Political leaders across the world voice their disapproval of Trump’s travel ban, U.S. soldiers killed in Yemen, Myanmar's ruling party lawyer is shot and killed at an airport, and the Philippines bombs suspected terrorists.
Gunmen killed at least five people at a mosque in Quebec City who had come for a Sunday evening prayer service, according to the mosques’ president. About 40 people were inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center, located in the Sainte-Foy neighborhood, and two suspects have been arrested. Police have set up a perimeter surrounding the area. Quebec has seen increased incidence of Islamophobia in recent years, particularly after a 2015 political debate over whether the city should ban the niqab, a Muslim face covering; The majority of the city was in favor of the ban. This same mosque was the focus of an investigation in June, after a severed pig’s head was dropped at its doorstep, wrapped and left with the message, “Bon appétit."
The negative reaction to President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries came in the form of protest in cities across the country, at airports, and in the form of donations to The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose lawyers have filed suits against the ban.
Throughout the weekend lawyers with the human rights organization met banned travelers at airports all over the country, and in several cities they filed injunctions against Trump’s executive order, winning stays from federal judges.
From Saturday to late Sunday more than 290,000 donors had sent the ACLU $19 million—the organizations typical annual average is $3 million. That figure, as well as the growth in membership, was “unprecedented,” according to Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director.
The donations were supported in part through social media, where celebrities like the singer Sia, and actor Rosie O’Donnell offered to match donations to the ACLU of up to $100,000. Tech companies like Lyft pledged to donate $1million to the ACLU, and tech investors like Chris Sacca, an early backer of Uber and Instagram, matched up to $150,000.
The French Left Chooses Benoit Hamon as the Socialist Presidential Candidate
In France’s primary vote to determine who will run for president under the Socialist Party’s banner, voters handed the election to the traditional leftist Benoit Hamon. His win is a rebuke of the more-centrist policies of his rival, Manuel Valls, a former prime minister. Polls give Hamon little chance of winning the two-stage presidential election, with votes in both April and and May. Analysts believe his victory will likely turn more moderate leftists to vote for Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old independent centrist and former economy minister who wants to bridge the Left and the Right. Macron, however, is polled behind both Conservative Francois Fillon, and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who are both seen as most likely to face off in May. The Socialist Party has suffered massive unpopularity after the presidency of Francois Hollande, who was criticised for U-turns on major policies, and because of several high-profile terrorist attacks, was perceived as unable to keep the country safe
Protests Against Trump's Executive Order Spread Nationwide
Late into the night on Saturday, protesters flooded airports around the country to condemn President Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees.
On Sunday, they flooded American cities.
Protesters seemed to have multiple goals as they carted banners and signs to various metropolitan downtowns: to tell the brand-new president that his executive order restricting immigration and refugees was un-American; to decry Trump and his top advisers personally; and to demonstrate to the world that U.S. citizens are actively rejecting the new policy.
The protesters came by the thousands, and by Sunday mid-afternoon showed little sign of dispersing. For some cities, this was the second straight weekend they’d seen massive protests: Last Saturday, women’s marches were held in the United States and internationally to protest Trump and his new administration.
In Washington, D.C., demonstrators on Sunday took their chants to Trump’s new Pennsylvania Avenue hotel—and down the street to Lafayette Square, just outside his White House. Here are scenes from some of the protests:
Philippine Airstrike Gravely Injures the Top ISIS Leader in Southeast Asia
Philippine military leaders confirmed Sunday that an airstrike in the country’s south killed 15 Muslim militants with ties to ISIS, and seriously injured an Indonesian leader considered one of Southeast Asia’s top terror suspects. Isnilon Hapilon, who is also known as Mohisen, is the leader of Abu Sayyaf, a group of militants notorious in the region for kidnapping tourists and holding them for ransom. Last year the group beheaded two captured Canadian tourists, and the U.S. has placed a $5 million bounty on Hapilon’s head. Philippine military Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano said Hapilon was believed to be seriously injured, and is somewhere on the outskirts of Butig, a town in the country’s mountainous south, which has long been a haven for extremists. Jet fighters carried out the strikes, dropping six 500-pound bombs Wednesday night and Thursday on the group’s encampment. Officials said that while Hapilon has not yet been captured, their intelligence says he is being moved around on a stretcher by his followers, who are surrounded by Filipino troops.
