Trump’s Shutdown Is Tanking Support Among His Base
Here’s a quick rundown of today’s top stories:
1. President Trump canceled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to visit troops in Afghanistan today, in an apparent petty response to her calls to delay his State of the Union address due to the shutdown. Trips to visit troops are an important task for Congresspeople, especially when the President is calling for major withdrawals in major military combat zones.
2. Trump’s refusal to end the shutdown has made him that much more hated by the American people. His approval rating has dropped to 39 percent, while his disapproval rating has risen to 53 percent. Crucially, several key parts of his base are beginning to sour on him:
Disastrous numbers for POTUS. We’re seeing the first real signs of an erosion of his base:
-7% among Republicans
-6% among white men w/o college degree
-7% among white evangelicals
-9% among suburban men
-11% (!) among white women w/o collegehttps://t.co/ZNgWqu41LB
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) January 17, 2019
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) January 17, 2019
3. Brexit update: Theresa May is staying on as PM, having narrowly won a vote of no confidence. She will now need to present another Brexit deal to Parliament. She does not have many options, however.
4. A major attack occurred in the town of Manbij in Syria, one of the aforementioned combat zones. The suicide attack killed 19 people, among them four Americans. Islamic State, the terrorist group Trump claims to have defeated, took responsibility for the attack.
5. The Trump administration may have taken thousands of more children from their parents at the border than previously thought, according to a new report by the Inspector General of the Health and Human Services department. There is no word on the exact number of additional children separated, or if the families were reunited.
6. Police in Sudan fired on protestors in the country’s capital today, reportedly killing a doctor and a child. Protests over price increases have been ongoing for about a month, and have quickly focused their anger at Sudan’s autocratic leader President Omar al-Bashir. Mr. al-Bashir, who has led Sudan since 1993, does not draw the headlines that his more notorious autocratic colleagues do. However, he is no less reprehensible, as he is largely responsible for millions of deaths in Darfur. He holds the distinction of being the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (for crimes against humanity.)
7. Twenty-one people were killed and 28 were injured, in Kenya, after members of Somali militant group al-Shabab laid siege to a hotel in Nairobi, the capital. Kenya has been fighting the terrorist group in Somalia for years. This is the second major al-Shaba attack in Nairobi, after gunmen killed 67 people at a mall in 2013.
8. A diplomatic row between China and Canada has escalated after China re-sentenced a Canadian man to death on a drug smuggling conviction this week. China also detained two other Canadians last month, shortly after the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, a Chinese telecoms firm. Huawei is being investigated by the US and Canada for stealing trade secrets, and American prosecutors are reportedly considering an indictment.
9. Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, also survived a confidence vote yesterday by a single vote, after several allies defected over a deal to rename Macedonia. A vote will now be held to ratify the deal, which renames the neighboring country the Republic of North Macedonia. Greeks reject the name Macedonia simply because it conflicts with a Greek province of the same name. A resolution on the matter would allow Macedonia to begin the process to join the EU.
10. Next door in Serbia, thousands took to the streets in protest against the government during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The protestors, going on for the seventh week, call for the stepping down of President Aleksandar Vucic, who is widely regarded as an autocrat and seen by some as a traitor for supporting a land swap deal with Kosovo (a precondition to joining the EU.)
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