U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 27, 2016

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Clinton campaign to participate in Wisconsin recount
Hillary Clinton’s campaign will participate in the Green Party-instigated presidential recount in Wisconsin, campaign counsel Marc Elias said Saturday. “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise [the recount] option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Elias wrote in a statement at Medium. “If [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.” Were the recounts to flip all three states to Clinton — an unlikely prospect — she could unseat President-elect Donald Trump.

Source: CNN, Medium

2. Trump team says recount is a ‘scam’ run by ‘sore losers’
President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday and Sunday to label recount efforts underway in Wisconsin and possibly Michigan and Pennsylvania a “scam” that will change “nothing” about the election results. Trump critiqued Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who is funding the recount project, as well as Hillary Clinton, whose campaign announced Saturday they would participate in any recounts Stein arranges. Top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway also blasted the recount plan, calling its supporters a “pack of sore losers.” “After asking Mr. Trump and his team a million times on the trail, ‘Will HE accept the election results?’ it turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein can’t accept reality,” she said.

Source: Associated Press, The Hill

3. Obama, Trump respond to Castro’s death
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” President Obama said in a response to the former Cuban president’s death on Saturday, adding, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.” President-elect Donald Trump took a more forcible tone, condemning the late Castro as “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.” Trump expressed hope that Castro’s demise will bring greater freedom to Cuba after years of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

Source: The Guardian, The Week

4. Canada’s Justin Trudeau criticized for effusive Castro eulogy
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under heavy criticism Saturday after he issued a statement expressing “deep sorrow” at the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, calling him a “remarkable leader” and “a legendary revolutionary and orator” who “made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” Trudeau did not mention Castro’s notorious human rights record and suppression of dissent. A #TrudeauEulogies hashtag on Twitter soon saw users imagining Trudeau warmly remembering figures like Pol Pot, Darth Vader, and Adolf Eichmann. Cuban-American Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed Trudeau’s comments, with Cruz asking why “young socialists idolize totalitarian tyrants.”

Source: The Guardian, The Hill

5. Syrian government captures key parts of rebel-held Aleppo
Troops representing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies reported Saturday they captured key portions of eastern Aleppo, the besieged Syrian city that has been decimated by brutal fighting and bombing since 2012. The government-aligned forces reportedly planned to split the rebel-held territory into two smaller areas, seizing the largest rebel-held neighborhood in between. At least 200 civilians have died in east Aleppo thanks to Assad regime bombardment in the last 12 days alone, while about 20 civilians, including 11 children, were killed by rebel bombs in government-controlled west Aleppo in the same time.

Source: Reuters, Yahoo News

6. Jerry Falwell Jr. says he turned down a role in the Trump White House
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Saturday he turned down President-elect Donald Trump’s offer to make him education secretary thanks to personal reasons and obligations at Liberty. Falwell was rumored to be a contender for the position before Trump announced his nomination of Michigan’s Betsy DeVos, whom Falwell labeled an “excellent choice.” The scion of one of conservative evangelicalism’s most notable institutions, Falwell has long come under criticism for his enthusiastic support of Trump, whose personal history many have argued is anathema to the principles the Falwell name traditionally represented.

Source: Politico, The Hill

7. Letters threatening genocide, praising Trump sent to California mosques
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports that photocopies of a handwritten letter threatening genocide against Muslims and praising President-elect Donald Trump was sent to at least three California mosques. “You are evil. You worship the devil. But your day of reckoning has arrived,” reads a copy of the note released by CAIR, alleging Trump will “do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” The San Jose Police Department is investigating the incident. Trump himself has denounced such acts and told people engaging in this type of behavior to stop.

Source: Los Angeles Times, CBS News

8. Israeli troops clash directly with ISIS for the first time
Israeli forces killed about four militants reportedly allegiant to the Islamic State with an airstrike Sunday in what is believed to be the first direct fight between Israel and ISIS. No Israeli soldiers were killed in the encounter, which occurred in the disputed Golan Heights territory along the Israel-Syria border. Israeli Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the Israeli troops came under fire from “Shuhada al-Yarmouk, an [ISIS] affiliate,” and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel would not allow ISIS “elements or other hostile elements use the cover of the war in Syria to establish themselves next to our borders.”

Source: Yahoo News, Haaretz

9. Bourbon Street shooting kills 1, wounds 9
Nine people were injured and one killed in a mass shooting early Sunday morning in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. The attack occurred at an intersection of Bourbon Street, a popular tourist area busy with Thanksgiving visitors and attendees of Bayou Classic Weekend, a college football event. Two men were arrested on the scene for illegal possession of firearms, but one of them was wounded in the shooting and the other has not been described as the perpetrator. Investigation is ongoing, and the names and condition of the victims are yet to be released. This is the second mass shooting in the French Quarter in three years.

Source: CNN, The Times-Picayune

10. Actor Ron Glass dies at 71
Emmy-nominated actor Ron Glass died Friday night of respiratory failure, his agent, Jeffrey Leavett, told CNN Saturday evening. He was 71 years old. Best known for his role as Det. Ron Harris in Barney Miller, a police sitcom that ran from 1975 to 1982, and his role in Firefly, Glass more recently appeared in shows including Friends, CSI, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Ron was a private, gentle, and caring man,” Leavett said. “He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow.”

Source: CNN, NPR

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