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Found 33 results

  1. Demonstrators hold placards during a candlelight vigil, December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files PARIS: More than one in ten French women have been raped at least once, according to a study on sexual violence published Friday as the global abuse scandal widens. Twelve percent of the 2,167 women polled by the Fondation Jean Jaures think tank said they had suffered "sexual penetration with violence, constraint or surprise", the legal definition of rape in France. Five percent said it had happened more than once. Of these, 31 percent said they were raped by their partner, 19 percent by someone else they know and only 17 percent by a stranger. Half of the victims were children or teens at the time of the attack, which took place at home in 42 percent of cases. Only 15 percent had filed an official complaint but many remained traumatised by the incident, as evidenced by the fact that a fifth of them had attempted suicide ? four times the general rate among French women. The online poll was carried out by Ifop between February 6 and 16 and questioned women aged 18 and over. The Fondation Jean Jaures said some of the respondents may have been encouraged to break their silence by the tide of accounts of sexual violence shared on social media in the wake of the sexual assault scandal sparked by revelations about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Last month, France?s interior ministry said the reporting of sexual assault and rape had risen 31.5 percent in the last quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016. "One can see the effect of reporting of possibly older incidents in the context of women speaking out following the revelations of the ?Weinstein? affair," it said.
  2. Jonathone Sangma, 43, was returning after campaigning for the upcoming assembly polls. Photo: Facebook GUWAHATI: A landmine explosion killed four people, including an election candidate, in India?s northeastern state of Meghalaya in an area where four militant groups are seeking independence, police said on Monday. The attack occurred on Sunday night in Meghalaya?s East Garo Hills district, about 250 km (150 miles) from the state capital, Shillong. The candidate for the Nationalist Congress Party from the Williamnagar assembly constituency, Jonathone Sangma, was killed along with his driver and two policemen. ?The vehicle in which Sangma was traveling bore the maximum impact of the explosion. Everyone in the car died on the spot,? said Ringrang Momin, a senior state police officer. Police officials said there were four active militant groups in the area demanding secession from India for tens of thousands of Garo tribals living in the state bordering Bangladesh. ?This is the handiwork of the militant groups... We have yet to identify the outfit involved in the landmine explosion,? Momin said. Elections for the 60-member house in Meghalaya state are scheduled for Feb 27.
  3. Putin set for historic fourth Kremlin term in next month´s election MOSCOW: Running with a lacklustre slogan, no programme and refusing to debate his opponents, it sometimes seems like Russian President Vladimir Putin is not campaigning for re-election at all. But it is unlikely to matter for the 65-year-old strongman who is cruising towards victory and a historic fourth Kremlin term in next month´s election, with a result that seems so inevitable analysts are calling it a return to the Soviet era. "Putin is the only candidate without a programme. That is extremely alarming," said Andrei Kolesnikov of the Carnegie Moscow Center, describing it as "a demonstration of disregard for his people." As always, Putin has bowed out of debates and has symbolically refused his free television airtime as a candidate. But he already benefits from wall-to-wall news coverage, and Channel One state television has been rebroadcasting Oliver Stone´s four-part documentary about him although it won´t show the last episode until after the vote following a slap on the wrist from the electoral commission. The most visible sign of his campaign are the images of him plastered on billboards along highways outside Moscow under the slogan: "A strong president makes for a strong country." Generic posters from the Central Electoral Commission urging people to vote are everywhere. Putin´s main task is to ensure a respectable turnout, with state pollsters VTsIOM predicting 80.4 percent although last time, participation was just over 65 percent. ´The most meaningless poll´ "We have returned to what we had hoped to leave behind after the collapse of Soviet power: ritualistic elections where... the result is pre-programmed," wrote columnist Fyodor Krasheninnikov in the independent weekly, The New Times. And others agree. "This is the most meaningless of all the presidential polls in Russia, the most lacking in substance," said Kolesnikov. So far, the most striking moment of Putin´s "campaign" was when he joined millions of Orthodox Christians in plunging into an ice hole wearing swimming trunks for the January´s Epiphany holiday. He has since skipped several events this week after coming down with a rare cold. Functions he has attended have been highly choreographed such as a recent meeting with local mayors, when Putin was choppered in, met with a star-struck few as journalists watched on a screen from another room. Although the numbers planning to vote for him have dipped from last year´s high of 76.9 percent, Putin still commands a 71.5 percent of support, VTsIOM figures show. For pro-Kremlin observers, Putin´s campaign is laying the ground for his future term and eschewing stunts that would only gain him a few points in the election. "We see real hands-on work that has significantly greater results than populist fussing around for the sake of an extra one to two percent in elections," said Nikolai Kalmykov of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Colourful cast With opposition leader Alexei Navalny barred from standing due to a fraud conviction, he is urging his supporters -- many of them young -- to boycott the polls. The latest VTsIOM polls suggest the lowest turnout is likely to be among 18 to 24-year-olds. Among those running against Putin are two new colourful characters who may have a political future ahead of them. Ksenia Sobchak, a former reality show host turned liberal journalist, is standing on a "none of the above" ticket and has called for Navalny to be allowed on the ballot. While she is forecast to come a distant fourth, this outspoken daughter of Saint Petersburg´s former mayor -- Putin´s political mentor -- is one of the few people who doesn´t fear him, and sparks could fly if they were to meet. Another is debonair businessman Pavel Grudinin, the little-known director of an agribusiness who was chosen as the Communist candidate in December after veteran leader Gennady Zyuganov chose not to stand. The moustachioed 57-year-old businessman, who has praised Stalin, scored well in early polls, prompting a wave of negative coverage from state and pro-Kremlin media over fears he could do better than planned, observers said. If the vote were held today, he would win 7.3 percent, polls show. "There is a campaign and it does have an element of intrigue... Sobchak and Grudinin," said Kolesnikov, who said the polls would test Sobchak´s potential for leading a liberal party and Grudinin´s to take over from Zyuganov.
  4. application

    Version 2.2.0

    2 downloads

    Sidebar Polls For Ips Compatibility update for IP.Board 4.2.x. Adds the poll contents from a topic into your forums sidebar. Includes permissions for who can view the sidebar poll.
  5. US President Donald Trump waves as he and first lady Melania Trump (not pictured) walk on South Lawn of the White House, Washington, US, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas NEW YORK: Nearly three out of four Republicans believe the FBI and Justice Department are trying to undermine US President Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, a sharp turn for a party that has historically been a strong backer of law enforcement agencies. Overall, most of the public still believes that Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 US presidential election, allegations that Moscow and Trump have repeatedly denied. The February 3-5 poll found that Americans were sharply divided along party lines over a federal investigation into potential ties between Trump?s 2016 campaign and Russia, a controversy that has hung over his year-old presidency. Trump has called the probe a witch hunt and accused the top leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department of being biased against him. The dispute has caused an extraordinary breach between the White House and law enforcement and deepened partisan rancour. Some 73 percent of Republicans agreed that ?members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations?. But three in four Democrats said they believed a competing narrative that ?members of the Republican Party and the White House are working to delegitimize the FBI and DOJ in the investigation of Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election?. The poll findings appear to reflect the influence that Trump wields among Republicans, who have long reserved some of their highest levels of trust for the country?s law enforcement agencies. Nearly 84 percent of Republicans said in a January 2015 Reuters/Ipsos poll that they had a ?favourable? view of the FBI. Last month, 91 percent of Republicans said they had a ?great deal? or ?some? confidence in the country?s law enforcement agencies, compared with the 75 percent who expressed a similar level of confidence in the Trump administration and 47 percent who said the same about Congress. ?Win-win? Erroll Southers ? a national security expert and former FBI agent ? said Trump had shown an uncanny ability to shape his supporters? views of the world in a way that benefits him. By hammering at federal investigators, Southers said, Trump was inoculating himself from any political fallout that may follow. ?It?s a win-win for him,? Southers said. ?If he?s exonerated, he wins. If he?s not, he explains that the FBI is corrupt and it?s all a witch hunt, and he wins. ?And his base will be even more energized.? Lloyd Billiter Jr. ? a retired Texas oilfield services worker who participated in the poll ? said he thought the FBI had become too political and ?their people have gone astray?. Billiter, 64, said he was shocked to hear reports that investigators said critical things of Trump, and he would not believe anything that comes out of the Russia investigation unless it comes with a trove of evidence. ?Show me the proof,? he said. ?I?ve put them on probation. You have to earn my trust back.? Ron Krebs ? a foreign policy expert at the University of Minnesota ? said people usually looked to political leaders and the media for guidance on how to view issues and organizations they do not know much about. He said public trust in the FBI could further erode unless there was a bipartisan effort in Congress to support the investigation. ?The real question is how long this will last,? Krebs said. ?How long will Republicans in Congress move in lockstep with the president?? But among Americans overall, the latest poll showed that people did not appear to have changed their minds about the Russia investigation. Fifty-two percent of all adults said they believed Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the election and that it was likely ?authorities will find evidence of an illegal relationship between the Trump administration and Russia.? Those percentages have not changed since the last time the poll asked those questions in 2017. The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English across the United States. It gathered responses from 2,251 adults, including 941 Democrats and 827 Republicans, and had a credibility interval ? a measure of accuracy ? of 2 percentage points for the entire sample and 4 percentage points for both the Republicans and Democrats.
