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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Germany's Social Democrats, in a reversal, have renewed the possibility of an alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU. This would have implications beyond Germany's borders.

The three emotions of the moment:

  • Fatigue: Even if the CDU and Social Democrats (SPD) do hitch up, most Germans won't like it. Only 39 percent of them favor a renewed "Grand Coalition" of this kind. Moreover, the SPD — which is at its weakest since 1949 — will be at pains to show voters that it's not just a second-fiddle to Merkel. This means that unwieldy intra-coalition politics will hobble the Merkel's ability to act.
  • Anger: The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party now holds 92 seats in parliament. And while it's in no position to be a kingmaker, the weakness of Merkel's coalition could increase the party's anti-establishment appeal, compounding her troubles.
  • Despair: French President Emmanuel Macron's bold initiative to reform and revitalize Europe requires a strong, willing Germany. Absent that, it will be harder for Europe to cope with an increasingly assertive brand of populist nationalism.

Bottom line: Merkel will enter her fourth term significantly weakened, and that's bad news for Germany and for Europe.

Go deeper: Right-wing populists surge in Germany

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Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 5 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford University's 90%-effective vaccine.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 coronavirus deaths — Americans line up for testing ahead of Thanksgiving.
  3. Travel: Air travel's COVID-created future — Over 1 million U.S. travelers flew on Friday, despite calls to avoid holiday travel.
  4. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. coronavirus hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  5. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  6. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

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