“The United States has almost 1000 military bases around the world, covering every continent, every ocean,” filmmaker John Pilger says. “China has one!”
He points out: “The US Pacific Command in Hawaii claims responsibility for 52% of the Earth’s surface.”
After a sold out Melbourne screening of his latest master class in documentary filmmaking, The Coming War on China (his 60th film for ITV), Pilger is stark when speaking with Green Left Weekly: Undeniably, he insists, US island bases surround China like a noose, and new US-Australian bases amplify the “Asian pivot”.
The new film offers strident counterpoint to the perpetual frame and lens of the representation of China in West as the “aggressor” in the South China seas.
But tellingly, Pilger also offers a moral equivalence. China, currently reclaiming small islands for what it calls defensive purposes, is contrasted and contextualised with the numerous US military bases, island apartheid and previous island nuclear tests.
Like a left-wing David Attenborough, Pilger has again donned his khaki journalism suit and travelled around Asia to break the silence on the human rights abuse of the ordinary people on Asian Islands. US bases in Japan, Korea and Marshall Islands subjugate islanders, but these same islanders are the resistance on the front line: protesting, blocking and obstructing the coming war.
Bases, missiles, navigation of the South China sea and Trump’s US secretary of State Rex Tindlerson threatening a blockade, is altogether a rejig of historical actions against China.
Pilger tells Green Left: “The ‘real face’ of American imperialism has been on show in Asia since the US joined in the European plunder of China in the nineteenth century, notably the ‘opium trade’ that made fortunes for US industrialists.”
Before the 19th century western occupation, the Chinese bloomed in 10,000 years of protective isolation and were sea-traders, who even traded peacefully with Australian Aboriginals. Now in the 21st century, China is the new economic power. It holds more than US$3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves the reserve; is a world manufacturing hub; and has helped form the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank — which by itself challenges the Washington census. China also lays claim to a modern Sputnik moment: sending into orbit the world’s first quantum computer.
Pilger has returned to China for the first time in years and says China has matched US with capitalism and at their own game. He notes ongoing issues “with human rights, especially the right to speak against the state and challenge its power”.
“Since I was last here, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, many into a new middle class.” This has been accompanied by mega-infrastructure developments.
Pilger believes the origins of the tensions and conflict between the US and China is relatively simple: the US Empire is in decline and China is an economic powerhouse on the rise.
“The origin of the tensions in the Asia-Pacific is Washington’s determination to remain the world's top dog — by military means. Its logo is an eagle with one talon in America and the other in China.”
He notes: “It was Hillary Clinton who, as US Secretary of State in 2009, transformed a regional dispute in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea to ‘a matter of US national interest’.”
Turning geopolitical competition into wars has been a long-standing US approach. “Since the Second World War, according to the historian William Blum, the US has attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratic; bombed more than 50 countries; and attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”
Rather than thrust the world into a devastating war, Pilger, like most citizens of world, prefers a peaceful resolution. “As the new president of the Philippines has demonstrated, the dispute can be peacefully negotiated and perhaps even solved if the US stays away,” he says.
Even after disastrous nuclear testing on civilians on Asian Pacific islands, the US has never stayed away from Asian Islands. In all the horrible detail, The Marshall Islands nuclear testing on civilians is given a historical overview.
In the documentary, Pilger voices over nuclear blasts that: “the United States exploded 66 nuclear devices in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 — the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.”
Marshal Islanders, impoverished and homeland occupied, still carry the radioactive-caused deformities and cancers. Still, to this day, new US missile bases gate and separate the poor townships of the Marshal islands.
A less known hotspot where Pilger visits is JeJu — a beautiful South Korean island. Called the Hawaii of Asia, JeJu hosts US bases just 400 miles from Beijing.
Pilger says in the film: “People’s resistance to these war preparations has become a presence on JeJu for almost a decade. Every day, often twice a day, villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world stage a religious mass that blocks the gates of the base.”
In Australia, the latest announcement features US F22 raptors to be based in Darwin. Foreign bases remain a historical theme for Australia, with Pilger noting: “Military service to the foreign power is as Australian as Vegemite. Today, Australia's military, intelligence, political and media establishments are fully integrated into US power structures and designs.
