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Trump's trillion trees and "The Bridge" repainted - but no stunts please

FROM Donald Trump's pledge to single-handedly solve climate change, to the iconic bridge of Nordic noir, TV fame getting a fresh lick of paint, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 22nd January 2020.

As the impeachment trial looks all but set to get Donald Trump off the hook - and it's only been on one day - the US President has told the world's business leaders at the World Economic Forum at Davos to stop listening to "prophets of doom", whilst in contradictory move pledging to plant a trillion trees.
In a swipe at teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who he has clashed with over her climate crisis warnings, he bellowed: "This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers".
And then as though he had been slipped a memo urging him not to alienate the room, he declared: "I'm a big believer in the environment. The environment to me is very important", before backing a mass scale planting of trees over the coming years.
Jess Phillips has pulled out of the Labour leadership contest to replace Jeremy Corbyn, saying she is not the person to unite the party. Her decision, two weeks into the campaign, came as she failed to secure any union or affiliate backing, while a no show at a hustings yesterday (Tuesday) led to speculation her campaign was faltering.
But as clean-cut candidates Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy continue to fight it out to become the next leader, the very attributes that saw Ms Phillips stand out from the pack - her honesty, her outspokenness, her "normality" - have, at the same time, proved her undoing. Sounding the alarm bells, that whilst she is exactly what is needed, a candidate like her will never make it through "the system" because she does not fit a particular mold.
Now don't say This Reporter didn't warn you (please see yesterday's blog post entitled "China's deadly Coronavirus to wipe out the universe) but China is now reporting that the virus has killed nine people and infected another 440 - including cases in Australia and America - with the chilling news that the virus could "mutate" as it spreads.
It looks like health chiefs are finally making a move to contain it, with temperature checks and screenings at airports as tourists arrive en masse for the new year lunar celebrations. Whilst Wuhan, the city suspected of being the epicentre of the outbreak, has been placed into lockdown with its 11 million residents advised not to leave.
Rock star Ozzy Osbourne has revealed he has Parkinson's disease. The Black Sabbath singer told US TV show Good Morning America he has a "mild form" and found out about it after suffering a fall last February. Rumours had been circulating about the 71-year-old's health and he said: "I'm no good with secrets. I cannot walk around with it any more 'cause it's like I'm running out of excuses".
And finally, the nearly five-mile long bridge linking Denmark and Sweden, made famous by the Nordic noir crime TV series, "The Bridge", is to be repainted.
It will be the first time it has received a fresh lick of paint since it opened to traffic in 2000 and the project will take an estimated 13 years to complete, with workers suspended in harness over the Oresund strait.
The bridge was last painted in sections on land before being assembled over the waterway but on asking whether it wouldn't be easier to use this method again and muttering to herself something about Evel Knieval, This Reporter was given short shrift about this being a health and safety violation, and sent on her way.

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