Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Monday

1. From a Star Tribune Poll: Minnesotans give Donald Trump 40% approval rating, but the majority in greater Minnesota still support president at the 100-day mark.

 Star Tribune: Roughly half of Minnesotans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s performance and believe he lacks the temperament needed to lead the country, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows.

As Trump reaches the 100-day mark in the White House, only 40 percent of voters in the state approve of the job he is doing, a historic low, while 51 percent disapprove, the poll found. Only 44 percent of those polled believe that Trump is generally truthful.

“I think he’s mean; I think he doesn’t have any attributes that would bring honor to this country,” said Karen Anderson of Golden Valley, who participated in the poll. “I just think he’s a terrible person.”

But the poll shows a stark divide by geography and party. A majority of Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities metro area continue to support Trump, who narrowly lost the state in November but racked up big vote totals across rural Minnesota. He is also holding onto his core supporters: Of those who voted for Trump last fall, 87 percent still approve of his job performance so far. And Republicans continue to back him strongly, with 82 percent registering their approval.

2. Republicans elect outsider Jennifer Carnahan as party chair

Pioneer press: In March 2016, Jennifer Carnahan attended her first Republican Party caucus. On Saturday, Carnahan became the Republican Party of Minnesota’s chair.

Her meteoric rise over the past 14 months reflects a desire for outsiders in the era of Donald Trump — and the controversies stirred up by Carnahan’s biggest opponents during their much longer careers in GOP politics.

Carnahan said, “if people see that we’re the party where someone like myself came in like an activist just a year ago … how does that not inspire more people to get involved?”

Carnahan beat the Minnesota Republican Party’s deputy chair Chris Fields, the Republican National Committeeman Rick Rice, and former state Senate Minority Leader David Hann.

Later, Republicans elected David Pascoe of Crystal as its new deputy chair.

3. McMaster says US must be prepared for military operations in North Korea

Fox News: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attempted to make clear Sunday that President Trump is seeking international support in trying to stop North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclearize weapon, reasserting Trump’s vow that the U.S. will no longer be the world’s policeman.

“It’s an open defiance of the international community,” McMaster, a retired Army general, told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s important for all of us to confront this regime… . None of us can accept a North Korea with a nuclear weapon.”

From essentially the start of Trump’s winning presidential campaign, he has criticized previous administrations about the financial and geo-political consequences of leading efforts to police or overthrow foreign regimes. He even threatened to resign from NATO unless other countries started paying their fair share for such efforts.

4. Activist drew a crowd of 90 mostly Somali parents even as measles outbreak continues.

Star Tribune: A national speaker who believes there are links between vaccines and autism told a group of Somali-American parents last night that they should choose whether to vaccinate their children by weighing risks and benefits. He also said the government has lied in its previous vaccine research and that the danger of measles is overstated.

About 90 people met at Safari Restaurant in Minneapolis to hear Mark Blaxill, an editor of a website about what it calls “the autism epidemic,” present information on measles outbreaks, autism rates and what he said were the fraudulent results of a 2004 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the link between autism and vaccines, a theory that health officials have debunked.

“It should be the right of every parent and family to make their own decisions,” said Blaxill.

Blaxill’s visit comes in the midst of Minnesota’s second measles outbreak in seven years. As of Sunday morning, there were 32 cases of measles in Minnesota, including instances in Ramsey and Stearns counties as well as Hennepin County, where the majority are concentrated.

The Minnesota Department of Health says “all Minnesota children 12 months and older who have not received a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine should get it now.”

Public health officials have said vaccination rates among Somali-Americans have fallen in recent years as more parents opt out due to autism fears.

5. Breeder says United cremated her giant bunny without permission

Fox News: The owner of the giant rabbit who died in the care of United Airlines last Tuesday says the scandal-scarred airline cremated her bunny’s remains so she would never know the truth about how it died.

“The whole thing stinks of a cover-up,” breeder Annette Edwards, 65, told The Sun.

“I had been asking United over and over again for his body so that I can have him examined here in Britain but they never got back to me. All I want to know is how he died.”

Edwards, a UK rabbit breeder, was flying the 3-foot-long Continental Giant rabbit, dubbed Simon, from London to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to deliver him to his new owner in the US when he inexplicably kicked the bucket.

United claimed the rabbit was alive when it was taken out of the cargo section of a Boeing 767.

The airline’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, tried to apologize after the rabbit’s death, but drew fire for likening the pet to misplaced bags.

United, which has been fending off PR nightmares left and right in recent weeks, told Edwards on Friday there could be no autopsy because the animal had been incinerated, the Sun reported.

A source told the outlet that bumbling Chicago airport workers killed the bunny by mistakenly leaving it in a freezer overnight.


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