“This is remarkable, of course, when you consider that Australia is a country with no foreign enemies.”
Astoundingly in the film, a top US official denies there are any US bases at all in Australia. Pilger tells Green Left he wasn’t surprised, as “governments, especially rapacious governments, lie routinely”.
In Australia, the anti-war movement can learn much from the resistance (disinvestment, protests, blockades) to US bases on island’s like Japan’s Okinawa and Korea’s JeJu, from the Asian resistance.
Pilger believes, “The anti-war movement needs to move from marches and slogans to direct action and civil disobedience.”
Outside the traditional anti-war movement, soft-power, money and influence from Australia’s biggest trading partner China, may well be tipping the balance of power away from the US. There is also a growing Chinese peace movement powered by Chinese Australians.
A slight shift in Australian politics can seen by the reactions of former prime ministers like Paul Keating and the late Malcolm Fraser, who called for a shift in foreign policy. Like it did before with Britain to the US, Australia could eventually shift allegiances.
But Pilger remains sceptical of Australian politicians still very much tethered to the US alliance. He notes, on the other hand: “I think many ordinary Australians fear the US and want a peaceful relationship, if not friendship, with China.”
Polls certainly show Australians more fearful of the US than China. Donald Trump’s nuclear weapons comments have scared Australians and then in recent weeks, China deployed nuclear missiles to the north, which can easily reach US cities.
A “mutually assured destruction” situation, as in the Cold War, underpins a simmering of tensions. But these are unusual times, where the US has carried out new simulations of nuclear war and survival simulations and there’s palpable uneasiness about just where are we headed.
“Trump has blustered a great deal,” says Pilger, who believes Obama laid the groundwork for the conflict. “Whereas Obama committed the US to spend $1 trillion on nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future.
“Having promised to help rid the world of the nuclear threat, he secretly authorised an escalation of nuclear warhead spending greater than any president since the Cold War. Obama’s drones campaign has murdered, according to one estimate, 4700 people; he also holds the record for running seven simultaneous wars.
“It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to guess where this may be heading — if the rest of us don't wake up.”
[Read Green Left Weekly's review of The Coming War on China, which is screening around the country. Visit http://thecomingwarmovie.com for screening details.]1127Cultural Dissent
The Coming War On China
Written & directed by John Pilger
Screening now, visit site for details
The Coming War on China is possibly John Pilger’s best film in years.
In classic Pilger style, the Australian-born filmmaker — responsible for dozens of films critical of great power — depicts the threat the US war machine poses in the Asian region in the context of the rise of China.
Most importantly, he shines a light on the frontline resistance to it. Despite its title, the film does not suggest a US war against China is inevitable — merely a growing threat that can be stopped by popular opposition.
At a time when US President Donald Trump is launching aggressive tweets and slogans at China, the film is given added pertinence.
It is a film of two parts. The first traces the history of US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands — particularly the effects on the people in Bikini Atoll, systematically lied to and used as human guinea pigs.
The second covers the China-US relationship and resistance to the US military machine in the region.
Both would make solid films individually and at times it feels like you are watching two TV episodes stitched together. There is an element of repetition — I lost count of how many times the map of US military bases in the world was shown. Admittedly, it is an alarming graphic, in which Australia is well represented.
This structure does serve a purpose. We get to see and hear the complete disregard the US military machine has for the people of the Marshall Islands — the victims of great, yet little known, crimes.
Pilger digs up a trove of archival footage: from US officers visiting the Marshall Islands to “sell” nuclear testing, the magnitude of the nuclear tests, how the people of the Marshall Islands are prodded and probed like test animals and finally the role of Greenpeace helping to evacuate people from the radioactive Bikini Atoll in the 1980s, after the US has abandoned them to a radioactive hell.
This illustrates how US imperialism views the likes of the Marshall Islanders — as lesser, and expendable, people.
It is also a warning to the rest of the world of what happens if your home becomes part of the US military’s plans. This adds urgency to struggles against US bases in Japan depicted later in the film.
