#ThewRap: Things you need to know, November 21, 2016

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Monday.










Dear Rappler reader,

While US Presidential-elect Donald Trump assembles his government, jitters are felt across Europe and the Pacific Rim as world leaders anticipate how the brash billionaire's attacks on free trade deals and vows to cut back the US role as "policeman of the world" during the campaign will translate into policy. In Lima, Peru, Asia-Pacific leaders are expected to send a strong message defending free trade as the APEC Summit wraps up.

A world still shaken by recent shifts in global politics now watches critical elections in Germany and France. On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she would seek a fourth term in elections next year to defend democratic principles in the face of looming threats at home and abroad. In France, Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is knocked out of the French presidential race as Francois Fillon takes the lead in the first round of the French conservative primary.

In the Philippines, the surprise burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos triggers rumors that the country would "have a new VP" by early 2017. This presumably will be Marcos' son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who has a pending electoral protest against VP Leni Robredo lodged at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

Finally, only days after the murder of Customs deputy commissioner Arturo Lachica, another official of a revenue generating office is gunned down. This time, it is a regional director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

We give you the list of stories you should not miss this Monday.

APEC leaders defend free trade as Trump presidency looms

As they wrap up a summit that has been overshadowed by US President-elect Donald Trump's protectionism, Asia-Pacific leaders assembled in Lima, Peru, are expected to send a strong message to defend free trade. The broad consensus among assembled leaders which included US President Barack Obama, China's Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin, Japan's Shinzo Abe, and others is that free trade is a force for good. Under pressure to defend that view against a rising tide of populist, anti-globalization sentiment in the United States and Europe, the summit is expected to issue its closing statement later in the day, praising open markets, denouncing protectionism, and warning that curbing free trade will slow the ongoing recovery of the world economy.

'Anti-Trump' Merkel to seek fourth term as German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday, November 20, that she would seek a fourth term in elections next year to defend democratic principles in the face of looming threats at home and abroad. Merkel is popular among Germans who see her as a straight-shooter and a safe pair of hands in a crisis. It is expected to be a tough campaign. Merkel's decision to let in more than one million asylum seekers over the last two years dented her support. It also revived the fortunes of the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD), which has harnessed widespread anxiety about migration. Observers said, however, that recent seismic shifts in global politics were likely to drive traditionally risk-averse German voters back into her arms. Following the outcome of the US elections, some have started crowning Merkel as the new "leader of the free world," the woman who can go against authoritarian leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Sarkozy loses French right presidential primary

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy crashed out of the presidential election on Sunday, November 20, suffering a humiliating defeat in the first round of the rightwing primary. Sarkozy was beaten into third place after a stunning upset by Francois Fillon, who served as his prime minister, with the veteran Alain Juppe finishing second. The 3 leading candidates have similar programs, underpinned by pledges to reinforce domestic security in a country still under a state of emergency following the jihadist attacks. They also share a desire to reinforce European borders and reduce immigration, while tax cuts also loom large. While campaigning, Sarkozy has emphasized his tough-guy credentials, saying it makes him a better choice than the mild-mannered Juppe to handle Donald Trump, the volatile US president-elect. Fillon, who is popular in the business world, has promised "radical" economic measures but is the most conservative of the three on social issues.

Erdogan: Instead of EU, Turkey can join Shanghai Pact

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey should not be "fixated" on joining the European Union (EU) and has reiterated the idea of joining Russia and China in a Eurasian security group, local media reported Sunday, November 20. His comments come as Turkey's decades-long hopes of joining the EU have reached a nadir, driven by the aftermath of the July 15 botched coup. Brussels has harshly criticized the Turkish government's crackdown on alleged coup plotters, urging Ankara to comply with rights and freedoms criteria. EU politicians and rights watchdogs have called on Endorgan to comply with rights and freedoms criteria for EU membership. Turkey formally applied to become an EU member in 1987 and accession talks only began in 2005, even though Ankara's aspirations to become part of the bloc dates back to the 1960s.

'New VP' in 2017? Robredo camp alarmed

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo expressed alarm over rumors that the country would "have a new VP" by early 2017. In a statement on Sunday, November 20, Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said messages have been circulating about a supposed recount that would lead to the unseating of the Vice President. One such message supposedly goes like this: "Recount of ballots from 4-5 provinces will start end of November and will finish by December, deliberations after. You can bet early next year, we have a new VP." This recount, Hernandez said, would be "without the direction of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal" or PET, which is handling the election protest filed by defeated candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr against Robredo. Last October, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte brought up Marcos' election protest, saying the former senator would be the new vice president if the PET rules in his favor.

Days after customs official's murder, BIR official killed in QC ambush

Only a few days after Bureau of Customs' (BOC) Deputy Commissioner for Internal Administration Art Lachica was gunned down in Manila, another official of a revenue collection office was killed in an ambush, this time in Quezon City. The victim was Jonas Amora, BIR regional director of the Makati City Revenue Region 8. Amora was riding a white Toyota Innova when unidentified suspects shot at the vehicle at the corner of Major Santos Dizon and Katipunan Avenue early Monday morning.

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