Note: Uighur activist Abudewli Ayup, exiled in Norway, filtered the
records of imprisoned Uighurs in re-education camps in China to several
German media outlets and the Financial Times in November 2019. Since then,
the data on these records have been authenticated through procurement
documents, satellite imagery, interviews with former residents in the area
and on-the-ground reporting.
The leaked list contradicts Beijing’s claims that its
“re-education” programmes in Xinjiang are voluntary and target violent
extremists. Justifications for imprisonment include praying at home,
keeping in touch with relatives overseas and having more children than
allotted by the state.
The files detail how individuals move through the mass detention
system, from initial evaluation and surveillance, to internment
and “graduation” — the term used for their release
into “monitoring and control” at home or involuntary labour in
industrial parks. The 137-page file contains personal data on more than
300 individuals in Karakax with relatives abroad. Details about family
members, social circles and religious beliefs, as well as perceived
misdemeanours, are also in the file.
The purpose of the file appears to be to record judgments on
whether an individual should remain in one of four camps in the county or
be moved to another part of the system. In some entries, the
word “agree” was written beside a judgment, suggesting the files were
used by government officials to communicate and approve decisions.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said he was “expecting
nothing” from a summit in March at which EU leaders are due to return
to the issue of enlargement and his country’s accession to the bloc.
“Let’s not speak about dates and months. March does not exist,”
he told journalists in Brussels.
Rama was in the European capital to attend a donors conference to
raise funds for the reconstruction of parts of the country following an
earthquake in November that killed more than 50 people. Ask to comment on
Macron’s block on further EU enlargement, Rama called him “a great friend
of Albania” and added that French troops had done a “fantastic
job” rescuing victims from the rubble.
Rama acknowledged that Macron had legitimate arguments on changing
the enlargement process. Nevertheless, he also emphasized that the halt on
Albania’s accession had been “a political earthquake,” stressing
the judicial reforms that the country had already made. Earlier this
month, Paris signaled its support for a reformed accession process that
addresses Macron’s complaint.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a State Department led
delegation of young international leaders at the Financial Times’ office
in New York. The group, which included economists, government officials,
journalists, NGO workers and private sector folks from over a dozen
countries, were visiting as part of a US government sponsored economic
I asked the group what they considered to be the most
under-reported story by American media. The consensus: how China is
filling the diplomatic and economic vacuum created by America in places
like Africa, eastern Europe, south-east Asia, and so on. They shared a
variety of fascinating examples, from ports built by the Chinese to
vocational training offered by Beijing.
But the most important influence was around the rollout of Chinese
equipment and standards in 5G — several participants had stories about how
China’s technology was being adopted in their own countries. I have been
writing about decoupling for some time, and was one of the first to bet
that the US and China would create separate technology ecosystems.
Jeff Bezos announced the formation of the Bezos
Earth Fund on Monday, saying it will provide $10 billion in grants to
scientists and activists to fund their efforts to fight climate change.
The Amazon founder and CEO said the grants, which will be issued this
summer, will go to individuals and organizations from around the globe.
Bezos signed the pledge one day before company
employees planned to walk off the job in protest, saying the retailer and
tech giant needs to do more to reduce its carbon footprint. Amazon has a
massive environmental imprint, delivering what some experts estimate is
more than 1 billion packages a year to customers in the United States.
The fund builds off prior commitments that Bezos
has made in recent years to reduce Amazon’s impact on the environment,
including signing a “climate pledge” last year that commits the company to
operate on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Amazon has committed
to ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, which it expects to start
using by 2021, and it has donated $100 million to reforestation efforts.
The Americans came on strong at the Munich
Security Conference. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned America’s that
it was time to “wake up” to
the Chinese threat. Mike Pompeo declared that the West was
“winning” the conflict with China. Speaker
Nancy Pelosi described Chinese telecommunications group Huawei as an
“insidious form of aggression.”
But most of these warnings fell on deaf ears.