Pilger highlights the hundreds of US bases in the Asian region surrounding China — described as a “noose” by a US official. This “noose” includes Australia, with several US bases such as Pine Gap in the Northern Territory.
In one of the film’s multiple “gotcha” moments that Pilger is known for — whereby he interviews representatives of great power and lets them condemn themselves with their own words — a US official tries to argue, straight-faced and against known facts, that the US has no military bases in Australia.
Pilger runs through a history of US and Chinese relations that includes how the opium trade forced on China generated great wealth for the US and was crucial to US industrialisation in the 19th century.
Then he depicts the Mao-led Chinese Revolution when US corporations fled China, before exploring China’s current development, single party and capitalist system.
Pilger argues that China has undergone significant change over recent decades — developing along capitalist lines, remaining “communist” in name only. As China grows and the world’s political and economic centre of gravity shifts east, a new middle class is being created with tens of millions rising out of poverty.
However, the film also delves into the human rights abuses that mark China — in particular the terrible working conditions and mass poverty that underpin China’s growth.
Unlike in some of Pilger’s recent films, it does not stop at depicting injustice, but highlight the outbreak of strikes as working people fight for better working conditions.
Rather than seeking to work constructively with a capitalist China, the film paints the US’s approach as that of an aggressive militarist bully.
Pilger then depicts the powerful grassroots resistance to US bases in the region.
Stylistically the film is classic Pilger. It is the no nonsense reporter on a mission to uncover the truth and speak truth to power.
In keeping with one of his trademarks, Pilger manages to wheel out all manner of former US military and foreign policy officials. Grilling them, he manages to show both how absurd and dangerous their views are.
The cinematography has also got an old-school news style to it — with lots of footage of Pilger meeting people and exploring the Marshall Islands and the locations of US bases. Music, graphics, visual effects and editing pace are all kept to a minimum.
It is certainly no atmospheric cinematic masterpiece. It bucks the trends seen in social change documentaries over the past decade that have explored new styles to advance their message — such as the more cinematic style used in This Changes Everything or the fast paced action-adventure style in Gasland.
Pilger’s blunt voice of god narration is the glue that holds the film together as it moves across the world and through history. If you are looking for more personal story-driven narrative with little analysis, this may prove off-putting.
Rather, it gets its message across through the strength of its analyses and harrowing first-hand accounts of the US military machine.
Its greatest strength is perhaps its portrayal of social movements — something that was noticeably lacking in Pilger’s recent films The War You Don’t See and Utopia.
It has footage, incredible in its rarity, of daily protests stretching back decades outside US military bases on Japanese and South Korean islands. Seeing communities take on the might of the US military machine is inspiring — even more so when they win victories.
As Pilger concludes: “We don’t have to accept the word of those who conjure up threats and false enemies to justify the business and profit of war. We have to recognise there is another superpower, and that is us, ordinary people everywhere.”1126Cultural Dissent
The slogan “We Want to Welcome Them” rang in the streets as up to half a million people demonstrated in Barcelona on February 18 to demand their government accept more refugees. It came after Spain accepted just 1000 of the 17,000 it had promised.
"It is very important that in a Europe of uncertainty where xenophobia is on the rise for Barcelona to be a capital of hope," said Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau, who took part.
Colau, from the left-wing Barcelona For All platform, came to office as an organiser with an anti-eviction campaign, an offshoot of the Indignados movement that also produced the group that organised the march, the pro-refugee Cosa Nostra Casa Vostra.
Police put attendence at about 160,000 protesters, but estimates from activists were much higher, with representatives from various social groups present. Although Spain had pledged to accept 17,337 refugees in the next two years, as of Bebruary 16, it has only accepted 1100 in a year-and-a-half.
Reposted from TeleSUR English1126
Since then, he has been under interrogation while his detention was repeatedly extended.
He announced his hunger strike after he was issued with an administrative order — special orders issued by Israeli courts that allow prisoners to be held indefinitely without trial. Orders for administrative detention can be indefinitely renewed.
Less than a year ago, al-Qiq refused meals for more than 90 days while being held indefinitely without trail, to protest the use of the administrative detention order against him.
