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Travel Pool Report #1 - outreach welcome event
Michael Shear • The New York Times
May 27, 2017: 09:04 AM

NOTE: this is one of the few reports that your pooler expects to send today. Access is extremely limited all day long. This first event is being covered by only three members of the pool for reasons that do not seem clear to your pooler. There is plenty of space at this outside event.

No sighting of POTUS at this event.

After a long hike through the quaint town of Taormina, your pooler was brought to the outreach welcome ceremony at the G7. Your pooler has not received any background from the White House as to what this event is, who is participating, or what the reason for the event is. Perhaps they will decide later to distribute something. If so, your pooler will happily pass it on.

However, your pooler believes that the G7 invited some African countries to be part of the conversation here at the summit.

We are outside, on risers across a red carpet from 19 flags -- including a US flag, an EU flag, a UN flag and several others that your pool couldn't make out. It is a beautiful, perfect day, weather-wise with not a cloud in the blue sky. My Apple Watch says it is 67 degrees.

The flags are next to an entryway to the summit hotel that is guarded by two ceremonial military officers dresses in navy, red and white uniforms and sporting big red and dark blue plumes on their hats.

Starting at about 8:15 am local time, officials started arriving, one by one along the red carpet in front of the flags, greeted by and shaking hands with Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian Prime Minister. Again, your pooler was not given a list of names, but did recognize Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF. Your pooler believes there were African leaders from Kenya, a Tunisia and elsewhere.

At about 9:02 am local, the event ended with no indication of the G7 leaders, including POTUS, who must have already been inside. Your pooler is not being allowed to go inside and while we have camera presence inside, there is no editorial presence there.

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