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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

Pipeline hack spotlights cyber risks to energy systems

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline — the massive East Coast gasoline artery — is a stunning real-world example of the increasing risks that the energy sector faces from a cyberattack.

Why it matters: Different parts of the vast American energy system are vulnerable — from pipelines to power grids to individual power plants and plenty in between.

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: TikTok launching jobs service for Gen Z

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok is testing a tool for brands to recruit employees, sources tell Axios.

Details: The pilot program is designed to help people find jobs on TikTok and connect with companies looking to find candidates. It's also meant to help brands use TikTok as a recruitment channel.

Crypto media boom

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.