World View: Merkel’s travails, Trump’s team and climate change
Derek Scally, Mark Weiss and Patrick Smyth run the rule over these pressing global issues
World View: This week’s podcast deals with Angela Merkel, Donald Trump and effects of climate change on polar bears.
Angela Merkel is expected to come under further pressure to take a hard line on law and order following Monday night’s attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, says Berlin Correspondent Derek Scally.
He spoke to The Irish Times World View podcast from the city where 12 people have been killed and 48 others injured, 18 of them seriously.
The German chancellor is on the defensive ahead of her attempt to secure a fourth term in next year’s general election, says Scally, and events in Berlin could undermind her image as a safe pair of hands for her Christian Democrats (CDU).
From Israel, Mark Weiss has reaction on Donald Trump’s latest controversial appointment. Orthodox Jewish bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman is to be the next US ambassador to Israel, much to the dismay of liberal Jews and Palestinians alike.
Friedman is opposed to long-standing US issues and supports illegal settlements. He is also against a two-state solution and there is excitement among right-wing Israelis that this would be taken off the table completely when Trump assumes power.
Weiss told the podcast most people are adopting a wait-and-see attitude, but there are fears that an unprecedented move of the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may happen under a Trump presidency, while Palestinians are worried that settlements will be given the green light.
Also in this podcast, presenter Patrick Smyth asks: are Alaska’s polar bears on the verge of extinction from uncontrolled global warming?
He recalled his trip to the village of Kaktovik in the Arctic Circle some years ago, where polar bears are now migrating in greater numbers as their search for food becomes more and more difficult due to climate change.