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The Weekend Behind, The Week Ahead: Castro Is Dead, The Recount Lives

Thanksgiving is over. As is this weekend’s news. Here is a taste of what happened while you were eating leftover turkey.

In separate statements, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump struck markedly different tones on the Friday night death of Fidel Castro, ruler of Cuba for more than a half-century.

Obama said Castro “altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Trump called Castro “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.” Trump also proclaimed “Fidel Castro is dead!” in a Twitter statement before ginning up a spate of rapid-fire tweets throughout the weekend criticizing former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s push for a vote recount in Wisconsin.

He also accused “millions” of Americans of voting illegally in the Nov. 8 election in claiming he had won the popular vote (as well as the Electoral College vote). It’s believed defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by as many as 2 million ballots.

The results from Stein’s recount will almost certainly not change the result of the presidential election, or of anything else, although Clinton’s campaign lawyers said they will participate in it. Trump, meanwhile, reportedly spent the holiday asking friends and confidants who should be the next secretary of state.

In France’s upcoming presidential elections, François Fillon beat Alain Juppé to become the center-right candidate in next year’s vote.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Putin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov’s ice dancer wife, Tatiyana Navka, performed a Holocaust themed ice dance on a reality television program. She claimed to be paying tribute to the film Life Is Beautiful.

A Ghanaian electoral commission approved monitors. The December 7 elections are expected to be unexpectedly tense.

In Poland, a government official broke with tradition by speaking out against a state owned television channel.

In the coming days, look for whether Trump will settle on nominees to head the State Department and Pentagon. Congress returns for a lame-duck session, and House Democrats will consider whether to rename Rep. Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. And what of Stein’s recount? Stay tuned for the week ahead.

Photo credit: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images