Polls: Worry about attacks, confidence in Obama up

Posted May 03, 2011, at 9:52 p.m.
Last modified May 04, 2011, at 9:34 a.m.

Polls: Worry about attacks, confidence in Obama up

WASHINGTON — Americans are concerned about retaliatory terrorist attacks after Osama bin Laden’s death but also have more confidence in President Barack Obama’s leadership as commander in chief, according to three polls taken after American forces killed the terrorist leader.

The surveys show that people divide sharply along partisan lines when choosing whether to credit Obama, a Democrat, or former President George W. Bush, a Republican, for bin Laden’s death.

There is near universal acclaim for the military action that killed bin Laden — 93 percent approve, according to a USA Today-Gallup poll — and a Washington Post-Pew Research Center survey finds most feel relieved, proud or happy about the death of the al-Qaida leader.

A CNN-Opinion Research Center poll also finds Obama’s ratings as a “strong and decisive leader” rose after an April dip after a standoff with Congress over the federal budget. In the new poll, 58 percent said he is a strong leader, up 5 percentage points overall and 14 percentage points among independents. The USA Today-Gallup survey finds a narrow majority feel more confident in Obama’s abilities as commander in chief.

But voters divide along partisan lines over the roles of Obama and Bush in bringing an end to the decade-long manhunt. Though 76 percent in the Post-Pew poll give Obama at least some credit for bin Laden’s death, that dips to 61 percent among Republicans. Likewise, while 51 percent overall give Bush some of the credit, just 35 percent of Democrats do.

Swarm of bees kills Calif. family dog in backyard

TORRANCE, Calif. — A Southern California family returning home after church found their 6-year-old dog covered with bee stings and convulsing in the backyard.

The 40-pound Jindo named Inu died minutes later near the hive under an eave of the family’s Torrance home.

Joe Park tells the Torrance Daily Breeze that he and his family left for church on Sunday and the dog was happily playing in the backyard. When they returned hours later, she was lying in the yard, covered with hundreds of bee stingers.

A family friend frantically tried to remove the stingers, but the dog died minutes later.

Hive removal expert Don Sorensen said there may have been 25,000 bees in the hive. It’s not known whether they were aggressive Africanized killer bees.

Pa. lawsuit: Rental firm spies on users

PITTSBURGH — A major furniture rental chain has software on its computers that lets it track the keystrokes, screenshots and even webcam images of customers while they use the devices at home, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Wyoming couple who said they learned about the PC Rental Agent “device and/or software” inside the computer they rented last year when an Aaron’s Inc. store manager in Casper came to their home on Dec. 22.

The manager tried to repossess the computer because he mistakenly believed the couple hadn’t finished paying for it, the couple said. Brian Byrd, 26, said the manager showed him a picture of Byrd using the computer — taken by the computer’s webcam. The image was shot with the help of spying software, which the lawsuit contends is made by North East, Pa.-based Designerware LLC and is installed on all of Aaron’s rental computers.

Report sees sharper sea rise from Arctic melt

STOCKHOLM — The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.

The findings “emphasize the need for greater urgency” in combating global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, the scientific arm of the eight-nation Arctic Council.

The warning of much higher seas comes as the world’s nations remain bogged down in their 2-decade-long talks on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

Rising sea levels are expected to cause some of global warming’s worst damage — from inundated small islands to possible flooding of New York City’s subways. Oceans will not rise uniformly worldwide, because of currents, winds and other factors, but such low-lying areas as Bangladesh and Florida will likely be hard-hit.

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