What all the panels, breakfast meetings and side discussions about China
revealed most was that Washington and Europe are speaking a completely
different language when it comes to China. And so long as they do,
developing a transatlantic agenda to respond to China’s rise will be very
difficult, perhaps impossible.
Europe and the United States do agree on what
they don’t like about China’s development under President Xi Jinping. That
includes a Chinese market that has not opened up to foreign investment,
the emergence of a dystopian surveillance state that is now being exported
to Africa and Latin America, the detention of over a million Muslims in
Xinjiang, and China’s intimidation tactics in Hong Kong, Taiwan and
they don’t agree is on how to define this competition. And in the end,
this will be crucial if they are to move beyond the loose cooperation on
China that exists today and develop the kind of transatlantic agenda that
people were buzzing about in Munich. The Americans should tone down their
“with us or against us” rhetoric, and Europe should make a concerted
effort to forge a common, coherent and firm policy towards China.
The world’s second-largest
economy practically shut down three weeks ago as a viral outbreak sickened
tens of thousands of people, unexpectedly lengthening a Chinese holiday.
The freeze set
off warnings that
the global economy could be in jeopardy if the world’s pre-eminent
manufacturing powerhouse stayed shut for long.
China’s efforts to contain the
virus are clashing with its push to get the country back to work,
requiring the country’s leaders to strike a balance between keeping people
safe and getting vital industries back on track. Quarantines, blocked
roads and checkpoints are stopping millions of workers from returning to
With the exception of factories
producing medical protective equipment, which the Chinese government has
asked to run around the clock, few businesses seem to be returning yet to
their previous pace. The reopening of businesses means trying to bring
together again much of China’s 700 million-strong labor force after what
had become a nearly three-week national holiday.
Restarting China’s factories is
only part of the challenge. The country has a huge services and consumer
sector, including shops and restaurants enjoyed by an increasingly
affluent middle class. Those businesses have also been devastated by the
outbreak, which has kept many Chinese families confined to their homes.
Campaigns said they still have not gotten the
party to offer even a basic explanation of how key parts of the process
will work. Volunteers are reporting problems with the technology that’s
been deployed at the last minute to make the vote count smoother. And
experts are raising serious questions about a tool assembled to replace
the one scrapped after the meltdown in Iowa.
Adding to the challenge is the complexity of
Nevada’s caucuses. Nevadans have the option of voting early. State party
officials have issued a series of memos trying to explain how things will
work. But the party has left crucial questions unanswered, 2020 campaign
aides say. Volunteers also have begun sounding the alarm, saying party
officials have left them unprepared.
also have raised serious concerns about the state party’s plan for
tallying votes on caucus night. Nevada officials have been using
a Google-based form, pre-installed on party-purchased iPads, to
register voters when they arrive during early voting. Those voters are
then given a paper ballot to rank their candidate choices.
Those ballots will be verified and scanned at
processing centers before they are somehow transmitted to precincts for
the in-person caucuses. On caucus night, caucus administrators will access
the early vote data through the Google Forms web application the party has
referred to as a “Caucus Calculator” on party-issued iPads.
The European Union’s top general has warned that not reviving a
military mission to implement an arms embargo on Libya would mean the EU
has failed a test of its new geopolitical ambitions. General Claudio
Graziano, the head of the EU’s military committee, also declared he had
never seen “real war so close to the door of Europe” in his decades-long
On Monday, EU foreign ministers will discuss how to revive
Operation Sophia, the naval mission in the Central Mediterranean tasked
with overseeing the arms embargo and fighting human trafficking. EU
foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and many EU governments favor
restarting the mission.
Austria has led opposition to the proposal, with Chancellor Sebastian
Kurz arguing the mission encouraged people-trafficking and illegal
migration, as migrants knew they stood a chance of being rescued by EU
ships and taken to Europe. If the plan to revive Sophia doesn’t succeed,
it would send “an extremely negative message,” Graziano said, as
it would mean the EU is “not able to find a solution.”