Al-Qiq ended his hunger strike after Israel agreed not to renew the administrative detention order. He was released in May.
Fayha Shalash, al-Qiq’s wife, said the latest administrative detention order was proof of Israel’s failure to find any evidence on which it could indict her husband.
At the time of his arrest last month, a spokesperson for Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic spy agency, told The Jerusalem Post that al-Qiq was arrested “on the basis of suspicions of involvement in incitement to terrorism against Israel and renewed activity with Hamas”.
But the Israeli authorities have yet to present any evidence to support those accusations. That is despite Israel expanding its definition of “incitement” over the past two years.
Jointly issued by a number of Palestinian human rights groups, the report states that dozens of aggressive night-time raids were conducted against Palestinians held in Israeli jails at the end of January and start of February.
Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian Authority head of prisoner affairs, reported that prisoners were forced to fully undress and stand naked outside, in the cold weather, while guards ransacked their belongings.
Other raids by officers at Nafha prison were, however, before the stabbing incidents. Some prisoners were reportedly assaulted during those raids.
About 530 Palestinians are now being held under administrative detention by Israel. A total of 590 Palestinians — including 128 children — were arrested by Israel in January alone.
[Reprinted from Electronic Intifada.]1126International News
A strike at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, entered its fifth day on February 13 with few signs of speedy resolution as workers threaten to stop production for up to two months.
Workers began a strike at the Australian-run BHP Billiton mine on February 9 to put pressure on the company after failing to reach an agreement in wage negotiations.
The union said its 2500 members are committed to action and threatened a two-month work stoppage, leading BHP to admit that it will not be able to meet its contractual obligations.
As the world’s largest copper mine, the strike threatens to disrupt global supplies of one of the most widely used industrial metals.
Escondida produced 1.15 million tons of copper in 2015, or 6% of global output that year.
World supply concerns have led copper prices to hit a 20-month high, as Indonesia's Grasberg, the world's second largest copper mine, has an export ban, and Peru's large Las Bambas mine also faces protests.
In Chile, copper makes up more than half of all exports.1126International News
Members of the Argentine Metal Workers’ Union (UOM) marched to the Ministry of Labour in Buenos Aires on February 14 in protest of thousands of jobs cut from electronics manufacturing companies.
The cuts came after a government decision to eliminate a 35% tax on computer imports.
Protesters gathered in front of the National Congress of Argentina before marching to the offices of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, with many banging drums and waving flags.
Other unions also took part in the demonstration.
“Last year, we had 9000 colleagues who were unemployed and 15,000 colleagues who are suspended and we do not know what can happen to those colleagues now when they have to reintegrate into their jobs in March, if they are going to have work or if they are not going to have a job,” said UOM Secretary General Antonio Calo.1126International News
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on February 14 denouncing a move by the Trump administration to sanction Venezuelan Vice-President Tarek El Aissami over drug trafficking allegations.
On February 13, the Treasury Department froze all of El Aissami’s alleged assets in the US under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. This makes Venezuela’s vice-president the top-ranking official of any country to be sanctioned in this way.
In particular, the sanctions target 13 companies owned by Samark Jose Lopez Bello, who is accused of being a “key frontman” for the Venezuelan official.
According to a Treasury statement, El Aissami is alleged to have “facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, to include control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base, as well as control of drug routes through the ports in Venezuela” — reportedly in connection with the Las Zetas Cartel in Mexico.
The Trump administration has yet, however, to release any evidence to bolster the accusations. The US Justice Department has not publically opened investigations into El Aissami or his alleged associate.
Venezuela’s foreign ministry, for its part, denounced the move as an “unprecedented act” in US-Venezuelan relations, accusing the Trump administration of violating international law.
“These actions, which attempt to validate the vulgar and inadmissible existence of an imperial law, granting special police powers to US government entities, lacks the most minimum legality under international law,” the ministry said.
The foreign ministry also noted that since the government of former President Hugo Chavez’s expulsion of the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 2005 over espionage accusations, Venezuela has increased its efficiency in drug seizures by 60%.
