Anew USA TODAY/Gallup Pollreports that 51% of Americansbelieve that President Obama'spolitical views are "too liberal,"though 47% also say they agreewith him on the issues they careabout.Gallup also said that "Americans'perceptions of Obama's ideologyhave changed significantly sincehe was elected.""Four years ago," the poll said,"when Gallup first asked thisquestion about Obama while hewas competing for the 2008Democratic presidentialnomination, a plurality, 47%,thought his views were aboutright. At that time, 37% said hisviews were too liberal, comparedwith today's 51%."The ideology question was partof an overallUSA TODAY/ Gallup Pollshowing thatAmericans are feeling better aboutthe nation's economy, but notabout its politics.Americans also believe thatObama is further to the left thanRepublican challengers MittRomney and Rick Santorum areto the right.Gallup cited three reasons forthis:-- "First, Americans are morefamiliar with Obama than witheither of his challengers, asevidenced by the smallerpercentage without an opinion of Obama's political views (4%)compared with Romney's (9%) orSantorum's (13%)."-- "Second, for many yearsAmericans have been roughlytwice as likely to self-identify asconservative rather than liberal...."-- "Third, Republicansoverwhelmingly believe Obama istoo liberal (89%), whileDemocrats show far lessconsensus as to whether Romney(55%) and Santorum (50%) aretoo conservative."Gallup's bottom line:Americans' views of Obama'sideology have changedsignificantly since the 2008campaign, with the majority nowseeing him as too liberal. Thatshift probably is a result of Americans' greater familiaritywith his issue positions as well ashis policies over the last severalyears.Currently, Americans are lesslikely to perceive either of Obama's likely Republicangeneral election opponents as tooconservative; however, that couldchange as they campaign andbecome more familiar to thepublic. That could especially bethe case with Santorum, who isthe least well-known of thecandidates and has takenconservative positions on moralvalues issues, among others.It may be seen as an advantagefor the GOP that Americansperceive the main Republicancandidates as being less extremeto the right than Obama is to theleft. But that may not matter aslong as Americans continue to beabout as likely to say they agreewith Obama as the Republicanson the issues they care about.Indeed, the 2012 general electioncontest remains highlycompetitive, with Obama instatistical ties with both Romneyand Santorum among registeredvoters.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
PORT ORCHARD, Washington(AP) – A frightened 9-year-oldboy accused of accidentallyshooting a classmate sat before a judge in juvenile court, crying andwearing an orange jail jumpsuit,as his father gently rubbed hisback.• By Ken Lambert, AP The 9-year-old boy accused of accidentally shooting a classmateat a Bremerton, Wash.,elementary school is led awayafter his juvenile detentionhearing in Kitsap County, Wash.By Ken Lambert, APThe 9-year-old boy accused of accidentally shooting a classmateat a Bremerton, Wash.,elementary school is led awayafter his juvenile detentionhearing in Kitsap County, Wash.Thursday's scene in Washingtonstate raised questions the courtmust decide: Did the boy knowwhat he did was wrong? And isanyone else responsible?Documents filed when the boywas charged say the gun firedWednesday after the boy slammedhis backpack down on a desk.Eight-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman remained in criticalcondition.The boy was charged withunlawful possession of a gun,bringing a dangerous weapon toschool and third-degree assault.Bail was set at $50,000.Ultimately, the court willdetermine whether the caseagainst the boy will continue. Hewill not be arraigned until thecourt determines whether he hasthe capacity to understand thatwhat he did was wrong."I just want everyone to know thatmy kid made a mistake. It was aterrible mistake," the boy's father,Jason Cochran, said outside thecourthouse.Authorities say the boy brought a.45-caliber handgun he got fromhis mother's house, and theweapon discharged just beforeclasses let out. The chargingdocuments say the boy had told aclassmate that he was going tobring his "dad's gun" to schooland run away.The teacher, Natalie Poss, toldKING-TV on Thursday theshooting was "a teacher's worstnightmare." She recalled hearing aloud bang, then seeing the girlslump.Under state law, childrenbetween 8 and 12 years old canface charges if a court determineshe or she has the capacity tounderstand that what he or she didwas wrong."He has a lot of good in his heart,"the boy's teacher said. "I know hedidn't intend this to happen. And Iknow he's hurting tonight."Gail Hammer, a law professor atGonzaga University, said it isvery rare for a child as young as 9to be charged with a crime. Evenif a young child is convicted, hewouldn't be sent to an adultprison, Hammer said.In 27U.S.states, there is somekind of firearm child