In 1990, Donald Trump reflected on the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing in an interview for Playboy. In the early hours of June 4, 1989, Chinese Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the People’s Liberation Army to clean the square.
For nearly three months, students had been occupying Tiananmen, asking for more social reforms and rights to follow the sweeping economic changes that the government had planned. The students were not asking for the end of the regime — they were supportive of then-General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, who was inclined towards a more open and modern Chinese society.
But dark forces within the Communist Party and intrigues among the leadership prevailed and led to the decision to sacrifice the students in the square to regain the unity of the Party. Zhao Ziyang and other leaders were arrested, and hundreds of students were slaughtered in the square that night. People across China were arrested and persecuted. Many of them managed to flee the country. Quite a few of those political refugees are now American citizens. Listening to the president elect — who expressed support for Chinese government’s show of “strength” by slaughtering thousands of young people — they most probably do not sleep well.
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When I first came across the Buzzfeed report on “How Teens In The Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News,” I reposted it on Yonder’s Facebook page. I was not thinking about why the hell Facebook is letting the issue go. My take on the matter was that the teenagers from Macedonia were allowed to create fake U.S. political websites because the American election campaign was way too long, and therefore well-suited to create these kinds of business opportunities. I did not think that these young internet savants — who were just trying to earn some pocket money — could actually have an impact on the outcome of the presidential election. I deeply trusted my and other readers’ judgment — our capacity to debunk a hoax in the same way that we do with fake online Apple customer service, for instance.
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These are weird times. The sky in Washington, D.C. has been incredibly bright and beautiful. I do not remember experiencing such a long, mild autumn before. It seems like a perfect time to enjoy life in this mellow city that — against all odds — does not seem to be the world capital of power, but the capital of pleasant bike rides with hundreds of miles of well-kept bike trails that are part of its pastoral landscape.
It’s fun. And it’s curious. The capital of the U.S is empty. While the seated president is traveling around Europe, enjoying one of his last flights in the comfortable Air Force One that he likes so much, he is also trying to convince his country’s European allies that the U.S. will not withdraw from the Old Continent. Europeans, like many Americans, are perplexed by the outcome of this election. So was President-elect Trump, who stays locked in his golden tower on Fifth Avenue in downtown New York. He did not expect this victory, and now he has to improvise building his team. But he must also be taking many crash courses on how to manage and govern the complicated reality called the United States — or so it seems, at least.
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