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News around the world

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama maintains a lead of 5 percentage points over Republican Mitt Romney as he solidifies his advantage in the U.S. presidential race, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

Obama leads Romney among likely voters by a margin of 48 percent to 43 percent, the daily online tracking poll showed. Obama has led the poll since September 7, shortly after the Democratic convention.

“First it was a bump and then it was a post-convention bump and then it was the remainder of the bump, and now it’s just a lead,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

Obama led Romney by double-digit margins on a range of personal attributes, from likability to whether he will protect American jobs to whether he appears presidential. Romney only led on the question of whether he was a “man of faith,” by 43 percent to 34 percent.

Obama’s lead has changed little over the past week as Romney has suffered a series of setbacks – most notably the Monday release of a secretly recorded video that showed the Republican candidate dismissing Obama supporters as welfare recipients with no sense of personal responsibility…

Clark said she expects the polls to tighten a bit but gives Obama a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of winning the November 6 election.

The poll surveyed 2,078 registered voters and 1,437 likely voters between September 16 and September 20.

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of 2.9 percentage points for likely voters and 2.5 percentage points for registered voters…”( Andy Sullivan)

(Reuters) — “President Barack Obama told a Hispanic audience on Thursday that his inability to overhaul U.S. immigration laws was the biggest shortcoming of his first four years in office, but he blamed Republican lawmakers for standing in the way…”

(Yahoo News)…“Fox News released a new poll Thursday showing that President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in three battleground states, topping off a week of bad-news polling for the Republican presidential nominee in toss-up states.

The poll, which covered Ohio, Virginia and Florida, shows Obama leading the former governor by seven points in both Ohio (49 to 42 percent) and Virginia (50 to 43 percent). In Florida, Obama leads by five points (49 to 44 percent), which is within the poll’s margin of error. Obama won all three states in 2008, marking the first time Virginia voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

In Michigan and Wisconsin, Obama has also opened up a lead against his rival: A CNN poll puts him up eight points in Michigan (52 to 44 percent), and one from Marquette Law School has Obama leading Romney by 14 points in Wisconsin (54 to 40 percent). In August, Obama led Romney in Wisconsin by only three points.

 Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger, Thursday, September 20, 2012 (Washington Post…“ Democratic Party leaders are growing more upbeat about President Obama’s reelection prospects, but on-the-ground organizers are warning that well-funded conservative groups have developed a new level of sophistication in mobilizing voters that could give Republican nominee Mitt Romney an edge if the race is close.”

“Obama’s campaign has focused much of its effort on mobilizing its celebrated grass-roots network of expert organizers and neighborhood team captains. But in the key battleground states, that machinery is being challenged by a conservative coalition that includes the National Rifle Association, billionaire-backed Americans for Prosperity and a newly muscular College Republicans organization with a $16 million budget.

The conservative groups “are fully funded and ready for hand-to-hand combat,” said Steve Rosenthal, a longtime Democratic organizer…

Syria

(BBC)…A Syrian warplane has attacked a petrol station in the north-east of the country, killing at least 30 people, opposition activists say.

A rebel group said people had been queuing for petrol and diesel near Ain Issa at the time.

The village is some 20 miles (32km) from the Tal al-Abyad border post, seized by rebels on Wednesday after a lengthy battle with government forces.

The number of casualties was expected to rise, reports said.

Unverified footage posted online showed several charred vehicles and one activist group said 70 wounded people had been taken to hospital in the nearby town of Raqqa.

One activist told AFP news agency that the filling station was the only one still operating in the area and had been crowded at the time of the explosion…

 Russian army battles fighters in Caucasus

Aljazeera…“Russian security forces have killed 12 people including leading Islamist fighters in the North Caucasus republics of Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya, officials and local media said.Two law-enforcement officials were also killed in the fighting, they said on Thursday.Russia is fighting an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus where fighters carry out almost daily attacks more than a decade after federal forces ousted a separatist government in Chechnya.

Fighters in the North Caucasus say they are fighting for an Islamic state in the strip of provinces along Russia’s southern
border. Rights activists say the insurgency is driven by poverty and anger at the tactics of the security forces….”

 

 

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