded

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne says that “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and the organization is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Burlington County prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Johnny Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

Whithorne said campaigns involving misuse “make up less than one tenth of one percent” of all GoFundMe campaigns, but such behavior “is unacceptable” and “has consequences.”

Prosecutors began investigating last summer after Bobbitt said he wasn’t getting money raised on his behalf. He later sued the couple.

BELOW DESK ARREST

‘Below Deck’ reality series cast member arrested in Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A cast member on the reality television series “Below Deck” has been arrested in Florida.

According to a West Palm Beach police report, 30-year-old Ross Inia was arrested early Saturday on charges of disorderly conduct and battery on a police officer or firefighter.

The report says Inia punched an officer who was trying to break up a fight involving Inia and two other men.

Inia, a native of New Zealand, is featured on the sixth season of the Bravo series that follows the escapades of a mega-yacht crew and their wealthy clients.

Inia was released from the Palm Beach County jail on $15,000 bond. His spokeswoman did not immediately respond Tuesday to an email requesting comment.

EGYPT-LOSING WEIGHT

El-Sissi’s call on Egyptians to lose weight creates a stir

CAIRO (AP) — President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is demanding Egyptians lose weight.

In televised comments earlier this month, the general-turned-president railed about the number of overweight people he sees and told Egyptians they must take better care of themselves. He said physical education should become core curriculum at schools and universities and suggested TV shows shouldn’t let presenters or guests on the air if they are overweight.

The next morning, before sunrise, he drove his point home by energetically cycling to the national military academy in a Cairo suburb. In black sweat pants, a dark top and a matching baseball hat, he told cadets that he was adamant they wouldn’t leave basic training before fulfilling fitness requirements.

It was the typical style of el-Sissi, who sees even the smallest minutiae as needing his shaping and weighs in on anything from road building to filmmaking, often while scolding and haranguing Egyptians to correct their behavior.

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