U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 20, 2016

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


1. Trump meets with cabinet contenders Christie, Giuliani, and Romney
President-elect Donald Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, meeting with potential cabinet nominees. On Saturday, he spoke with Mitt Romney, who described the encounter as “a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance.” The former governor and GOP nominee did not address whether he was under consideration for a specific cabinet role. On Sunday, Trump’s schedule includes former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, known for his hard-line immigration policy. “We’re seeing tremendous talent,” Trump announced on Twitter Saturday. “People that, like I say, we will ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Source: Associated Press, The Washington Post

2. Obama meets with foreign leaders to address transition concerns
President Obama continued his international farewell tour in Peru on Saturday, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and leaders of nine other nations. Obama sought to calm concerns about the incoming Donald Trump administration, encouraging Latin Americans not to assume the worst. “Wait until the administration is in place, it’s actually putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgments as to whether or not it’s consistent with the international community’s interest in living in peace and prosperity together,” he said. Xi also expressed his hope for a smooth transition of power in America, calling this a “hinge moment” for Chinese-American relations.

Source: Associated Press, Reuters

3. White House condemns ‘heinous’ Russian, Syrian bombings of Aleppo hospitals
The United States on Saturday forcefully censured a new round of Russian and Syrian airstrikes, including a suspected chlorine gas attack, that closed all hospitals and killed nearly 300 people in the besieged, rebel-held area of eastern Aleppo, Syria. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms these horrific attacks against medical infrastructure and humanitarian aid workers,” said Susan Rice, White House national security adviser. “There is no excuse for these heinous actions.” The statement demanded “the immediate cessation of these bombardments,” asking Russia to facilitate humanitarian aid to civilians in the decimated city. On Sunday, the Syrian government rejected a United Nations proposal for an Aleppo truce.

Source: The Week, CNN

4. Memorial to Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch vandalized with swastikas
A playground memorializing Beastie Boys star Adam Yauch, who was Jewish, was defaced Friday with spray-painted swastikas and the phrase “Go Trump!” The vandalism in Brooklyn Heights, New York, was swiftly repainted Saturday morning, with locals adding hearts and flowers where the swastikas had been. New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron invited President-elect Donald Trump to join a community event at the park on Sunday that will condemn the vandal’s anti-semitic message. Yauch, known to most by his stage name, MCA, died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47.

Source: NBC News, Us Magazine

5. Pope Francis denounces ‘epidemic of animosity’ toward enemies, outsiders
Pope Francis on Saturday spoke out against polarization, nationalism, and demonization of minorities in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica in which he ordained 17 new cardinals. “We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee become a threat, take on the status of an enemy,” he said. “How many wounds grow deeper due to this epidemic of animosity and violence, which leaves its mark on the flesh of many of the defenseless, because their voice is weak and silenced by this pathology of indifference.”

Source: USA Today, The Guardian

6. Trump maintains Hamilton Twitter feud
President-elect Donald Trump was up and tweeting early Sundaymorning with a fresh attack on the Broadway musical Hamilton, whose audience booed and cast admonished Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance Friday night. “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior,” Trump said in Sunday’s post, his third straight tweet on the subject. The Hamiltonincident has rapidly become a subject of debate on social media more broadly, with Trump supporters advocating a boycott of the perpetually sold-out show.

Source: The Hill, USA Today

7. Protesters target alt-right celebration of Trump win in Washington
Alt-right activists led by Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute convened at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., Saturday, where they were met with several hundred protesters in an encounter that briefly turned physical. In a press conference, Spencer said Trump himself is not part of the alt-right but the movement has “a psychic connection, a deeper connection with Donald Trump, in a way we simply do not have with most Republicans.” The protesters held signs with slogans like “fight racism” and chanted “fascists we will shut you down.” One alt-righter was sustained a bloody head injury in a scuffle with several protesters, but nobody was arrested.

Source: Politico, Reuters

8. Congressman’s grandson fatally shot in Chicago
The grandson of Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jovan Wilson, was fatally shot in his Chicago home by a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl Friday night in a dispute believed to have arisen over a pair of gym shoes. He was 14 years old. The two teenagers responsible in this case were arrested Saturday, and police said Saturday night charges are expected. 2016 has been an unusually violent year in Chicago, with 55 percent more murders than in 2015.

Source: The Week, Associated Press

9. Derailed train in India kills 115
At least 115 people were killed and more than 150 injured in northern India Sunday morning when an overnight passenger train derailed. The crash occurred near the village of Pukhrayan and affected 14 train cars. Rescue efforts are still underway, and the death toll may continue to rise. The cause of the derailment remains unknown.

Source: Associated Press, BBC News

10. NASA launches weather satellite expected to ‘revolutionize’ forecasting
NASA successfully launched a new generation of weather satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday, hailing a new era in weather forecasting. “This is a quantum leap,” said Sandra Cauffman, deputy director of Earth Sciences at NASA. “It will truly revolutionize weather forecasting.” The new GOES-R satellite differs from its predecessors in that it can take a high-resolution image of an entire hemisphere of the Earth every five minutes while simultaneously focusing on specific weather events. Previous satellites took 30 minutes to take the same photo and could not multi-task.

Source: Reuters, NASA

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