Merkel in rare political duress
German Chancellor Angela Merkel "once seemed invincible. Now her time may be running out," the WashPost's Griff Witte writes from Berlin:
What happened: "Merkel’s troubles started with a bitterly disappointing election result in September. They grew when her first attempt at forging a new government collapsed in November. And they have been compounded in recent days, as polls have shown German voters tiring of her leadership."
Why it matters: "Her rapidly diminishing political stock threatens to leave a void not only in Germany but also across the West, just as she had emerged as the most robust internationalist counterpoint to Trump-style nativism."
What's next: "Merkel now has what many regard as a last shot to cobble together a coalition and ward off an embarrassing electoral do-over that could see her lose her grip on power."