  6. A total of 52 senators are set to retire on March 11 this year. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Sunday the polling schedule for the two Senate seats from Islamabad. The announcement followed approval of the polling scheme by President Mamnoon Hussain. The Senate elections will be held on March 3 as 52 members of the Upper House of Parliament retire on March 11. According to the ECP schedule for the capital, nomination papers can be taken by February 10 while their scrutiny will be conducted on February 13. Appeals against the returning officer?s decision can be filed until February 16. The National Assembly elects the two Senate members from Islamabad. The ECP is yet to issue the schedule for the elections of senators from the tribal areas as the president has not approved for FATA the Elections Act, 2017. Moreover, the local ECP offices in the provinces were open today as contestants collected nomination papers for the Senate polls. ECP issues Senate elections schedule for four provinces Senate contestants can take back their nomination papers till February 16 Earlier, on Friday, the ECP issued the election schedule of all four provinces. According to the ECP, nomination papers can be submitted from February 4-6 and their scrutiny will be completed by February 9. The final list of the contestants will be issued on February 15 while contestants can take back their nomination papers till February 16. According to the ECP, four senators will be elected on general seats from FATA, 11 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan each, and 12 each from Sindh and Punjab ? including seven on general seats, two on technocrats' seats, two on women's seats and one on a minorities' seat. Islamabad too will elect two senators ? on general and technocrat seats. Raza Rabbani, Ishaq Dar among those retiring Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Opposition Leader Aitzaz Ahsan, Taj Haider and Farhatullah Babar are among 18 of 26 Pakistan Peoples Party senators who will be retiring. Similarly, from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, nine of its 27 senators will be retiring this year. They include senior party leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who has been in London on medical grounds since October last year while a corruption case is under way against him in the accountability court. The Awami National Party will lose five of its six senators, including party veteran Ilyas Bilour and Karachi-based Shahi Syed. Similarly, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan will bid farewell to four of its eight senators, including Col (retd) Tahir Mashhadi, Nasreen Jalil and Dr Farogh Naseem. The four PML-Quaid senators retiring this year include Mushahid Hussain Sayed ? the head of the Senate Defence Committee. The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl will see three of its five senators leave. Azam Swati of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the party's only senator who will be retiring in March and will leave behind six colleagues. The PTI is expected to gain more seats in the Senate due to its majority position in the KP Assembly. The process, the numbers The Senate consists of a total of 104 members ? 23 each from the four provinces, eight from FATA and four from Islamabad Capital Territory. The 23 seats of each province break down into 14 general seats, four each for women and technocrats and one for minorities. While the total term for a senator is six years, half of the Senate retires after every three years. The Senate elections depend on the party positions in the provincial assemblies as well as the National Assembly. Four of the provincial assemblies vote for their representatives, whereas the FATA senators are elected by the MNAs from the tribal areas and the Islamabad senators by the National Assembly. A person seeking election to the Senate should not be less than thirty years of age and should be registered as a voter in an area or province from where he or she seeks election and should meet other qualifications prescribed under Article 62 of the Constitution.
  7. French President Emmanuel Macron visits with guests during the Christmas party for children at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 13, 2017. REUTERS PARIS: The French have become more optimistic about the future that at any time in the past eight years, a survey showed on Tuesday, belying their reputation as a nation of pessimists. According to a Harris Interactive survey for RTL radio, 59 percent of the French were optimistic for 2018, the highest level since 2010 and 15 points higher than a trough in 2012. Supporters of President Emmanuel Macron?s party were the most optimistic, the poll showed, while those of the far-right National Front were the most pessimistic. ?There?s probably a bit of a Macron effect,? Harris head of political polling Jean-Daniel Levy said, pointing to renewed hope about European integration, one of Macron?s policy priorities. ?There is in particular the feeling of having a presidency that holds water, with good prospects on the economic front,? he told Reuters. ?It?s not only the end of the Hollande years,? Levy added, referring to the broad sense of malaise that marked the 2012-17 tenure of Macron?s Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande. ?The French hear a lot about a better outlook for growth, for jobs. There are signs that show France is less depressed.? For the first time in five years, a majority of 51 percent of the French said the past year was a positive one. That was in contrast with the 54 percent who thought 2015 and 2016 were negative - years that were marked by deadly Islamist militant attacks. The state of emergency instituted by Hollande over those attacks was lifted by Macron in November.
  8. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he arrives for a session of the National Constituent Assembly at Palacio Federal Legislativo in Caracas, Venezuela, August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/Files CARACAS: Venezuela?s President Nicolas Maduro is set for the latest in a sweep of poll victories in mayoral elections on Sunday, with the opposition showing little sign they can prevent his re-election next year. Battered by a series of electoral defeats, the main opposition parties are boycotting the vote, saying they lack any guarantees of fairness or transparency. Voters are heading to the polls to elect 355 mayors across the country, but the lack of a serious challenge to Maduro candidates has led to scepticism in the main cities of Caracas, Maracaibo and San Cristobal. "I?m not going to vote because I don?t believe in the transparency of the CNE (National Election Council)," said Nerver Huerta, a 38-year-old graphic designer in Caracas. Maduro?s ruling socialist party was handed a clear path to victory after the three main parties in the opposition coalition Democratic Union Roundtable, MUD, refused to participate, although smaller parties have decided to contest the election. On the cards is a repeat of the electoral drubbing suffered by the opposition in October?s regional elections, which they claim were fraudulent, analysts say. Opposition divided Battling a crippling economic crisis in the oil-rich, cash-poor nation, Maduro has made an aggressive push to consolidate power in the run-up to next year?s presidential elections. Risa Grais-Targow of market analysts Eurasia group, said this weekend?s boycott "will likely demoralize the opposition?s base and ensure that the government does quite well." That, she said, "along with a solid showing in October?s regional elections, will likely make President Nicolas Maduro feel confident about his ability to control the outcome of next year?s contest." According to electoral expert Eugenio Martinez, the opposition would do well to hold on to even half of its 72 mayorships. "The absence of the main opposition parties and the pressure of the Chavez machinery make it unfeasible for the opposition to maintain even half of the mayorships it controls," Martinez told AFP. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will improve on its current 242 mayorships, he said. Key opposition leaders Maria Corina Machado and Henrique Capriles left the coalition when four of the five elected opposition governors in the regional elections were sworn in before Maduro?s Constituent Assembly. Swearing allegiance to the Assembly, created by Maduro as a means to bypass the opposition-dominated parliament, was seen as a sell-out by many Maduro opponents, particularly after months of deadly protests aimed at unseating him earlier this year. Any opposition mayors elected on Sunday will also have to accept to be sworn in before the Assembly. "They are not elections, but adjudications," Machado told AFP, adding that voting would mean recognition for the Constituent Assembly and thus constitute a "betrayal" of the 125 people killed in the protests. Yon Goicoechea is contesting the election against the wishes of his party because he says the opposition must "defend" the political space it occupies. Goicoechea, who is running for mayor in a Caracas municipality, said the government "will try to steal the vote, but we will not give it away." ?I?ll be there for Maduro? Maduro?s camp has its own problems, following the recent anti-corruption purge at state oil company PDVSA and the forced resignation of Maduro rival Rafael Ramirez from his post of Venezuela?s ambassador to the UN. But Chavism, the populist left-wing ideology left behind by late-president Hugo Chavez, will once again be able to rely on its massive vote-getting organization, as well as what analysts call its plain old-fashioned "clientelist structure" to mobilize voters on Sunday. "The president, despite everything, has helped me. I could not be ungrateful," said William Lugo, 65, as he managed the payment of Christmas bonuses that the government says benefits four million people. "I will vote on Sunday, and if we have to re-elect him, I will be there," he said.
