November 28, 2017: White House Reveals Christmas Decorations, How Much the Next Royal Wedding Could Cost, Tufts University Postpones Scaramucci Event After He Threatens to Sue Student and Paper

By Ian Zelaya November 28, 2017, 8:38 AM EST

1. WHITE HOUSE REVEALS CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the White House Christmas decorations on Monday, which kept to traditional Christmas color schemes and decor. Washington Post: “Gone were the 'Season’s Greetings' that the Obama family placed on their Christmas cards. The Trump family’s official Christmas card reads: 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.' The dominant color scheme is an old-school red, green and gold. And the official hashtag? #WHChristmas. The first lady made a Hollywood entrance into the holiday press preview, gliding down the Grand Staircase from the private quarters onto the state floor as ballerinas finished dancing to 'The Nutcracker Suite' played by the Marine Band. Dressed in an off-white dress and glittering gold stilettos, she posed in front of trees laden with snow, icicles and glass nutcrackers, a tribute to the White House’s 1961 “Nutcracker” Christmas theme. ... Her vision for her family’s first holiday at the White House was about 'classic Christmas decor,' according to a statement that said she was involved in selecting 'every detail' of the decorations. What was described as Melania Trump’s 'signature Christmas wreaths' (white pine circles with red bows) were placed on the exterior White House windows. The same simple wreaths in miniature decorate the official gingerbread house, which depicts the southern exterior of the mansion."

2. HOW MUCH THE NEXT ROYAL WEDDING COULD COST: Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday, with their royal wedding slated for spring 2018. Experts estimate that when considering factors such as the reception, venue, and security, the wedding could at least cost $670,000. CNNMoney: “Harry's father, Prince Charles, is likely to pick up most of the bill for the Spring 2018 wedding and reception, even if custom dictates otherwise. ‘Traditionally the cost of the wedding falls on the wife's family, but surely this won't be the case here,’ said Kate Williams, a historian and royal expert. The wedding of Harry's brother, William and his wife, Catherine, provides some precedent. … An estimated 5,000 police guarded the public during festivities for William and Catherine, and there were reports of a dispute between London and Britain's home office over who should pay. The final bill remains unknown, but the government provided the police with a special £3.6 million ($4.8 million) grant that was used to cover overtime pay for officers. If Harry and Megan also decide to have their wedding in central London, the costs are expected to be substantial. ‘Of course the situation has changed since the previous royal wedding, so the security requirements will be much stricter,’ Williams said, referencing a series of recent terror attacks in the city. Harry's distance from the British throne (he's fifth in line) means he might have more choice than William in terms of location.”

3. TUFTS UNIVERSITY POSTPONES SCARAMUCCI EVENT AFTER HE THREATENS TO SUE STUDENT AND PAPER: Tufts University postponed a Monday event that was supposed to be headlined by former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci after he threatened to sue a student and the school newspaper for defamation because of a published op-ed that criticized him. Boston Globe: “Scaramucci, a Tufts graduate, has served on an advisory board at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy since 2016. An attorney representing Scaramucci demanded in a letter that graduate student Camilo A. Caballero and The Tufts Daily newspaper retract ‘false and defamatory allegations of fact’ about his client and issue an apology.  In an e-mail to Caballero, Scaramucci said the student had ‘suggested publicly’ that Scaramucci had engaged in unethical behavior. ‘So either back it up or you will hear from my lawyer,’ Scaramucci wrote on Nov. 16. ‘You may have a difference of opinion from me politically which I respect but you can’t make spurious claims about my reputation and integrity.’ In an interview Sunday night, Scaramucci said he is not trying to limit students’ free speech but will defend himself against an ‘attack’ that he called factually inaccurate. Earlier this month, more than 240 students and administrators signed an online petition calling for Scaramucci’s removal from the advisory board. Scaramucci said he supports the free-speech rights of those who signed that petition and had been looking forward to Monday’s session as an opportunity to speak directly with students about their views. Caballero, 26, who attends the Fletcher School, said the former Trump administration official is trying to use his wealth and his position at Tufts to squelch criticism and chill free speech.”


LAS VEGAS:  The Halal Guys opened its first location on the Las Vegas Strip yesterday, located inside the Forum Food Court at Caesars Palace. 

LOS ANGELES:  To celebrate its season 5 premiere, History's Vikings will set up an authentic Gjallarhorn (an 8-foot Viking horn) at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Wednesday. Fans and passersby will be invited to blow the horn from noon to 8 p.m.

The Echo Park Craft Fair will host a V.I.P. preview on December 8 at Mack Sennett Studios. A portion of proceeds will benefit Inner City Arts. 

The ninth annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl will take place December 16. The event raises funds for the Westside Food Bank. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau's fourth annual Art of Black Miami—a multicultural tourism campaign celebrating art and diversity of the African diaspora—will take place December 6-10 alongside Art Basel Miami Beach. 

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation will host its Palm Beach Hot Pink Luncheon and Symposium February 8 at the Breakers in the Venetian Ballroom. Aerin Lauder is slated to host with a fashion presentation from Neiman Marcus Palm Beach.

NEW YORK:  Kosher restaurant 2nd Ave Deli has opened its first-ever bar called 2nd Floor. The new space will offer cocktails from bar director Jason Jeffords III and modern takes on the restaurant’s Jewish deli dishes from chef David Teyf. 

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a nonprofit that provides support for families struggling with their children’s substance abuse, will hold its annual Winter Wish Gala at Gotham Hall December 12. The event will be hosted by Elizabeth Vargas. 

WME Speakers announced it was exclusively representing former New York Yankee shortstop Alex Rodriguez. The company said Rodriguez speaks on issues related to “business, leadership, teamwork, and self-transformation.”

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

PORT FERDINAND, BARBADOS:  Global luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand Nikki Beach Worldwide is set to open its newest location in Port Ferdinand, Barbados, this winter. Nikki Beach Barbados will sit on 1.4 acres of beachfront, and will consist of a restaurant, pool, and beach access with oceanfront seating for as many as 200 guests. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Miracle on Seventh Street, the pop-up Christmas cocktail bar, is open at Mockingbird Hill through December 31. The pop-up has a variety of Christmas-theme decorations, as well as a Hanukkah-theme room called “Chinese and a Movie.” The pop-up also will host daily holiday-theme happy hours. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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