Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bush popularity falls as fuel prices rise

Iraq appears to be affecting President Bush's popularity rating which fell yet again this month. Bush's approval in recent polls range from the low-to mid-40s. It was 42% in the latest AP-Ipsos poll. His ratings on everything from handling Iraq to the economy to Social Security and other domestic issues are at their lowest levels so far. Reagan was at 57% at this stage of his presidency and Clinton was at 61% according to a Gallup poll at the time. Four US troops were lost in Iraq Sunday bringing the toll to 1,853. Three were killed near Tikrit and another near the Jordanian border. All were killed by 'hostile fire' according to the DoD. Fifty four have so far died this month in the continuing violence. Oil pipelines remain a target too. A pipeline was cut by three explosion on the 4th August near the town of Kirkuk. It was the 257th attack on the Iraqi pipeline infrastructure since hostilities began. Oil is becoming a major issue on the streets of the US as prices have doubled in two years. The price now stands at $3.20 per US gallon [£0.46 per litre]. The shock for American consumers is profound. Fuel surcharges are being invoiced by delivery businesses which are being passed along the chain. The prices in the US are in direct contrast to UK where the cost of fuel has soared in recent weeks. In the south east of England the litre price is currently £0.94.9. Equivalent to $6.49 per US gallon [US gallon = 3.78 litres / UK gallon = 4.54 litres].
[02:05 GMT 16/08/2005]

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