Democrats Protest Trump’s Hotel, Rodrigo Duterte Admits Casual Killings
Officials say that Trump is required to divest interest in his D.C. hotel before his inauguration, as he is unable to derive “any benefit” from his position as President. Some are claiming that if the hotel rents rooms to foreign leaders, it could be considered as a “foreign gift.” While the demand was brought forward by Congressional Democrats, the federal General Services Administration says otherwise. Trump has a 60-year deal with the GSA to lease the federally-owned post office building where the hotel is situated. “We have no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature. In fact, no determination regarding the Old Post Office can be completed until the full circumstances surrounding the President-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office. GSA is committed to responsibly administering all of the leases to which it is a party.”
Trump is putting together a small team to meet regularly and discuss job creation and the country’s economic state. Calling it a strategic and policy forum, the president-elect has added a handful of well known executives to the group over the last weeks. The most recent additions include Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla; Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber; and Indra Nooyi, CEO, Pepsi. The current group was slated to meet yesterday to discuss jobs, overseas cash and the tech industry. Trump says those chosen are at the top of their game. “My administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland,” he added.
On the other side of the world, President Rodrigo Duterte, of the Philippines, has been boasting publicly of killings he says he made years ago, while acting as mayor. In a speech he gave at the presidential palace, he said he would often ride around the city of Davao on a motorbike, to “patrol the streets, looking for trouble also…looking for a confrontation so I could kill. In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that if I can do it why can’t you.” The statement was made in regards to tackling the illegal drug trade in the country.
A U.S. think tank is saying that satellite imagery now shows China-installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on artificially built islands in the South China Sea. In the past, Chinese leaders have claimed that they have no intent of militarizing the islands, which are located in a very strategic position near several other countries. “This is the first time that we’re confident in saying they are anti-aircraft and CIWS emplacements. We did not know that they had systems this big and this advanced there. This is militarization. The Chinese can argue that it’s only for defensive purposes, but if you are building giant anti-aircraft gun and CIWS emplacements, it means that you are prepping for a future conflict,” said Greg Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, in a statement made to Reuters. “They keep saying they are not militarizing, but they could deploy fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles tomorrow if they wanted to. Now they have all the infrastructure in place for these interlocking rings of defense and power projection.”
The dramatic Dylann Roof trial is coming to an end. The judge ruled that Roof’s defense team could not present any evidence regarding his mental health. In response, they moved to rest their case without calling any witnesses. The jury was sent home and closing arguments are planned for later today. After that time, the jury will decide whether or not Roof is guilty. A month later, the jury will reconvene to decide on his sentencing.
In the entertainment and tech industry, researchers have determined that the Pokemon GO fad is screeching to a halt. The study found that users who downloaded the game had begun to discard it after about six weeks of play, with interest in the app steadily and slowly decreasing over time.