Support for maintaining the coronavirus quarantine is weakening in Spain. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has partly lifted a two-month lockdown, allowing small stores to reopen and restaurants to serve takeaway, but the opposition is calling for a quicker return to normalcy.
Deaths from coronavirus disease have stabilized at under 200 per day. The infection rate is also slowing.
But Spain still has more known cases of COVID-19 than any country except the United States.
Joe Biden is now the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in the United States.
Delegates: Biden has won 642 pledged delegates against 566 for Bernie Sanders so far. 1,991 are needed to win the nomination outright.
States: Biden won ten of the fourteen states that held primaries on “Super Tuesday” and he is polling in first place in Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, which vote next Tuesday. Sanders is ahead in Washington state.
Popular support: Biden’s national support has shot up from under 20 percent to an average of 34 percent since he won the South Carolina primary a week ago.
Party support: Sixty more prominent Democrats have endorsed Biden in the wake of his South Carolina victory.
Joe Biden has risen in the South Carolina polls seemingly at the expense of the other center-left candidates.
Biden has also taken a commanding lead in the endorsement primary, most recently winning the support of South Carolina’s most prominent Democrat: Congressman James Clyburn.
Bernie Sanders has far less support from party officials, but he has won the endorsement of New York mayor Bill de Blasio, himself briefly a 2020 hopeful.
Biden needs a win in South Carolina, where one in six Democratic voters are black, to breathe new life into his campaign.
Sanders is wildly popular in California, the largest state to vote on Super Tuesday, March 3, but Biden leads in the few polls that have been conducted in Florida and Georgia. In North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, Biden, Michael Bloomberg and Sanders are neck and neck.
Three middle-aged Catholic men from North-Rhine Westphalia are running to succeed Angela Merkel, postwar Germany’s first female and Eastern-born chancellor and the ruling Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) first Lutheran leader.
The CDU, which has governed Germany for fifty of the last seventy years, is holding a leadership election in April, triggered by the resignation of Merkel’s handpicked successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
Bernie Sanders is now faraway the frontrunner with recent polls giving him 27 to 32 percent support nationally. Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg are vying for second place with an average of 16-18 percent support each.
Sanders also leads in the few polls that have been taken in Nevada, where Democrats caucus on Saturday.
Biden is still ahead in the endorsement primary, winning nine more endorsements from prominent Democrats this month, but Bloomberg is catching up fast, with twenty endorsements in February.
Bloomberg is also making inroads with black voters. He has been endorsed by three members of the Congressional Black Caucus. A Quinnipiac University poll (PDF) gives the former New York mayor 22 percent support from African Americans, trailing only Biden, who has 27 percent.
Angela Merkel’s heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has unexpectedly quit, throwing the race to succeed the German chancellor wide open.
Kramp-Karrenbauer is stepping down as leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a position she has held since 2018. She will remain as defense minister.
Merkel elevated Kramp-Karrenbauer from the prime ministership of Saarland, on the border with France, to national politics in order to prepare her for a run in 2021. Although Kramp-Karrenbauer is socially more conservative than Merkel (she opposed marriage equality), she was seen as likely to defend the chancellor’s centrist legacy.