Top News Stories for Today – November 21, 2016
Mitt Romney considered for secretary of state
Former Gov. Mitt Romney, a strident critic of Donald Trump, met with the president-elect in New Jersey on Saturday, and on Sunday’s Face the Nation, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said the two men had “not only a cordial meeting, but also it was a very substantive meeting.”
Pence said he could not say when Trump would make his selection, but “I can say that Gov. Romney is under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state of the United States.” For treasury secretary, Trump is said to be considering JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, investment banker Steven Mnuchin, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). More Cabinet picks are expected to be announced early this week. The Week, The Wall Street Journal, Time
Obama may rejoin fight against Trump
President Obama has urged America and foreign leaders to give his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, a chance to outline a vision and grow into the job, but he also is making clear that he won’t stay silent if Trump goes too far. If a Trump policy or action “goes to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes,” Obama said at the end of an APEC summit on Sunday.
In private, he’s reportedly more direct. “I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen,” he told liberal activists last week. “But that’s not so far off.” He urged them to settle on a plan to oppose Trump quickly. Obama, a strident critic of Trump before the election, had planned to retire from partisan politics if Hillary Clinton had won. The Week, The New York Times, BBC News
Sarkozy knocked out in France’s presidential primary
With more than 90 percent of polling stations reporting, Fillon, 62, had 44 percent of the vote with long-time front-runner Alain Juppe second on 28 percent, according to election officials. Sarkozy was third with 21 percent. Fillon and Juppe will now face each other in a run off next Sunday. Bloomberg
German Chancellor Merkel to pursue 4th term
Germany’s centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in office. She told her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin she expected her toughest campaign yet and would “fight for our values and our way of life”. An election is due to be held next year after four years of coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD).
Mrs Merkel’s poll ratings have slipped since the height of her popularity but she retains wide support. The chancellor, who has been in office since 2005, is also being challenged by the populist right-wing AfD party. She announced she would stand again after meeting party leaders at CDU headquarters. She told reporters that the decision to run for a fourth term had been “anything but trivial after 11 years in office”. She added that she expected challenges from both the right and the left of the political spectrum. BBC
Pope Francis Indefinitely extends power to forgive on abortion
Pope Francis has extended to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, according to an apostolic letter published on Monday. The measure, previously in place temporarily for the duration of the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy, is now extended indefinitely.
The right to forgive abortion was previously reserved only for bishops or special confessors. Francis, however, stressed that “abortion is a grave sin since it puts an end to an innocent life,” but added “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the [Heavenly] Father.” The letter, entitled Misericordia et Misera (Mercy and Misery), was signed by Francis at the end of a mass closing the Holy Year of Mercy on November 20 but released a day later. VOA
- A U.S. Strategy beyond the Cold War
- About 8,000 refugees migrate into Europe daily
- Britain and the European Union after Brexit