Trump claims Obama tapped Trump Tower
Over the weekend, President Trump claimed via Twitter that former President Barack Obama ordered wire-tapping of Trump Tower in New York City to monitor the then-candidate. However, there is currently no evidence to support Trump’s accusation. Since his comments have been released, James Comey, the director of the FBI, encouraged the U.S. Justice Department to denounce the claim, and the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, also told major news outlets that there was no surveillance of Trump, completely dismissing his allegations. Calls for Trump to provide evidence now come from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Former presidential candidate and current Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that “the White House will have to answer as to exactly what he was referring to.” Democratic House Select Committee Member Adam Schiff responded that “to make such an incendiary charge – and one that discredits our democracy in the eyes of the world – is as destructive as it is baseless.”
Fillon clings to candidacy
French Presidential Candidate Francois Fillon has been subject to recent scrutiny after the initiation of what remains an ongoing investigation into allegations that he paid his wife, Penelope Fillon, for governmental work that she never did. As a result of the scandal and falling popularity in the polls, many senior members of Fillon’s party have suggested that he step down from his position as a candidate and allow Republican Alain Juppe to take his place. However, a rally held on Sunday morning in favor of Fillon drew thousands of supporters. At the rally, Mr. Fillon admitted that he had made a mistake by employing his wife, but that he is guilty of no crime and felt sure that he will be declared innocent when the investigation ends. “The problem is that by then it will be too late; the election will have been skewed,” he said. Regardless, Fillon plans to remain a candidate in France’s election.
Mexico fights U.S. deportations
The Mexican government is concerned that President Trump’s plan to have federal agents work with immigration officers to ensure the implementation of deportation procedures will result in human rights violations against Mexicans and other South Americans in the United States. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Vidergaray has announced that legal aid centers will be opening at Mexican consulates in 50 cities across the U.S. These centers will offer legal advice and services to Mexican citizens free of charge. Tensions between the United States and Mexico have been on the rise since the start of Trump’s campaign. The strain became notably pronounced when Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a trip to Washington after Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
Peace talks end
Peace talks between a representative of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and three different groups that oppose him have come to an end. They were the first in roughly a year, and although the discussions did not yield any major progress, they did end on better terms than those from 2016. In the words of the opposition leader Nasr al-Hariri, “although we are closing this round without clear results… I can say this time was more positive… it was the first time we discussed in acceptable depth the future of Syria and the future of political transition in Syria.” While the groups acknowleged the lack of progress beyond an increase in cordiality, they have all agreed to reconvene at the end of March. At that time, they will further negotiate the matters of governance and elections, constitutional reform and terrorism within the nation.