The Weekend Behind, The Week Ahead: Bias-Based Crimes in America, Elections in Bulgaria, Peace Deal in Colombia, Obama off to Europe
Good morning! This week, President Barack Obama heads to Greece and Germany before the APEC Summit. According to a statement by Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Europe was added to the trip “to once again signal our solidarity with our closest allies in the world and nations that have been among the President’s closest partners during his eight years in office, to express our support for a strong and integrated and united Europe … and to reinforce our support for the approaches that have been taken over the last eight years to try to promote economic growth, economic security, and global cooperation on a whole range of issues.”
But before we watch Obama’s effort to lock down a legacy in Europe before giving NATO-questioner President-elect Donald Trump the keys to the White House, let’s check in on what’s happened this weekend.
In the United States, both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council on American-Islamic relations have both reported increases in hate crimes in the days following the election of Trump. It is hard to say for certain whether the increase is just in the reporting, or whether these incidents — which include black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania receiving “lynching” texts and a truck draped in a Confederate flag driving through an anti-Trump rally in Syracuse, NY — are related to Trump’s election or campaign rhetoric.
In other Trump-related news: On Saturday, the President-elect met with British politician and Brexit champion Nigel Farage. Also on Saturday, Marion Le Pen, niece of National Front president Marine Le Pen, tweeted that she had accepted Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon’s invitation “to work together.” Bannon was expected to be named Trump Chief of Staff; now, however, many are reporting that that role will be filled by GOP head Reince Priebus. President-elect Trump himself seems to have spent much of Sunday receiving congratulatory phone calls and resenting the New York Times.
But America’s were not the only elections that took place last week. On Sunday, the relatively pro-Russian Rumen Radev, who has promised pragmatism in balancing the whims and wishes of the European Union, NATO, and Russia, was elected president of Bulgaria. A similar situation is expected in Moldova — that is, pro-Russia Igor Dodon looks likely to win — but results will be announced on Monday.
Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the World Health Organization warned of a measles outbreak in Ukraine, which, at present, has the lowest vaccination rates in the world.
The Colombian government and the rebels reached another peace deal several weeks after voters rejected the deal reached in a referendum. Per the Associated Press, “The latest agreement aims to address some of the concerns of opponents of the original accord, who said the deal was too lenient on a rebel group that had kidnapped and committed war crimes.” It unclear whether the government will put this new deal to a new popular vote — one of many things we will watch this coming week.
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