Around the Globe

Trump transition moves full speed ahead

President-elect Donald Trump announced a number of major selections for his cabinet last week, tapping Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services, former labor secretary Elaine Chao for Secretary of Transportation, investment banker Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce, and retired General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Trump has suggested that he will announce “almost all” of the rest of his cabinet picks this week. Top contenders for the position of Secretary of State, arguably the most prestigious in the cabinet, include former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former General David Petraeus. The president-elect is embark- ing on a “thank you” tour across the country throughout this month, visiting a number of the swing states he won in November’s election to meet voters, outline his policy agenda, and celebrate his victory.

Plane crash devastates Brazilian soccer team

Seventy-one are dead and six remain in hospital with serious injuries after their chartered plane crashed into a hillside on the night of Nov. 28 just moments before it was scheduled to land. The majority of the victims on LaMia Flight 2933 from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Medellín, Colombia were players and coaching staff for the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense who were headed to the South American cup finals for the first time in their team’s history. According to the plane’s cockpit voice recorder, Captain Miguel Quiroga declared an emergency shortly before impact, telling air traffic controllers that his aircraft was out of fuel and suffering from an electrical failure. The Avro RJ85 regional jet was operating a route just three miles shorter than its maximum range at the time it went down.

Ohio State campus shaken by knife attack

The Ohio State University was rocked by violence on Nov. 28 after a disgruntled student drove his car into a crowd of people and began stabbing at others with a butcher knife, injuring 11. Officials said the incident was possibly terror-related. Shortly before the attack, the suspect, 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, authored a post on his Facebook page warning America to stop interfering in the affairs of “Muslim” countries. “I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE,” part of it read. Artan, a legal permanent resident from Somalia, also referenced “lone wolf attacks” during his social media rant. The assault lasted less than two minutes and was stopped when Ohio State Police Officer Alan Horujko confronted and shot Artan before he could harm more people. The Ohio State University was rocked by violence on Nov. 28 after a disgruntled student drove his car into a crowd of people and began stabbing at others with a butcher knife.

Fidel Castro is laid to rest

Longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was laid to rest this week, ending nine days of national mourning across his oppressed island. Castro passed away of natural causes at the age of 90 on the evening of Nov. 25. After lying in state in the capital of Havana for two days last week, Castro’s ashes were driven along the 550-mile route to Santiago de Cuba. The trip retraced the 1959 journey that Castro and his “Freedom Caravan” of revolutionaries took to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista. Thousands of mourners holding Cuban flags, portraits of their late leader, and signs reading “I am Fidel” lined the streets as the jeep carrying Castro’s remains passed by. At daybreak on Dec. 4, his ashes were interred in the same cemetery in which nineteenth century Cuban independence leader José Martí is buried. President-elect Donald Trump channeled the feelings of many Cuban Americans in a statement released the day after Castro’s death, condemning the deceased as a “brutal dictator.” “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve,” Trump said.