President Barack Obama and president-elect Donald Trump have met for the first time to discuss the transition to a Trump presidency.
President Obama said the official talks at the White House were “excellent”, “wide-ranging” and lasted over an hour. Mr Trump said it was a “great honour” to be invited to the White House by President Obama.
Over the past few months, Mr Trump and President Obama traded blows, with Trump saying he would destroy Obama’s legacy and Obama questioning Trump’s qualifications. Yet, after Trump won the election, Mr Obama called for national unity and said he was “rooting” for him.
Mr Obama and Mr Trump discussed foreign and domestic policies and agreed to work together now and in the future. “My number one priority in the coming two months is to try and facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” Mr Obama said.
First Lady Michelle Obama and future first lady Melania Trump also met for the first time. A traditional ‘family’ photo between the outgoing president and first lady with the future president and first lady did not occur.
Leonard Cohen dead at 82
Canadian poet, songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has died, his label Sony Music Canada confirmed on his Facebook page. Cohen emerged as a singer/songwriter in the sixties and early seventies and his songs, such as Hallelujah, Suzanne, Dance me to the end of love, So long Marianne and Everybody knows have been covered by a host of artists like James Taylor, Willie Nelson, k.d. lang and Jeff Buckley. No cause of death has been announced. A memorial for Cohen will be conducted in Los Angeles.
Two English teens sentenced to life in prison
Two 15-year-olds have been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in jail over the brutal murders of a mother and daughter in April this year. The teens, who became known as the “Twilight killers”, smothered and stabbed the two victims while they slept, then bathed, had sex and watched four Twilight films. They had planned the murders together because the girl disliked the mother, who worked at her school. After he was arrested, the boy said he agreed to kill both victims because his girlfriend “did not like the smell of blood”. During sentencing, the judge addressed the couple and said “there is a clear intention to kill both victims – both defendants admitted wanting to murder them”.
South African President survives no-confidence vote
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, 74, has survived his third no-confidence vote in under a year. Several trade unions, civil groups and business leaders have called for him to resign after fresh allegations of corruption and misconduct emerged. The parliamentary opposition has repeatedly called for his removal and launched the vote. Mr Zuma has also faced a significant amount of criticism from within his own party. Zuma, who became president in 2009, won the no-confidence vote by a large margin.
German consulate in Afghanistan attacked
At least two people died and 80 were injured when a suicide bomber drove a truck into the German embassy in an Afghan city. Reports described the incident as a blast followed by gunfire. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incident which it said was its response to last month’s coalition attacks which killed civilians in Kunduz. A NATO spokesperson said there was “massive damage” to the consulate building.
Eastern Aleppo at risk of starvation
The UN task force in Syria has warned that Syrian residents may starve as the last available food supplies for the city are rationed out. The UN urged the Syrian Government, Russia and the rebel-groups to allow food supplies into Aleppo where 250,00 civilians remained trapped.
A UN official said “the consequences of no help and no supplies will be catastrophic”. Aleppo is also running low on medical supplies as the region enters the freezing winter months. The Syrian army cut the last supply routes into rebel-held territory in July. – Compiled from web sources by Alicia Camilleri
Screen-grab from ABC News Youtube video.