President Trump’s support among Roman Catholics plunged from a high of 60% in March to a new low at the end of May, according to a new national poll.
Since March, Mr. Trump’s approval has dropped 23 points to 37%, the PRRI poll published Thursday found. The new number is a “significant decline,” according to PRRI, from 2019, when Mr. Trump — who is often touted as “the most pro-life president in history” — held 49% approval among Catholics.
Mr. Trump has rewarded his devoted conservative Catholic voters with like-minded Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, as well as regulations designed to defend religious liberty. On Tuesday, the morning after holding up a Bible at St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square from the White House, Mr. Trump visited the campus of Catholic University in the District of Columbia to pay his respects to Saint John Paul II. Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, is a Catholic.
Among voters overall, Mr. Trump’s approval rating of 41% is similar to last month’s 43%.
“The lack of change in a tumultuous week again underscores that the president’s favorability numbers seem to have a hard floor in the low 40s,” the PRRI staff said in publishing the poll results.
The poll was conducted by phone in Spanish and English between May 26 and May 31, during which nationwide protests against police brutality over the death of George Floyd had begun in many cities.
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Most voters support shutting down social networking sites like Facebook during election week: poll
Roughly half of registered voters polled, including most Republican and Democrats, support totally shutting down social media services during the week of the U.S. presidential election, a report said Friday. Fifty-two percent of 1,000 voters surveyed by this month said they support pulling the plug on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter the week…
Roughly half of registered voters polled, including most Republican and Democrats, support totally shutting down social media services during the week of the U.S. presidential election, a report said Friday.
Fifty-two percent of 1,000 voters surveyed by this month said they support pulling the plug on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter the week of the election, Axios reported. Election Day is Nov. 3.
Respondents who voiced support for shutting down social media services during the span include 54% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans surveyed, Axios reported.
Sixty-two percent said they are not confident social media companies can prevent election-related misinformation, and 91% believe they should do more to prevent it from proliferating, the report said.
The poll was commissioned by Accountable Tech, an advocacy group focused on fighting the spread of online misinformation, and conducted by data analytics firm GQR, according to Axios.
“There’s a pretty staggering level of concern for how ill-prepared social media platforms are for this election. I mean, a majority of voters effectively said, ‘Screw it, shut it all down.’ That’s not to say we should do that, but it sends a clear message to Silicon Valley that they need to step up,” Accountable Tech founder Jesse Lehrich told Axios, the news site reported.
Accountable Tech did not immediately respond to a message inquiring further about the polling data.
Other recent polling has indicated a majority of Americans believe social media companies should reconsider their policies with respect to political content, however.
More than half of 10,000 people surveyed recently as part of a separate poll said that social media companies should outright ban political advertisements, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.
Twitter banned political ads last year. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company will reject political ads in the week before Election Day.
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US steps up support for Taiwan to counter rising China pressure |NationalTribune.com
The United States said on Monday that it was establishing a new bilateral economic dialogue with Taiwan, an initiative it said was aimed at strengthening ties with Taipei and supporting it in the face of increasing pressure from Beijing. Washington also said it had declassified six security assurances given to Taiwan during the era of…
The United States said on Monday that it was establishing a new bilateral economic dialogue with Taiwan, an initiative it said was aimed at strengthening ties with Taipei and supporting it in the face of increasing pressure from Beijing.
Washington also said it had declassified six security assurances given to Taiwan during the era of US President Ronald Reagan – a move analysts said appeared intended to show further support for Taipei.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David Stilwell, made the announcements on Monday, amid a continued deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing and increasing pressure from China on democratically-ruled Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory.
Stilwell said the US is intensifying support to the island because of the “increasing threat posed by Beijing to peace and stability in the region” and its “deepening ties of friendship, trade, and productivity” with Taiwan.
Taiwan flexes military might amid China tensions
Washington broke off formal diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 in favour of Beijing, but the US is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself and is the main arms supplier to the island. The administration of current US President Donald Trump has made strengthening its support for the island a priority, and has also boosted weapons and equipment sales.
Trump is campaigning for re-election in November with a tough approach to China among his key foreign policy platforms, accusing his rival, Democrat Joe Biden, of being weak on China.
In August, Trump also dispatched his health secretary, Alex Azar, to Taipei – the highest-ranking US official to travel to the island in years – angering Beijing.
Stilwell told a virtual forum hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation that the latest US moves were not a policy shift, but part of a set of “significant adjustments” within Washington’s long-standing “one-China” policy.
“We will continue to help Taipei resist the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign to pressure, intimidate, and marginalise Taiwan,” Stilwell said.
“With a population of 23 million, Taiwan continues to punch above its weight in economics as well as governance, thereby making the world a better place.”
Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen says no to ‘one country, two systems’
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed thanks for the show of support at a time when it said China was using military intimidation to damage peace and stability near Taiwan, and said it would continue to strengthen its defence capabilities.
Earlier on Monday, Beijing said that the anti-China pronouncements by certain US politicians are destined to fail, after another Trump official, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, said on Friday that the US should use its alliance in the region to cope with “challenges” posed by China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing on Monday that some officials in the US were “driven by their zero-sum game mindset” and “Cold War mentality and personal gains.”
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s recent visit to Taiwan and meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen angered China, which considers the island as part of its territory [Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters]
Daniel Russel, a predecessor of Stilwell until early in the Trump administration, said the “Six Assurances” made to Taipei by the Reagan administration in 1982 had been a “loosely kept secret” at best.
