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Salvini's opponents left the door open for him. Photo: Salvatore Laporta/Kontrolab/LightRocket via Getty

Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, seemed to have miscalculated catastrophically in August.

Flashback: Then interior minister and deputy prime minister, he moved to bring down the coalition government in which he served and force new elections, which could have catapulted him into the prime minister's office.

Where things stand: Any sighs of relief from Salvini's foes, who include French President Emmanuel Macron and many in Brussels, now appear premature.

  • Salvini and the League have only grown more popular in opposition and lead the PD and Five Star by 10+ points in national polls.
  • With elections looming on Jan. 26 in the left-wing stronghold of Emilia-Romagna, polls show the League neck-and-neck with the PD, something that would have been unthinkable not long ago.

What to watch, per the FT:

  • “If the PD lose in Emilia-Romagna, it 100 per cent has the potential to bring down the national government and set Salvini on course to become prime minister,” says academic Daniele Albertazzi.
  • “This coalition is already so fragile that the only thing gluing it together is their fear of Salvini,” says Erik Jones of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna. “If they lose it is hard to see how they make it through the spring.”

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Schumer vows to confirm Breyer replacement "with all deliberate speed"

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded Wednesday to reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, commending his time on the bench and promising to confirm President Biden's nominated replacement "with all deliberate speed."

Why it matters: The opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden's legacy and could energize Democrats ahead of the midterms.

57 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israel's "top priority" mission to discredit UN probe

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the UN. Photo: John Minchillo/Pool via Getty

Israel is planning a campaign to discredit a UN commission formed to investigate the violence in Gaza last May and the root causes of the protracted conflict in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, according to an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable seen by Axios.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say they are highly concerned that the commission’s report will refer to Israel as an "Apartheid state" and that its findings could damage Israel's reputation, particularly among progressives in the West. The report is expected in June.