“We will teach them international diplomacy.” So said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who compared the Dutch and German governments to Nazis after both canceled campaign events encouraging Turkish expats to vote in a referendum to expand his presidential powers. On Saturday, the Netherlands expelled a Turkish minister who’d arrived to campaign, and demonstrators clashed with police in Rotterdam. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who some have accused of limiting rallies to tamp down anti-immigrant sentiment ahead of Wednesday’s election, has demanded an apology, as Europe hardens against Turkey’s provocative rhetoric.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re on the same side — right? While Republicans control the executive branch and both houses of Congress, that doesn’t mean the party’s presenting a united front. Some business-oriented GOP lawmakers — especially those elected by states that depend on exports — are rebelling against President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs and erosion of trade relationships with longstanding allies. Meanwhile, many conservatives in the Senate are gearing up to battle the president on his budget, which is rumored to demand deep cuts in state funds and government spending.
They’re still digging for survivors. At least 48 people, including 15 children, died Saturday when a mountain of trash at Koshe Garbage Landfill collapsed on top of them. The landslide buried concrete buildings and the makeshift mud-and-stick houses of residents of the landfill, which has been the Ethiopian capital’s dumping ground for five decades. Dozens are hospitalized and many more are still missing. The tragedy’s spurred Mayor Diriba Kuma to promise relocation assistance for the hundreds living at the landfill, which is being converted into a clean energy facility.
’S no joke. Forecasters say snow could begin as early as tonight and the nor’easter is expected to dump up to 18 inches on New York City. Boston’s looking at similar conditions, while the winter storm could bring a foot of snow to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore. Fifty million people are expected to be affected by the storm. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has advised residents to stay alert and avoid unnecessary travel as power outages, road closures and flight disruptions are expected along the East Coast.
Know This: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga and North Carolina are the No. 1 seeds in this year’s NCAA tournament. Republican Sen. John McCain says President Trump must either retract or provide evidence for his claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him. And Joe Biden has announced he’ll tackle “the only bipartisan thing left in America”: the fight against cancer.
Remember This Number: 652. That’s how many children UNICEF estimates were killed in Syria in 2016, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. A further 850 were recruited to fight in the country’s ongoing civil war.
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He’s wild about Geert Wilders. GOP Rep. Steve King tweeted approval of the virulently anti-immigrant Dutch politician yesterday, writing, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” While many political colleagues decried the comment — or dismissed it as one of several King’s made espousing white supremacist ideology — former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke predictably tweeted his approval. Wilders has recently lost his polling lead, but remains neck-and-neck in Dutch parliamentary elections this Wednesday.
Crime and … rehabilitation? For a small state, Delaware’s criminal justice system has repeatedly been thrown into the national spotlight: Four of the last five decades have seen at least one hostage crisis in its prisons. Now criminal justice reformers are looking to President Trump for help, despite his tough-on-crime rhetoric. Lobbying for an independent investigation into a recent deadly standoff at one complex, Delaware’s reformers hope real engagement could change the national conversation — and maybe even rekindle bipartisan support to focus on reducing recidivism.
Buzz off, communicable diseases. Though Rio de Janeiro’s remained untouched by the yellow fever outbreak affecting three neighboring states, officials are taking no chances. The Brazilian state’s health department says it plans to inoculate all 12 million residents, hoping to halt the monkey- and mosquito-borne disease. This outbreak, the biggest in nearly two decades, has already seen 352 confirmed cases and 113 deaths. U.S. authorities are watching closely: Few Americans are vaccinated against yellow fever, and some worry the disease could spread north, much the way Zika did.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. So say the creators of A Lady’s Flame, a popular Thai soap opera. But Myanmar’s long-dethroned royal family insists the show’s “fictional” kingdom bears a striking resemblance to their ancestors’ lives, including a massacre that cleared former King Thibaw’s route to the throne. Given Thailand’s draconian laws against criticizing its royals, Thibaw’s great-grandson has asked Thailand’s people if they’d accept a show about their monarchy. He’s threatening to go to Thailand’s royal family for help if nothing is done.
It blew the audience away. Each year, the South African event sees 35,000 cyclists gather for a 68-mile race. But this year, for the first time in its 40-year history, organizers had to call off the Cape Town Cycle Tour as gale force winds left some cyclists struggling to stay on the ground. With 62-mph gusts, many were also concerned that a fire in nearby Hout Bay could spread across the route. Race organizers sent their unused stocks of Powerade to the hundreds displaced by the blaze.