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If other major developed countries could vote in the United States’ 2020 election, President Donald Trump’s chances of winning a second term would be slim and none. Trump was unpopular in Europe, Australia and Canada before the coronavirus pandemic — apart from extremist far-right groups — but according to a newly released poll by Pew Research Center, Trump’s mishandling of the crisis is creating negative views of the U.

S. in countries ranging from Germany to Australia to Japan.

In an article for Pew’s website, Richard Wike, Janell Fetterolf and Mara Mordecai explain, “Since Donald Trump took office as president, the image of the United States has suffered across many regions of the globe. As a new 13-nation Pew Research Center survey illustrates, America’s reputation has declined further over the past year among many key allies and partners. In several countries, the share of the public with a favorable view of the U.S. is as low as it has been at any point since the Center began polling on this topic nearly two decades ago.”

Pew has compiled data on views of the U.S. in 13 different countries during a 20-year period: 2000-2020, using U.S. Department of State data for 1999 and 2000. The countries range from parts of Europe (including France, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy) to South Korea, Canada, Japan and Australia. The U.K. is really four countries in one (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). So, in a sense, Pew was arguably looking at 16 different countries rather than 13. And Pew’s polling makes it clear how badly the United States’ image has suffered in the rest of the developed world.

Respondents who have a favorable view of the U.S. in 2020 include 24% in Belgium, 26% in Germany, 30% in the Netherlands, 31% in France, 35% in Canada, 34% in Denmark and 33% in Sweden and Australia. The five most favorable of the 13 countries were South Korea at 59%, Italy at 45%, Japan and the U.K. at 41% and Spain at 40%.

Pew asked respondents whether or not they believed that the U.S. has done a good job handling the coronavirus crisis: those who thought the U.S. had done a good job ranged from 7% in Denmark, 9% in Germany, 11% in Belgium, 20% in Spain, 16% in the U.K., 15% in France and Sweden, 18% in Italy and 14% in the Netherlands to 15% in Japan, 14% in Australia, 6% in South Korea and 16% in Canada.

As bad as Trump’s approval ratings have been in the U.S., they are lower in the rest of the developed world. Respondents who told Pew they had “confidence in Trump” range from 9% in Belgium, 10% in Germany, 11% in France, 18% in the Netherlands, 15% in Sweden, 19% in the U.K. and 16% in Italy to 17% in South Korea, 25% in Japan, 23% in Australia and 20% in Canada.

In some of those countries, respondents made a distinction between Trump’s presidency and the U.S. on the whole. In South Korea, for example, 59% of respondents still have a favorable view of the U.S.—even though only 17% of South Korea residents have confidence in Trump. In Italy, similarly, Pew found that 45% view the U.S. favorably even though only 17% view Trump favorably.

According to Wike, Fetterolf and Mordecai, “Attitudes toward Trump have consistently been much more negative than those toward his predecessor, Barack Obama, especially in Western Europe. In the U.K., Spain, France and Germany, ratings for Trump are similar to those received by George W. Bush near the end of his presidency.”

News Source: alternet.org

Tags: religious right the netherlands south korea

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Navalny Says He's Becoming More Than 'Technically Alive'

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he is recovering his verbal and physical abilities at the German hospital where he is being treated for suspected nerve agent poisoning but that he at first felt despair over his condition.

Navalny, the most visible opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on a domestic flight to Moscow on Aug. 20 and was transferred to Germany for treatment two days later. A German military lab later determined that the Russian politician was poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England, in 2018.

Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than a week while being treated with an antidote. He said in a Saturday post on Instagram that once he was brought out of the coma, he was confused and couldn't find the words to respond to a doctor's questions.

“Although I understood in general what the doctor wanted, I did not understand where to get the words. In what part of the head do they appear in?" Navalny wrote in the post, which accompanied a photo of him on a staircase. “I also did not know how to express my despair and, therefore, simply kept silent.”

“Now I’m a guy whose legs are shaking when he walks up the stairs, but he thinks: ‘Oh, this is a staircase! They go up it. Perhaps we should look for an elevator,’” Navalny said. ”And before, I would have just stood there and stared."

The doctors treating him at Berlin's Charite hospital “turned me from a ‘technically alive person’ into someone who has every chance to become the Highest Form of Being in Modern Society again — a person who can quickly scroll through Instagram and without hesitation understands where to put likes,” he wrote.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said that before Navalny’s transfer to Berlin, Russian labs and a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk found no sign of a poisoning. Moscow has called for Germany to provide its evidence and bristled at the urging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Western leaders to answer questions about what happened to the politician.

“There is too much absurdity in this case to take anyone at their word,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

Peskov also accused Navalny's colleagues of hampering a Russian investigation by taking items from his hotel room out of the country, including a water bottle they claimed had traces of the nerve agent.

Navalny’s colleagues said that they removed the bottle and other items from the hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk Siberia and brought them to Germany as potential evidence. because they didn’t trust Russian authorities to conduct a proper probe.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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