  9. Half of Britons support a second vote on whether to leave the European Union and a majority think the government may be paying too much money to the EU to open the way to trade talks, according to a new opinion poll. The poll, published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, found 50 percent of people supported another vote on the final terms of Britain?s exit deal, 34 percent rejected another referendum and 16 percent said they did not know. The newspaper said it was the first major opinion poll since last week?s media reports that Britain is preparing to pay about 50 billion euros ($59 billion) to help to move on to talks on a future trade pact with the EU. Mike Smithson, an election analyst who runs the www.politicalbetting.com website and a former Liberal Democrat politician, said on Twitter it was ?the first time any pollster has recorded backing? for a second Brexit referendum. Since the referendum in 2016, high profile opponents of Britain?s exit - from French President Emmanuel Macron, to former British prime minister Tony Blair and billionaire investor George Soros - have suggested Britain could change its mind and avoid what they say will be disastrous for the British economy. Blair said on Sunday he was trying to reverse Brexit because claims by the leave campaign, such as the National Health Service getting an extra 350 million pounds a week once Britain leaves the EU, have been proved false. Blair told the BBC that the government aims in the Brexit negotiations will fail because it wants to leave the single market, but retain all of the benefits, and voters can change their minds. ?It?s reversible. It?s not done until it?s done,? he said. ?When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.? Brexit supporters argue any attempt to halt the exit process would be anti-democratic. According to the Survation poll only 11 percent of voters said Britain should pay 50 billion pounds to quit the EU, while 31 percent said the government should not pay anything at all. The poll also found 35 percent of those surveyed said they would be worse off financially after Brexit, while 14 percent said they would be better off. The online poll, carried out by research firm Survation, interviewed 1,003 adults in Britain between 30 November and 1 December. Survation said it carries out polls for media organizations including the BBC, Sky News, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. The polling agency correctly predicted a narrowing in the vote between the ruling Conservative party and the opposition Labour Party in this summer?s general election that resulted in May leading a minority government.
  10. NEW YORK: Sixty percent of US women voters say they have experienced sexual harassment and more than two-thirds of them said it happened at work, a nationwide poll revealed Tuesday. The findings come as the United States grapples with sexual assault and harassment scandals that have rocked the world of entertainment, business and politics. Only 20 percent of men voters said they had experienced sexual harassment, of whom 60 percent also said it happened at work, according to the Quinnipiac University survey. Of those women who said they had experienced harassment, 69 percent said it happened at work, 43 percent in social settings, 45 percent on the street and 14 percent at home, the poll found. Eighty-nine percent of respondents classified sexual harassment of women as a "serious problem" and 55 percent said media coverage of the flood of recent allegations had led to a better understanding of sexual harassment, the poll found. Sixty-two percent said they thought people were more likely to be held accountable for sexual harassment following the recent allegations. "A vast majority of American men and women are deeply troubled by sexual harassment and the numbers underscore why. A stunning six in ten women say they have been victimized," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. The survey was based on interviews with 1,415 voters between November 15-20 and carried a margin of error of 3.1 percent, Quinnipiac said.
  11. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/58dfbc70fcf4f279aaeb545d725b8105.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvMjIvMjAxNyA2OjUzOjQ4IEFNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9UndMN3ZSdkhMK0FwV1ZEcHNJVmJndz09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center]
  12. BARCELONA: Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona?s streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence. Political parties opposing a split by Catalonia from Spain had a small lead in an opinion poll published on Sunday, the first since Madrid called a regional election to try to resolve the country?s worst political crisis in four decades. Polls and recent elections have shown that about half the electorate in the wealthy northeastern region, which is already autonomous, oppose secession from Spain, but a vocal independence movement has brought the current crisis to a head. Spain?s central government called an election for Dec. 21 on Friday after sacking Catalonia?s president Carles Puigdemont, dissolving its parliament and dismissing its government. That followed the assembly?s unilateral declaration of independence in a vote boycotted by three national parties. The regional government claimed it had a mandate to push ahead with independence following an unofficial referendum on Oct. 1 which was ruled illegal under Spanish law and mostly boycotted by unionists. Waving thousands of Spanish flags and singing ?Viva España?, protesters on Sunday turned out in the largest display of support for a united Spain since the beginning of the crisis -- underlining the depth of division in Catalonia itself. ?I?m here to defend Spanish unity and the law,? said Alfonso Machado, 55, a salesman standing with a little girl with Spanish flags in her hair. ?Knowing that in the end there won?t be independence, I feel sorry for all the people tricked into thinking there could be and the divisions they?ve driven through Catalan society.? SLIGHT UNIONIST LEAD The poll of 1,000 people by Sigma Dos for newspaper El Mundo showed unionist parties winning 43.4 percent support and pro-independence parties 42.5 percent. The survey was taken from Monday to Thursday, just as the central government prepared to take control of Catalonia. Madrid said on Saturday that secessionist politicians, including Puigdemont, were free to take part in the election. The hardline CUP has been unclear if it would. The deposed Catalan government will soon have to make difficult decisions, Puigdemont?s former deputy Oriol Junqueras said on Sunday in an editorial in online newspaper El Punt Avui. He stopped short of saying his ERC party would take part in the election. ?We need a shared strategy ... it?s important to weave solid alliances with those who are willing to build a state that serves its citizens,? he said, possibly alluding to a rumoured alliance between the ERC and the Catalan arm of the anti-austerity Podemos party. Such an alliance could put the independence movement in difficult position as it would mean a main secession supporter joining forces with parties that reject Madrid?s hard line but do not support separatism. With weeks to go before the election, the poll showed the CUP, kingmaker for the pro-secessionists in the dismissed 135-seat parliament, would win seven seats, down from a current 10. The pro-independence coalition Junts pel Si, which held 62 seats previously, was split into parties PDeCat and ERC for the poll as they are unlikely to run on a single platform. The two would win between 54 and 58 seats in total, the poll showed. At Sunday?s rally, former European Parliament president Josep Borrell called for unionist voters to turn out in December to ensure independence supporters lose their stranglehold on the regional parliament. ?Maybe we?re here because many of us during elections didn?t go and vote. Now we have a golden opportunity. This time, nobody should stay at home,? Borrell said to cheering crowds. DAMAGE TO CATALONIA Puigdemont called on Saturday for peaceful opposition to Madrid?s takeover. But he was vague on precisely what steps the secessionists would take as Spanish authorities move into Barcelona to enforce control. European countries, the United States and Mexico have also rejected the Catalan declaration of independence and expressed support for Spain?s unity. But emotions are running high and the next few days will be tricky for Madrid as it embarks on enforcing direct rule and putting officials in administrative roles. National police were accused of heavy-handedness during the Oct. 1 referendum. Officers of the regional police force, called the Mossos d?Esquadra in Catalan, were stationed in main public and government buildings on Sunday. But the force is believed to have divided loyalties. The central government has removed the Mossos? chief, Josep Lluis Trapero, and said units could be replaced if warranted. In an open letter on Sunday, Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido praised the Mossos for their work and urged them to accept temporary direction from Madrid. The main secessionist group, the Catalan National Assembly, has urged civil servants not to follow orders from the central government and to mount ?peaceful resistance?, while the pro-independence trade union CSC has called a strike. Puigdemont, Junqueras and their advisors left the Catalan government offices on Friday, newspaper La Vanguardia reported on Sunday, effectively handing the building over to Madrid and making a forced eviction on Monday less likely. Since the return of democracy in the late 1970s Spain has suffered several traumatic episodes, including an attempted military coup in 1981, a violent Basque separatist conflict, and more recently an economic crisis. The Catalan issue is however the biggest challenge to the territorial integrity of what is now a progressive European Union nation. The chaos has prompted an exodus of businesses from Catalonia, which contributes about a fifth of Spain?s economy, the fourth-largest in the euro zone. Tourism to Barcelona has been hit and markets have darted up and down on the fast-moving developments. European leaders have also denounced the push, fearing it could fan separatist sentiment around the continent.
