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Clinton’s lead over Trump shrinks to two points

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Washington, Oct 29 : Registering a surprise gain on rival Hillary Clinton’s lead, US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday shrunk the gap to only two percentage points in a new Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, as core Republican groups returned to Trump’s fold.

Likely voters split 47 per cent for Clinton and 45 per cent for Trump, according to the survey conducted on Monday through Thursday. That is little changed from a 48-44 split in Friday’s results, but a substantial tightening since last weekend when Clinton led by a wide margin, Washington Post online reported.

A clear 59 per cent majority continues to expect Clinton to win on November 8, including more than 9 in 10 Clinton supporters, although the survey finds few signs that overconfidence is dampening enthusiasm.

Among likely voters, only 2 per cent who support Clinton and expect her to win say their prediction makes them less motivated to vote, including just 1 per cent of those who think she will win “easily”.

A similarly small 2 per cent of Trump supporters who anticipate he will win say their expectation makes them less likely to vote.

Clinton’s campaign has expressed concerns about complacency this week as it pushes supporters to turn out even as polls showed her with a comfortable lead, the Post added.

Saturday’s result came after Friday’s news that the FBI is looking into additional Clinton e-mails from her time as Secretary of State, an issue about which the public has been especially critical of her.

A September Washington Post-ABC News poll found 62 per cent of the public overall disapproving of her handling of questions about e-mail while Secretary of State, including 48 percent who disapproved strongly.

National polls released this week have shown ranging sizes of Clinton’s advantage.

Surveys by Fox News and Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP each found Clinton up a narrow three percentage points among likely voters, while she led by nine points in separate CNBC and USA Today/Suffolk polls and by 14 points in an Associated Press-GfK poll.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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