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Protesters carry German flags and portraits of supposed victims of refugee violence on September 1, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. Photo: Sean Gallup via Getty Images

A new poll shows Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right, nationalist party, overtaking the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to pull into second place ahead of a crucial regional election next month in Bavaria, reports Reuters.

The big picture: The surge follows anti-immigrant demonstrations last week in the city of Chemnitz, where about 6,000 people marched after a German national was killed, allegedly by two refugees. SPD is currently in coalition with Angela Merkel's center-right Central Democratic Union (CDU), making AfD the largest opposition party. The rise of the AfD contributed to an immigration standoff that threatened to bring down Merkel's government in June. She's just one of the many European leaders attempting to fend off anti-migration, populist forces.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

2 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.