  13. Karachi at night/Reuters file photo LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Cairo, the capital of the Arab world?s most populous country, is the world?s most dangerous megacity for women, followed by Karachi in Pakistan, according to the first international experts? poll on how females fare in the rising number of cities with over 10 million people. London was ranked as the most woman-friendly, then Tokyo and Paris. The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey asked experts in women?s issues in 19 megacities how well women are protected from sexual violence, from harmful cultural practices, and if they have access to good healthcare, finance and education. Karachi, a city of over 16 million people, fared the second worst globally, followed by Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of the Congo, then the Indian capital New Delhi. Women?s rights campaigners in Cairo said traditions dating back centuries made it a tough city, with discrimination rife. ?We?re still operating under a conservative country and it?s hard to take any radical progressive steps in the area of women and women?s laws,? said Omaima Abou-Bakr, co-founder of the Cairo-based campaign group Women and Memory Forum. ?Everything about the city is difficult for women. We see women struggling in all aspects. Even a simple walk on the street, and they are subjected to harassment, whether verbal or even physical,? said high-profile Egyptian journalist and women?s rights campaigner Shahira Amin. Sexual harassment Delhi and Sao Paulo emerged as the worst cities when respondents were asked if women could live there without the risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks or harassment. The fatal gang rape of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012 led to a wave of public protests and jolted many in the world?s second most populous country out of apathy over the treatment of women, forcing the government to toughen penalties for *** crimes. Since then a spike in media reports, government campaigns and civil society programmes, have increased public awareness of women?s rights and emboldened victims to register abuses. Authorities recorded four rapes every hour in India in 2015. ?Even after the Delhi gang rape, we are seeing rising cases of sexual violence. All the measures taken so far are welcome, but they are not enough,? said lawyer Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini, a charity that supports rape victims. ?These rapists act because they know they won?t get caught. So strengthening the police and courts to effectively investigate, prosecute, convict and punish is key.? India Gate, New Delhi In Sao Paulo, women are increasingly using social media to denounce sexual violence, including writer Clara Averbuck, who launched an online campaign in August after she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver. A poll conducted by Datafolha for the Brazilian Forum of Public Security this year found one in three Brazilian women aged 16 or over had suffered physical, verbal or psychological violence in the previous year but 52 percent did not report it. ?I?ve never been so violated as in Brazil,? Averbuck told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ?I?m not speaking only about physical rape. In London, in New York, I feel very comfortable because they treat me like a human being. Here they treat you less than a human being.? London best, Tokyo safest Lima in Peru came out worst when participants were asked if women had good access to healthcare, including control over reproductive health. Abortion is illegal in Peru except to save the life of the mother and the teenage pregnancy rate is high. Conflict-ridden Kinshasa, where growing violence has sparked fears of a repeat of civil wars two decades ago in which millions died, was the worst city in terms of female access to education, ownership of land and obtaining financial services. At the other end of the scale, London was named the best city, buoyed by Britain?s free and universal National Health Service, as well as coming top for economic opportunities. London London Mayor Sadiq Khan said women were now leading at every level of society in London - in public service, the arts, politics, science and business - but there was more to do. ?The progress we?re making as a city is not happening fast enough,? he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ?We must redouble our efforts to remove any barriers to women?s success and to unlock their full potential.? Tokyo was ranked as the safest city in terms of sexual violence and harassment, though some women?s rights campaigners said sexual violence remained a hidden problem. Moscow outperformed New York on a range of measures, and was named the most female-friendly city judged solely on cultural practice, perhaps a nod to its avowedly egalitarian Soviet past. Urban jungles The Thomson Reuters Foundation?s seventh annual perception poll was conducted as cities grow rapidly and the future looks increasingly urban, with 66 percent of people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, up from 54 percent currently. The United Nations says the number of megacities has tripled since 1990 to 31, including six in China and five in India, and forecast this will rise to 41 by 2030. The poll was only conducted in the largest city in each country. Campaigners said understanding and preparing for key trends in urbanisation in coming years is crucial to meet the UN?s latest set of global goals to end poverty and inequality by 2030. The poll was designed around UN targets. Billy Cobbett, director of the Cities Alliance, a global partnership for urban poverty reduction that promotes the role of cities in sustainable development, said the success of Agenda 2030 would be substantially dependent on the role played by women in cities of all sizes. ?The opportunity for women to play a full and leading role cannot be taken for granted, but requires reliable data, sound policy and decisive actions by city leaders,? Cobbett told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The poll of 380 people was conducted online and by phone between June 1 and July 28 with 20 experts questioned in each of the 19 cities with a response rate of 93 percent. The results were based on a minimum of 15 experts in each city. Respondents included aid professionals, academics, healthcare staff, non-government organisation workers, policy-makers, development specialists and social commentators.
  14. OHIO: Outside the Morgan County fair in McConnelsville, in a rural swath of Ohio that fervently backed US President Donald Trump in last year?s election, ticket seller John Wilson quietly counts off a handful of disappointments with the man he helped elect. The 70-year-old retired banker said he is unhappy with infighting and turnover in the White House. He does not like Trump?s penchant for traveling to his personal golf resorts. He wishes the president would do more to fix the healthcare system, and he worries that Trump might back down from his promise to force illegal immigrants out of the country. ?Every president makes mistakes,? Wilson said. ?But if you add one on top of one, on top of another one, on top of another, there?s just a limit.? Trump, who inspired millions of supporters last year in places like Morgan County, has been losing his grip on rural America. According to the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, the Republican president?s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities where 15 percent of the country?s population lives. The poll of more than 15,000 adults in ?non-metro? areas shows that they are now as likely to disapprove of Trump as they are to approve of him. In September, 47 percent of people in non-metro areas approved of Trump while 47 percent disapproved. That is down from Trump?s first four weeks in office, when 55 percent said they approved of the president while 39 percent disapproved. The poll found that Trump has lost support in rural areas among men, whites and people who never went to college. He lost support with rural Republicans and rural voters who supported him on Election Day. And while Trump still gets relatively high marks in the poll for his handling of the economy and national security, rural Americans are increasingly unhappy with Trump?s record on immigration, a central part of his presidential campaign. Forty-seven percent of rural Americans said in September they approved of the president?s handling of immigration, down from 56 percent during his first month in office. Poll respondents who were interviewed by Reuters gave different reasons for their dissatisfaction with the president on immigration. A few said they are tired of waiting for Trump to make good on his promise to build a wall along America?s southern border, while others said they were uncomfortable with his administration?s efforts to restrict travel into the United States. ?There should be some sort of compromise between a free flow of people over the border and something that?s more controlled,? said Drew Carlson, 19, of Warrensburg, Missouri, who took the poll. But Trump?s ?constant fixation on deportation is a little bit unsettling to me.? The Trump administration would not comment on the Reuters/Ipsos poll.
  15. TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will dissolve parliament?s lower house on Thursday for a snap election, a party official said, in a move aimed at taking advantage of improved ratings and opposition disarray. Abe?s junior coalition partner Natuo Yamaguchi, the head of the Komeito party, said he understood that the election will be held on Oct. 22, as Abe prepared to hold a news conference at 6 p.m. (5.00 a.m. ET) on Monday. Abe, who has held power for five years, was expected to put pledges to spend on education and child care, stay tough on North Korea and revise the constitution at the forefront of his campaign. Abe, whose ratings have risen to around 50 percent from around 30 percent in July, is gambling his ruling bloc can keep its lower house majority even if they lose the two-thirds ?super majority? needed to achieve his long-held goal of revising the post-war pacifist constitution to clarify the military?s role. A weekend survey by the Nikkei business daily survey showed 44 percent of voters planned to vote for Abe?s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) versus 8 percent for the main opposition Democratic Party and another 8 percent for a new party launched by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. The Nikkei poll was far more positive for Abe?s prospects that a Kyodo news agency survey that showed his LDP garnering 27.7 percent support, with 42.2 percent undecided. Abe?s image as a strong leader has bolstered his ratings amid rising tensions over North Korea?s nuclear arms and missile programs and overshadowed opposition criticism of the premier for suspected cronyism scandals that had eroded his support. Some critics say that Abe has risked creating a political vacuum at a time when geo-political tensions over North Korea are rising. And, given the unexpected results seen in other major developed countries, political analysts are not ruling a ?nasty surprise? for the Japanese leader. ?Abe?s big gamble could yield a big surprise,? veteran independent political analysts Minoru Morita said. ?Political vacuum" Abe told LDP executives at a meeting on Monday that he intended to dissolve the lower house on Thursday. The prime minister had been expected to face a grilling over the cronyism scandals during Thursday?s session, and opposition party officials saw the move as play to avoid difficult questions. Sources have said Abe?s election platform will see him promise to go ahead with a planned rise in the national sales tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in 2019 but increase the proportion of revenue spent on child care and education, delaying a target of putting the budget in the black in the fiscal year ending March 2021. Abe on Monday asked his cabinet to compile a 2 trillion yen ($17.80 billion) economic package by the year-end to focus on child care, education and encouraging corporate investment, while maintaining fiscal discipline. The Yomiuri newspaper said earlier the funding would cover the three years from April 2018 until sales tax revenue kicks in. The main opposition Democratic Party is struggling with single-digit ratings and much depends on whether it can cooperate with liberal opposition groups. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announced on Monday - just hours ahead of Abe?s news conference - that she would lead a new conservative, reform-minded ?Party of Hope? to provide voters with an alternative to the LDP. ?Our ideal is to proceed free of special interests,? Koike, a former LDP member, told a news conference. A junior cabinet minister from the LDP, Mineyuki Fukuda, said over the weekend he would leave the ruling party to stand for election with Koike?s new group. An LDP internal survey showed seats held by the LDP and its coalition partner Komeito could fall to 280 from the 323 they now hold, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Reforms enacted last year will cut the number of lower house seats to 465 from 475.
