Russians' concern about rising prices has eroded President Vladimir Putin's approval ratings but these remain extremely high, the daily Vedomosti reported on Friday. It cited a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation as showing that 72 percent of Russians would have voted for Putin in August, down from 76 percent in May. Another poll, by the Levada Center, showed that in August 83 percent of Russians approved of the President's actions, down from an all-time high of 89 percent in May. The paper quoted experts as saying the fall reflected public dissatisfaction about prices during the summer, when many regulated prices such as utility and transport charges are raised. Putin's popularity ratings remain extremely high by both international and historical standards, boosted by his response to political upheaval in Ukraine last year.
By Shadi Bushra CAIRO (Reuters) - Far fewer Egyptians are complaining about the kind of power cuts that fuelled unrest in the past but government energy policies apparently focused on appeasing the public are dealing a blow to industries vital for economic growth. Research group Capital Economics estimates manufacturing output contracted by almost 30 percent year-on-year in June due to foreign exchange restrictions and gas shortages. "Factories have been beset by power outages and (economic) activity has suffered," it said in a note.
ZUWARA, Libya (AP) — An Associated Press photographer at the scene of the latest migrant disaster says authorities are collecting the bodies of migrants who drowned off the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara.