World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. President Barack Obama's lead over challenger Mitt Romney has narrowed to just two percentage points since the Republican's strong performance in their first debate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.
In more bad news for Obama, one in five voters said the Democrat's performance in the contest in Denver on Wednesday made them feel more negative about him and almost a third said they felt more positive about his Republican challenger.
"Romney did well, he was perceived as doing well, and we're seeing the effect of that today," said Ipsos managing director Cliff Young. "Definitely in the short-term now, he's picking up people because of his performance in the debate."
The online tracking poll conducted between Monday and Friday showed 46 percent of likely voters backed Obama, versus 44 percent for Romney.
Obama had led Romney by 6 percentage points in the poll released on Wednesday and the edge narrowed to five points - a 48-43 percent lead for Obama - in polling up to Thursday. That was the first including a day of interviews after the meeting in Denver.
It remained to be seen whether his weak performance in Denver will become a long-term problem for Obama. He has two more chances to redeem himself in debates - a second is set for Oct. 16 and the third is on Oct. 22.
The narrowing could just reflect the effect of a flood of coverage after Romney's impressive debate performance, Young said. "The big question is whether this is just a debate effect, or whether the race will get back to status quo," Young said.
More than 9 out of 10 registered voters - 91 percent - said they had seen, heard or read something about the debate, and 54 percent said they thought Romney had done a better job.
Thirty percent said it made them feel more positive toward Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts. That was more than double the 14 percent who felt better about Obama after watching the two candidates go head-to-head.
Twenty percent said the contest had made them feel more negative about Obama, while 14 percent said it made them feel more negative about Romney.
Obama's campaign got a positive jolt on Friday from a surprisingly strong U.S. unemployment report, in which the monthly jobless rate sank below 8 percent - to 7.8 percent - for the first time since January 2009, the month he took office.
That could help him win over the dwindling pool of voters who say they might still change their minds - just 15 percent of those surveyed.
The precision of Reuters/Ipsos polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for registered voters and 3.0 for likely voters.
The online poll conducted Oct. 1-5 interviewed 1,728 registered voters and 1,434 likely voters.
The questions specifically about the debate - included in the survey since Wednesday night - have a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The base size for those questions was 976 registered voters.
It was said that the strikes were in response to the firing earlier of six rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.
"Steps are being taken - above all by those who seized power in Kiev - not only that do not fulfil, but that crudely violate the Geneva agreement," he said.
A row between the two countries on Ethiopia's controversial multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam on the Nile River has been at the center of a crisis in bilateral relations.
Grand Mufti Mohammed Hussein said he was present at Sunday's protests and said police "threw the sound bombs into the (al-Aqsa) mosque itself".
The Sunday raids came only one day after another drone attack on an Al-Qaeda hideout in the central Al-Bayda' province left ten rebels and three civilians dead, according to a security source.
The deal was struck within the framework of peace talks between Hamas and Fatah.
JI chief Sirajul Haq said the real problem facing the country was "political and economic terrorism."
The shrine has long been a flashpoint between Japan and neighbours China and both Koreas. They see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism
Witnesses said that more than 20 settlers from a nearby Israeli outpost chopped down the five-year-old trees in a private Palestinian field.
Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and two other crew members were arrested last week on negligence charges, with prosecutors announcing four further arrests
A U.S. Navy remote controlled submarine, the Bluefin-21, was on its ninth mission scanning the largely unmapped stretch of sea bed where the pings are believed to have come from, with still no trace found
Five men sentenced to death, another 37 people were sentenced to terms of three to 35 years for assisting the attacks in northeastern Riyadh.
The stowaway told FBI officials that he had run away from home, climbed a fence at the airport in San Jose, California, crossed the tarmac and crawled into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines flight
Fearless and scathing critic of the military government, Win Tin helped found National League for Democracy with current opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988.
The changes follow Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and tension in the largely Russian-speaking east of Ukraine.
Besides the cash compensation, the mountain guides have demanded that the government pay for the treatment of the injured and raise the insurance cover to $20,000.