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Democracy still ‘preferable’ in Muslim nations, survey says

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WASHINGTON — Democracy is still popular in six Muslim-majority countries, over a year after the Arab Spring, and the majority in some countries favors laws based on the Koran, according to a poll published Tuesday.

The first two Muslim-majority nations to overthrow a dictator still “desire” democracy, with some 67 percent of Egyptians and 63 percent of Tunisians saying “democracy is preferable,” according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in recent months.

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In the rest of the region, 84 percent of Lebanese and 71 percent of Turks say “democracy is preferable,” but Jordanians and Pakistanis are less enthusiastic, at 61 and 42 percent respectively.

Forty-five percent of Tunisians say the country has improved without ousted 23-year president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, and 42 percent disagree. Tunisians are still optimistic about the future of their country, with 75 percent saying the nation’s flailing economy will improve.

Aside from Lebanon, which boasts a large Christian minority, a majority of poll participants across the surveyed Muslim nations feel Islam does and should play a central role in government. Points of view differ across the countries regarding the degree to which Islam should affect policy.

In Pakistan, 82 percent of participants feel “laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Koran.” In the rest of the Muslim world, only 72 percent of Jordanians, 60 percent of Egyptians, 23 percent of Tunisians and 17 percent of Turks and Lebanese agreed.

A majority of poll participants believe women should have the same rights as men. Lebanese led the pack with 93 percent believing in gender equality. Only 74 percent of Tunisians and 58 percent of Egyptians support equal rights for women. Some 67 percent of Tunisian women say that equal gender rights are very important, whereas only 50 percent of men agree.

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The overwhelming majority of most poll participants opposed extremists, even if Al-Qaeda is seen as favorable by 19 percent of Egyptians, 16 percent of Tunisians and 13 percent of Pakistanis.

The polls were conducted in March and April, with a sample of 1,000 participants per country and a margin of error ranging from more or less than 3.9 to 5.2 points across the different countries.

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Feds now probing Giuliani’s links to Ukrainian natural gas projects – and if he profited from them

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Federal investigators are now probing the ties of the President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, into Ukrainian energy projects, and if he stood to gain financially in a business venture headed by his two "henchmen" who are now in jail.

The two associates infamously aided Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine to launch investigations into Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in an attempt to assist President Donald Trump's re-election efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Fears grow on digital surveillance: US survey

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Americans are increasingly fearful of monitoring of their online and offline activities, both by governments and private companies, a survey showed Friday.

The Pew Research Center report said more than 60 percent of US adults believe it is impossible to go about daily life without having personal information collected by companies or the government.

Most Americans are uneasy about how their data is collected and used: 79 percent said they are not comfortable about the handling of their information by private firms, and 69 percent said the same of the government.

Seven in 10 surveyed said they think their personal data is less secure than five years ago, while only six percent said it is more secure, the report found.

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CNN legal analysts rip apart Jim Jordan’s ‘nonsensical’ defense of Trump witness intimidation

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CNN legal analyst Elie Honig blasted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for arguing that President Donald Trump hadn't engaged in witness intimidation by tweeting attacks on a former ambassador as she testified against him in the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan argued the tweet can't be witness intimidation because Marie Yovanovitch wouldn't have known about the attack if Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hadn't read it to her, but Honig said the GOP lawmaker's claim was ridiculous.

"His point is nonsensical," Honig said. "Of course, she was going to find out about a tweet that went out to 60 million people-plus. The law covers any way you look regarding timing."

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