under construction
September 8, 2020

Crews have been hard at work at the White House to replace sod on the South Lawn and in the Rose Garden that was damaged during the Republican National Convention last month.

President Trump's re-election campaign is paying for the repairs, The Washington Post reports, and White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed the "sod is being replaced at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, there has been other planned infrastructure work taking place on the south grounds."

On Aug. 25, first lady Melania Trump spoke before a crowd of supporters in the Rose Garden, and a White House official told the Post that crews tried to protect the grass by placing turf on top of it. Two nights later, the president formally accepted the GOP nomination from a massive stage on the South Lawn, in front of 1,500 seated supporters. The area was also filled with giant television screens and large spotlights, all brought in on heavy equipment.

Typically, outdoor news conferences are held in the Rose Garden, but on Monday, Trump addressed reporters from the North Portico of the White House, to keep journalists from seeing one of the areas being worked on, the Post reports. Officials have not said how much the repairs will cost. Catherine Garcia

February 3, 2015

On a hill overlooking Reykjavik, construction will start later this month on the first temple to Norse gods built in Iceland since the Viking age.

A modern version of Norse paganism is becoming more popular in Iceland, The Guardian reports, and membership in the Ásatrúarfélagið, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods, is up to 2,400. "I don't believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet," said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið. "We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology."

The temple will host weddings, funerals, and initiations, and members will also celebrate the ancient sacrificial ritual of Blot, minus the actual slaughter of animals. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads