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Hotel maids, observe demonstrators during a pro-government demonstration near Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
Hotel maids, observe demonstrators during a pro-government demonstration near Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

May 26, 2019

By Brad Brooks and Rodrigo Viga Gaier

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilians gathered in cities on Sunday to show their support for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and to protest against lawmakers whom they see as putting up roadblocks to the leader’s legislative agenda.

There was not yet any official estimates on crowds, but by midday they appeared smaller than May 15 protests against Bolsonaro and his government’s planned spending freeze on education that sent tens of thousands into streets in over 200 cities, the largest protests in Brazil since Bolsonaro took office.

Bolsonaro easily won election last November, but since taking office on Jan. 1 has seen his popularity plummet in several polls. A survey released on Friday showed more Brazilians disapprove his government than approve it, a surprisingly fast erosion of popularity.

Those in the streets on Sunday argue that Brazil’s corrupt political system has not allowed Bolsonaro to push through his legislative agenda and make progress in critical areas like security, education and the economy. They say that Bolsonaro is standing by his core pledge to not engage in the traditional political horse trading in Brasilia that is largely blamed for the stunning levels of corruption in the nation’s political class.

Bolsonaro initially considered participating in the demonstrations, but later decided not to and recommended the government’s ministers not join. Protesters gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia

In Rio de Janeiro, most demonstrators in the world-famous Copacabana Beach wore Brazil soccer team t-shirts and protested against Lower House speaker Rodrigo Maia and the Supreme Court.

“I have voted years for the left, but I am now worried about the future of the country. I hope the demonstrations influence Congress,” said Carley Farias.

Demonstrators brought an inflatable doll of Maia with logos of companies accused of paying him bribes, alongside an inflatable doll of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dressed in a striped jail suit, known as “Pixuleco”.

“Maia needs to wake up and help the country”, Jose Antonio de Souza told Reuters while demonstrating in Copacabana.

Speaking in a Sunday cult in a church in Rio, Bolsonaro said the demonstrations are giving a response “to those that insist on keeping old practices and do not allow the people to be free”.

Bolsonaro promised voters that he would secure an economic turnaround in part by reforming the pension system, that he would greatly improve Brazil’s precarious security situation and would end rampant corruption that has ensnared the country’s political and business elites in unprecedented anti-graft investigations during the past five years.

While those are clearly ambitious goals that will take time to make progress on, many of those who voted for Bolsonaro have grown frustrated with what is seen as unnecessary and incendiary tweets he and his politician-sons send out daily and the infighting between the military and far-right ideologue wings of his government, which is blamed for the few concrete accomplishments his team has made.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo and Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio; writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Premiere of Disney's Aladdin in Los Angeles
Cast members Naomi Scott and Will Smith attend the premiere of “Aladdin” at El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

May 26, 2019

By Dave McNary

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.

It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” took in $139 million in its first four days. “Aladdin” is also dominating moviegoing internationally with $121 million in 56 markets.

“Aladdin” has outperformed Disney’s pre-opening domestic projections, which were in the $75 million to $85 million range, taking in $86.1 million in its first three days. The reboot of the original 1992 animated movie — which generated $502 million in worldwide box office — stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Guy Ritchie directed “Aladdin,” produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich.

Comscore’s PostTrak general audience survey found that 67% of patrons said they would “definitely recommend” the film to their friends. Notably, 39% said their affection for the original was their primary reason for seeing the film, a high percentage that reflects moviegoers’ love for the “Aladdin” brand and the characters in the film.

“A very strong 22% said they would see the film again in theatres — much higher than the norm of 14%,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst.

Comscore estimated that total domestic business for the four-day weekend was $226 million. That was about $1.8 million shy of the total for the same frame last year, when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” launched with $103 million. The top Memorial Day weekend took place in 2013 when “Fast and Furious 6” launched and North American moviegoing totaled $314 million for the four days.

“A very solid Memorial Day weekend was led by the bigger-than-expected performance of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ conjured up huge numbers of moviegoers looking for the perfect family-friendly treat over the extended holiday weekend,” he said.

