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Bess Abell, White House social secretary during Johnson administration, dies at 87

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said her husband, Tyler Abell, who served in the final months of Johnson’s presidency as chief of protocol. His appointment carried ambassadorial rank and, along with his wife’s position, placed the Abells among the elite Washington power couples of that era.

Mrs. Abell’s acquaintance with the Johnsons dated at least to the 1950s, when Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Tex.) was serving as Senate majority leader and Mrs. Abell’s father, Sen. Earle C. Clements (D-Ky.), was majority whip. The Johnsons feted Bess and Tyler Abell when they married in 1955, and five years later, the Abells named their second son Lyndon, after the future president.

Mrs. Abell volunteered with the 1960 campaign that thrust Lyndon Johnson to the vice presidency, under President John F. Kennedy, and became personal secretary to Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, after their victory. Upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Lyndon was sworn in as president, Lady Bird became first lady, and soon after, Mrs. Abell was named social secretary.

Perhaps the best-known woman to have previously held the role — at the time no man had served as White House social secretary — was Letitia Baldrige, a friend of Jacqueline Kennedy’s who was credited with helping the Kennedys project the aura of elegance that made their White House years known as Camelot.

By at least one account, Mrs. Abell held even greater sway than Baldrige, who had been tasked with “lifting presidential occasions to a continental style and standard,” government scholar MaryAnne Borrelli wrote in the 2011 book “The Politics of the President’s Wife.”

“Lady Bird Johnson placed tremendous confidence in Bess Abell, giving her even more responsibility than had been granted the Kennedy social secretaries,” Borrelli continued. “Comparing the administrations, Chief Usher J.B. West concluded that Bess Abell ‘did for

Saturday Kitchen chef James Martin has quit social media – here’s what happened

Monday, 5th October 2020, 1:30 pm

Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 1:38 pm
The virtual cooking masterclass suffered from a host of technical difficulties (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Saturday Kitchen chef James Martin has quit social media after receiving backlash for his virtual cookalong event that was branded a “disaster” by attendees.

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The This Morning chef says that he has been the target of “vile abuse” by those angry that they had experienced technical issues during the sold-out cooking masterclass.

What happened?

Martin held a virtual cookery class on Saturday 3 October, which invited fans and foodies to create a three course meal alongside Martin during the 90-minute experience.

The menu was set to consist of a start of halloumi with chilli jam, a main course of chicken saute with vinegar and pilaf rice, and a dessert of a raspberry tart.

Tickets for the event had launched at 10am on Friday 11 September, and cost cookery fans £35 for the virtual masterclass – not including the individual cost for ingredients.

However, many attendees were left frustrated after technical issues left their screens frozen or unable to connect to the event.

Some of those who attended the event called it “a chaotic shambles” and a “complete disaster”, with many commenting that Martin moved through the cooking instructions too quickly.

Others questioned if the event itself was even live, stating that it was “clearly pre-recorded”.

What has James Martin said?

Taking to Twitter, the chef explained that he would be taking a break from social media following the online abuse he received after the show.

In a thread of tweets, Martin wrote: “Having seen some of the comments posted online regarding last night’s cook along and

White House pressures Republicans to go after social media companies before election

The White House is pressuring Senate Republicans, just weeks before the election, to investigate social media companies that it says are censoring conservative voices, according to people familiar with the matter.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by Washington Examiner


The Trump administration has pushed members of key Senate committees to hold hearings related to tech censorship and asked certain senators to introduce relevant legislation, according to two Republican Senate staffers.

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The White House strategy appears to be working. Multiple bills related to tech censorship have been introduced in the Senate in the past few weeks, and the CEOs of three leading social media companies were subpoenaed on Thursday to testify in front of a relevant Senate committee.

“The White House has been in touch with multiple members in the past few weeks about their views on censorship and what they would like to see happen,” a Republican Senate staffer said.

“It goes hand in hand with their executive action and Trump’s tweets,” the staffer said.

The recent Senate actions have come months after President Trump signed an executive order to combat what he views as unfair censorship of conservative voices.

The tech industry is currently protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which provides that websites generally are not legally responsible for content posted by their users, including for defamation, breach of contract, and emotional distress. The provision protects video-hosting sites, such as YouTube, and social media providers, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as any website that allows users to post comments.

The law has gotten increased attention recently from members of Congress and the public. In fact, a majority of people in the United States, on both sides of the aisle, say that social media companies are censoring political expression, according to an August

Home Improvement: How home design trends are evolving for social distancing – Salisbury Post

Metro Creative

COVID-19 has brought changes to everything, and home design is no exception. Experts are expecting to see lasting impacts on everything from the materials we use to the rooms we prioritize. Check out these and other noteworthy trends:

Houses over apartments: Many people who live in condos or apartments do so to be closer to the action — work, entertainment and shops — and never planned on spending much time at home. But the pandemic has changed that, and more people are going to want a home that offers plenty of room and outdoor space in case they need to self-isolate again.

Self-sufficiency: A hard lesson we’ve learned is that things and services we thought we could count on aren’t necessarily a sure thing, so items that increase self-reliance will become very popular. Expect to see more homes with sources of energy like solar panels, sources of heat like fireplaces and stoves, and even urban and indoor gardens that allow you to grow your own produce.

Outdoor living: Between playgrounds closing and parks becoming overcrowded, many of us are turning to our balconies, patios and backyards for fresh air and nature. This means we’re going to be investing more in our outdoor spaces, with functional kitchens, soothing water features, cozy firepits, and high-quality outdoor furniture to create a much-needed escape.

Healthier spaces: Thanks to spending more time indoors and reprioritizing our health, we’ll turn to design to help ensure our homes are safe and healthy for our families. We’ll see a rise in products like water filtration systems as well as materials that improve indoor air quality. For new homes and additions, alternatives to wood-framing like insulated concrete forms from Nudura, which offer improved ventilation for healthier indoor air quality and an environment that’s less susceptible to mold,

Trump plans mass events in Wisconsin where White House task force calls for social distancing.

Wisconsin is listed in the document as the state with the third-highest rate of new cases in the country, with 243 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous week, about 2.6 times greater than the national average. Ahead of Trump’s scheduled rally in Green Bay, the Bellin Health System said Tuesday that its hospital in that city is at 94 percent capacity as covid-19 continues to spike in the community.

“During the intense period of viral surge, large numbers of acutely infected individuals caused exponential growth in infections,” the task force report reads in a section about Wisconsin. “Although young adults are the most affected group currently, spread to other age groups is inevitable.”

The task force report, which is sent to the leaders of all 50 states and D.C., is distributed weekly with specific recommendations for curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, along with progress reports on testing and county-by-county assessments of the prevalence of the virus. The reports are not made public.

The debate over whether Trump should gather large crowds comes as the president faced off against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, for the first presidential debate, offering sharply different opinions on whether public health recommendations against large crowds are justified.

During Tuesday’s debate, Trump defended his events as opportunities for his supporters to gather to hear him and claimed that there has been “no negative effect” from his rallies, even though health officials in Tulsa said a spike in covid-19 cases was “likely” sparked by an indoor Trump gathering in June.

The president also said he was “okay with masks” but falsely claimed that scientists are divided over their value. Health experts have said mask-wearing, hand-washing, social distancing and being careful about crowds currently make up the best defense against the virus.

Biden, by contrast,