What We’re Following
Merkel and Migrants: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in political trouble. Her popularity has declined dramatically since last year, and last month her party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered a severe blow when a far-right party, Alternative for Germany, came out ahead in a regional election. Merkel’s political opponents, and even some in her own party, say she’s failed to address Germans’ concerns in the chaos of the migrant crisis. Yet thanks to Merkel’s policies, Germany has dealt with its influx of refugees much better than most of Europe. What’s really driving the German far right’s rise, Paul Hockenos argues, is racism and Islamophobia—undercurrents that will be hard for Merkel to fight.
Trump’s Breakout Moment? Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is shrinking, both nationally and in key swing states, according to a new poll released by CNN. In Florida, Trump is beating Clinton 47-44 among likely voters; in Ohio, he’s winning 46-41. It’s too early to say he’s on a path to victory, but the new numbers are a warning to Democrats: Trump could win.
Drive On: Uber’s fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions debuted today in Pittsburgh. Each car has a “safety engineer” sitting behind the wheel to take control in case of emergency, but they operate almost entirely on their own, and early passengers say they felt safe. That’s lucky, since the “safety engineers” don’t need any special qualifications. According to Kurt Meyers, a deputy secretary at Pennsylvania’s department of transportation, “As long as there is a licensed driver in the driver’s seat operating the vehicle, they do not need to be touching the steering wheel.”