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Annelena Baerbock. Photo: Andreas Gora - Pool/Getty Images

Germany’s leading political parties convened to nominate their candidates for chancellor on Monday, but while a bitter fight was raging in the conservative camp the Greens displayed no such drama in picking Annalena Baerbock.

Why it matters: With Angela Merkel set to step down after 16 years following September's elections, there's a growing chance Germany’s next chancellor will again be female but this time Green.

The state of play: The conservatives — made up of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — have seen their polling numbers slide amid a slow vaccine rollout and corruption scandals.

  • Now they're torn over whether to run recently elected CDU chairman Armin Laschet, state premier of Germany’s most populous state, or to buck convention and heed current polling, which favors the more media-savvy Bavarian leader, Markus Söder.
  • The Greens are currently second in the polls, ahead of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and within striking distance of the conservatives.

Once the radical environmental party, the Greens are now mainstream.

  • They already govern in 11 out of 16 state governments, and will almost certainly play a part in Germany's next coalition government, whether that's a so-called traffic light government involving the SPD and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) or a centrist government with the Conservatives.
  • That means that for the first since entering parliament in 1983, their candidate has a shot at becoming chancellor.

Baerbock, 40, is well-versed in foreign policy and represents a constituency in the former East Germany.

  • “I am running for renewal while others represent the status quo,” she said at a press conference on Monday.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 min ago - Energy & Environment

China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.

House Democrats strip Iron Dome money from government funding bill

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will get a vote in its current defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic party over Israel.

Oversight Board calls for more Facebook transparency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board on Tuesday called on the social media giant to "commit to transparency" in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week that millions of high-profile users get special treatment by content moderators.

Why it matters: Although initially funded by Facebook, the Oversight Board operates independently as a kind of Supreme Court for the platform. The company has agreed to obey its rulings on specific content disputes, but the board's broader policy advice is strictly on a "recommendation" basis.

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