Protesters Outside the White House Chant Against Trump's Immigration Order
Protesters have filled Lafayette Square outside the White House in Washington, D.C., in response to the executive order on immigration that President Trump signed Friday that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Since they can’t get close to the White House, protesters are lining Madison Place, and climbing the steps of the nearby U.S. Court of Federal Claims. They’re chanting “Let them in” and “No hate no fear, refugees are welcome here.” A few are shouting “Fire Bannon,” a reference to Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. After every round of chants, the crowd breaks out into cheers. On the perimeter of the square, I caught a young man named Tom, wrapped in the American flag, sprinting to the protest. The immigration order is, “just disgusting,” he said, and kept running. Four Iranians who said they had green cards told me they were afraid their family members won’t be able to visit them—and they won’t be able to see their relatives. One woman, who said her name was Mehnoosh, brought her two daughters to the protest. She cried telling me she isn’t sure her sister, who was supposed to be visiting soon, will be able to get in. “I’m very sad ... I’ve been crying the past few days.”
The First Combat Casualty of the Trump Administration
A U.S. soldier was killed Sunday in a raid in Yemen that targeted local al-Qaeda militants, making it the first casualty of President Donald Trump’s administration. The soldier was a member of a Navy Seal unit, and three others U.S. soldiers were injured during the crash-landing of their aircraft, which was later intentionally destroyed. The operation’s goal was to collect intelligence, including computer equipment, that was believed to be linked to possible future attacks. The local wing of al-Qaeda in Yemen, which is in the midst of a civil war, has proved a powerful threat. The U.S. has mostly relied upon drone strikes to fight militants in the area, and this operation had reportedly been planned for months. It received authorization by Trump, The Washington Postreported. Fourteen militants died in a firefight with U.S. soldiers, and there are reports of more than a dozen dead civilians.
U.K. Citizens Start a Petition Against Trump, and Other Reactions to the Travel Ban
President Donald Trump and his administration stood defiant Sunday, despite growing, global criticism over his travel ban. Some world leaders have weighed in on the executive order, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said on Sunday that she is “convinced that the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion.” Similarly, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain does not support Trump’s ban, and citizens there started an online government petition titled "Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom." Its text reads, in part, that Trump’s "well-documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received" by Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles. By Sunday at 1 p.m., nearly a half-million people had signed the petition, well beyond the 100,000 signatures needed for parliament to consider it. Among members of the U.S. Congress, the ban is also getting pushback. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman said: "I think we should slow down.” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said “it’s been a very confusing process,” and that it would likely “give ISIS some more propaganda." Meanwhile, Trump’s team seems unfazed. A top adviser and former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Sunday on Fox News that the order was about "preventing, not detaining," and said not many people had been impacted by the travel ban. The day before, she’d tweeted this:
Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact.
Promises made, promises kept.
Shock to the system.
And he's just getting started https://t.co/AoUsZWClXt
A tectonic demographic shift is under way. Can the country hold together?
Democracy depends on the consent of the losers. For most of the 20th century, parties and candidates in the United States have competed in elections with the understanding that electoral defeats are neither permanent nor intolerable. The losers could accept the result, adjust their ideas and coalitions, and move on to fight in the next election. Ideas and policies would be contested, sometimes viciously, but however heated the rhetoric got, defeat was not generally equated with political annihilation. The stakes could feel high, but rarely existential. In recent years, however, beginning before the election of Donald Trump and accelerating since, that has changed.
More than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern white voters, the system continues to do just that.
Is a color-blind political system possible under our Constitution? If it is, the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 did little to help matters. While black people in America today are not experiencing 1950s levels of voter suppression, efforts to keep them and other citizens from participating in elections began within 24 hours of the Shelby County v. Holder ruling and have only increased since then.
In Shelby County’s oral argument, Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get them out through the normal political processes.” Ironically enough, there is some truth to an otherwise frighteningly numb claim. American elections have an acute history of racial entitlements—only they don’t privilege black Americans.
Describing neutrino oscillations is notoriously tricky. The search for a shortcut led to unexpected places.
After breakfast one morning in August, the mathematician Terence Tao opened an email from three physicists he didn’t know. The trio explained that they’d stumbled across a simple formula that, if true, established an unexpected relationship between some of the most basic and important objects in linear algebra.
The formula “looked too good to be true,” says Tao, who is a professor at UCLA, a Fields medalist, and one of the world’s leading mathematicians. “Something this short and simple—it should have been in textbooks already,” he said. “So my first thought was, no, this can’t be true.”
Then he thought about it some more.
The physicists—Stephen Parke of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Xining Zhang of the University of Chicago, and Peter Denton of Brookhaven National Laboratory—had arrived at the mathematical identity about two months earlier while grappling with the strange behavior of particles called neutrinos.
President Trump’s pardons for three service members accused of war crimes will have lasting consequences.
None of the services seems happy with President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon two service members accused of war crimes, and reverse the demotion of a third. The Navy’s reply, however, sets some kind of record of disdain. The Twitter account of the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Information Office wrote on November 15: “As the Commander in Chief, the President has the authority to restore Special Warfare Operator First Class Gallagher to the pay grade of E-7. We acknowledge his order and are implementing it.”