Yet Graziano said he was “very optimistic” a solution would be
found because the EU is now much more focused on security and defense than
it was even a few years ago. Graziano argued that even during the Balkan
conflicts of the 1990s, when war raged inside Europe, the threat to the
Continent was not as complex or as serious as it is today.
has moved to seize control over the Treasury in an unexpectedly brutal
reshuffle that forced out his chancellor. Johnson staged the power grab
over No 11 by issuing an ultimatum to Sajid Javid to fire all his advisers
– a move that Javid later said “no self-respecting minister” could accept.
sources told the Guardian that Johnson and Cummings want No 10 to
consolidate its grip over the Treasury and Cabinet Office in preparation
for wider machinery of government changes they want to make in the next
In the short term,
the reshuffle is likely to mark a shift towards greater spending and
possibly tax rises at the budget, which is due to take place on 11 March
if it is not delayed. The departure of the chancellor weeks before
such a major fiscal event left the Treasury in shock and No 10 unable to
confirm the budget would definitely go ahead on that day.
resignation letter to Johnson contained a number of parting shots at the
No 10 operation, including a veiled warning to Johnson about the influence
of Cummings. He issued a plea for the Treasury to retain its
“credibility”, and advised the prime minister that leaders needed to have
“trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would
wish to be associated with”.
As the biggest minds on global
security policy gather for the Munich Security Conference this week, EU
leaders won’t quite fit in with many of the other top leaders present —
for better or worse, Brussels still doesn’t have the hard power to kill
While this year’s theme is
“Westlessness” — a collective fretting about the decline of the West —
analysts say a broader, more pernicious collapse is underway, one that includes
growing disregard of long-standing international legal conventions on how
armed conflicts are fought, as well a dangerous new way of talking about,
even celebrating, deadly military strikes.
Together, these changes mark an
erosion of the “just war” tradition of military ethics, and raise some
uncomfortable about whether the EU is at all prepared to deal with
increasingly murderous geopolitical partners, and in the longer term if
the EU’s own push for greater military and defense capabilities, perhaps
including the development of an EU army, is really in keeping with the
bloc’s core aims of peace and prosperity.
Security analysts point to two
causes of the increasing sense of lawlessness: the rise of China, which
does not share the Western view of human rights and democratic freedoms
(as evidenced by its treatment of Uighur Muslims and democracy protesters
in Hong Kong); and Washington’s steady retreat from the role of global
policeman that it had played, however reluctantly, since the end of the Cold
Former vice president Joe Biden’s
poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire have given rise to legitimate
concerns. Biden, for his part, maintains he is the most electable
Democratic candidate — in part because he has the most consistent
demonstrated support from people of color.
It is true that Biden polls better
than anyone with black voters, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who
won New Hampshire and finished with the second-most delegates in Iowa.
Since shortly after entering the presidential contest, Biden has held a
significant lead with black voters over other candidates.
But the lead has shrunk to less than
10 percentage points, according to the most recent national Quinnipiac
poll released before Iowa and New Hampshire. Mike Bloomberg has invested
heavily in television ads in South Carolina. As a result, Bloomberg is
trailing Biden with black voters by only five points.
For decades, Airbus SE and Boeing Co. have been fighting each other for orders. With Boeing
in crisis after two fatal crashes in five months, Airbus supplied 483 more
planes than Boeing in 2019, the biggest margin in their 45-year battle.
Airbus secured more than 700 net orders for narrowbody aircraft, while
Boeing lost more deals than it won, ending the year down 51 narrowbody
challenge is less about winning orders than about finding space and parts
to build more planes. Airbus makes about 60 A320 planes a
month and has announced that it will increase production to as many as 67
a month by 2023. The European planemaker said Thursday that it expects to
hand over about 880 jets in 2020, building on record output last year.
