CDU chairman Armin Laschet signalled he would stand down after the party’s worst-ever federal election result. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is racing to avoid a political death-spiral after last month’s election disaster by starting a hunt for its(...)

Olaf Scholz, chancellor candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), delivers a statement to the media following the election at the party headquarters in Berlin on Monday. Photograph: Bloomberg

German voters are a cautious lot and, on Sunday, they voted for political change – but with a half-engaged handbrake. With chancellor Angela Merkel n(...)

German finance minister and Social Democrats (SPD) candidate for Chancellor Olaf Scholz waves at the Social Democrats headquarters after the estimates were broadcast on TV, in Berlin, on Sunday. Photograph: Getty Images

German chancellor hopeful Olaf Scholz has called for talks between his centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and liberal Free Dem(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel feeds Australian lorikeets at Marlow Bird Park in Marlow, Germany. On Sunday her fourth and final term ends. Photograph: Georg Wendt/dpa via AP

Can a man, raised in West Germany, be chancellor? That is the intriguing question on Sunday as Angela Merkel’s fourth and final term ends and more tha(...)

Firefighters move sandbags against the rising water level of the Duessel, which has already flooded large parts of Duesseldorf Grafenberg, Germany. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

More than 60 people have died and dozens of people are missing in Germany and neighbouring Belgium after heavy flooding turned streams and streets in(...)

 Christian Democratic Union party’s Armin Laschet: “We need to clean out bureaucracy, create a modern and service-oriented state that acts quickly and with foresight.”  Photograph: Stefanie Loos/Bloomberg

Armin Laschet should be savouring this moment, his elevation to the ranks of Europe’s political super league. The 60-year-old native of Aachen in Ger(...)

CDU leader Armin Laschet: Secured just two-thirds support from  his own party board. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Armin Laschet has joined the race to be the country’s next chancellor after a Bavarian rival ended a(...)

 Prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet. Photograph: Christian Marquardt / EPA

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has elected its second new leader in two years after Armin Laschet, the mini(...)

US president Donald Trump: Rejection by  voters after a single term in office sends an important message. It proves right-populists can be beaten. Photograph: Erin Schaff/New York Times

Donald Trump’s incompetence and ill-discipline struck fear in the hearts of his opponents, but those shortcomings also put a ceiling on his progress. (...)

Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken celebrate at the SPD’s headquarters in Berlin after they were elected co-leaders of the party. Photograph: Omer Messinger/EPA

The future of Germany’s ruling coalition looked shaky after the election of new leaders of the Social Democrats (SPD) who are demanding a shift in pol(...)

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