During El Aissami’s tenure as interior minister, he reportedly oversaw the arrest and prosecution of 102 drug kingpins, extraditing as many as 21 accused drug traffickers to the United States.
However, the Treasury measure was applauded by US Congress members on both sides of the aisle. Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez issued a joint statement on February 13 calling the step “long overdue”.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he hoped the sanctions were “only the beginning”.
The move marks an escalation of the Obama administration’s aggressive policies towards Venezuela, which saw Washington designate the South American country an “unusual and extraordinary threat” and sanction top officials.
The former Aragua governor is not the first senior Venezuelan official to face these accusations. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal ran a story accusing then Venezuelan National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello of heading a drug cartel, citing anonymous US Justice Department officials.
However, no charges have ever been brought against the socialist lawmaker.
[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]1126International News
Despite global financial crises that have rocked the small South American nation in recent years, Ecuador has managed to achieve landmark social and economic progress in the past decade under the left-wing government of President Rafael Correa, according to a new report from the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.
Released on February 13, the report, titled Decade of Reform: Ecuador’s Macroeconomic Policies, Institutional Changes, and Results, looks at key economic and social indicators. It also looks at policy, institutional and regulatory changes in Ecuador since Correa took office in 2007, highlighting positive developments despite economic recession and plummeting global oil prices.
The country’s most striking achievements in this period include slashing the poverty rate by 38% and the extreme poverty rate by 47%. This has been fuelled by economic growth and employment programs that have boosted many of the country’s poorest communities.
The report also says Correa’s administration has ushered in historic political stability after a tumultuous period that saw eight presidents in 10 years before the left-wing government came to power.
“Despite some turbulence and the harsh economic shocks associated with the 2008–09 world financial crisis and recession, and then a second oil price collapse beginning in 2014 … the government achieved unprecedented political stability,” the report stated.
As part of a battle against inequality, the government also doubled social spending from 4.3% of the country’s GDP in 2006 to 8.6% last year. This included rises in spending on education, health, urban development and housing.
Government expenditure on health services doubled as a percentage of GDP from 2006 to 2016. Spending on higher education also increased from 0.7 to 2.1% of GDP, the highest level of government spending on higher education in Latin America.
“The experience of Ecuador over the past decade is also relevant because it indicates that a government of a relatively small, lower-middle income developing country is less restricted by the global economy, or ‘globalisation,’ than is commonly believed,” the report said.
“The government was able to take advantage of a much wider range of policy choices than those generally thought to be available to developing countries of its size and income level, or even to developing countries generally,” it concluded.
According to the report, these results were not driven by a “commodities boom”, but from deliberate policy choices and reforms that Correa championed. These included defaulting on illegitimate debt, taxing capital leaving the country and responsible and “solidarity-based” fiscal policy, among others.
General elections are scheduled for Ecuador on February 19. Correa will not stand, due to a constitutional restriction on presidents serving more than two terms in office.
However Lenin Moreno, from Correa’s PAIS Alliance party and renowned disability rights activist, has a clear lead in the polls.
[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]1126International News
As anti-choice protestors revved-up to demonstrate at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the United States on February 11, pro-choice activists beat them at their own game: the organisation's supporters outnumbered those calling for it to be defunded.
Throughout the country, the counter-demonstrations featured larger crowds than the anti-Planned Parenthood ones.
In St Paul, Minnesota, while the anti-choice camp had 500 people in attendance, the counter-protesters numbered at least 5000.
In New York, the contrast was even starker. A couple dozen demonstrated against funding Planned Parenthood, but hundreds came out in support of the health provider. In fact, counter-demonstrators showed up in attendance well before the anti-choicers did.
President Donald Trump has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. At least 14 states have tried to pass legislation or taken administrative action to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding — a federal grant program that supports family planning and preventative health services.
However, those in support of the clinic and reproductive rights in general are inspired by the movement’s energy.
“It’s so beautiful because people need to know — they need to see and feel the energy,” Marcella Tillett, vice-president of Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, told Mic after the rally in New York.
