Ambassador Assassinated, Trump Elected
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Vol. 5, No. 353
Sarajevo: The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot and killed last night while delivering a speech at a photographic exhibition in Ankara. Three other people were wounded.
The gunman, a 22-year-old Turkish police officer who was wearing a suit and tie, shouted in Arabic, “God is great! Those who pledged allegiance to Muhammad for jihad. God is great!” He was shot dead in a gun battle minutes later.
The gunman had also shouted in Turkish, “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!”
Without knowing the full story, both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s president described the incident as an effort to derail Russian/Turkish relations, which have been strained over the war in Syria. Russia has helped Syria crush the rebellion in Aleppo.
Driven: Twelve people were killed in Berlin last night when a truck plowed into a crowd of shoppers in an open-air Christmas market.
Authorities suspect it was an act of terrorism, but have not made a determination.
The incident happened near the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, left as a reminder of World War II. Police said they arrested a Pakistani refugee suspected of being the driver, but they are unsure whether they have the right man. They found the truck with a Polish man dead inside. The truck had been stolen from a Polish work site about two hours away.
Coupable: International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde was found guilty yesterday of misusing public money while she was Finance Minister of France. The verdict could force her out of her position, although the judge in the case chose not to fine Lagarde or send her to jail.
Lagarde has been a major figure in sorting out world financial troubles for the past five years.
The verdict came as a surprise after the prosecutor described his own case as “very weak.”
Lagarde didn’t steal anything. The case involved a dispute involving the Adidas sportswear company and a bank partially owned by the French government. Lagarde sent the case to arbitration, which ultimately cost the government $420 million. She was charged with negligence for allowing the arbitration and failing to appeal the award.
It’s Political: The Electoral College made it official yesterday. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. In the end, Hillary Clinton lost more electors than Trump. Four Democratic electors voted for someone else and only two Republicans abandoned Trump.
Trump graciously tweeted, “We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media).”
Protesters gathered in several states and former President Bill Clinton, a New York elector, said his wife lost because of outside interference. “We had the Russians and the F.B.I., and she couldn’t prevail against that, but she did everything else and still won by 2.8 million votes.”
A NY Times editorial says the Electoral College should be scrapped. “Mr. Trump won under the rules, but the rules should change so that a presidential election reflects the will of Americans and promotes a more participatory democracy.”
Justice Files: The California judge who gave a light sentence to a former Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault has been cleared of wrongdoing. Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner, who was caught sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, to six months in county jail, three years of probation. — President Obama yesterday granted pardons to 78 people and commutations to 153 nonviolent drug offenders. Obama has pardoned 148 people and granted 1,176 commutations.
Occupied: After the city of Charlotte decided to repeal its anti-discrimination bill that triggered the infamous North Carolina “bathroom bill,” the legislature is poised to repeal the infamous law assigning bathroom users to the facility that corresponds to their sex at birth. The law has cost the state millions of dollars’ worth of lost business for sports events, concerts, and conventions that were moved to other states.
There still won’t be enough bathrooms for women.