TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK
- Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States
- Republicans win majority of Senate, House, and Governor positions
- Seven U.S. states expand marijuana laws
- Wildfire in North Carolina burns over 1,000 acres
- Concerns grow over French database of its citizens
- Egypt to get a $12 billion loan
- Battle for Mosul, Iraq, continues
- Suicide bombers strike in Afghanistan, killing or wounding 130
- Attack in Pakistan kills or wounds 150
- Protests in Hong Kong
Further information and more stories:
The Obama administration said they had given up on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, with Congress apparently refusing to pass it.
“President Barack Obama on Thursday asked Congress for $11.6 billion in additional war-related funding, including money to fight Islamic State militants, sustain higher overseas troop levels, and modernize the Afghan military’s helicopter fleet.” (AP)
“…Florida, Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota legalized (or greatly expanded legal access to) medical marijuana, while Massachusetts, Nevada and California legalized recreational marijuana.” (NPR)
“Maine, Arizona, Colorado and Washington all voted to increase the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour by 2020.” (NPR) Colorado also legalized assisted suicide for some situations.
“In Oklahoma, a referendum declared that the death penalty is not considered cruel and unusual punishment in the state; in Nebraska, voters opted to overturn a bill that eliminated the death penalty.” (NPR) California also voted on death penalty measures, with the results on the way.
“On its fifth day since a Sunday night ignition, a wildfire at South Mountains State Park, which remains closed, grew again overnight Thursday and into Friday afternoon. The blaze saw a massive uptick from 400 acres Thursday afternoon to 1,450 acres Friday afternoon, though it had stayed within the 2,000-acre containment area firefighters had established by Thursday.” (TNH)
UNITED STATES POLITICS
Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States and Hillary Clinton conceded. “Republicans are expected to retain control of the Senate, and will maintain control of the House.” (NPR) Republicans even ended election night with their highest number of governorships in 94 years. Some called November 8th “…one of the most devastating nights for the Democratic Party in the history of politics.”
Dozens of celebrities had threatened to leave the country if Trump was elected. Protests sparked around the country. A Portland-based protest turned into a riot. The global stock market fluctuated, with U.S. stocks dropping before hitting an all-time high. Several people predicted Trump’s win months ago. Others were shocked, with mainstream pollsters and election modelers left embarrassed by the results.
“On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol. He will then deliver the inaugural address, attend a Congressional luncheon and parade to the White House where he will settle into his new home, and his new job as the 45th President of the United States.” (TT) To avoid potential conflicts of interest, Trump began the process to transfer his business empire to his children.
“For the first time, a U.S. state has elected an openly LGBT governor. The landmark was reached in Oregon, where the Associated Press projects that Kate Brown has won the gubernatorial election.” (NPR) Other “firsts” in politics were recorded with women, including the first Latina senator.
“Voters supported a draft constitution that would turn [Washington DC] into a full-fledged state, with a governor and 21-seat state legislature. City leaders will submit the proposal to Congress for approval…” (TH)
“Five people have died and dozens more have been injured after a tram overturned in London… British Transport Police (BTP) arrested the driver but would not confirm why.” (BBC)
“A French state watchdog has called for the suspension of a database that could end up holding the biometric details of 60 million people.” (BBC)
“The International Monetary Fund’s executive board on Friday approved Egypt’s request for a $12 billion loan facility, after the North African country met its requirements to implement tough measures to revive its floundering economy. The first tranche of $2.75 billion can be disbursed immediately and will be added to the cash-strapped country’s international reserves, the IMF said.” (WSJ)
Mass demonstrations were planned but most people stayed home. “Riot police and armored vehicles filled the otherwise empty streets of central Cairo… President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged Egyptians not to protest and warned that there would be no going back on economic reforms, no matter how much pain they might cause.” (Reuters)
“US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces launched an offensive Sunday on the Islamic State group’s de facto Syrian capital Raqa, upping pressure on the jihadists who are already battling Iraqi troops in Mosul.” (AFP)
“Germany’s consulate in northern Afghanistan was attacked when a suicide car bomber rammed the compound, killing six people and wounding more than 120….” (AP)
“A suicide bomber has killed four Americans inside Bagram airbase, the largest US military facility in Afghanistan.” (BBC)
“An explosion at a remote Sufi Muslim shrine in the Pakistani region of Balochistan has killed 52 people and injured more than 100, officials say.” (BBC)
“Police used pepper spray on protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday evening as thousands rallied against Beijing’s plans to intervene in a political standoff over two local lawmakers who insulted China in the city’s legislature.” (WSJ)
“…Taiwan appears set to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.” (AP)