Buying a plane,
however, isn’t like buying a smartphone or a car. Airbus and Boeing are in
a duopoly, meaning alternatives are limited. Waiting lists for the most
popular aircraft stretch out for years, so pulling out of a Max order
means joining the end of a long Airbus line. The question for
Boeing is how quickly it moves away from the 737, whose reputation is now
The first challenge is that
politicians are torn between looking decisive and adopting science-based
measures that require careful explanation to a skeptical public. Closing
off China might seem justified. But doing so unilaterally, without
building trust with other governments, makes it likelier that other
countries – such as China’s smaller neighbors – will not notify the world
when the virus spreads to them, owing to fear of being closed off and the
massive economic costs this would imply.
The second challenge for
governments relates to communication. Accurate, trusted information is
vital in fighting a pandemic. As citizens do not trust politicians to tell
the truth, they turn instead to social media, which can facilitate greater
transparency and instant reporting, which governments must not quash, but
social media also gives rise to “infodemics” of fake news and rumor that
endanger public health.
Equally, politicians and
social media companies need to combat xenophobic reactions, which
pandemics spur all too easily. There are already reports of a wave
of discrimination against East Asians since the COVID-19
outbreak. Stigma and discrimination make it harder to combat infectious diseases, because they
increase the likelihood that affected people will avoid seeking health
Finally, preparedness is key.
Governments must commit resources ahead of time and have a ready-to-go
command structure in the event of a global public health emergency. But
politicians often are loath to invest in disease prevention, finding it
much easier to claim credit for a shiny new hospital. More insidiously,
they can cut funding for preventive programs in the knowledge that future
governments will face the consequences.
As Biden frequently (and truthfully) tells voters
about his vast and unmatched experience, especially in foreign
policy: “I’ve dealt with every one of the major world leaders that
are out there right now, and they know me. I know them.” And those same
leaders, he said at another point, were phoning him and begging him
to run, to save the world from Donald Trump.
None of it seems to be working. Democratic voters
in this election season don’t appear to value experience, particularly on
the world stage. Indeed most signs are that Biden’s experience, and his
often halting efforts to explain it on the stump, may well have been
working against him. Biden’s performance at the polls already has many
electoral experts suggesting that the once front-runner may be on his way
out of the race.
Biden has faced other difficulties on the
campaign trail, many of them self-inflicted. At 77, he has proved uneven
at best as a campaigner—most recently when he bizarrely called a young
woman in New Hampshire a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier”. Biden staffers
also admitted that his son Hunter had created a serious
conflict-of-interest issue for him by taking a well-compensated job with a
Ukrainian energy company. Biden’s foreign-policy experience has also
proved a double-edged sword, since his many votes and policy stances have
left him vulnerable to criticism—none more so than his vote to authorize
the Iraq War in 2002.
Mr Bashir, who seized power in 1989, languishes
in a Sudanese prison after being swept from office last April in a popular
uprising. The decision to let him appear before the ICC was taken by the
country’s new joint military and civilian council during talks with
Darfuri rebel groups. Handing Mr Bashir over to the ICC has been one of
the rebels’ long-standing demands.
But how exactly Mr Bashir and those indicted with
him are to appear before the ICC has yet to be worked out. The
transitional government is sensitive to the national humiliation some
Sudanese would feel if Mr Bashir were sent to The Hague, where the ICC
sits. Instead, officials are exploring ways in which Mr Bashir and the
others could appear in front of ICC judges, or perhaps a hybrid court, in
Sudan itself. It will be up to the ICC to decide whether such a court in
Sudan would be sturdy enough.
The court’s legitimacy in
Africa is not as shaky as it seems. Though Burundi has left, South Africa
has not followed through; the Gambia changed government and rapidly
changed its mind. Other African countries came to the court’s defence.
Nigeria, the most populous, vocally supports it. The new Sudanese
government’s co-operation with the ICC would be a remarkable further step.
The newfound sense of urgency
on climate change comes at a time when the corporate community is
increasingly pledging to shift toward a multi-stakeholder model of
governance – a transition that would create space for more
climate-conscious ways of doing business. But the challenge of creating a
sustainable global economy remains monumental.
Reducing the global economy’s
energy intensity depends on two levers: improving energy efficiency and
expanding the use of clean energy. There are reasons to believe that
substantial gains can be made on both fronts.
