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About one-third of Republican voters back nuclear deal with Iran

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Thirty-one percent of Republicans favor a new nuclear deal with Iran, creating a challenge for their party’s lawmakers who largely oppose the framework accord sealed between Tehran and world powers, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday.

Another 30 percent of Republicans oppose the pact, while 40 percent are not sure, according to the poll, which revealed a sharp split in the party as its leaders ramp up opposition to the deal championed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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The White House has launched a broad effort to convince U.S. lawmakers and other critics to embrace the framework agreement reached last week between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Many details remain to be worked out for a final deal to be completed by the end of June. Public support will be critical to the White House effort to sway skeptical members of the Republican-controlled Congress, many of whom see the deal as a dangerous concession to a country that sponsors terrorism.

The nuclear deal foresees lifting U.S. and international economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for compliance with restrictions on its nuclear program.

The poll showed Obama has some selling to do among members of his own party, too. Though 50 percent of Democrats supported it, 10 percent were opposed and 39 percent were not sure.

Among independents — an important constituency group for both parties ahead of the 2016 presidential election — 33 percent voiced support, 21 percent registered opposition, and 45 percent said they were unsure about the deal.

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People from both parties diverged substantially in their views of a U.S. rapprochement with Iran.

Sixty percent of Republicans said the United States should hold a hard line with its longtime foe and maintain or expand current sanctions, compared with 23 percent of Democrats who said the same.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of Democrats said Washington was right to improve diplomatic relations with Tehran, compared with 18 percent of Republicans.

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The poll showed little support among members of both parties for using military force as a sole method for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. Five percent of Democrats supported such an option, along with 11 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of independents.

Support for the combined use of diplomatic channels along with military force was higher, however. Fifty percent of Republicans favored that combination, along with 35 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of independents.

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The Reuters/Ipsos online poll surveyed 2,291 American adults between April 3 and April 7, after the Iran deal was announced. Among those polled were 893 Democrats, 803 Republicans and 320 independents.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren wins coveted Iowa caucuses endorsement from the Des Moines Register newspaper

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) received a coveted endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the Des Moines Register newspaper.

"Who would make the best president at this point in the country’s history? At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury?" the newspaper asked. "The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times."

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Lev Parnas’s attorney hilariously trolls Mitch McConnell in bid for witnesses during impeachment trial

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The attorney for Lev Parnas trolled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Saturday in a bid for a "fair" impeachment trial.

Attorney Joseph Bondy posted to Twitter a video mashing together the audio of Trump meeting with Parnas and Igor Fruman along with the music from Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Posting the song as an online prank, known as rickrolling, dates back to at least 2007.

Included with the video was a message to McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Bondy urged the two to "vote with integrity and conscience."

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President Xi Jinping warns China’s coronavirus situation is ‘grave’ due to ‘accelerating spread’ of the virus

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President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations.

The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes.

After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.

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