  16. Usually, a readers' poll shouldn't be taken that seriously, but this one doesn't seem that far-fetched. According to the readers of Rough Guide, Scotland is the 'most beautiful country in the world'. Yes, this is quite plausible, but the whole list had some entries, which are quite surprising to say the least. Readers of this esteemed travel guide website were asked to vote in order to decide which is the most beautiful country in the world, and Scotland came out as the winner, claiming the top spot ahead of Canada and New Zealand, who made the second and third spots respectively. © Scotland Now Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, was understandably thrilled with the result. He said, "We are delighted that Scotland has received this remarkable accolade from Rough Guide readers. But, of course it will not be a surprise to anyone who has encountered our wonderful country. From our awe-inspiring landscapes to our remarkable historic attractions, to our bustling but beautiful urban centres, Scotland takes people's breaths away. Of course, with great beauty comes great responsibility and we urge both visitors and residents alike to respect Scotland's natural assets to protect and preserve them for many generations to come." Other than that, the full list is as follows: 20. Vietnam 19. Croatia 18. Ireland 17. Norway 16. Peru 15. Switzerland 14. Finland 13. India 12. Mexico 11. Slovenia 10. Wales 9. USA 8. Iceland 7. England 6. Indonesia 5. South Africa 4. Italy 3. New Zealand 2. Canada 1. Scotland Yes, India ranked above Switzerland and Ireland. Are you as surprised as I am? Well, Rough Guides description of India on their list is : “India is sometimes controversially described as a “Marmite” kind of country (you either love it or you hate it), but plenty of you are enthralled by this diverse nation. On Twitter, @Breathedreamgo says ‘India is culturally the most beautiful country in the world'.” © Akshat Bahl Twitter user @Breathedreamgo is correct, though. You can't deny how diverse and culturally rich our country actually is. Well, what do you think about this list? Do you agree with it?
  17. Four people were killed Wednesday in election-related violence in Kenya, where the opposition claimed massive rigging in a vote that President Uhuru Kenyatta looked certain to win. The east African nation, keenly aware of post-poll violence a decade ago that left 1,100 dead, was on a knife-edge after a day of isolated protests in opposition strongholds. The unrest broke out after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed massive fraud as Kenyatta surged ahead in provisional results, with 54 percent compared to his 44.7 percent. Results from over 96 percent of polling stations were in. Two protesters were shot dead in the flashpoint slum of Mathare in Nairobi, where police also fired tear gas at crowds who burned tyres and blocked roads throughout the day. An AFP photographer saw one of the victims, a young man with a massive gunshot wound to the head. Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said the two who were killed had tried to "attack our officers with pangas (machetes) and that's when the officers opened fire on them." In the southeastern Tana River region, police said five men armed with knives had attacked a vote tallying station and stabbed one person. "Our officers killed two of them and we are looking for others who escaped," said regional police chief Larry Kieng. "We have not established the motive yet, we don't know if it is political or if it's a criminal incident but we are investigating and action will be taken." The region is prone to attacks by Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab militants. Hacking attack denied Decrying a "sham" tallying process, Odinga detailed accusations of a major attack on the electronic voting system, saying hackers had gained entry using the identity of top IT official Chris Msando, who was found tortured and murdered late last month. "This is an attack on our democracy. The 2017 general election was a fraud," said Odinga, claiming detailed evidence of the hackers' movements. The 72-year-old, who is making his fourth bid for the presidency as the flagbearer for the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, accused his rivals of stealing victory from him through rigging in 2007 and in 2013. "You can only cheat a people for so long," he said. Election commission (IEBC) chief Ezra Chiloba denied that the crucial electronic system -- seen as key to avoiding fraud -- had been compromised. "Our election management system is secure. There was no external or internal interference to the system at any point before, during or after the voting," he told a press conference. Odinga's claims led to isolated protests in his stronghold in the western city of Kisumu as well as in slums in Nairobi. Responding to the tensions, former US secretary of state John Kerry, an observer with the Carter Centre, expressed confidence in the electronic voting system and urged Kenyans "not to jump to conclusions". "It is also going to be critical to the leaders of Kenya to step up and lead in the next days to give people confidence that this process is being worked carefully, thoughtfully and respectfully." Calls for calm Aside from the alleged hacking, the opposition's main complaint was that results streaming in electronically had yet to be backed up by a scanned copy of the results from constituencies. Chiloba assured that these forms were coming in and that candidates' teams were being given access to them. The IEBC has insisted the results on its public website should not be considered final until they have been cross-checked. Raphael Tuju, secretary-general of Kenyatta's Jubilee party, urged the opposition to "look at the figures soberly" and accept the results. Odinga urged his supporters to "remain calm as we look deep into this matter". But he added: "I don't control the people." The heads of nine international observer missions released a joint statement calling on parties and their supporters to remain calm, and turn to the courts with their grievances. "We appeal to all citizens of Kenya to remain committed to peace and the integrity of the electoral process," read the statement. Dynastic rivalry The contest between Odinga and Kenyatta was seen by pollsters as too close to call ahead of the vote. It is the second time the two men have faced off in a presidential election, a dynastic rivalry that has lasted more than half a century since their fathers Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Odinga went from allies in the struggle for independence to bitter rivals. Kenyatta, 55, is credited with overseeing steady economic growth of more than five percent. But food prices have soared under his watch, and several major corruption scandals broke out in his first term.