accessprevention laws. Such laws caninclude criminal penalties foradults who allow children to gettheir hands on guns, butWashington has no such laws,according to the San Francisco-based Legal Community AgainstViolence.Past shootings at U.S. schoolshave involved younger children.In 2000, 6-year-old Kayla Rollandwas fatally shot by a 6-year-oldclassmate in Michigan whobrought a gun from home. Thatboy was not criminally charged;prosecutors said he was too youngto be held responsible.Last year, a 6-year-old at aHouston elementary schoolaccidentally fired a gun as he wasshowing it off to friends, injuringthree students.Copyright 2012 The AssociatedPress. All rights reserved. Thismaterial may not be published,broadcast, rewritten orredistributed. For moreinformation aboutreprints &permissions, visit our FAQ's. Toreport corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view ourcorrections, go tocorrections.usatoday.com. USATODAY is now using Facebook Comments on our stories and blogposts to provide an enhanced userexperience. To post a comment,log into Facebook and then "Add"your comment. To report spam orabuse, click the "X" in the upperright corner of the comment box.To find out more, read theFAQandConversation Guidelines.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
The fourth inquest in 30 yearsmay finally resolvethe mystery of whether a dingo could have stolena babyfrom a tent 30 years ago orwhether the family murdered thechild, The Australian reports.The 9-week-old baby, AzariaChamberlain, disappeared from acampsite in August 1980.Michael Chamberlain, visiblymoved, told the DarwinMagistrates court today that "adingo stole a little girl from ourhumble tent and killed her,"referring to Australia's wild nativedog.Court testimony today showedthat there have been 239 recordedattacks by dingoes in Queenslandfrom 1990 to 2011, and at leastthree children had died fromdingo attacks since 1982.Rex Wild, a lawyer assisting thecoroner, describes several of theattacks and says he believes theevidence shows that a dingo couldhave been responsible for Azaria'sdeath, the Associated Pressreports."Although it (a dingo killing achild) may have been regarded asunlikely in 1980 ... it shouldn't beby 2011-12," he says. "With theadditional evidence in mysubmission, your honor shouldaccept on the balance of probabilities that the dingo theoryis the correct one."The first inquest in 1980 said adingo was probably responsiblefor Azaria's death, but thosefindings were later quashed.Then the girl's mother, LindyChamberlain, who has sinceremarried, was jailed for murderand Chamberlain found guilty of being an accessory after the factand given a suspended sentence.It was only after Azaria's jacketwas found in 1986 that a royalcommission was held in whichboth parents were exonerated, thenewspaper says.A third inquest in 1995 listed thecause of death as unknown.The BBCreportsthat the courtwill present its finding next week.A lawyer for Lindy Chamberlainsaid the couple had been victimsof innuendo, suspicion and the"most malicious gossip everwitnessed in this country," TheAustralian reports.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
Iran has significantly ramped upproduction of a purer form of enriched uranium, U.N. nuclearofficials said in a new reportFriday, a finding certain toexacerbate worries about thecountry’s march toward nuclear-weapons capability.The report by theInternationalAtomic Energy Agencyshowed anearly 50 percent jump in Iran’sstockpile of what is known as “20percent enriched” uranium, aproduct that is closer to weapons-grade than the type of enricheduranium normally used in nuclearpower plants.Half of the increased output camefrom a new facility built by Iraninside an underground bunkercarved into the side of amountain.The Vienna-based nuclearwatchdog also confirmed abreakdown in talkswith Iranianofficials earlier this week over thecountry’s nuclear program. Afterinviting U.N. experts to Tehran,Iranian nuclear officials declinedto grant them access to a keyresearch facility, and refused toaddress questions about pastnuclear activities, the agency’sreport said.Iran dismissed the IAEA’sconcerns about alleged nuclearweapons research “largely on thegrounds that Iran considered themto be based on unfoundedallegations,” said the report,prepared in advance of a meetingnext month of the Viennaagency’s 35-nation board of governors.Since 2007, Iran has beenslowing adding to its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, whichIranian officials say will be usedto generate electricity in nuclearpower plants.But while nuclear reactor fuelrequires 5 percent enricheduranium, Iran has recently begunmaking 20 percent enricheduranium at both its main facilityin Natanz and the secretly builtunderground complex known asFordow. With further refinement,the uranium stockpile can beconverted to weapons-gradenuclear fuel.Iran says it has no plans to makeatomic weapons.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.