Sony’s launch of horror-thriller “Brightburn” should pull in about $9 million for the holiday weekend to finish fifth and United Artists-Annapurna’s teen comedy “Booksmart” will open in sixth at around $8 million. Both were positioned as counter-programmers to “Aladdin” and finished slightly below forecasts.

Lionsgate’s second session of “John Wick: Chapter 3” should be runner-up with $30.5 million following its surprisingly strong opening of $56.8 million. The actioner will wind up the holiday weekend with $107 million domestically.

Disney’s fifth frame of “Avengers: Endgame” will finish third in the $22 million range, increasing its haul to about $803 million domestically by the end of Memorial Day. “Endgame” trails only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in domestic gross, with the space saga having grossed $936 million.

Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” will follow in fourth with about $17 million. The family adventure will finish the weekend at the $120 million mark in North America.

Overall moviegoing for 2019 has hit $4.34 billion as of Sunday, down 10% from the same point last year. The lag is due to a dismal performance during the first two months of this year.

“Aladdin” is the third biggest launch of 2019, following the record-setting $357 million for “Avengers: Endgame” and $153 million for “Captain Marvel.”

Source: OANN

An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas
An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas, in the Amazon region, Peru May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

May 26, 2019

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian authorities were scrambling to assess the damage after an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 8.0 rocked the Peruvian Amazon region in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving at least one person dead.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra left Lima early this morning to survey the damage following the strong quake that struck the Loreto region of northern Peru.

“This is a quake of great magnitude, the biggest in 12 years, since 2007,” Vizcarra told reporters.

At least one person in the Cajamarca region was killed after a boulder struck his home, emergency officials said. Peru´s National Emergency Center(COEN) said there were at least 11 people injured and more than 50 homes destroyed. Several schools, churches, hospitals and clinics also reported damages.

The quake, rated as one of “intermediate depth” at around 110 kilometers, was felt around the country, and as far off as Colombia and Ecuador.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors. Peru sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where the majority of the world’s seismic activity occurs.

The earthquake was around 75 km SSE of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba, the USGS said.

There were local reports of electric power cuts in the cities of Iquitos and Tarapoto, Amazonian towns in the Loreto region of the country. Pictures and videos online also showed some cracked and damaged walls, homes shaking and a collapsed bridge.

In neighboring Ecuador, the quake was strongest near Yantzaza, in that country´s remote and sparsely populated Amazon region, causing momentary power outages.

Ecuadorian officials reported at least seven people injured, as well as mudslides and minor damage to homes. The country´s oil and mining infrastructure was operating normally, Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Keith Weir and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas
An aerial view shows a landslide caused by a quake in Yurimaguas, in the Amazon region, Peru May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

May 26, 2019

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian authorities were scrambling to assess the damage after an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 8.0 rocked the Peruvian Amazon region in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving at least one person dead.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra left Lima early this morning to survey the damage following the strong quake that struck the Loreto region of northern Peru.

“This is a quake of great magnitude, the biggest in 12 years, since 2007,” Vizcarra told reporters.

At least one person in the Cajamarca region was killed after a boulder struck his home, emergency officials said. Peru´s National Emergency Center(COEN) said there were at least 11 people injured and more than 50 homes destroyed. Several schools, churches, hospitals and clinics also reported damages.

The quake, rated as one of “intermediate depth” at around 110 kilometers, was felt around the country, and as far off as Colombia and Ecuador.

Intermediate depth quakes typically cause less surface damage than shallower tremors. Peru sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where the majority of the world’s seismic activity occurs.

The earthquake was around 75 km SSE of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba, the USGS said.

There were local reports of electric power cuts in the cities of Iquitos and Tarapoto, Amazonian towns in the Loreto region of the country. Pictures and videos online also showed some cracked and damaged walls, homes shaking and a collapsed bridge.

In neighboring Ecuador, the quake was strongest near Yantzaza, in that country´s remote and sparsely populated Amazon region, causing momentary power outages.

Ecuadorian officials reported at least seven people injured, as well as mudslides and minor damage to homes. The country´s oil and mining infrastructure was operating normally, Ecuadorian Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Keith Weir and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

A flood of laws banning abortions in Republican-run states has handed Democrats a political weapon heading into next year’s elections, helping them paint the GOP as extreme and court centrist voters who could decide congressional races in swing states, members of both parties say.