Our best bet may be a global carbon-trading
system in which “carbon credits” decline over time, until they reach an
agreed long-term target. This would yield a uniform global carbon price
that would move as the targets were tightened, leading to effective and
efficient international mitigation. But implementing such a system would
require allocating credits or licenses to countries.
The fairest way to do that would be on the basis
of per capita emissions,
which would imply potentially large transfers of income from richer to
poorer countries. This, however, may well
prove to be an insurmountable barrier, especially at a time when even many
rich countries are experiencing rising inequality in income, wealth,
opportunity, and economic security.
The wintry weather, along with the bloody onslaught by the forces
of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has turned the flight of displaced
civilians in Idlib and Aleppo toward the Turkish border into the biggest
humanitarian crisis yet in a war that for almost a decade has normalized
Since Dec. 1, 2019, 689,100 civilians have been displaced by the
government’s offensive against Idlib, most of them women and children.
Some 100,000 have been displaced only in the past week. The rapid progress
of regime forces and waves of displacement it produced escalated tensions
between Turkey and the Syrian forces backed by Russia.
The fate of Idlib’s 3 million to 4 million residents now depends on
Turkey’s ability to deter further regime advances. Another five Turkish
soldiers were killed in recent days in an attack carried out by Assad’s
forces. Russia and the Assad regime still control the skies and use this
dominance to destroy hospitals, bakeries, and other civilian areas.
To makes matter worse, Iran became much more actively involved in
the campaign against the last rebel-held pocket in January, though the
regime’s advances also stemmed from Russian support. Russia is determined
to achieve a decisive military solution for Idlib and told Turkey it would
not accept a cease-fire even if the rebels made significant concessions.
Senator Bernie Sanders narrowly won the New Hampshire primary on
Tuesday, consolidating support on the left. Mr. Sanders had about 26
percent of the vote with 90 percent of the ballots counted, while former
Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a close second. Senator Amy Klobuchar finished in
third, while Senator Elizabeth Warren finished a distant fourth and former
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. finished fifth.
The results raised immediate questions about how much longer Mr.
Biden and Ms. Warren, onetime front-runners, could afford to continue
their campaigns. Mr. Sander’s grip on progressive carried him to the top
of the field in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but in both states he
captured less than 30 percent of the vote.
The rise of Mr. Sanders has distressed many centrists and
traditional liberals at a time when Democratic voters are united by a
ravenous desire to defeat President Trump. Mr Trump’s impeachment
acquittal, the chaotic vote-counting in Iowa and the fractured Democratic
field have many in the party worried that they are endangering their
opportunity to win back the White House.
Mr. Buttigieg was the leader among moderate and conservative voters
on Tuesday and, without naming Mr. Sanders, he urged voters to reject a
political approach that demanded revolution or nothing. He also subtly
underscored the generational gulf between him and Mr. Sanders: “I admired
Mr. Sanders when I was a high school student, (…) I respect him greatly to
A senior Trump administration official said after the UN Security
Council session on Tuesday that Washington is “willing to have an honest
and open discussion on [the plan] as a possible basis to restart
negotiations for a realistic two-state solution.” Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas said Trump’s plan seeks to “put an end to the question of
Mr. Abbas described the Palestinian state envisioned by the plan as
“Swiss cheese”. In a joint press conference with Mr. Abbas, former Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert said Abbas is Israel’s only partner for peace,
praising him for fighting terrorism and stating that an Israeli-Palestinian
peace requires direct negotiations between the two sides.
Steps toward annexation of parts of the West Bank would have a
“devastating effect” on the prospect of the two-state solution to the
conflict, said Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Mideast envoy. He reaffirmed
the UN’s official position that peace can only be achieved with a
two-state solution along the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital
of both states.
The European Commission is preparing a strategy to curb methane
emissions from the oil and gas industry, including fracked LNG imported
from the US. But the timing is uncertain because officials are still busy
collecting data on which to base a credible policy.
