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Obama faces sharp repudiation and a legacy nightmare

For President Barack Obama, Donald Trump's presidential victory is nothing less than a nightmare. His longstanding vision for progressive change faced sharp and unexpected repudiation Tuesday night from voters still fuming at their perceived diminished prospects. By Obama's own admission, the major pieces of his presidential legacy are now subject to a gutting by a successor he resents deeply.

Meet President Trump's possible cabinet

It's Washington DC's favourite new parlour game - guessing who will fill the top posts in US President-elect Donald Trump's administration.
In his victory speech, the Republican lavished praise on a select cadre of loyalists widely viewed as his cabinet-in-waiting.
His aides had already circulated names of contenders in the final days of the White House race.
Here are some of the possible executive branch appointments being touted for Team Trump in the city of revolving doors.

Newt Gingrich - Secretary of State
The combative conservative, an early Trump supporter who made it on to the shortlist of running mates, has been tipped as America's top diplomat.
As Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1994, Mr Gingrich masterminded the Republican wave election that won control of the chamber from Democrats.
The 73-year-old former Georgia legislator quit the speakership because of ethics violations.
Mr Gingrich made a failed run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011.

Rudy Giuliani - Attorney General
One of Mr Trump's most ardent surrogates, Mr Giuliani is being mentioned for the post of America's top prosecutor.
As New York Mayor during 9/11, he became the face of the city's resilience amid the rubble of the World Trade Center.
He also introduced NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, which critics said was a form of racial profiling.
Positioning himself as the law-and-order candidate, Mr Trump has championed the tactic.
Mr Giuliani, a former New York prosecutor, ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, but withdrew after finishing behind John McCain and Mitt Romney in primary contests.

Reince Priebus - Chief of Staff
The boyish Mr Priebus, 44, is being widely tipped as Mr Trump's White House consigliere.
As chairman of the Republican National Committee, he was a bridge between the Republican nominee and a party establishment that was embarrassed by its own presidential standard-bearer.
Mr Priebus is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in steering the new administration's legislative agenda.

Chris Christie - Commerce Secretary
After his own Republican presidential campaign foundered this year, the New Jersey governor promptly endorsed Mr Trump.
Mr Christie, 54, currently overseeing Mr Trump's White House transition, has been mentioned for various posts in the administration, including commerce secretary.
But he has been tainted by a scandal over the closure of a major bridge linking New Jersey and New York City, allegedly to punish a local mayor.
Since any presidential cabinet appointment must go before the Senate, confirmation could be problematic while this cloud hangs over him.

Jeff Sessions - Defence Secretary
The US senator from Alabama is being touted as a possible Pentagon chief.
At his victory bash in New York, Mr Trump said of Mr Sessions, "he is highly respected in Washington because he is as smart as you get".
The 69-year-old was a supporter of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which Mr Trump recently called "a terrible and stupid thing".
Mr Sessions sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Budget Committee.

Michael Flynn - National Security Adviser
Mr Flynn, a retired three-star US Army lieutenant general, helped Mr Trump connect with veterans despite the candidate's lack of military service.
He claims he was forced out of his role as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-14 because of his views on radical Islam.
During the campaign, he pilloried the Obama administration's approach to the threat posed by the Islamic State group.

Steven Mnuchin - Treasury Secretary
Mr trump himself has named his finance chairman for the post of Treasury Secretary.
But it's unclear whether Mr Trump's populist supporters would welcome the idea of handing the levers of national tax policy to a consummate Wall Street insider.
Mr Mnuchin amassed a fortune during his 17 years at Goldman Sachs, before founding a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

Profile: President Donald Trump

The Donald Trump you first came across depends largely on the decade in which you spent your formative years.

US Election 2016: Asia markets jolted by vote results

US Election 2016: Asia markets jolted by vote resultsAsian stocks have fallen as Donald Trump looked increasingly likely to become new US president.

All regional markets are lower, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down by 5.4% while European and US markets are expected to drop when trading resumes on Wednesday.

Traders had expected a comfortable Hillary Clinton win.

Some analysts have likened the shock of a probable Trump victory to the Brexit result earlier this year.

However neither markets nor currencies have swung as wildly as they did after June's EU referendum - and many Asian markets saw losses narrow towards the end of Wednesday trading.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong is trading 2.9% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3%. Australia's ASX 200 finished down 1.9% while the Kospi in South Korea ended 2.7% lower.

US stock futures fell sharply with the Dow Jones index expected to lose more than 4% - 800 points when it reopens. London's FTSE 100 index is predicted to lose more than 3%.
Analysis: Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent

A Donald Trump win had been widely seen as negative for Asia's economies because of some of the protectionist rhetoric he's talked about whilst on the campaign trail. He is viewed as the "great unknown" while Mrs Clinton is seen as an example of "better the devil you know."

And as that prospect looks more and more likely, many investors in Asia are getting concerned, and the markets are reflecting that.

On the Singapore trading floor where I've been all day, things started with cautious optimism that Mrs Clinton might have a significant lead, but that has all changed.

As results trickle in, the first mutterings of "too close to call" began, swiftly replaced by a growing belief that the former reality TV show host would be the next president.
'Unknown'

The Japanese yen, viewed as a safe haven currency in situations of international volatility, strengthened by 3% against the dollar.

Meanwhile concerns about the impact of a Trump presidency on the Mexican economy saw its currency, the peso, fall more than 13% against the dollar to its lowest level in two decades.

Mexico is expected to suffer if Mr Trump is elected because of his pledges to build a wall along the US border with the country and renegotiate their trade agreement.
A victory for Mr Trump would be a "step into the unknown" said chief US economist at Capital Economics, Paul Ashworth.

"We simply can't know what type of President Trump will be. Will he be the demagogue from the campaign trail, who threatened to lock up his political opponents, punish the media, build border walls and start a global trade war? Or is he capable of becoming a statesmanlike figure who leads in a more measured manner?"

He added that because Mr Trump appeared to have "only a passing grasp of policy", it would be important he appointed people with experience if he was elected.