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Trump Less Trusted Than Putin: Balance of Power

As Donald Trump’s White House spirals deeper into crisis, the rest of the world seems to be giving up on America’s new president.

A survey by Pew Research Center showed that respondents in 22 out of 36 countries trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin more than Trump when it comes to handling global affairs. And that includes American allies like Germany, France and Japan. (Trump edged out Putin in the U.K., India and Israel.)

Nor are things likely to improve. The survey was conducted before Trump put the world on edge with his fiery warnings to North Korea last week. And just yesterday, chief strategist Steve Bannon was cited as saying that the U.S. would be willing to withdraw troops from South Korea in return for a deal on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. He also took aim at China, saying “to me, economic war with China is everything.”

Trump’s explosive remarks on race this week have forced many White House aides to agonize on whether it’s time to part ways with the president. Many of America’s overseas allies may be asking themselves the same question.

Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7.
Photographer: SAUL LOEB

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Global Headlines

Executives abandon the CEO president | Trump’s reputation as a business president may be forever tarnished after a swathe of business leaders abandoned him following his response to last week’s fatal white supremacist rally in Virginia. As Bloomberg’s New York bureau reports, the public repudiation followed 48 hours of frantic phone calls by executives to Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire leader of the Blackstone Group LP and a key figure in Trump’s corporate brain trust.

Bannon airs West Wing feud | Bannon told the left-leaning American Prospect about his long-simmering feud with some of Trump’s top advisers, saying he battles Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on a regular basis, especially on China. Bannon never intended for the conversation to be published, according to a person familiar with his thinking. But what will new Chief of Staff John Kelly think? He was hired to impose some military discipline on a chaotic West Wing.

A German bellwether | Pinneberg, on a commuter rail line on the northwest outskirts of Hamburg, isn’t a particularly remarkable place. But it has a remarkable political record. As Bloomberg’s guide to next month's election explains, it has picked the winner of every national vote since 1953. Click here for more

A Norwegian nail-biter | Declining support for Norway’s opposition Labor Party is upending next month’s parliamentary election and raising the prospect that more extreme factions will get to decide who governs Norway. Labor had been widely tipped to return to government, but polls now suggest it may need the support of the Red Party if it wants to do so. The communist faction wants to pull Norway out of Nato and end the monarchy. 

U.S. comes out swinging on Nafta | U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pledged to seek sweeping changes to the North American American Free-Trade Agreement as talks got underway yesterday in Washington. The opening bravado, which contrasted with the more accommodating tone of his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, may scuttle the chances of reaching a deal before elections in Mexico and the U.S. next year. 

And finally... Far-right Australian lawmaker Pauline Hanson caused a stir when she walked onto the floor of the Senate today in a burka. Hanson’s anti-immigration party, which surged into public view with four seats in the upper chamber at the last election, wants a ban on the garment in public places, saying it can abet terrorism. An emotional Attorney-General George Brandis rebuked Hanson for an “appalling” stunt that mocked Muslims, a move that earned him a standing ovation from other senators.

Hanson during question time at Parliament House in Canberra. 
Photographer: LUKAS COCH/AAP

 

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