The Alabama law outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, is the strictest so far. Besides animating Democrats, the law has prompted President Donald Trump, other Republican leaders and lawmakers seeking reelection next year to distance themselves from the measure.

Their reaction underscores that Republicans have risked overplaying their hand with severe state laws that they hope will prod the Supreme Court, with its ascendant conservative majority, to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. It also illustrates the way that those statutes are forcing the GOP to struggle over how to satisfy its core anti-abortion supporters without alienating the vast majority of voters averse to strictly curbing abortion.

The Alabama law is “a loser for Republican candidates in Colorado, without question, and in many other swing parts of the country, because it’s extreme,” David Flaherty, a Colorado-based Republican consultant who’s worked on congressional races around the country. “It’s only going to widen the gender gap.”

Brian Fitzpatrick, a Vanderbilt Law School professor and former aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said there are many “women, moderate women who are going to be scared that this right that they thought they had for the last 40-some years is going to be shelved” and they will be motivated to vote.

GOP Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Susan Collins of Maine, both seeking reelection next year, said the Alabama ban goes too far by eliminating exceptions for pregnancies involving rape or incest. A 2005 survey by the Guttmacher Institute, which backs abortion rights, found about 1% of women said they had abortions because of rape or incest.

Democrats see the statutes as a way to weave a broader message about Republicans.

“You use it as an example of what they do when they’re unchecked,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-Va., a leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ campaign organization. “I think it drives moderate Republicans away from their party.”

Democratic presidential contenders are competing to lambast the Alabama law, which allows exceptions when the mother’s health is endangered. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called it an “existential threat to the human rights of women,” while former Vice President Joe Biden said GOP hopes of striking down Roe v. Wade are “pernicious and we have to stop it.”

Campaign Facebook and Twitter accounts of Democrats seeking reelection next year, such as Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, are littered with posts attacking the harsh restrictions. “The people of Alabama deserve to be on the #rightsideofhistory — not the side of extremists,” Jones tweeted.

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted or neared approval of measures barring abortion once there’s a detectable fetal heartbeat, which can occur in the sixth week of pregnancy, before a woman may know she is pregnant. Missouri lawmakers approved an eight-week ban.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that of the country’s 638,000 abortions in 2015, almost two-thirds were performed within the first eight weeks of pregnancy. About 1% were performed during or after the 21st week.

Spotlighting the perilous political territory Republicans are navigating, an April poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans support Roe v. Wade by 2-1. A Gallup poll last year found that 57% of adults who described themselves “pro-life” nonetheless said abortion should be legal if the pregnancy results from rape or incest.

The focus on the state measures has also stolen GOP momentum on abortion. Until now, congressional Republicans had spent much of this year forcing Democrats onto the defensive, goading them into blocking bills aimed at curbing the rare abortions performed late in pregnancies and misleadingly accusing them of supporting infanticide.

“Obviously, the attention has shifted,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which represents dozens of moderate GOP lawmakers. She said while her group doesn’t think Democrats’ focus on the harsh laws has gained traction, “We are talking about that and how it’s going to play in our districts.”

Some Republicans say the Democratic drive will have minimal impact because the abortion issue drives relatively few voters from each party. Others say GOP candidates should accuse Democrats of extremism by opposing bills restricting abortions late in pregnancy and, if they wish, cite their support for exempting rape and incest victims.

Democrats have “never seen an abortion they don’t like,” said David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee.

Added Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm: “We’re not Alabama state representatives, we’re United States senators. And each of us has to make our positions known.”

Yet the laws have generated energy among abortion-rights groups, which held more than 500 demonstrations and other events this past week. “We will power this movement into 2020. There will be political consequences,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., distanced themselves early last week from the Alabama statute. They were joined Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who told The Associated Press, “My position remains unchanged for 25 years. I’m opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother” being in jeopardy.

Source: NewsMax Politics

A view shows the nuclear-powered icebreaker
A view shows the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Ural” during the float out ceremony at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

May 25, 2019

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential.

The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.

Russia is building new infrastructure and overhauling its ports as, amid warmer climate cycles, it readies for more traffic via what it calls the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which it envisages being navigable year-round.

The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service.