He said the decision to publish them looked like a compromise response to pressure from administration hawks to abandon “strategic ambiguity” – a long-standing policy of withholding a clear-cut US commitment to defend Taiwan while still showing sufficient support to deter any Chinese military adventurism.
This is quite a speech on Taiwan by @USAsiaPacificChief Stilwell. It says almost everything Taipei would want the US to say: E.g.: China is the problem, not Taiwan; Taiwan needs more international room. US will keep selling arms to Taiwan. https://t.co/lC56WurlXV
— Julian Ku 古舉倫 (@julianku) August 31, 2020
Among the assurances made in 1982, but never formally made public, are statements that the US has not set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, nor agreed to prior consultation with Beijing on such sales, or to revise the Taiwan Relations Act that underpins US policy towards the island.
The assurances, Stilwell said, “endure today”.
Canada’s support for Israel in the spotlight ahead of key UN vote |NationalTribune.com
Most Canadians want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to oppose Israel’s illegal plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, according to a new poll released ahead of a vote on Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The poll, conducted by EKOS Research Associates and published on Tuesday,…
Most Canadians want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to oppose Israel’s illegal plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, according to a new poll released ahead of a vote on Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The poll, conducted by EKOS Research Associates and published on Tuesday, showed that three out of four Canadians want their government to express opposition to Israeli annexation in some form, while 42 percent supported the use of economic or diplomatic sanctions against Israel.
Canada does not deserve a seat at the UN Security Council
Impunity and annexation: ‘Israel has its cake and eats it too’
How has my country voted at the UN?
The survey’s authors said it “confirms that Canadian foreign policy is out of touch with the preferences of Canadians” as Ottawa competes for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC.
Canada is facing off against Norway and Ireland in Wednesday’s vote, where the three nations are vying for two seats.
To win the coveted position, Canada will have to obtain two-thirds of the vote in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) – or 128 votes if all 193 nations vote. Trudeau’s government has invested heavily in the effort, but rights groups have opposed the bid, noting Canada’s staunch support of Israel.
Thomas Woodley, president of Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East which cosponsored the survey, said its “results prove that Canadians want more than words from Trudeau when it comes to opposing Israel’s annexation”.
“Not only is it necessary to threaten sanctions to discourage annexation from taking place, but there is considerable support among the Canadian public to do so,” he said in a statement.
Israel’s plan to annex a third of the occupied West Bank featured heavily in a proposed “Middle East plan” announced by US President Donald Trump in January. Trump’s “plan” suggested a Palestinian state reduced to isolated enclaves with no control over its borders.
The “plan” prompted widespread criticism, with more than 50 European former foreign ministers and leaders saying it “has characteristics similar to apartheid”.
But Canada remained largely silent on the issue.
On June 1, more than 100 organisations and dozens of prominent figures delivered an open letter to all UN ambassadors, urging countries to vote for Ireland and Norway instead of Canada.
The letter pointed out that Trudeau’s government has voted against more than 50 UNGA resolutions upholding Palestinian rights that were backed by the majority of member states. In total, Canada has voted against 166 resolutions critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians since 2000 – when Ottawa last held a seat on the UNSC.
The letter also noted Canada’s refusal to abide by UNSC Resolution 2334, which was passed in 2016 and called on member states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967”. Instead, Canada “extends economic and trade assistance to Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise”, the letter said, also slamming the former Canadian foreign minister’s remark that Ottawa would act as an “asset for Israel” should it win a seat on the UNSC.
The mounting criticism forced Trudeau earlier this month to clarify his position on Israel’s annexation plan.
“I have highlighted both publicly and directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz the importance of staying away from measures that are unilateral and our deep concerns and disagreement with their proposed policy of annexation,” Trudeau said at the June 2 news briefing.
It was the first time Trudeau mentioned the annexation plan since January.
Marc-Andre Blanchard, Canadian ambassador to the UN, also hit back at the rights groups’ allegations, saying their open letter contained “significant inaccuracies” and mischaracterised Canada’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In his own letter (PDF) to all UN ambassadors on June 10, Blanchard said Canada supported the creation of a Palestinian state, “living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel”.
The only means to a two-state solution is direct negotiations, he said, adding: “Canada views any unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank as contrary to international law. Canada has expressed deep concern and disagreement with the proposed policy of annexation and raised the issue publicly.”
But critics say it was too little, too late.
“The question is: Then what?” asked Corey Balsam at the Independent Jewish Voices, highlighting the need for action against Israel to ensure accountability.
“Trudeau speaks a lot about the importance of maintaining a rules-based international order … but of course, annexation is at complete odds with international law and those rules,” Balsam said.
“Canada’s staunch support for Israel has been one reason why they haven’t gotten a UNSC seat in the past. We’ll see [on Wednesday] if they are successful this time.”
What is in Trump’s Middle East plan?
Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, also questioned Canada’s silence on Israeli annexation plans, given its opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In March, Canada issued a statement to mark the sixth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in which its opposition to annexation was clear: “Canada unequivocally condemns this violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and of international law.”
But on the Palestinian issue, “Canada has had a bad case of diplomatic laryngitis,” Lynk said. “Canada puts itself in a weak position as it campaigns for a UN security seat.”
He added: “It would be interesting to see how Canada makes out in its current Security Council bid against Ireland and Norway who have a principled position in respect to international law and its application to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
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