  18. NEW YORK: A majority of Americans are ready to move on from healthcare reform at this point after the US Senate's effort to dismantle Obamacare failed on Friday, an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll ? released on Saturday ? indicates. Nearly two-thirds of the country wants to either keep or modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ? popularly known as Obamacare ? and a majority of Americans want Congress to turn its attention to other priorities, the survey found. Republicans have vowed to dismantle the ACA since Democratic President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2010, and it appeared they finally had their chance when Republican President Donald Trump took office in January. However, the law, which helped 20 million people obtain health insurance, has steadily grown more popular. The July 28-29 poll of over 1,130 Americans ? conducted after the Republican-led effort collapsed in the Senate ? found that 64 percent said they wanted to keep Obamacare, either "entirely as is" or after fixing "problem areas". That is up from 54 percent in January. The survey found that support for the law still runs along party lines, with nine out of 10 Democrats and just three out of 10 Republicans saying they wanted to keep or modify Obamacare. Among Republicans, three-fourths said they would like their party's leaders to try to repeal and replace Obamacare at some point, though most listed other issues that they would give a higher priority right now. Disappointment among Republicans and happiness among Democrats about the repeal's failure were palpable. Two-thirds of Republicans felt "bad" that the Senate failed to pass a health care bill, while three-fourths of Democrats felt "good," according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. When asked what they think Congress should do next, most Americans picked other priorities such as tax reform, foreign relations, and infrastructure. Only 29 percent said they wanted Republicans in Congress to "continue working on a new healthcare bill". Gene Anderson, 81 ? a Trump voter living in a retirement community in Zionsville, Indiana ? said the president should "refocus on some stability in his administration and some demonstration of being able to work together with Democrats in Congress". "I don't understand why they had to push for health care reform before tax reform," he said. "They ought to sit down and come up with a viable legislative, doable tax reform." Americans appear to be more supportive of some of the main features of Obamacare. For example, 77 percent said they were in favour of expanding Medicaid to low-income families, and 43 percent said they favoured requiring US residents to own health insurance. That was up from 66 percent and 36 percent, respectively, when Reuters/Ipsos first asked those questions in April 2012. The latest Republican effort failed when Senator John McCain split from his party's leadership and joined Republican colleagues Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and Senate Democrats to vote against a so-called skinny repeal eliminating certain aspects of Obamacare. McCain later said the measure "offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system". Respondents said they thought a lot of people shared responsibility for the failure on health care. When asked who "is most responsible," 20 percent picked Senate Republicans, 13 percent said Trump, and 11 percent said McCain. The rest picked Senate Democrats and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Senators Collins and Murkowski. The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,136 people, including 381 Republicans and 475 Democrats. The poll has a credibility interval ? a measure of accuracy ? of 3 percentage points. COVER IMAGE: The United States Capitol is seen prior to an all night round of health care votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
  19. A rainbow flag flies as people protest President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the US military, in Times Square, New York City, New York, US. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri NEW YORK: A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump's announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces. When asked to weigh in on the debate, 58 percent of adults agreed with the statement, "Transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military." Twenty-seven percent said they should not, while the rest answered, "don't know." Democrats mostly supported military service by transgender Americans while Republicans were more evenly split. Poll: Transgender service members A majority of the American public believes that transgender service members should be allowed in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll conducted between July 26-28. Poll: Transgender service members A majority of the American public believes that transgender service members should be allowed in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll conducted between July 26-28. Among Republicans, 32 percent said transgender Americans should be allowed to serve, while 49 percent said they should not. Another 19 percent of Republicans said they don't know. The public was also divided over the impact of banning transgender service members. Some 32 percent said it would "hurt morale" in the military while 17 percent said it would "improve morale." Another 33 percent felt it would "have no impact" and the rest said they don't know. When asked about the impact on military capabilities, 14 percent said prohibiting transgender service members made the military "more capable", while 43 percent said "no impact," 22 percent said "less capable" and the rest said they don't know. The president's announcement, made in posts on his Twitter account, surprised many senior military officers and appeared to pre-empt an ongoing Pentagon review into its inclusion of transgender service members. The United States' top military officer, Marine Corps. General Joseph Dunford, said the military will not alter its current policies until it receives additional guidance from Trump's secretary of defence. Roger Kaikko, 61, a Trump voter near Cleveland, Ohio, who took the poll, said he disagrees with the president. "Even the president shouldn?t be able to take rights away from some people just because he may not like them," Kaikko said. "They?re people too. Unless they?re causing problems, they should serve just like anybody else." The Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll was conducted online in English across the United States. It gathered responses from 1,249 adults including 533 Democrats and 434 Republicans. It has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points for the entire group and 5 percentage points for Democrats and Republicans.
  20. US President Donald Trump speaks during a "Made in America" products showcase event at the White House in Washington, US, July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria NEW YORK: About one in eight people who voted for President Donald Trump said they are not sure they would do so again after witnessing Trump's tumultuous first six months in office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2016 voters. While most of the people who voted for Trump on November 8 said they would back him again, the erosion of support within his winning coalition of older, disaffected, mostly white voters poses a potential challenge for the president. Trump, who won the White House by the slimmest of margins, needs every last supporter behind him to push his agenda through a divided Congress and potentially win a second term in 2020. The poll surveyed voters who had told Reuters/Ipsos on Election Day how they had cast their ballots. While other surveys have measured varying levels of disillusionment among Trump supporters, the Reuters/Ipsos poll shows how many would go as far as changing the way they voted. The survey was carried out first in May and then again in July. In the July survey, 12 percent of respondents said they would not vote for Trump "if the 2016 presidential election were held today" ? 7 percent said they ?don?t know? what they would do, and the remaining 5 percent would either support one of the other 2016 presidential candidates or not vote. View the detailed analysis here: tmsnrt.rs/2vkyX7C Eighty-eight percent said they would vote for Trump again, a slight improvement over the May figure of 82 percent. Taken together, the polls suggest that Trump?s standing with his base has improved slightly over the past few months despite his Republican Party?s repeated failures to overhaul the healthcare system and multiple congressional and federal investigations into his campaign?s ties to Russia. To be sure, most presidents lose support among core supporters the longer they are in the White House. According to the Gallup polling service, former President Barack Obama saw his popularity dip among Democrats and minority voters, though it did not come until later in his first term. But Obama, who won the Electoral College with greater margins than Trump, was not as reliant on retaining his core supporters. The minority of Trump voters who said they would not vote for him again gave varying reasons in interviews for why they had changed their minds. Some were tired of his daily trolling of Democrats, the media, and the judiciary. Some were disappointed that the Trump administration has not yet swept illegal immigrants out of their communities. Others said the president has not ended the mistrust and hyper-partisanship in Washington as much as they had hoped. T-Shirt politics "If I had to walk around wearing a T-shirt saying who I voted for, I may have voted differently,? said Beverly Guy, 34, a Trump voter who took the poll in July. If the election were held today, Guy said she would vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Guy said she picked Trump mostly because she did not support Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. She never cared that much for Trump and now finds herself rationalising a decision that has angered many of her friends. "I care more about my neighbours than I do about politics,? she said. Another poll respondent, Brian Barnes, said he was standing by his choice to vote for Trump. He thinks the media is focusing too much on the Russia investigation and not enough on Trump?s accomplishments like his elevation of another conservative justice to the Supreme Court. "I think he?s doing all he can," Barnes said, "even though the Republicans in the House and Senate are creating a lot of problems" by not passing a healthcare bill. Experts in American politics said it makes sense that a transformative political figure like Trump would retain a high degree of loyalty from his supporters no matter what negative headlines are swirling around the White House. Political winds do not shift quickly in a strong economy, they said, especially when many of the president?s decisions have yet to take root. "People are still invested in the choices they made" on Election Day, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia?s Center for Politics. "They?re not about to admit that they?re wrong, at least not yet." Elaine Kamarck, an expert in American electoral politics at the Brookings Institution, said the erosion in Trump?s base could certainly hurt his chances of re-election, though it is too early to say so for sure. The most important question is whether he loses support where it counts ? in battleground states that he barely won last year. "If these disenchanted Trump voters are in California, it doesn?t matter," Kamarck said. "If they live in Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania, it matters." The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of about 5 percentage points. The July 11-12 poll gathered its sample from 1,296 people, including 541 Trump voters, while the May 10-15 poll gathered its sample from 1,206 people, including 543 Trump voters. In both cases, Ipsos weighted their responses according to voter profiles gathered from the US Census? voting and registration supplement to the Current Population Survey.
