Cramm for 9/24/21
Germany heads to the polls this weekend.
You know Angela Merkel for being Germany’s chancellor of over a dozen years. Plus for guiding her country through a devastating financial crisis - along with multiple world issues. Merkel is thought of as one of the most powerful leaders in Europe (not to mention the world), and is celebrated for keeping the region together in difficult times. But in 2018, she announced she would be retiring in...2021, when Germany holds its next elections.
Those elections take place on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know. Merkel is part of the Christian Democratic Union (aka CDU), a center-right and liberal-conservative party. If the CDU wins, Merkel’s successor will be Armin Laschet, one of her longtime allies in gov. But the party faces a very, veeeeeery tight race with the Social Democratic Party (aka SPD), which is left-leaning and led by Olaf Scholz, who’s served as vice chancellor since 2018. There’s also the Green Party, which shocked everyone and surged to third place with leader Annalena Baerbock.
As of now, Scholz is leading the polls - but not by much. The election is made even more unpredictable by the fact that there are a ton of undecided voters late in the campaign.
Two things are clear: for the first time since 2005, Merkel won’t lead Germany. And there’s a chance this election could mark a significant shift in German politics.
BOOSTERS: The US gov has its mind on boosters. Last week, the FDA’s panel of advisers recommended that people over the age of 65, people at high risk of severe infection, and people at high risk of getting infected at work should get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Not long after, the FDA authorized booster shots for those groups of people - leaving the final decision up to the CDC. Whiiiiiich only gave the thumbs-up to boosters for people who are 65+ or have underlying health conditions. So last night, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stepped in, overruled her advisers, and endorsed boosters for people whose jobs put them at high risk. Meaning the Biden team can get started on its booster campaign today.
POLITICS: ICYMI, after the 2020 US presidential election, some Republicans - led by Donald Trump - made allegations of voter fraud. So the Republican-controlled Arizona state senate decided to conduct an election audit. Recently, it was revealed that the audit appears to confirm Joe Biden won Maricopa County, Arizona in the 2020 election. In fact, the audit actually showed that Biden won by a slightly bigger margin than previously thought. Not a typo. Speaking of which, Texas announced a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 election, just hours after Trump asked the state to do so. And in other news, the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol just subpoenaed four of Trump’s closest advisers. Think: Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino Jr., Stephen Bannon, and Kash Patel.
TECH: Apple is not happy with the European Union. See: the EU just unveiled plans to make USB-C connectors the standard charging port for all smartphones, tablets, and electronic devices sold across the bloc. The goal? Cut back on environmental waste. The legislation - which would likely come into effect in 2024 - mostly impacts Apple, whose iPhones have a different port. The tech biz fired back against the plans, saying a common charger “stifles innovation.” Meanwhile, China is not a fan of cryptocurrency. At all. The country just banned all crypto transactions and crypto mining. Ten agencies, including banks and foreign exchange regulators, will team up to crack down on “illegal” cryptocurrency activity.
WHAT TO KNOW
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