Takeaways from Trump aide's account of chaotic White House

Ferocious tantrums. Family gossip. Petty nicknames. Stephanie Grisham, once a White House press secretary and chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump, is out with a book next week that paints a deeply unflattering picture of Donald Trump — a man with a “terrifying” temper who ogled a young aide and tried to impress dictators while president, she writes. Grisham, who holds the distinction of having never held a press briefing while serving as White House press secretary, charts her path from low-level press wrangler to the Trumps' inner circles, and her gradual disillusionment with the family and eventual resignation following the Jan. 6 insurrection. As have the many books critical of Trump, Grisham's “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House” has drawn Trump's ire. He bashed the book and its author in deeply personal terms, saying in a statement that Grisham was “paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things."

It's flu vaccine time, even if you've had your COVID shots

Amid all the focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, U.S. health experts have another plea: Don’t skip your flu shot. Flu cases have dropped to historically low levels during the pandemic. The U.S. and Europe experienced hardly any flu last winter, and the Southern Hemisphere just ended its second flu season of the coronavirus pandemic with little to report. But with U.S. schools and businesses reopened, international travel resuming and far less masking this fall, flu could make a comeback. The big question is whether it will trickle in or roar back and put extra pressure on hospitals already struggling with COVID-19 surges. “People are sick to death of hearing about having to roll on out and get vaccines of any sort,” said flu specialist Richard Webby of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Yet after 18 months of little influenza exposure, “we probably as a population don’t have as much immunity against this virus as we typically might,” Webby said. “It makes absolute sense to go on out and get that vaccine and at least prepare for something that, you know, could be quite severe.”

Why climate change is making it harder to chase fall foliage

Droughts that cause leaves to turn brown and wither before they can reach peak color. Heat waves prompting leaves to fall before autumn even arrives. Extreme weather events like hurricanes that strip trees of their leaves altogether. For a cheery autumnal activity, leaf peeping is facing some serious threats from the era of climate change. Leaf peeping, the practice of traveling to watch nature display its fall colors, is a beloved annual activity in many corners of the country, especially New England and New York. But recent seasons have been disrupted by weather conditions there and elsewhere, and the trend is likely to continue as the planet warms, said arborists, conservationists and ecologists.

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