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While North Korea was once again busying itself with a missile launch, China hosted its One Belt, One Road forum, centered around Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trade initiative of the same name.

While some world leaders sat out China’s diplomatic shindig, such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (India claims the initiative goes against state sovereignty), others gladly partook. For example, there was Czech President Milos Zeman, who joked with Russian President Vladimir Putin that journalists should be liquidated. Putin replied that journalists needn’t be liquidated, only reduced. He also played a song on the piano.

Back in Russia, thousands turned out for a protest in Moscow against the planned demolition of Soviet-era apartment complexes, which brought out people who weren’t previously politically involved or engaged. (One exception: Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who did not organize the rally, but whom police removed, along with his wife and son, from the protest site.)

Slightly further west, Emmanuel Macron formally replaced Fran?ois Hollande as president of France, vowing at his inauguration to not back down from his campaign promises and to get straight to work.

In other European leadership news, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU bested Martin Schulz’s SPD in regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia. Schulz, the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, had said that North Rhine-Westphalia was a bellwether for this coming autumn’s federal elections. If that is the case, it is not one that bodes well for him. The CDU state win is expected to give Merkel momentum. (Also potentially of note: The far-right AfD is now in 13 out of 16 state parliaments.)

As for President Donald Trump? His week will feature visits from Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey; and Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia.

After that, he’ll then embark on his first foreign trip as president to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Vatican, and the G-7 in Sicily and NATO summit in Brussels.

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17th May, 2017 @ 5:47 AM CEST

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