“The Ural together with its sisters are central to our strategic project of opening the NSR to all-year activity,” Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s chief executive, was quoted saying.

President Vladimir Putin said in April Russia was stepping up construction of icebreakers with the aim of significantly boosting freight traffic along its Arctic coast.

The drive is part of a push to strengthen Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States and Norway, as well as newcomer China.

By 2035, Putin said Russia’s Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, nine of which would be powered by nuclear reactors.

The Arctic holds oil and gas reserves equivalent to 412 billion barrels of oil, about 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates.

Moscow hopes the route which runs from Murmansk to the Bering Strait near Alaska could take off as it cuts sea transport times from Asia to Europe.

Designed to be crewed by 75 people, the Ural will be able to slice through ice up to around 3 meters thick.

(Reporting by Dmitry Vasilyev; Writing by Andrew Osborn and Polina Devitt; Editing by David Holmes)

Source: OANN

A view shows the nuclear-powered icebreaker
A view shows the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Ural” during the float out ceremony at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

May 25, 2019

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential.

The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.

Russia is building new infrastructure and overhauling its ports as, amid warmer climate cycles, it readies for more traffic via what it calls the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which it envisages being navigable year-round.

The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service.

“The Ural together with its sisters are central to our strategic project of opening the NSR to all-year activity,” Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s chief executive, was quoted saying.

President Vladimir Putin said in April Russia was stepping up construction of icebreakers with the aim of significantly boosting freight traffic along its Arctic coast.

The drive is part of a push to strengthen Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States and Norway, as well as newcomer China.

By 2035, Putin said Russia’s Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, nine of which would be powered by nuclear reactors.

The Arctic holds oil and gas reserves equivalent to 412 billion barrels of oil, about 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates.

Moscow hopes the route which runs from Murmansk to the Bering Strait near Alaska could take off as it cuts sea transport times from Asia to Europe.

Designed to be crewed by 75 people, the Ural will be able to slice through ice up to around 3 meters thick.

(Reporting by Dmitry Vasilyev; Writing by Andrew Osborn and Polina Devitt; Editing by David Holmes)

Source: OANN

Brazil's President Michel Temer arrives to a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
Brazil’s President Michel Temer arrives to a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

May 24, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – More Brazilians disapprove of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government than those who approve, a survey on Friday showed, the first time this has happened since the former Army captain was sworn into office on January 1.

The first five months of Bolsonaro’s term have been marked by a weak economy, which likely contracted in the first quarter, failure to cultivate political support for his reform agenda, controversy, and some high-profile gaffes.

According to the latest XP Investimentos/Ipespe poll, which surveyed 1,000 Brazilians on May 20-21, 36% think Bolsonaro’s government is bad or terrible. That’s up 5 percentage points from the previous survey earlier this month.

The number of those who think the government is good or great slipped to 34% from 35%. The margin of error is 3.2 percentage points, XP Investimentos said.

Brazilian markets have wobbled in recent weeks as political infighting and divisions have put the brakes on Bolsonaro’s pension reform bill’s progress through Congress. Approval of the bill is seen as vital to boosting investor, consumer and business sentiment, and bringing Brazil’s economy back to life.

The overwhelming majority of Brazilians blame previous governments and “external factors” for the current economic situation. But the number of those blaming Bolsonaro’s government doubled to 10% from the previous poll only three weeks earlier, the survey showed.

Brazilians’ confidence in the government’s future path is also eroding, according to this poll, which shows the gap between the optimistic and pessimistic outlooks for the remainder of his term narrower than ever.

Some 47% of those surveyed said the rest of Bolsonaro’s term will be good or great, down from 51% earlier this month, while the number of those saying it will be bad or terrible rose to 31% from 27%.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

Brazil's President Michel Temer arrives to a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
Brazil’s President Michel Temer arrives to a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

May 24, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – More Brazilians disapprove of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government than those who approve, a survey on Friday showed, the first time this has happened since the former Army captain was sworn into office on January 1.

The first five months of Bolsonaro’s term have been marked by a weak economy, which likely contracted in the first quarter, failure to cultivate political support for his reform agenda, controversy, and some high-profile gaffes.

