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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Data: Kekst CNC; Chart: Axios Visuals

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's response to the coronavirus pandemic has won widespread approval even as other high-profile leaders face growing frustrations, according to polling from Kekst CNC, shared with Axios.

The big picture: Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's truly terrible ratings have been driven largely by economic concerns, while rising case counts have seen President Trump slump to new lows in the poll. Merkel, meanwhile, is winning high marks on both the public health and economic fronts.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron fares far worse, but his numbers have ticked up from -17% last month.
  • Everyone else is heading in the wrong direction, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for whom an initial boost in popularity has long since evaporated.
  • 64% of Brits think the government lifted lockdown too early, and 67% think the government is just making things up as it goes along.
  • The U.K's beloved National Health Service scores a whopping +85% approval for its pandemic response, however.
  • In Sweden, confidence in the government's unorthodox approach is fading slightly though still relatively strong (+8%).

Worth noting: Just 14% of Swedes say they’re wearing masks indoors in public spaces, compared to 47% in the U.K. and big majorities in France (74%), the U.S. (75%), Germany (79%) and Japan (84%).

Go deeper

Oct 31, 2020 - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

3 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.