The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 25, 2013

For Obama, world looks far different than expected

(Continued)

The White House's ties with Russia were further damaged this summer when Moscow granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the former government contractor accused of leaking documents detailing secret U.S. surveillance programs. In retaliation, Obama canceled plans to meet with Putin in Moscow next month, though he will still attend the meeting of leading rich and developing nations in St. Petersburg, Russia.

But the international impact from the National Security Agency revelations has spread beyond Russia. In European capitals, where Obama's 2008 election was greeted with cheers, some leaders have publicly criticized the surveillance programs. Among them was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who questioned the legitimacy of the programs while standing alongside Obama during his visit to Berlin earlier this year.

Obama has long enjoyed high approval ratings from the European public, though those numbers have slipped in his second term. So has European approval for his administration's international policies.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted this spring, before the NSA programs were revealed, showed that support for Obama's international policies was down in most of the countries surveyed, including a 14 point drop in Britain and a 12 point drop in France.

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