According to the latest XP Investimentos/Ipespe poll, which surveyed 1,000 Brazilians on May 20-21, 36% think Bolsonaro’s government is bad or terrible. That’s up 5 percentage points from the previous survey earlier this month.

The number of those who think the government is good or great slipped to 34% from 35%. The margin of error is 3.2 percentage points, XP Investimentos said.

Brazilian markets have wobbled in recent weeks as political infighting and divisions have put the brakes on Bolsonaro’s pension reform bill’s progress through Congress. Approval of the bill is seen as vital to boosting investor, consumer and business sentiment, and bringing Brazil’s economy back to life.

The overwhelming majority of Brazilians blame previous governments and “external factors” for the current economic situation. But the number of those blaming Bolsonaro’s government doubled to 10% from the previous poll only three weeks earlier, the survey showed.

Brazilians’ confidence in the government’s future path is also eroding, according to this poll, which shows the gap between the optimistic and pessimistic outlooks for the remainder of his term narrower than ever.

Some 47% of those surveyed said the rest of Bolsonaro’s term will be good or great, down from 51% earlier this month, while the number of those saying it will be bad or terrible rose to 31% from 27%.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

Frans Timmermans of the Party of European Socialists (PES) reacts during a press point after a debate which is broadcast live across Europe from the European Parliament in Brussels
Frans Timmermans of the Party of European Socialists (PES) reacts during a press point after a debate which is broadcast live across Europe from the European Parliament in Brussels, ahead of the May 23-26 elections for EU lawmakers, in Brussels, Belgium May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts

May 24, 2019

By Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch mainstream, EU-supporting political parties made gains in the first test of the European Parliament election, according to an exit poll that showed a surprise Labour victory and a weak showing for eurosceptics in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands and Britain were the first of 28 member states to vote in the EU election on Thursday. Irish and Czech voters were casting their ballots on Friday and the other 24 countries were due to vote on Sunday.

In Britain, where results will not be released until Sunday, opinion polls showed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party hemorrhaging support to veteran eurosceptic Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit Party. May said on Friday she would resign as party leader on June 7 amid deep paralysis on Brexit.

Dutchman Frans Timmermans, a vice president of the executive European Commission who is now the leading center-left candidate to head that body, defied opinion polls with a surprise victory for his Labour Party, the Ipsos exit poll showed.

The chaotic political situation in Britain may have influenced voters in the Netherlands, which is highly exposed economically to Brexit. Turnout hit a three-decade high for an EU election of 41%, up from 37% in 2014.

Mainstream Dutch parties that support the EU took 70% of the vote, 3% more than they did five years ago, the Ipsos poll showed. Anti-EU parties slipped nearly 1% to 19%, according to the poll, which had a 2% margin of error.

Political pundits cautioned not to read too much into the Dutch result, saying there may have been a domestic “Timmermans effect” that drew out supporters for a home-team candidate with a high profile.

“IDIOSYNCRATIC” RESULT

Cas Mudde, a professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia in the United States, said he was “sceptical about people reading European trends into” the Dutch vote. “It’s idiosyncratic and doesn’t mean anything for other Social Democratic parties.”

The Forum for Democracy of Dutch nationalist Thierry Baudet, which had been polling neck and neck in first place alongside the conservatives of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, ended fourth. Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration Freedom Party fell to 4%, its worst showing since it was established in 2006.

No opinion poll before the vote had put Labour anywhere better than third place, but it ended first with 18 percent, three points ahead of Rutte’s ruling center-right VVD.

Baudet may have lost strong momentum in the final week of campaigning after publishing a book review that questioned whether women can both work and have children, and retweeting a video that was hosted by a German white supremacist group.

In Britain, a YouGov poll on Wednesday had put support for Farage’s Brexit Party, which is campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union immediately and with no divorce deal if necessary, at 37%. May’s Conservatives, deeply divided over Brexit, had just 7%.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s eurosceptic National Rally leads opinion polls, slightly ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s strongly pro-EU Republic On the Move party, according to a survey published by Les Echos newspaper on Thursday.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are expected to remain the largest party, with the far-right Alternative for Germany seen only in fourth place at 12%.

Italy’s far-right ruling League party, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, is seen remaining the country’s largest.

(Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN


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