  21. LONDON: Results have started coming in for Britain?s snap election with Prime Minister Theresa May poised for victory but losing her parliamentary majority. The exit poll showed May's Conservatives on course to fall from 330 to 314 seats, short of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, after a troubled campaign overshadowed by two deadly terror attacks. The main opposition Labour party, led by leftist Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile is projected to increase its number of seats from 229 to 266, according to the joint exit poll by Sky, the BBC and ITV news. The pound immediately tumbled after the poll. The election came at a pivotal time in British history as it negotiates a complicated exit from the European Union, the first country to leave the six-decade-old bloc. The pro-European Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned for a second referendum that could keep Britain in the EU, were forecast to increase their seats from nine to 14. In Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for independence to avoid a "hard Brexit", her Scottish National Party was tipped to lose seats but still dominate. All parties urged caution at the shock poll, with the final results not likely until early on Friday morning. An exit poll gives an indication of the outcome, although final results will not emerge until early Friday. In 2005 and 2010, the exit poll accurately forecast the number of seats won by the largest party. In 2015, it slightly underestimated the number of seats won by the victorious Conservatives but got the order of the parties right. The forecast Conservative victory is far smaller than suggested by opinion polls when she called the snap election at a time when her popularity was running high. Analysts had blamed the decline on May´s botched announcement of a reform in funding for elderly care, a strong grassroots campaign by Corbyn and the terror attacks, which have led to scrutiny of her time as interior minister before becoming prime minister. Security for voting day was reviewed following the recent London attack, which left at least eight dead, with the city's Metropolitan Police force implementing a "specialist and highly flexible operation" which it said could be deployed as needed. LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SAY "VERY DIFFICULT TO JOIN COALITION Britain's Liberal Democrat party would find it very difficult to join a coalition again after suffering severe damage from its deal with the Conservatives after the 2010 election, former leader Menzies Campbell said on Thursday. "(Party leader) Tim Farron made it very clear. He said no pact, no deal, no coalition. We´ve had our fingers burnt by coalition, I don´t need to tell you that. I find it very, very difficult to see how Tim Farron would be able to go back on what he previously said," Campbell told the BBC. Exit polls suggest the Liberal Democrats will increase their number of seats in Britain´s 650-member parliament to 14. The results of the exit poll show that Prime Minister Theresa May´s Conservative Party looks short of an outright majority. geo_embedgallery Prime Minister Theresa May, who came into power without a national vote last year after David Cameron´s resignation following the Brexit vote, called for a three-year-early election for June 8, saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European Union by bolstering support for her Brexit plan. If May does not handsomely beat the 12-seat majority her predecessor Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed. When she called the election, polls showed she was as much as 23 percentage points ahead. However, the lead has shrunk substantially since then. CORBYN SAYS HIS CAMPAIGN 'CHANGED POLITICS' The head of Britain´s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, on Friday said the country´s political landscape had been upended in a general election forecast to result in a hung parliament. "Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better," Corbyn said in a tweet. An exit poll predicted unexpected gains for Labour in Thursday´s vote, causing Prime Minister Theresa May to lose her overall majority. MAY, CORBYN CAST VOTES Earlier today, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn cast his vote at the Pakeman primary school in Holloway, North London. The politician appeared to be in an amiable mood as he smiled and waved to the media. Corbyn waved, smiled and posed for the media as he came to cast his vote. Photo: AP Speaking to the press, he said ?Thank you very much, all of you, for coming here today. It?s a day of our democracy. I?ve just voted. I?m very proud of our campaign. Thank you very much.? On the other hand, clad in white-and-black May also cast her vote at a polling station in Sonning, Berkshire. According to media reports, she just greeted the media with a simple ?hello? unlike her opponent. Theresa May casted her voted at a polling station in Sonning, Berkshire. Photo: Reuters She was also holding a polling card in her hand even though voters didn?t need to show up with one to vote. BRITISH-PAKISTANI CONTESTING POLLS More than 40 men and women of Pakistani origin have taken part in the elections. Of these, around 31 are from the mainstream parties such as Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats while the rest are from smaller parties or contesting as independents. 31 British Pakistanis contesting UK elections from mainstream parties 13 Labour, 11 Lib Dems, 6 Conservatives, 1 SNP, 3 UKIP and several taking part as independent candidates Research by Geo News correspondents showed that the Labour Party has given tickets to 13 British Pakistanis; Liberal Democrats to 11 candidates; six candidates for the Conservative; one from Scottish National Party (SNP); three for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and one for the Green Party. Labour has given tickets to the highest number of candidates with a high chance of winning on safe Labour strongholds or relatively safe seats. 'LITTLE CONFIDENCE' It is the third time Britain has gone to the polls in two years, twice for a general election and once for the EU referendum, and voter fatigue appeared to be an issue among the early voters. "I don´t think it has really been a campaign, we don´t know anything about what they are going to do about Brexit, it´s been pointless really," said Joe Kerney, 53, at a polling station in Hackney, east London. "I have little confidence in anybody," added voter Simon Bolton, 41. "I think we lack quality in terms of who we can choose, it is very limited." The election was May's first since taking office after Britons voted by 52 percent to leave the European Union.
  22. File Photo NEW YORK: The British pound fell sharply Thursday after an exit poll suggested Prime Minister Theresa May´s Conservatives could lose their majority after losing seats in the general elections. The British currency was trading at $1.2751, down 1.5 percent from the day-before level. An exit poll released shortly after the vote ended showed conservatives were set to win 314 seats -- a loss of 16 -- followed by Labour on 266 -- a gain of 32 -- the Scottish National Party on 34 and the Liberal Democrats on 14.
  23. geo_embedgallery LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May is poised to win Britain´s snap election but lose her parliamentary majority, a shock exit poll suggested Thursday, in what would be a major blow for her leadership as Brexit talks loom. The poll showed May´s Conservatives on course to fall from 330 to 314 seats, short of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, after a troubled campaign overshadowed by two deadly terror attacks. The main opposition Labour party, led by leftist Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile is projected to increase its number of seats from 229 to 266, according to the joint exit poll by Sky, the BBC and ITV news. The pound immediately tumbled after the poll. The election came at a pivotal time in British history as it negotiates a complicated exit from the European Union, the first country to leave the six-decade-old bloc. The pro-European Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned for a second referendum that could keep Britain in the EU, were forecast to increase their seats from nine to 14. In Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for independence to avoid a "hard Brexit", her Scottish National Party was tipped to lose seats but still dominate. All parties urged caution at the shock poll, with the final results not likely until early on Friday morning. An exit poll gives an indication of the outcome, although final results will not emerge until early Friday. In 2005 and 2010, the exit poll accurately forecast the number of seats won by the largest party. In 2015, it slightly underestimated the number of seats won by the victorious Conservatives but got the order of the parties right. Update from outside British Parliament The forecast Conservative victory is far smaller than suggested by opinion polls when she called the snap election at a time when her popularity was running high. Analysts had blamed the decline on May´s botched announcement of a reform in funding for elderly care, a strong grassroots campaign by Corbyn and the terror attacks, which have led to scrutiny of her time as interior minister before becoming prime minister. Security for voting day was reviewed following the recent London attack, which left at least eight dead, with the city's Metropolitan Police force implementing a "specialist and highly flexible operation" which it said could be deployed as needed. geo_embedgallery Liberal Democrats say "very difficult" to join coalition Britain´s Liberal Democrat party would find it very difficult to join a coalition again after suffering severe damage from its deal with the Conservatives after the 2010 election, former leader Menzies Campbell said on Thursday. "(Party leader) Tim Farron made it very clear. He said no pact, no deal, no coalition. We´ve had our fingers burnt by coalition, I don´t need to tell you that. I find it very, very difficult to see how Tim Farron would be able to go back on what he previously said," Campbell told the BBC. Exit polls suggest the Liberal Democrats will increase their number of seats in Britain´s 650-member parliament to 14. The results of the exit poll show that Prime Minister Theresa May´s Conservative Party looks short of an outright majority. HOUGHTON AND SUNDERLAND SOUTH, RESULT EXPECTED 2200 GMT Due to be the first result of the night. It was one of the first big Leave-voting areas to declare in last year's referendum on European Union membership, shocking markets by backing Brexit more strongly than expected. It is held by the opposition Labour Party, with a majority of nearly 13,000 votes, but will be closely watched for the fortunes of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP), which came second here in 2015 with more than 8,000 votes. UKIP's poll share has collapsed since 2015, and this seat could give an indication of how far May's Conservatives are succeeding in mopping up former UKIP supporters. NUNEATON, RESULT EXPECTED MIDNIGHT GMT Considered a national bellwether seat, Nuneaton could provide an early clue of the possible swing between May's Conservatives and Labour. The Conservatives increased their majority here in 2015, despite it being a Labour target, and it provided one of the first indications the Conservatives were on course for victory. DARLINGTON, RESULT EXPECTED 0030 GMT This Conservative target seat, which voted in favour of leaving the EU, is held by Labour with a majority of 3,158. A YouGov regional poll last month showed support for Conservatives had risen significantly in the northeast of England, and the Tees Valley region, in which Darlington sits, unexpectedly elected a Conservative mayor last month. A win for May's party here could mean she is on track for a landslide nationally, according to polling expert John Curtice. NORTHAMPTON NORTH, RESULT EXPECTED 0100 GMT This seat has elected a lawmaker from the winning party at every