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Foreign Eye On Campaign 2016: After Orlando, Nuke Fears, Donald Trunks

A Trump supporter in Tampa on June 11
A Trump supporter in Tampa on June 11

The worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history has proven to be a litmus test for the two top candidates in the race to the White House. When a gunman pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group opened fire at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and wounding 53 last weekend, the two presumptive presidential nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, were quick to issue statements. While Clinton appealed for "clear, rational discussion," Trump sought to capitalize on the threat of Islamist terror by reviving his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. While the events in Orlando seemed to give the Republican a small boost in the polls at home, his reaction set off a new wave of foreign concerns about the prospect of a Trump presidency.

As the Clinton-Trump head-to-head takes shape, Worldcrunch continues to follow foreign coverage of the U.S. presidential campaign, from all languages and corners of the globe.

Writing in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Ali Sirmen argues that hate-filled speeches such as those spouted by Trump fuel terror. Sirmen compares Trump to Mustafa Askar, a Turkish academic who has been quoted as saying, "People who don't pray are animals."

"It doesn't matter where they are. Those who use expressions of hate are comrades in the same path. In light of this truth, we see that Donald Trump and Mustafa Askar are not that different. The fact that one of them uses the jargon of zealotry, and the other, that of imperialism, doesn't change this truth," writes Sirmen.

At the end of the day, they have the same mindset as the Islamic State terrorist group, Sirmen concludes.

Carlo Rovelli, writing for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, declared that reading Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf helped him better understand the rightwing mindset, which he argues is not born out of a desire to acquire power but out of a fear of losing it. "Those who feel weak are scared, don't trust others and hunker down with their own group, based on the pretense of identity," Rovelli writes. "Those who are strong are not scared and don't seek conflict."

Nilgun Cerrahoglu, another writer for Cumhuriyet, draws parallels between Rovelli's comments on Mein Kampf and Trump's speech after the Orlando shooting: "The Republican candidate based his speech on pure fear and the United States' loss of power like the way Hitler did in Mein Kampf."

Nuclear option

Portuguese Professor Nuno Cintra Torres echoed many of the criticisms of Trump as racist and unpredictable, and criticized the Republican candidate's call for an end to U.S.'s commitment to NATO, an alliance that Portugal is a founding member of. But the concern at the top of his mind is Trump's role as a possible commander-in-chief of a nuclear-armed power. "Trump would have access to the nuclear codes and could, unintentionally, start a nuclear war," Torres writes in Portuguese publication Económico.

Donald Trunks

A British clothing label Slut has come up with the "make the most offensive surfwear known to man" — Donald Trunks. The swimwear quickly sold out and a second batch will be out soon. The bad news? The label will not be producing any more Donald Trunks "mainly because our tailors are concerned about the long term psychological effects of looking at Donald's face for too long."

Others are taking their clothes off altogether to fight a potential Trump White House. The Tramps Against Trump Tumblr pageWarning: graphic content promises to send a nude picture to those who can prove they voted against Trump.

"The main objective of the campaign is to get millennials who otherwise might not engage in the election to show up and vote," says spokesperson for Tramps Against Trump. "We are trying to use some of the things Trump hates the most against him."

The city of Belgium?

Another day, another global gaffe for the presumptive Republican nominee. "Belgium is a beautiful city," Trump declared during a rally in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday. Belgian daily La Libre Belgique wonders where exactly Trump thinks "Belgium city" is situated. To be fair, both begin with the letter "B" — and even more to the point, one of the last times he spoke about the capital of Belgium, back in January, Trump was downright nasty: "I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it's like living in a hellhole right now."

Front page news

In France, Lucie Robequain focuses on Trump's unlikely political rise in the Les Echos daily and compares it to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's ascent. She notes that Trump seems more than inspired by Reagan's life: He appears to have plagiarized Reagan's 1980 "Let's make America great again" campaign slogan.

The weekly magazine from Le Figaro splashed the Republican firebrand on its cover promising to take us "Inside the head of Donald Trump."

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Le Figaro isn't alone.

Over in China, weekly magazine Caixin featured another photograph of a squinty Trump on its cover with the headline "Trump: A Perfect Storm."

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Although it looks like Trump got more than his fair share of global coverage, Clinton got in on some of the action on the front page of Iranian newspaper Shargh.

French paper Le Monde delved into the details of what's happening with the Democrats by featuring a story on Bernie Sanders, a candidate who had been fighting Clinton for the Democratic nomination until last week, and has now stipulated certain conditions if he were to join forces with Clinton.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Only Path To Peace With Russia? A New Iron Curtain On Ukraine's Eastern Border

With a decisive deal with Putin out of the question, the only way to create a lasting peace is to recreate some fundamental dynamics of the Cold War.

Image of president Joe Biden walking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the streets of Kyiv, Ukraine.

President Joe Biden walking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky down the Walk of the Brave on Constitution Square in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Klaus Geiger


BERLIN — Volodymyr Zelensky was allowed three minutes, but he spoke for 20. In his speech at the G20 summit in November last year, the Ukrainian president laid out, in greater detail than ever before, how peace with Russia can be achieved – and maintained.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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His main point: “Ukraine is not a member of any of the alliances. And Russia was able to start this war precisely because Ukraine remained in the grey zone – between the Euro-Atlantic world and Russian imperialism. Now, we do not have any security assurances either ... We need effective security assurances.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed these words in parliament recently. “At the G20 summit, President Zelensky set out his suggestions for how to achieve a lasting, fair peace,” Scholz said. “We will help Ukraine to achieve such a peace. That is why we are talking to Kyiv and other partners about future security assurances for Ukraine.”

Scholz did not specify precisely what kind of “security assurances” he meant. But Zelensky was very specific in his G20 speech.

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