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What now for Germany after Sunday’s election? Chancellor Angela Merkel must build a new coalition to govern at the head of a weakened Christian Democratic party. With the Social Democrats in retreat and in opposition, her main option is a bloc with the Greens and Free Democrats—a combination never tested at the national level. Meanwhile, Merkel must contend with the populist, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which won 13 percent of the popular vote and its first seats in the Bundestag. The AdD did best in the poorer east of the country—ironically, the area with the fewest immigrants. — Andy Reinhardt
Settling the bill. Days after British Prime Minister’s big Brexit speech in Florence, it’s still not clear just how much the EU will want the U.K. to pay in a divorce settlement—and the British themselves are squabbling over how much they owe. Figuring it out isn’t made any easier by the U.K. government’s Brexit department’s difficulty retaining staff . A total of 124 civil servants, 20 percent of the total workforce, have left the department during its 14 months in existence.
iPhone ripples. Some initial reviews of Apple’s new iPhone 8 have been lukewarm and pre-orders are "substantially lower" than iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 levels, analyst Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities wrote last week. That prospect has hammered Apple suppliers—many of them Taiwanese—who in turn account for a significant portion of Taiwan’s exports and market capitalization. The benchmark index could be dragged even lower in upcoming months if sales stay weak.
Independence. Iraqi Kurds went to the polls today for a referendum on independence. Having their own state has been the goal for Kurdish nationalists for more than a century, and the movement for independence has widespread support from the population of Iraqi Kurdistan, already a semi-autonomous part of the Iraqi state. Not so for the rest of th region: Iraq, Iran, and Turkey all oppose the referendum, which has the potential to ignite yet another Middle East conflict. The U.S. is opposed, too.
Trucker protest. A demonstration by French truckers has fizzled out. They slowed traffic around major French cities on Sunday night and early Monday morning in a protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s overhaul of the nation’s labor code—but they failed to rally large numbers of participants. Macron’s changes give French companies more power to negotiate hours and pay, limit penalties for wrongful dismissal, and slash the number of workers’ committees.
Snoop-proof. A Russian security company run by the co-founder of Kaspersky Labs has developed a new smartphone that prevents Google and other apps from snooping on users. The Taiga phone lets apps run on the device but stops them from collecting data. Its makers are betting on demand in Russia amid rising tensions with the U.S. and concerns over user data collected by U.S.-based companies such as Google and Facebook.
Drooling in vain. Bidding for English Premier League TV rights is in full swing and the teams are dreaming of lucrative deals with streaming newcomers from Silicon Valley as well as traditional broadcasters. But will Amazon, Netflix or Facebook be willing to spend billions for football rights? If they dig deep into the numbers they might find some worrying signs.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha