Trump’s approval rating is in a free fall

President Trump’s approval rating has taken a nosedive, according to the latest Gallup poll.

Only 37 percent of respondents approve the job the president is doing — the lowest level since he took office — while 58 percent disapprove, the poll found.

Trump’s approval rating was 45 percent a week earlier.

Other presidents have experienced even lower ratings, but Trump is the first commander-in-chief in at least 70 years to have dropped this low by March of his first term, according to Gallup.

His plummeting numbers come as the GOP seeks to push through the proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare.

Trump also has faced a roadblock with his revised travel ban after a federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order against it.

“We’re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court,” Trump told a crowd during a rally in Tennessee last week. “We’re going to win. The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”

Trump also has faced criticism for his handling of alleged Russian ties and his tweeted claim that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify Monday before the House Intelligence Committee about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and the still-unproven wiretapping claim.

Earlier this month, a Fox News poll showed Trump’s approval rating had dropped by 5 percentage points since last month.

The survey found that 43 percent of voters approved of the job he was doing compared to 51 percent who did not.

The Gallup poll, which included about 1,500 adults nationwide, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

  • Published in World

Iran to dump the US dollar in response to Trump's travel ban

Tehran plans to ditch the use of the American currency in financial reporting after US President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on seven countries, including Iran.
 
According to the local news agency PressTV, the Central Bank of Iran is seeking to replace the dollar with a new common foreign currency or use a basket of currencies in all official financial and foreign exchange reports.
 

Iranian rials © Mushtaq Muhammed

The governor Valiollah Seif said it would come into force in the new financial year starting March 21, 2017.

The agency quotes Seif recommending using currencies with a “high degree of stability.”

The decision comes after President Trump temporarily banned citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US.

After Trump’s election, the Iranian rial saw record lows against the dollar. On December 27 it plunged to its all-time low of 41,600 rials to the dollar.

The head of the central bank said the US did not have a significant role in Iranian trade and could be replaced with currencies of Iran’s key partners like the European Union, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Tehran has agreements with Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iraq to use national currencies in the local trade.

says dump dollar

Iran gets oil revenues in US dollars, and exchanging $41 billion for other currencies has significant risk, analysts have warned.

The local business newspaper Donya-ye Eqtesad responded that Iran uses dollars only in official reporting, and the US currency has largely been replaced with other currencies.

  • Published in World

Leahy advocates for further normalization of relations with Cuba

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Monday that the United States’ travel ban against Cuba contradicts American ideals. Those ideals ought to be promoted abroad, Leahy said, by lifting the trade embargo against the Caribbean country.

Leahy delivered his remarks to a small group of reporters gathered at his Burlington office on the heels of his return to the United States after witnessing Americans on Aug. 14 raise their flag over an embassy in Cuba for the first time in 54 years.

Leahy accompanied Secretary of State John Kerry last weekend to Havana for the official opening of the U.S. Embassy. Leahy has led efforts in Congress to normalize relations with Cuba.

In his criticism of the travel ban, Leahy cited Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who has long pushed for its end.

“I think Senator Flake, who is a Republican, said, as far as travel back and forth, he said, ‘I don’t mind if a communist country tells me that they won’t let me in. What I mind is if my country, a free country, tells me I can’t go to this other country, the only country in the world we have restrictions [against visiting].’

“We can go anywhere – Iran, we can go to North Korea, assuming they’ll let you in, but not Cuba,” Leahy said. “We should have students going back and forth, businesses going back and forth,” Leahy said.

The travel ban eased in January to now permit certain types of visits by United States citizens.

The United States government allows exemptions to the travel ban for United States citizens conducting any of 12 activities that include journalism, religious promotion and education.

One Vermont educator agreed with Leahy’s assessment that even this more permissive travel embargo affronts the freedoms Americans prize. The re-opening of the United States embassy last Friday promises a shift in that stance that he said Americans and Cubans alike should welcome.

“It’s not just about Cuba, and how this will change Cuba, it’s about our rights as U.S. citizens to travel freely,” University of Vermont music professor and director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Alexander Stewart said. “I’ve always found it outrageous and offensive that our government could tell us we can’t go somewhere we wanted to go – that’s a real infringement, I think, on our rights.”

Leahy said that further progress toward normalization of Cuban relations with the United States may offer opportunities for Vermont’s farmers, and potentially its dairy farmers in particular. These effects are likely to be slight, however, owing to the island country’s small economy, Leahy said.

Leahy played an instrumental role in negotiations between the two countries leading up to last week’s events, and in December of last year he flew to Cuba as part of a small group that returned aid worker Alan Gross from a Cuban prison to U.S. soil.

Leahy touched on a number of other subjects during a 45-minute press conference Monday morning in downtown Burlington.

As the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy said, he will secure funding to clean up pollution in Lake Champlain.

“I’ve always been able to get the money in the past, as long as I’m in the appropriations committee I’ll keep getting it,” he said.

Gov. Pete Shumlin and the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans last Friday to reduce by 34 percent the maximum daily amount of pollutants that may enter the lake.

Leahy also said he considers fellow Sen. Bernie Sanders one of only a few likely presidents among those in the race today.

“I’m very proud of Bernie, and I’ve told him that, and I’ve said so publicly,” Leahy said.

“I think there’s only two or three, maybe four people running now who are viable candidates for the presidency, and Bernie Sanders is one of them,” he said.

Leahy said his feelings toward Sanders would not alter his long-standing endorsement of Sanders’ primary opponent Hillary Clinton.

  • Published in Now
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