The Sunday Subject – January 21, 2024

Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses by a landslide.

Trump took 51% of the vote, while Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley took 21% and 19%, respectively. Approximately 65% of caucus-goers believed Trump would be fit for the presidency even if he were convinced of a crime. The Iowa caucuses were the first contest in the Republican race to choose the party’s presidential nominee for the November election. 

William Lai Ching-te was elected president of Taiwan.

Lai’s inauguration in May will mark the third term in office of the independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party. Lai has been an even more outspoken advocate of Taiwan’s national sovereignty than the incumbent president, Tsai Ing-wen, though he emphasized in his victory speech the need to avoid confrontation by talking to China. After Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos junior congratulated Lai, China warned the Philippines “not to play with fire.” Only 12 countries formally recognize Taiwan.

The US and UK bombed dozens of Houthi targets in Yemen in response to two months of strikes on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, backed by Iran, continued their campaign, firing on several ships. The group says their piracy is in solidarity with Gaza.