World
Donald Trump inauguration

Top Stories – Third Week of January

U.S.

Donald Trump, in a peaceful transfer of power, took over the office of the presidency Friday. His speech lasted around 15 minutes and was punctuated with repeated references to “forgotten Americans” and an idea to put America first in all things — the tone was called “unabashedly nationalist” by political commenter Mark Shields. Unlike past inauguration speeches, there were a few people who shouted “Not my President!” from the audience, there were protests, some slightly violent, in Washington, even along the streets of the presidential motorcade, and all the living former presidents (except Bush senior who is currently in hospital) were present, although they did not seem to respond with any excitement to the speech.

Commenters noted that Trump didn’t try to reach across the divide, didn’t try to appease fears he is seen to have caused in many people, didn’t “end the campaign” and recognize that his party won, didn’t try to reconcile with those who fought against him, didn’t hearken to past Presidents, but he did get credit by some for being frank and bold in the way he thinks and talks.

The White House website was updated immediately when Trump took office. A new bulletin promised a state of the art missile defense system to protect against North Korea and Iran, another promised to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America,” and all mentions of climate change were removed.

Before leaving office, Obama commuted the sentence of (Bradley) Chelsea Manning, who leaked confidential information to Wikileaks, in addition to granting several other high-profile pardons. Manning has already served 7 years of her sentence. Read more.

Obama gave a final press conference. Read more.

Trump’s picks for his cabinet continue senate confirmation hearings, including Betsy Devos for education. Devos has worked for a long time in favor of charter schools. So far, only Mattis has been confirmed by the senate.

Several auto makers (including GM) have announced plans to increase investment in the U.S. in response to Trump’s threats and possible benefits to companies who do business in the country.

WORLD

World news also heavily featured Trump and Obama.

UK politician Theresa May confirmed that Britain will go “hard” on Brexit and leave the single market. In France, Le Pen is also doing well in his popularity, making some commenters think the populist, nationalist trends might be part of something larger, perhaps even showing what the 21st century is and will be.

China had the slowest growth in 2016 since 1990 — 6.7 percent growth.

It was found that the world’s eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%.

Northern Ireland government collapsed. An election is set for March.

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