Obama to talk of job creation and economic growth in three day tour

US President has embarked on a three day tour of Midwestern states.

Barack Obama has embarked on a three day bus tour of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota - the three Midwestern states that he will need to carry if he is to win the 2012 presidential election. As media attention is increasingly focused on Tea Party insurgents such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, Obama's approval rating has slipped to 39 per cent - the lowest since he took office.

The debate about America's debt ceiling, and the downgrading of the US credit rating from AAA, has also dominated headlines, although US industrial growth has increased at a greater than expected rate. Obama will campaign in Iowa just days after Rick Perry equated quantitative easing with treason and Michele Bachmann scored 30 per cent in the state's straw poll.

The official website for Obama's re-election says little in the way of policy, but is instead focused on organising grass roots support, as the then Democratic Presidential candidate did to great success in 2009. However, the Tea Party has emulated the sort of bottom up populism that characterised Obamania, with politicians such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann casting themselves as Washington outsiders, much as Obama did two years ago.

Travelling in a shiny black tour bus and looking considerably more grey haired than when he took office, Obama will take a measure of bi-partisanship and national unity to his audiences, criticising the Republicans for sabotaging his deficit plan and appealing to Americans' patriotism to put the economy before political point-scoring. He has referred to the "broken politics" in Washington, and the fact that "some folks in Congress...think that doing something in cooperation with me, or this White House...somehow is bad politics."

Obama will speak to farmers and rural organisation as well as small business owners and schoolchildren. He will discuss ideas for job creation and economic growth, including the creation of an infrastructure bank.

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Anatomy of a crisis: the facts on Europe’s refugees

What are the true figures on the crisis – and how many asylum seekers are countries taking?

How many refugees have countries offered resettlement to?

 

With 35,000 refugees offered resettlement, Germany is leading Europe in accepting displaced Syrians. Britain has so far taken in 187.

How many people are applying for asylum in the EU?

In the year ending June 2015, there have been 755,000 applications for asylum to the EU. In July, there were 37,531 to Germany alone.

How many asylum applications are there to the UK?

The UK ranks seventh in terms of the total number of asylum applications. 41% of applications recieve a positive decision.

How many refugees are being hosted by countries in the Middle East?

Turkey has taken in the most refugees, with 2,000,000 Syrians in the country.

How does the EU response to Syrian refugees compare to other nationalities of refugee?

This article first appeared in the 03 September 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Pope of the masses

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