China Calls Trump Out Regarding Climate Change, While Hawking Predicts Earth’s End
President Obama had a few words to say regarding Trump and Russia while in Berlin yesterday. He advised using caution moving forward with issues such as Syria, the Ukraine and Russia. “I don’t expect the President-elect will follow exactly our blueprint or our approach, but my hope is he does not simply take a realpolitik approach and suggest we cut some deals with Russia, even if it hurt people or violates international norms or leaves smaller countries vulnerable.” The President also said he hopes Trump will stand up to Russia, and he attempted to downplay Europe’s current nationalist populism movement.
In addition to traveling around the world during the last international trip of his presidency, Obama has also been honoring a few select Americans. This week, Obama awarded 21 individuals with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a recognition reserved for those who have made “especially meritorious contributions” to the United States. Those who were honored included Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates and Lorne Michaels, among others.
Hillary Clinton made her first public appearance after the election this week, speaking at a charity gala in D.C. on Wednesday. Clinton admitted to the crowd that she had been taking the election loss quite poorly, saying “There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again.” Regardless, she attempted to inspire the crowd, speaking of public service and investing in the country’s children. The event is the only one scheduled for Clinton for the upcoming future.
Federal authorities are announcing a $264 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase, in response to accusations that JPMorgan has been leading an international bribery scheme there for years. Authorities just recently determined that JPMorgan has been hiring relatives of foreign leaders in order to receive business from Chinese government-run companies. JPMorgan argues that such deals are common in China.
Russia is preparing to block U.S.-based networking website LinkedIn. Starting today, Russian citizens will not have access to the site, which has been found guilty of violating data storage laws. Some are worried this could be the beginning of a strict censorship within the country. The law that the block falls under was brought into power this year, and is meant to combat protests organized on social media. The law requires all social networks operating within Russia to store at least six months of data on Russian land. LinkedIn did not do so. LinkedIn is the first social media site to be banned after not following the law; Russian officials say the site has been investigated by the Russian government before due to its poor privacy record, referring to the LinkedIn hack taking place in 2012. LinkedIn does not have a large presence in the country, with only 6 million Russian users. LinkedIn’s U.S. management have requested a meeting with the Kremlin in response.
China is striking back, dragging up Trump’s 2012 claims that the foreign country created climate change as a hoax. During a meeting in Marrakech on Wednesday, the Chinese vice foreign minister told reporters that climate change negotiations actually began in the 1980s with the Republican-led Reagan and Bush administrations. Minister Liu Zhenmin said that it was the European Union and the United States who brought the idea of climate change to China, not the other way around.
Climate change or not, Stephen Hawking has given all of mankind a deadline to find another planet to colonize…or else. He says the fragile nature of the planet will not likely be able to support mankind for more than another 1,000 years. As mankind uses up natural resources unsustainably, colonizing another planet is the only hope for survival. The impending doom could be credited to quite a few things, though, and isn’t limited to dwindling resources; Hawking has also mentioned the threat of a large natural disaster, as well as that of full artificial intelligence. NASA has been searching for a candidate planet for relocation for quite a few years now. Big change may be coming NASA’s way, however, as guesses are made at exactly who will become the new NASA administrator under Trump.