Those icy words breathe the mood of the admonition from Band of Brothers: “We salute the rank, not the man.”
To understand why the Navy—and the other services, too—reacted so negatively to the pardons, here’s a story I heard on a visit to Germany a couple of months ago. I had the chance to talk with a senior U.S. officer in that country.
He can’t help but go after women, even when doing so hurts his cause.
On the second day of the impeachment proceedings, President Donald Trump couldn’t control himself on Twitter: He lashed out at Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was subjected to a smear campaign, and who testified to that effect before the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s lack of control, in itself, was not unusual. But, for some reason, Trump showed more restraint 48 hours earlier, when William Taylor and George Kent went before the Committee. It was almost as if the president found himself triggered by Yovanovitch, the 61-year-old career diplomat. But why was the president’s response so different to witnesses who were roughly saying the same thing? What was the big difference between Kent and Taylor and Yovanovitch? All three are career diplomats, all three are Ivy League graduates, all three have worked in the State Department, all three are experts in Ukraine. But only one of them is a woman. Could that be why the president singled out Yovanovitch? It is almost as if the president is unable to control his rage against women. It is almost as if the president thinks he can bully women and silence them.
Donald Trump’s strategy of revving up his rural base may not be worth the cost.
The shift of metro areas away from the Republican Party under President Donald Trump rumbled on in yesterday’s elections, threatening the fundamental calculation of his 2020 reelection plan.
Amid all the various local factors that shaped GOP losses—from Kentucky to Virginia, from suburban Philadelphia to Wichita, Kansas—the clearest pattern was a continuing erosion of the party’s position in the largest metropolitan areas. Across the highest-profile races, Democrats benefited from two trends favoring them in metro areas: high turnout in urban cores that have long been the party’s strongholds, and improved performance in white-collar suburban areas that previously leaned Republican.
“When Trump was elected, there was an initial rejection of him in the suburbs,” says Jesse Ferguson, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist. “We are now seeing a full-on realignment.”
As age factors more urgently in politics, a simple test could evaluate who remains fit for office.
Remember these numbers. You’ll be asked about them at the end of the test: 70, 73, 76, and 78.
These are the ages of the leading candidates in the 2020 presidential election: Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders, respectively. In most any other line of work, people in their eighth decade are usually retired. For most of human history—and still in most of the world today—people of this age were usually dead.
Last month, Jimmy Carter, the 95-year-old former U.S. president, said that the office requires a person “to be very flexible with [one’s] mind,” and that by age 80 he wouldn’t have felt able to do the job. He joined the growing ranks of those suggesting they would support an upper age limit for the office, either for purposes of breaking up the gerontocracy or to ensure a person has the physical and cognitive capacity. “You have to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them together in a comprehensive way,” Carter said.
HONG KONG—For months now, I’ve been told that Hong Kong’s protests would end soon. They’ll end when school starts, I heard during the summer. School did start, but the protests wore on, only now I saw high-school students in crisp school uniforms joining the protesters’ ranks. Next, the mask ban of early October was supposed to slow protesters down, but the very first day after that ban, I watched streams of protesters in masks and helmets make their way to their usual haunts on Hong Kong Island.
The government shut down many of the subway lines that day, a practice that has become a de facto curfew, because Hong Kong’s über-efficient subway system is the way most people get around. No matter; the protesters ended up walking, sometimes a lot, and I walked with them, asking some of the same questions I had asked for months: Do you think you will continue protesting? What would it take for you to stop?
A record-setting acqua alta has left much of Venice submerged, following stormy conditions blowing in from the Adriatic Sea.
Yesterday, strong winds and rainstorms pushed water levels in Venice, Italy, to the second-highest levels ever recorded. The high-water mark hit 74 inches (187 centimeters), just short of the record set in 1966. This exceptional acqua alta has flooded businesses and historic structures, sank boats, and been blamed for one death so far.
The GOP will not be a great or good party until those who lead it straighten their backbone.
The first day of public hearings into the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump included an explosive revelation. William B. Taylor Jr., the senior American diplomat in Ukraine, tied Trump even more directly than we previously knew to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political opponent.
But as damaging as Taylor’s testimony proved, it was merely another massive boulder in the avalanche of evidence against the president. We are well beyond the point that any disinterested person can deny that the president abused his power and acted in a corrupt manner, in ways the American founders explicitly warned against.
That the president acted the way he did should surprise exactly no one, given his disordered personality and Nietzschean ethic, his pathological lying and brutishness and bullying, and his history of personal and professional depravity. The president is a deeply damaged human being—and therefore a deeply dangerous president.