Methane has a global warming potential that is over 80 times more
powerful than CO2 during the first 20 years after release, according to
the Environmental Defence Fund, a green pressure group. Human-made methane
emissions account for about 25 per cent of today’s warming, a third of
which comes from the oil and gas sectors, according to the EDF’s
The gas industry itself admits there is a knowledge gap. “We
recognize indeed, there is a need for better measurements” of methane
leakage across the gas supply chain, said James Watson, secretary-general
of Eurogas, an industry association. “Now is the time to act,” he added,
saying he hoped a “baseline measurement” could be adopted soon. As Europe
imports increasing amounts of American LNG, it will have to take account
of the climate impact of imported US gas, most of which is obtained
Several calls for the resignation of Xi Jinping have popped up on
the Chinese Web in recent weeks, from citizens who accuse the country’s
leadership of bungling the state’s response to the deadly coronavirus.
These critical posts have disappeared almost immediately.
The coronavirus outbreak is on track to become the worst
humanitarian and economic crisis of Xi’s tenure, but the Chinese president
is certainly not likely to resign. In fact, Xi has spent seven years in
power building a political system designed to withstand such a crisis.
Beijing has worked hard to bring the international community into
line, responding to global anxieties with its trademark mix of diplomatic
confidence and coercion. At Beijing’s direction, the WHO has refused to
allow Taiwan to participate directly in briefings on the coronavirus.
Beijing remains as committed to stemming the free flow of
information as it is determined to fight the actual virus, even when these
are in clear conflict. Its determination to control the flow of
information between China and the rest of the world led it to reject
several offers of help made by the international community.
According to Michel Barnier, the EU is ready to offer a
zero-tariff, zero-quota free-trade deal, if Britain observes EU rules on
state aid to companies and on environmental, workplace and labour
standards, allows EU access to British fishing waters and accept a dispute
settlement mechanism with the ECJ in it.
Boris Johnson dismissed these demands in muscular terms. He wants a
free trade-deal like Canada’s. But just as Canada is not bound by
stringent level playing-field conditions, Britain should not be. If a
Canada-style deal cannot be negotiated, then Britain would be happy to
trade with the EU like Australia (ie. no-deal and WTO terms).
The question is whether reaching a deal is possible, even if both
sides prefer a deal to no-deal. Geopolitics urges a deal too: nobody in
the EU wants Britain to drift off across the Atlantic or towards Asia.
Despite chatter from some of his allies, there is little sign that Mr
Johnson favours either.
African leaders from the violence-scarred Sahel region agreed to
work to create their own joint counterterrorism capabilities – an
initiative that highlights the growing discomfort with the presence of
French troops in the region.
The idea reflects a deepening resolve, expressed by the African
Union’s leadership, that African nations must handle their own affairs.
Leaders lamented the lack of coordinated counterterrorism capabilities,
particularly in the Sahel. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced that
the AU will hold a special summit in his country in May dedicated to
ending armed conflicts on the continent as well as to combatting
Assembling an effective force to counter the terror threat in the
region will be challenging. Troops often have poor training, low wages and
dwindling morale due to the growing number of casualties. Andrew Lebovich,
a visiting fellow at the ECFR, also mentioned logistical obstacles, like
better cooperation and interoperability between forces, as well as
security sector reform.
The head of the International Energy Agency is “hopeful” global
carbon dioxide emissions have peaked after global output flatlined in 2019
for the first time in a decade. Carbon emissions from energy fell in
advanced economies, where the use of coal declined by between 15 and 25
Fatih Birol, head of the IEA, said the new numbers were evidence
that the world’s governments are capable of doing more. Emissions fell by
almost 3 per cent in the US, in spite of its withdrawal from the Paris
Agreement, helped by cheap natural gas prices. Overall emissions fell by 5
per cent in the EU.
Emissions outside developed countries are still rising rapidly,
however, threatening the reductions. Almost 80 per cent of the increase in
emissions in 2019 came from rapidly developing countries in Asia, where
cheap coal has continued to gain use as a fuel source in the power sector.