British national election since it was created in 1974. It is held by the Conservatives with a majority of 3,245. UKIP, which won more than 6,000 votes here in 2015, are not fielding a candidate so it should be a comfortable win for the Conservatives if they are to increase their national majority. BURY NORTH, RESULT EXPECTED 0200 GMT This is a Conservative-held marginal seat, with a majority of just 378 voters. It has been a bellwether seat so if the Conservatives lose it, despite facing no UKIP candidate, it could be a sign they are at risk of losing their majority. MORAY, RESULT EXPECTED 0200 GMT The seat of the pro-independence Scottish National Party's leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson, who won it with a majority of just over 9,000 in 2015. At local elections in May the Conservatives won a greater vote share here than the SNP. If the swing seen then is repeated, Robertson would lose his seat. Moray, which voted in favour of Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom in 2014, was the closest Brexit result in Scotland, with "Remain" just 122 votes ahead of "Leave". WREXHAM, RESULT EXPECTED 0200 GMT This seat in Brexit-supporting Wales is held by Labour with a majority of 1,831 and has never been won by the Conservatives. UKIP, which won more than 5,000 votes here in 2015, is not fielding a candidate this time and Curtice points to it as one to watch for signs that May could substantially increase her majority nationally. HASTINGS AND RYE, RESULT EXPECTED 0200 GMT This is the seat of interior minister Amber Rudd, who has played a prominent role in the election campaign and is tipped as a possible successor to Chancellor Philip Hammond. She has held it since 2010, and won a majority of 4,796 in 2015. The Green Party, which won just under 2,000 votes there in 2015, has agreed not to field a candidate in a bid to help Labour try and unseat Rudd. Pollster YouGov's election model has predicted they could succeed in doing so. KINGSTON AND SURBITON, RESULT EXPECTED 0200 GMT This seat is being targeted by the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, who lost it to the Conservatives in 2015. The area voted strongly to remain in the EU at last year's referendum. Whether the Liberal Democrats are able to overturn the Conservatives' majority of 2,834 will be a key test of how far remain supporters are willing to back May's Brexit plan. WESTMORLAND AND LONSDALE, RESULT EXPECTED 0300 GMT The seat of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. He won it with a majority of nearly 9,000 votes in 2015 but his party's expected surge in support due to its anti-Brexit stance has failed to materialise. Cumbria, where the seat sits, voted in favour of Brexit and the Conservatives are hoping to oust Farron. They are likely to be helped by the fact UKIP, which got just over 3,000 votes there in 2015, are not standing. BRIGHTON KEMPTOWN, RESULT EXPECTED 0400 GMT This marginal seat is held by the Conservative minister responsible for financial services, Simon Kirby, with a majority of just 690. It voted strongly in favour of remaining in the EU. It has been a bellwether at national elections since 1979 and the Green Party, who won more than 3,000 votes here in 2015, are not standing. Labour need to win seats like this if they are to have any chance of being the largest party nationally. HALIFAX, RESULT EXPECTED 0430 GMT This is one of Labour's most marginal seats, with a majority of just 428. It voted in favour of Brexit. May's Conservatives launched their election policy document here and need to win seats like this if she is to win a comfortable majority. geo_embedgallery Prime Minister Theresa May, who came into power without a national vote last year after David Cameron´s resignation following the Brexit vote, called for a three-year-early election for June 8, saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European Union by bolstering support for her Brexit plan. If May does not handsomely beat the 12-seat majority her predecessor Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed. When she called the election, polls showed she was as much as 23 percentage points ahead. However, the lead has shrunk substantially since then. MAY, CORBYN CAST VOTES Earlier today, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn cast his vote at the Pakeman primary school in Holloway, North London. The politician appeared to be in an amiable mood as he smiled and waved to the media. Corbyn waved, smiled and posed for the media as he came to cast his vote. Photo: AP Speaking to the press, he said ?Thank you very much, all of you, for coming here today. It?s a day of our democracy. I?ve just voted. I?m very proud of our campaign. Thank you very much.? On the other hand, clad in white-and-black May also cast her vote at a polling station in Sonning, Berkshire. According to media reports, she just greeted the media with a simple ?hello? unlike her opponent. Theresa May casted her voted at a polling station in Sonning, Berkshire. Photo: Reuters She was also holding a polling card in her hand even though voters didn?t need to show up with one to vote. THE OPTIONS The main parties across the whole of Britain are the Conservatives (centre-right), led by May, and Labour (left), led by Corbyn, followed by the Liberal Democrats (centre-left), the UK Independence Party (populist) and the Greens (left). The Scottish Nationalists (left), Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru (left) and four parties from Northern Ireland also won seats at the last general election in 2015. BRITISH-PAKISTANI CONTESTING POLLS More than 40 men and women of Pakistani origin have taken part in the elections. Of these, around 31 are from the mainstream parties such as Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats while the rest are from smaller parties or contesting as independents. 31 British Pakistanis contesting UK elections from mainstream parties 13 Labour, 11 Lib Dems, 6 Conservatives, 1 SNP, 3 UKIP and several taking part as independent candidates Research by Geo News correspondents showed that the Labour Party has given tickets to 13 British Pakistanis; Liberal Democrats to 11 candidates; six candidates for the Conservative; one from Scottish National Party (SNP); three for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and one for the Green Party. Labour has given tickets to the highest number of candidates with a high chance of winning on safe Labour strongholds or relatively safe seats. LONDON STOCKS, POUND DIP The London stock market and pound slid on Thursday, with investors nervous as Britons voted in the snap general election. Contributing to a news-heavy day was also an ECB meeting at which the central bank hinted at the end of its easy monetary policy, describing a rosier outlook for the eurozone and dropping a long-standing commitment to cutting interest rates yet further if necessary, and a crucial testimony by sacked FBI chief James Comey in the United States. "Super Thursday is finally here," said analyst Konstantinos Anthis at ADS Securities, referring to the key events on both sides of the Atlantic. The British capital´s FTSE 100 index, which initially rose and then eased back, ended the day with a loss of 0.4 percent. The pound also slid. Britain´s Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May is still set to beat main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, despite a recent narrowing in the opinion polls. Results are not due until early Friday. "The UK stock market would prefer a Tory victory as the party is more in favour of free market economics than Labour," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets. "The ground lost by the Conservatives in the past couple of weeks has rattled some traders," he added. The election is May´s first since taking office in July last year, after Britons voted by 52 percent to leave the European Union. The premier called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her slender majority going into Brexit talks, which begin on June 19, but some polls have suggested she may end up with a hung parliament in which the Conservatives would fall short of the 326 seats needed for a majority. While the pound dipped on Thursday, it was still holding onto gains made after May called the early election. "The pound´s recent steady performance suggests a clear win for Theresa May is discounted," NFS Macro analyst Nick Stamenkovic told AFP. "Indeed, the pound is vulnerable to a hung parliament or the outside risk of a Labour victory." 'LITTLE CONFIDENCE' It is the third time Britain has gone to the polls in two years, twice for a general election and once for the EU referendum, and voter fatigue appeared to be an issue among the early voters. "I don´t think it has really been a campaign, we don´t know anything about what they are going to do about Brexit, it´s been pointless really," said Joe Kerney, 53, at a polling station in Hackney, east London. "I have little confidence in anybody," added voter Simon Bolton, 41. "I think we lack quality in terms of who we can choose, it is very limited." The election is May´s first since taking office after Britons voted by 52 percent to leave the European Union. ELECTORAL PROCESS There are 650 constituencies across the UK, meaning 326 MPs are needed for an absolute majority in parliament´s lower House of Commons. Each constituency is won on a first-past-the-post basis, meaning the candidate with the most votes in that seat becomes its MP. Despite the focus on the party leaders, voters are not directly choosing their prime minister, only their local MP. A parliament is elected for a maximum of five years, meaning the next general election must be held by June 2022 at the latest.
  24. LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party is on course to win Thursday's national election comfortably, an opinion poll suggested on Wednesday, the first of several last-minute surveys ahead of polling day. Polling firm ICM, which has tended to give the Conservatives bigger leads than most other polling firms, said May's lead increased by one percentage point to 12 points. Support for the Conservatives stood at 46 percent, up a point from ICM's previous poll published on Monday. Support for Labour was unchanged at 34 percent, ICM said in a preliminary poll set to be finalised later on Wednesday. That kind of lead would give May a majority of 96 seats in parliament, up sharply from the working majority of 17 that the Conservatives had in the previous parliament. Such a majority would vindicate May's decision to call an election less than a year after she became prime minister in the political turmoil that followed Britain's vote to leave the European Union. May called the election in April, saying she wanted to go into the Brexit negotiations with a position of strength. The ICM online poll of 1,532 adults was conducted between June 6 and 7, after a deadly attack in London on June 3. Five other opinion polls are expected to be published later on Wednesday, including one by Survation which estimated the Conservatives' lead stood at just one percentage point in its last two polls. Scepticism There have been big differences too in estimates of how many seats the Conservatives are likely to win. Polling firm YouGov estimated earlier on Wednesday that the party would fall more than 20 seats short of a majority. Other models have predicted it will increase its majority. The wide range of estimates of support for the two main political parties has added to scepticism among many critics of polling who point to how the industry largely failed to accurately predict the outcome of the 2015 election and last year's referendum vote to exit the European Union. However, until recently the polls have largely shown a steady narrowing of the lead of May's Conservatives for much of the past three weeks following the publication of the parties' election policy pledges. But a poll published by Opinium on Monday, the first by a major firm that was conducted in its entirety after the attack in London, showed the Conservatives increasing their lead to seven points.