“You know that people are supporting you, you know that there are plenty of Americans and plenty of people in this country who don’t support the Muslim ban, who don’t support shutting down Planned Parenthood … but you need to be in the midst of it and you need to know that you are in a community of people who are really energised about fighting back to feel that internally.
“Rallies like this do that.”
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]
The resistance is taking many forms in the United States, Common Dreams said, with some constituents showing up to lawmakers' town hall events to demand accountability and others taking to the streets to protest the Trump administration and its draconian policies.
Nearly 1,00 people marched in Dallas on February 18, demonstrating solidarity with refugees and immigrants impacted by President Donald Trump's recent executive orders as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
Meanwhile, thousands attended a February 18 "Free the People Immigration March" in downtown Los Angeles, whose organisers have drafted a "People's Declaration" that declares the city to be "a sanctuary for all". Among other demands, the march organizers call for "an immediate stop to the ICE raids and deportations" and vow to "rebel against Trump's actions at every step of the way."
Other anti-Trump events took place in New York City and Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, while additional protests are slated for Sunday and Monday. NBC News has a run-down of some of the largest planned demonstrations.Hundreds form 'human wall' in Mexico to protest Trump
Hundreds of people in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico formed a "human wall" at the edge of the Rio Grande on February 17 to protest President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, Common Dreams said.The demonstrators held up flowers and colored flags reading the word "Peace" and waved to residents of the neighboring town of El Paso, Texas.
Organisers told the Associated Press that the event was meant to symbolize that uniting people was better than dividing them. "We have, as it is being demonstrated here, many friends on the other side of the river, on the other side where they intend to build this wall that will never separate two friendly peoples," said former Mexican presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas.'Truths Not Tweets': Protesters greet Trump at Boeing Plant
President Donald Trump was met with peaceful protesters in North Charleston, South Carolina on Friday as he gave a speech at a Boeing plant in his first visit to the state since winning its Republican presidential primary last year.
Members of Indivisible Charleston, a local resistance group, rallied at the North Charleston Coliseum near the plant, which produces the massive Dreamliner aircraft. At least 100 people gathered to listen to speakers, wielding signs that read, "Truths not tweets," and "No one is free when others are oppressed."In blow to Trump, anti-worker Labor Dept. nominee Puzder withdraws
In a blow to US President Donald Trump, his nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on February 15. It came amid concern he would be unable to garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed after accusations of abuse against workers at his company, TeleSUR English said that day.
Puzder’s decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with the fallout from the abrupt resignation on February 13 of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job.
Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, which franchises fast-food chains including Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts. Workers at some of CKE's restaurants have filed claims in recent weeks alleging they were victims of wage theft or victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.Almost every member of the White House Asian-American advisory council resigns in protest of Trump
Ten out of the 14 people on a White House advisory board for Asian-American issues have officially resigned, protesting Trump’s harsh policies on immigrants, US Uncut said on February 17.
On February 15, 10 members of the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) co-signed a letter to Trump tendering their resignation. Their reason was based on his policies of banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, targeting of sanctuary cities, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, according to Fusion.
Six others had resigned when Trump was inaugurated on January 20, meaning only four members remain.
In the resignation letter, the co-signers said they felt the Trump administration was ignoring the concerns of their community and could no longer stand by while he disrespected immigrants and refugees. The council also wrote a letter to Trump on January 13, a week prior to his inauguration, asking for a meeting, but got no response from Trump or his staff.Trump faces high disapproval
Trump’s approval rating reached a new low on February 11, according to a poll from Gallup, as the new administration has struggled to find its footing nearly a month into the term, CNN said.
The daily tracking poll found that just 40% of Americans approve of Trump’s job as president so far, compared to 55% who say they disapprove. The negative 15-point spread is the highest recorded in the poll since Trump took office January 20.
Trump’s approval rating has hovered in the mid-to-low 40s since the second week of his presidency, but the new poll suggests growing dissatisfaction with his performance amid the chaotic rollout of his controversial travel ban and a series of divisive Cabinet confirmation fights.
Trump's low approval rating is atypical for a new president. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton all enjoyed approval ratings in the high 50s in Gallup tracking polls during the early months of their administrations.1126International News
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