U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 21, 2016

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


1. Trump praises general under consideration for defense secretary
President-elect Donald Trump praised retired Marine Corps general James Mattis on Sunday, calling him “a true general’s general” and hinting strongly that he might pick Mattis to be his secretary of defense. A day after meeting with Mattis, Trump tweeted: “General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday.” Mattis was a combat commander in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he was praised for his role in the battle of Fallujah. He considers Iran to be “the single most enduring threat” to peace in the Middle East. Mattis only retired in 2013, so for him to be confirmed, Congress would have to waive a rule requiring officers to wait seven years before taking on a civilian government role.

Source: The New York Times, Politico

2. Germany’s Merkel will run for fourth term
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Sunday that she plans to run for a fourth term in office. Merkel, 62, has governed Germany since 2005 and remains popular despite gains by the populist Alternative fuer Deutschland party in recent elections. Some 55 percent of Germans currently say they will vote for her. Germany has awaited for weeks Merkel’s decision on whether to run, and the affirmative announcement will likely be received as a positive source of stability in Brexit-era Europe. Some political analysts have called her the new standard bearer for liberal democracy as President Obama nears the end of his presidency.

Source: The Washington Post, BBC News

3. Romney under ‘serious consideration’ for secretary of state
Mitt Romney is “under active and serious consideration” to be President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday. The statement was the latest in a series of indications that Trump is seriously looking at some cabinet candidates who are outside his inner circle. Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, harshly criticized Trump during the 2016 campaign, calling him a “fraud.” Trump also is considering former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key ally, for the secretary of state job “and other things.”

Source: The Associated Press

4. Melania and Barron Trump won’t immediately move to White House
President-elect Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that his wife, Melania, and youngest son, Barron, will stay in New York instead of immediately moving to the White House when he takes office in January. Trump said Mrs. Trump and Barron, a fourth grader at a Manhattan prep school, would move “very soon. After he’s finished with school.” Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller said there was “obviously a sensitivity to pulling out a 10-year-old in the middle of the school year.” A person close to the Trump transition team said that the campaign was hard on Barron and his mother “is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Source: The Washington Post, New York Post

5. Police hit Dakota Access protesters with water in freezing weather
North Dakota police used water cannons in freezing weather to disperse about 400 protesters trying to get through a barricaded bridge leading to a Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on Sunday. Protesters also said the police, wearing riot gear, had fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and concussion grenades. Police have been blocking the bridge with trucks since a clash there in late October. Protesters, who argue the pipeline threatens the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s water supply and sacred sites, said the barricade prevents emergency vehicles from reaching the reservation.

Source: Reuters

6. Sarkozy knocked out in France’s center-right presidential primary
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was knocked out of the running in the first test in France’s presidential race, the center-right primary, on Sunday. With almost 80 percent of polling stations reporting, former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, 62, had 44 percent of the vote, followed by one-time frontrunner Alain Juppe with 28 percent and Sarkozy with 21 percent. Sarkozy, along with fourth-place finisher Bruno Le Maire, said he would back Fillon in next Sunday’s runoff. That makes Fillon the favorite to face Marine Le Pen of the far right National Front in May.

Source: Bloomberg

7. Pence says he was not offended by Hamilton pushback
Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday that he wasn’t offended when he was met by a mix of boos and cheers at the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, and admonished by a member of the cast to “uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us.” President-elect Donald Trump has fired off several tweets demanding an apology, but Pence said he thoroughly enjoyed the show, despite the boos. “I nudged my kids and reminded them that’s what freedom sounds like,” Pence told Fox News host Chris Wallace. Pence acknowledged the disappointment of those who did not vote for his ticket, and vowed that the Trump administration would work for all Americans.

Source: The Washington Post

8. Police conduct manhunt for suspect in San Antonio detective’s murder
Texas authorities searched Monday for a suspect in the killing of San Antonio police Detective Benjamin Marconi, 50, who was shot in his squad car while writing out a ticket to a motorist in a routine traffic stop. The killer reportedly pulled up behind Marconi, walked to his window, and shot him twice in the face. The assailant then got back ‌into his black vehicle and sped away. Police distributed a still image taken by a security camera showing the vehicle speeding away. Police were questioning a “person of interest,” but said early Monday they were still looking for a male suspect.

Source: Fox News

9. Haiti holds rerun of presidential election
Haitians voted Sunday in long-delayed presidential elections deemed successful by organizers, but it will take days to count the paper ballots by hand. A runoff is likely. Haitians first voted to pick a new president more than a year ago, but that vote was marred by allegations, preventing a runoff and forcing election officials to try again. The rerun originally was scheduled for October, but it was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The struggling Caribbean nation has been run by a provisional government since former president Michel Martelly was forced to leave office without an elected successor in February.

Source: The Associated Press, The Miami Herald

10. Jimmie Johnson wins seventh NASCAR championship, tying record
Jimmie Johnson won a record-tying seventh NASCAR series championship Sunday, after surging from last place to first to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson, 41, beat out Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards to join racing legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the exclusive club of seven-time champions. Dale Earnhardt Jr. visited Johnson in victory lane. “I told him I wished my dad was here to shake his hand,” Earnhardt said, “because he would have said Jimmie has put himself in the conversation for the best driver ever.”

Source: The Associated Press, USA Today

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