Republican candidate is master of his domains, even ones that bash him

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking healthcare, on Tuesday, in King of Prussia, Pa. (AP)
Updated 02 November 2016
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Republican candidate is master of his domains, even ones that bash him

WASHINGTON: Whoever owns donaldtrumpsucks.com must really hate Donald Trump, right? Wrong! It’s the Donald himself.
The same goes for no2trump.com, trumpmustgo.com and two dozen other web addresses that sound like they’re bashing the billionaire, his business interests or his political aspirations.
What would Trump want with such insulting domains? Easy. To make sure his critics and rivals can’t have them.
He and his Trump Organization own more than 3,600 web addresses, according to the research firm DomainIQ. The vast majority bear the names of his properties, products and progeny. There are 274 domains alone featuring the name of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
And then there are the ones that seem better suited for the anti-Trump crowd: Eight domains ending in “scheme,” eight ending in “fraud” and eight ending in “sucks.”
It is common for businesses and celebrities to scoop up and sit on web addresses that could be used to mock or attack them.
“Domains are cheap,” branding expert Rebecca Lieb said. “Mopping up when somebody acquires a domain and does something malicious with it is expensive.”
Trump’s collection of web addresses good and bad is far more extensive than that of any candidate before. He and the Trump Organization own a few hundred more than Target Corp. or General Motors.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign owns 70, according to DomainIQ, though none appear to be the kind of derogatory names Trump has registered. Her family’s foundation owns 214 domains, including four ending in .xxx.
“Mr. Trump has built a globally recognized, highly successful brand, and it’s only natural he would attempt to protect his name and his brand in all respects,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an e-mail Monday.
Web addresses cost just a few bucks to register. After that, you can sell them to the highest bidder — unless someone steps in and successfully claims that the domain involves a trademark.
That’s how Trump has gotten his hands on Trump-related addresses that other people registered before he could. His lawyers have sent cease-and-desist letters and gone to arbitration at least 40 times to force outsiders to hand over domains, including MelaniaTrump.com.
Trump and his team didn’t take any chances in 2009 when he created the Trump Network brand to sell vitamins, urine tests and other health products. They quietly scooped up 18 negative domain names, including DonaldTrumpPonziScheme.com and TrumpNetworkFraud.com.


UK prime minister in last-minute push to win Brexit support

A European flag and a British Union flag hang outside Europe House, the European Parliament's British offices in London, Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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UK prime minister in last-minute push to win Brexit support

  • May aims to try a third time this week if she can persuade enough lawmakers to change their minds
  • May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Monday that the government would only hold a vote if there is “a realistic prospect of success”

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May was making a last-minute push Monday to win support for her European Union divorce deal, warning opponents that failure to approve it would mean a long — and possibly indefinite — delay to Brexit.
Parliament has rejected the agreement twice, but May aims to try a third time this week if she can persuade enough lawmakers to change their minds. Her aim is to have the deal agreed before EU leaders meet Thursday for a summit in Brussels.
But there was no sign of a breakthrough, and the government faces a deadline of the end of Tuesday to decide whether they have enough votes to pass the deal, so that a vote can be held on Wednesday.
May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Monday that the government would only hold a vote if there is “a realistic prospect of success.”
May is likely to ask for a delay to Brexit at the Brussels summit. If a deal is approved, she says she will ask the EU to extend the deadline until June 30 so that Parliament has time to approve the necessary legislation. If it isn’t, she will have to seek a longer extension that would mean Britain participating in May 23-26 elections for the European Parliament — something the government is keen to avoid.
May’s goal is to win over Northern Ireland’s small, power-brokering Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP’s 10 lawmakers prop up May’s Conservative government, and their support could influence pro-Brexit Conservatives to drop their opposition to the deal.
Still, May faces a struggle to reverse the huge margins of defeat for the agreement in Parliament. It was rejected by 230 votes in January and by 149 votes last week.
Influential Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would wait to see what the DUP decided before making up his mind on whether to support May’s deal.
“No deal is better than a bad deal, but a bad deal is better than remaining in the European Union,” he told LBC radio.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday he saw “cautious signs of encouragement” that the deal might make it through Parliament this week.
After months of political deadlock, British lawmakers voted last week to seek to postpone Brexit. That will likely avert a chaotic British withdrawal on the scheduled exit date of March 29 — although the power to approve or reject a Brexit extension lies with the EU, whose leaders are fed up with British prevarication.
EU leaders say they will only grant it if Britain has a solid plan for what to do with the extra time.
“We have to know what the British want: How long, what is the reason supposed to be, how it should go, what is actually the aim of the extension?” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Brussels. “The longer it is delayed, the more difficult it will certainly be.”
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders agreed, saying: “We are not against an extension in Belgium, but the problem is — to do what?“
Opposition to May’s deal centers on a measure designed to ensure there is no hard border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.
The mechanism, known as the backstop, is a safeguard that would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU until a permanent new trading relationship is in place. Brexit supporters in Britain fear the backstop could be used to bind the country to EU regulations indefinitely, and the DUP fears it could lead to a weakening of the bonds between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK
Talks between the government and the DUP are aimed at reassuring the party that Britain could not be trapped in the backstop indefinitely.
May said in an article for the Sunday Telegraph that failure to approve the deal meant “we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever.”
“The idea of the British people going to the polls to elect MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) three years after voting to leave the EU hardly bears thinking about,” she wrote.
But May suffered a setback Monday when former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson refused to support her deal.
Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer, used his column in the Daily Telegraph to argue that the backstop left the UK vulnerable to “an indefinite means of blackmail” by Brussels.