Global news today has been largely dominated by the countdown to Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. From the UK to France, Germany, Italy and Russia (where one outlet has labeled it “The Trumpening”), the world’s media is focused on DC.
In the UK, helicopters buzzed around London all morning as anti-Trump protestors dropped banners from bridges across the city early Friday, criticizing the President-elect’s immigration policies.
A banner dropped across the capital city’s Tower Bridge read in big, pink letters: “Act now! Build bridges not walls.”
Another draped over Westminster Bridge read: “Migration is older than language” while one outside of the Houses of Parliament said: “Migrants welcome here.” The protests come after London’s mayor Sadiq Khan had urged Trump to recognize the value immigrants have made to American society.
International 24-hour news channels are blanketing coverage of the impending swearing-in. But in China, not so much. The Financial Times says that Beijing censors have ordered media outlets to tone down reporting today.
This comes amid the uncertain future of the Middle Kingdom’s relationship with the new administration. Trump has questioned the One-China policy and also talked of levying Chinese goods with a 45% tariff. This week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, China’s President Xi Jinping warned that “no one emerges a winner” from a trade war. Also in Davos, Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin voiced concern and a warning over potentially increased U.S. government controls on Chinese investment. Calling the concept “protectionism,” Wang said, “The main growth market of English-language films is China. It is a major source of income… So, if China were to retaliate, it’s bad for both parties.”
Sources told the FT that Chinese officials have ordered press to only use coverage of the ceremony based on reports written by state media. “It is forbidden for websites to carry out live streaming or picture reports of the inauguration,” a copy of censorship instructions seen by the Financial Times said.
Elyse Ribbons, an American who hosts a program on Chinese state-run radio, tweeted she wasn’t allowed to discuss Trump:
English-language Chinese online media currently have no major Trump stories leading save for Xinhua which is reporting on statements made by George Soros in Davos on Thursday with a headline: “U.S. President-elect Trump ‘going to fail’: Soros.”
In the UK, left-leaning newspaper The Guardian leads with a live blog saying “Donald Trump inauguration: ‘It all begins today’.” The paper featured an opinion piece from Barbara Lee, a representative for California’s East Bay in Congress, who told readers why her seat would be empty at the inauguration: “I will not be celebrating the swearing in of a president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House. Instead of attending the inauguration, I will be planning and organizing for resistance.”
Right-leaning The Telegraph was also live-blogging with pictures of Trump and his wife Melania begin greeted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama while The Independent featured a picture of inauguration attendees standing with umbrellas under grey skies with the headline “’It all begins today!’: Trump supporters gather under grey clouds,” referring to Trump’s Tweet earlier today.
UK pubcaster BBC will be covering it from all angles with its flagship channel BBCOne and its News channel offering up a few more hours of coverage on either side. After the inauguration, BBC News will continue to report with a feature program 100 Days, which will air on the channel on Monday through April and will cover Trump’s first 100 days in office.
Meanwhile, ITV will focus on a special live program during the events and will feature more on its ITV News at Ten.
In France, where the Socialist Party will hold its first presidential primary vote on Sunday, left-leaning daily Libération is leading with headlines such as “Donald Trump, A Bit Lost In Transition” and “Trump, It’s On!” Le Monde is running a live blog.
Extreme right-wing Trump supporter — and the first international politician to have offered him congrats on November 9 – Marine Le Pen tweeted this morning that Trump’s election “opens a new era of cooperation between nations.”
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 20, 2017
France’s national news-radio station, France Info, has been covering from on site and in the studio. Earlier today it cited a poll that said 80% of French respondents find Trump “aggressive, racist and dangerous.” All the local news nets are currently covering the inauguration live and Maison Blanche (White House) is trending on Twitter.
Italy’s press was focused more on its major national news of the day: survivors who had been discovered buried under snow in an Abruzzo hotel two days after a deep avalanche buried it. Both Corriere Della Sera and La Repubblica featured Trump’s inauguration but it took less prominence to the avalanche story.
Germany daily Die Welt had blanket coverage of the U.S. inauguration while news magazine Der Spiegel didn’t lead with the inauguration but did feature a piece titled “Mr. Me: No One Loves the 45th President Like Donald Trump.”
English-language Russia outlet, The Moscow Times, is not leading with Trump, but scroll down a bit and there is a litany of stories from a few hours ago to a few months ago under the headline: “Russia Goes Crazy For Trump.” Included therein is a report from yesterday that says a group of gunsmiths in Zlatoust has fashioned a two-pound coin dedicated to the next U.S. president.
Meanwhile, the English version of Russian-state owned news agency Tass is leading with the inauguration, featuring a live stream of the event on its site.
And, RT, a government-backed international Russian TV network (which in 2012 agreed to air a talk show hosted by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), is live on its website with what it calls “The Trumpening.”