The European Union must adjust its mental maps to deal with a world of geostrategic competition, in which some leaders have no scruples about using force, and economic and other instruments are weaponized.
Many say that EU foreign policy will never succeed, because Europe is too weak and too divided. It is, of course, true that if member states disagree on key lines of action, the Union’s collective credibility suffers. Member states must realize that using their vetoes weakens not just the Union, but also themselves.
Europe’s problem is not a lack of power, as it can capitalize on Europe’s trade and investment policy, financial power, diplomatic presence, rule-making capabilities, and growing security and defense instruments. The problem is the lack of political will for the aggregation of its powers to ensure their coherence and maximize their impact.
Diplomacy cannot succeed unless it is backed by action. Beyond addressing crises in Europe’s neighborhood, there are two other key priorities: framing a new, integrated strategy for and with Africa; and devising credible approaches to dealing with today’s global strategic actors: the United States, China and Russia.
Sinn Féin won the popular vote on 24.1 percent, ahead of Fianna Fáil on 22.2 percent and Fine Gael on 22.1 percent of first preference votes. The party beat both Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and opposition leader Micheál Martin into second place in their home constituencies in Dublin and Cork.
Not expecting to do this well, it only ran 42 candidates, well short of the 80 needed for a majority. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she would first try to cobble together a coalition with smaller left-wing parties before exploring other options.
It is the first time Sinn Féin has rivaled the two traditionally dominant parties, who have taken turns in power since 1920. Exit polls suggested that the party benefited from a surge in support among voters under 35, championing increased spending, rent freezes and a massive public housing program, in an election defined by frustration with strained public services, infrastructure and housing.
In the past, Irish unification was Sinn Féin’s defining policy. Even though this was not a prominent subject in the campaign, its surge in support reflects increased expectations of a unity referendum in the wake of Brexit, which unpicked the complex consensus over Northern Ireland’s status reached in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
The race to succeed Angela Merkel as German leader was thrown wide open this morning as Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the woman long seen as her anointed heir, said she would not run for chancellor in next year’s election. She is also to stand down as leader of the Christian Democratic Party.
Though seen as Ms Merkel’s favoured successor, a series of gaffes gradually eroded her authority and sent her poll rating into a tailspin. The act of insubordination of CDU politicians, which acted against Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer’s wishes by voting with the AfD for an FDP candidate in Thuringia, underscored her waning authority in the party.
The contest to replace Ms Merkel, who will retire from politics after her fourth and final term expires next year, is expected to be a three-way contest between Armin Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister, and Friedrich Merz, a former leader of the CDU parliamentary group. Markus Söder, Bavarian prime minister and leader of the CSU, could also be a potential candidate.
A victory by Mr Merz or Mr Spahn, both conservatives, would mark a watershed for the CDU, which has moved to the centre ground of German politics under Ms Merkel. Many in the party would like to see it shift to the right again once Ms Merkel exits the political stage.
The widespread lack of faith in the Iowa results has shaken many Americans’ confidence in their electoral system. While Mr Trump has reveled in the meltdown, Democrats have proposed abolishing caucuses and ending Iowa’s time at the front of the presidential nominating calendar.
An analysis by The New York Times revealed inconsistencies in the reported data for at least one in six of the state’s precincts. Those errors occurred at every stage of the tabulation process: in recording votes, in calculating and awarding delegates, and in entering the data into the state party’s database.
In the aftermath of the disaster, state and national party leaders are pointing fingers at one another. Some of the roots of the Iowa debacle stretch to 2016, when Mr. Sanders finished a fraction of a percentage point behind Mrs. Clinton in the state’s caucuses. Their caucus-night data indicated he had won the popular vote, but there was no way to prove their case.
In the Times review of the data, at least 10 percent of precincts appeared to have improperly allocated their delegates, based on reported vote totals. Given the slim lead Mr. Buttigieg now holds over Mr. Sanders in state delegate equivalents, a full accounting of these inconsistencies could alter the outcome. But without access to the precinct worksheets, it is difficult to determine whom the errors hurt or favored.