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Marine Le Pen

Le Pen looks to put the sword to Macron

With just three months until the European Parliament elections, France’s far-right leader Marine Le Penopened her campaign on Sunday with a commanding lead over her main rivals.

The Rassemblement National party’s pledge to claw back sovereignty from Brussels bureaucrats has garnered the support of 30% of voters. Meanwhile, the centrist coalition of current President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for the EU to bolster its global role, trails RN by a distant 12 points, according to recent polls.

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Olaf Scholz popping out of a toaster, surrounded by burnt toast.

Jess Frampton

Why Olaf Scholz smells like toast

When Olaf Scholz replaced Angela Merkel as Germany’s chancellor in 2021, hopes were high, in Germany and beyond, that a shift to new leadership might reinvigorate the nation at the heart of Europe. The remarkable Merkel had led her center-right Christian Democrats, her country, and the EU through a series of crises during her 16 years in power. Scholz rose to the top three years ago by casting himself as both a steady pair of hands in the Merkel mold but also as a center-left leader with a progressive view of Germany’s future. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Scholz surprised many with the boldness of his response. The “new era” he declared in Germany’s attitude toward Russia and the countries still trapped in its shadow defied his image as a skilled bureaucrat without a strong public voice or vision.

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Traffic jam from French farmer protests.

Why European farmers are furious

Farmers are flocking to Paris in response to the new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s agricultural policy announcement. And they aren’t coming to say merci.

They are demanding fairer prices for produce, the continuation of subsidies on gasoline, and financial aid for organic farmers.

Tractors have blocked main roads across the country and encircled Paris, cutting off access to the city’s two airports and the region’s main fresh food market at Rungis, which supplies 60% of the French capital’s fresh food. They have pledged to stay put until Thursday, when French President Emmanuel Macron will join European leaders in Brussels to discuss the EU budget and meet with European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to address the agricultural crisis.

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