contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
The starting gun
NEWS FEATURE 1
Russia’s youth awakens
NEWS FEATURE 2
Britain steps into the Brexit void
DIGEST AMERICAS
Trumpcare falls victim to Republican civil war
DIGEST AMERICAS
How a Colombian town defied one of the world’s largest mining corporations
DIGEST AMERICAS
One of Latin America’s longest-running diplomatic disputes heats up again
DIGEST EUROPE
Saarland punctures the Schulz bubble
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Commerce and combat, China’s twin levers in the Pacific
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Beijing’s shadow continues to loom over Hong Kong
DIGEST AFRICA
Bulldozing dissent in Tanzania
DIGEST AFRICA
A bloody week in the Democratic Republic of Congo
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Buried under the rubble: Civilian casualties spike in Mosul
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Two years of war have wrecked Yemen, but no end is in sight
THE PICTURE
One last time, Wimbledon goes to the dogs
GOOD NEWS
Facial recognition software improves the diagnosis of rare genetic disease
New technology allows paralysed man to use his hand again
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
Gaming for living
IN SCIENCE
‘World-first’ procedure lets a paralysed man use his hand
IN MEDICINE
How forcing defunct cells to self-destruct could reverse signs of ageing
IN TECHNOLOGY
Solar shield, the controversial new solution to climate change

Martin Schulz’s bid to topple Merkel hits turbulence

German Politics
See 14 more
Martin Schulz (C) is enjoying a surge of popularity in Germany and hopes to beat Angela Merkel in September’s federal election.
KAMIL ZIHNIOGLU/AFP/Getty Images
Martin Schulz (C) is enjoying a surge of popularity in Germany and hopes to beat Angela Merkel in September’s federal election.
J ust three weeks ago Angela Merkel appeared to be marching almost unchallenged towards a third term as German chancellor in September’s federal election. Though weakened by the refugee crisis and a series of poor regional results, she had been anointed leader of the free world by Barack Obama as he left office. Her coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), were suffering a particularly acute case of the illness afflicting Europe’s centre left.
Then Sigmar Gabriel, Ms. Merkel’s deputy, stood down as SPD leader, flipping the race on its head. Under his successor, Martin Schulz, support for the party has surged. Based on current polls, he is more popular than the chancellor and might be able to oust her by forming a coalition with the Greens and Die Linke, a far-left party. ‘Is Germany tired of Merkel?’ best-selling tabloid Bild asked last week. Adding to the sense of momentum, MPs elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a former SPD foreign minister, as president on Sunday.
Fresh from a stint as president of the European Parliament, Mr. Schulz is relatively unknown in Germany, allowing him to tap into the yearning for outsiders that has upended Western politics. His personal story helps. Leaving school without qualifications, he wanted to be a professional footballer before an injury ended his fledgling career. He struggled with alcoholism but at 31 was elected mayor of Würselen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
“I'm not a populist,” he told news magazine Der Spiegel. “But I try to present complicated issues in such a way that people know where I stand.”
Yet Mr. Schulz’s honeymoon may already be coming to an end. The latest poll by Forsa suggests his popularity has been checked. “In order to succeed Chancellor Merkel, Schulz must now present a convincing programme,” said Manfred Güllner, head of the research institute. Ms. Merkel’s allies have come out swinging: “If Schulz calls upon his supporters to chant ‘make Europe great again’ that’s almost literally [like] Trump,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told Spiegel.
On top of that, a penchant for private jets and allegations about cronyism during his five years as Parliament president (now the subject of an official inquiry) may dent his image as a man of the people. Don’t rule out another four years of Ms. Merkel just yet.
Joe Wallace
The World Weekly
16 February 2017 - last edited 16 February 2017

Saarland punctures the Schulz bubble

30 March 2017