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What went wrong in Germany?

It wasn't long ago that the US and UK were the big losers of the developed world for their incompetent and politicized handling of the pandemic. Cases and deaths were surging even as their leaders diminished the threat of the disease.

Germany, meanwhile, was seen as a model of responsible pandemic management. Chancellor Angela Merkel's compassionate, pragmatic leadership, combined with respect for scientific expertise and general adherence to public health recommendations, had kept virus numbers low.

Six months later, the tables are turned — while the US and UK are poised to turn the corner with strong vaccine rollouts, the wheels are coming off in Germany.

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Hope for Europe's vaccine rollout;  CDU setback in German elections

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

How is the rollout of vaccines in Europe going?

So-so might be the best answer to that question. The UK is significantly ahead of most of the EU countries. It's being difficult to rollout production or increase production sufficiently fast. But it will get better in the coming months. And I hope that the evils of vaccine-nationalists can be prevented.

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Angela Merkel's missed connection

On Angela Merkel's last Valentine's Day as chancellor, she thinks back to East Germany, 1987. He was a foreign agent, she a quantum chemist. What might have been?

Quick Take: President Biden's first week

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Who's Joe Biden going to visit first?

Now that Joe Biden is officially US president, leaders from around the world would like a word with him — but where will he make his first international trip?

After a tumultuous four years, many countries are now clamoring for a face-to-face with President Biden. That includes allies who felt abandoned by Trump's "America First" presidency, as well as adversaries with thorny issues on the agenda. We check in on who's pitching him hardest on a near-term state visit.

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Europe minus Merkel

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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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.

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Elections to watch in 2021

This year, voters in dozens of countries will choose new leaders. With the human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, how will the worst global crisis in more than a hundred years play out at the ballot box? Here are a few key elections to keep an eye on in 2021.

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