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Estonian PM resigns over corruption allegations; post-Merkel Germany

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Why did the Estonian prime minister resign and what happens now?

Well, he had to resign because there were allegations of corruption in connection with a construction issue in in Tallinn. Let's see. I think my best guess is that there will be a new coalition with the new composition of parties and perhaps a more clear-cut commitment to reforms.


What does the post-Merkel future look like for Germany's CDU leadership?

Well, that remains to be seen. They will, the CDU, which is the most significant and most powerful political party in Europe, will elect its new leader on Saturday. Somewhat of an open race between three candidates. Then CDU, and CSU, the Bavarian sister party will elect a chancellor candidate in April. And then, of course, the electorate of Germany will have its final say at the election end of September.

The heightened interest in green hydrogen is no hype. Haim Israel of BofA Global Research answers questions about how this renewable energy can bolster energy supplies while cutting harmful emissions around the world.

A bitter war is raging again inside a country that is simultaneously one of the world's richest and poorest — and outside players are part of it.

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China is the world's most populous country, with a whopping 1.4 billion people. In fact, many individual Chinese provinces would rank among the most populous nations on Earth in their own right. The economic powerhouse of southeastern Guangdong, China's most populous province, is home to as many people as Ethiopia. Up north, Heilongjiang's population is the roughly the same as Australia's. Even the island of Hainan, China's least populous province, is equal in population size to the Eastern European nation of Belarus. Here's a map of China, in which each province is tagged as a country with a similar population size.

Pros and cons of vaccine passports: As a growing number of countries roll out COVID vaccines, the World Health Organization has started working on a global "vaccine passport" certification that it hopes will be recognized across the globe. In theory, such a document would exempt global travelers from having to provide negative tests and undergo quarantines upon arrival. But here is where it gets tricky: While countries whose economies are heavily reliant on tourism like Greece are lobbying in favor of the effort so they can get tourists back in their hotels and restaurants, it's still unclear whether vaccinated people, who are protected from getting sick themselves, can transmit the virus to others. If some countries or regions jump the gun and lift restrictions for those with proof of vaccination, it could lead to a potential deluge of infections which would in turn result in fresh lockdowns and more economic turmoil. On the other hand, if vaccines do provide to be a safeguard against disease transmission, a global standard to verify who's gotten the jab could avoid the chaos associated with different nations' medical standards. The WHO has done it before with its famous "yellow card" that documents vaccinations against a range of diseases like rubella and cholera. Will it be able to come up with a paperless version that will be broadly accepted?

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When Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday — plunging the country into chaos as it faces once-in-a-generation public health and economic crises — he became the fourteenth Italian to vacate the prime ministership in three decades. (For contrast, Germany has only had three chancellors since 1982, and France has had five presidents.)

But Conte, who had no previous political experience until he was tapped for the top job in 2018, is not so much throwing in the towel as he is taking a massive gamble that President Sergio Mattarella will again appoint him to head Conte's third coalition government in less than three years.

The recent dysfunction is unique even within the context of instability-prone Italian politics. How did Italy get here, and what might come next?

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