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A masked gunman opened fire Sunday at a church near Nashville, Tennessee, killing a woman, wounding six more people and pistol-whipping another, police said. The gunman, who is 26, shot himself after being confronted by an usher at the Church of Christ Burnette Chapel and has been hospitalized. After that gunfire, the usher ran up to the shooter and confronted him, and was pistol-whipped in the head.
The far-Right returned to the German parliament for the first time in almost 60 years on Sunday night as Angela Merkel won a record-equalling fourth term in power. The success of the far-Right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which became the third largest party, tempered a remarkable political comeback by Mrs Merkel after the controversy over her handling of the migrant crisis. Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) remained the largest party in parliament, and the only party capable of forming a government, although analysts said it could take until Christmas to forge a coalition. “Of course we hoped for a better result,” Mrs Merkel told supporters in Berlin. “But we have a mandate to form a government. And no government can be formed against us.” But she acknowledged that dramatic gains for the AfD were the “biggest challenge” facing her government, and vowed to win voters back from the party which campaigned on a nationalist anti-immigrant platform. “This is a great night. We did it. We are in parliament,” Alexander Gauland, the AfD’s chancellor candidate said. “We will change this country,” he vowed. Supporters of the the German right-wing populist party 'Alternative for Germany' (AfD), react Credit: EPA/THORSTEN WAGNER “We will hunt Merkel, and reclaim our country and our people.” But Germany’s system of coalition government will limit the impact of the AfD as mainstream parties unite against it. Mrs Merkel’s former coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) suffered the worst electoral defeat in its history and immediately announced it would go into opposition. Initial exit polls gave the CDU 32.5 per cent of the vote together with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — down from 41.5 per cent four years ago. AfD top candidates Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel celebrate with their supporters Credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner The SPD were second with 20 per cent, followed by the AfD with 13.5 per cent — expected to translate to around 88 seats in parliament. “We lost the election,” Martin Schulz, the SPD leader who was talked of as Germany’s next chancellor as recently as six months ago, told supporters. But he said he wanted to stay on as party leader and vowed to take the fight to the AfD. “We are the bulwark of democracy,” he said. AfD hopes of becoming the official opposition party appeared to be dashed when the SPD announced it would not seek a renewal of the current “Grand Coalition” with Mrs Merkel. German Social Democrat (SPD) and chancellor candidate Martin Schulz speaks Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images “This is a rejection of the Grand Coalition,” Thomas Oppermann, the party’s parliamentary leader said. The rise of the AfD and the fall in the CDU’s share of the vote were widely seen as a backlash over Mrs Merkel’s controversial 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders to asylum-seekers. But less than a year after many had written Mrs Merkel’s chances off and her political obituaries were being written, a result which allows her to remain chancellor will also be seen as a comeback. Profile | Angela Merkel All eyes will now turn to coalition talks, and Mrs Merkel’s attempts to form a new government. The SPD’s decision to return to opposition has limited her options, with a three-way coalition with the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens the only obvious option. The FDP, which returned to parliament with 10.5 per cent after losing all their seats four years ago, have long been seen as Mrs Merkel’s preferred coalition partner. The Greens, who won 9 per cent, are also seen as a viable partner after moving to a more pragmatic, centrist course in recent years — but they are not natural bedfellows for the FDP. The drop in the CDU’s vote share means the two smaller parties will be able to demand a heavy price for their support. “It was a bad night for Martin Schulz and the Socialists, but also for Mrs Merkel and the Christian Democrats. She still heads the largest party, but she enters these coalition negotiations with a weakened hand,” Christian Odendahl, of the Centre for European Reform think-tank in Berlin said. “It is the FDP who will be in the strongest position and will now demand the finance ministry, along with the Greens who showed they can win with centrist candidates." "Forming a three-party government is going to be very difficult,” said Dan Hough, professor of politics at the University of Sussex, who is in Germany to monitor the elections. “The Greens and the FDP will feel emboldened by the result and given their traditional animosity it's in no way certain that the three parties will be able to strike a coalition agreement. “The SPD will be traumatised. It's worse even than the doomsayers were predicting. What does all that mean? A betting man certainly would not discount another election before too long.” Coalition negotiations are likely to be protracted. Talks typically continue for several weeks or months as parties hold out for the best deal, and analysts said a new government may not be formed before Christmas.
Thousands of Qataris lined the streets of central Doha Sunday to welcome back the emir as he returned from his first trip abroad during the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani travelled to Turkey, France, Germany and the US -- where he addressed the UN General Assembly -- his first overseas engagement since Qatar was isolated politically by neighbouring states. The emir was greeted by crowds numbering in their thousands as his car, part of a large convoy, wound its way slowly through the capital, said an AFP correspondent on the spot.
The German election takes place this Sunday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel heavy favourite to defend her position against Martin Schulz for a fourth term in power. Polls currently show that Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party - with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) - will be the largest party after the Bundestag election on 24 September, but they will fall short of a majority. This is common in Germany, and so the resulting parliament is in part determined by how the smaller parties perform, and which coalition possibilities will be born. German election poll tracker How does the German voting system work? Each person casts two votes in the Bundestag election, to allocate a total of 598 seats. Half of these are to elect a local MP by constituency, in a first-past-the-post fashion. The remaining 299 votes are elected via party lists, allocated near-proportionately to the party vote share in each of Germany’s 16 federal states. To be included in this seat allocation process, a party must achieve five per cent of the national vote. 2013 German Federal Election Results Map This second round of seat allocation also means that the total number of MPs can be higher, with politicians elected in "overhang seats" in order to balance the state- and constituency-level votes. The most recent parliament had 32 overhang seats, taking the total up to 631 MPs. This allows voters to represent their interests locally through their chosen representative, as well as nationally in the party they feel will be strongest in the Bundestag. In the end, the seat share for each party ends up very similar to their vote share - unlike the system used in the UK's parliamentary elections. Graphic: The German electoral system So who will win the German election and when will we know the results? Merkel's CDU is looking most likely to win the most seats in the Bundestag - for the fourth election in a row. The SPD, led by former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, is in second place in the polls - securing around a quarter of the vote. The AfD - the far-right Alternative for Germany party - had enjoyed a slight rise in the polls in 2016 but have since collapsed into in-fighting and unpopularity. German election projected seat share In reality, the CDU will have to seek a coalition agreement with the SPD or one of the other minor parties to form a government. We should know who has won the election by 6pm BST this Sunday, when voting ends and the exit poll is released, although it won't be several more weeks until a coalition government is officially agreed. The return of the far-right A late surge in support has propelled the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into third place in the opinion polls with just days to go before the ballot. Last time around the party, fighting in it's first federal election, failed to win a constituency outright and fell just short of the five per cent required in order to secure MPs via the secondary proportional representation stage of the election. The rise of the AfD This time however they seem guaranteed to win representation in the Bundestag with the latest polling average putting them at slightly over 10 per cent. YouGov's Multilevel Regression with Poststratification model puts them on 12 per cent. Were the AfD to secure a third place finish they could find themselves becoming the main opposition party in Germany if Merkel's CDU/CSU party decide to extend their Grand Coalition with the SPD. AfD support mapped Potential coalitions The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) has been in coalition with centre-right CDU in this current government, as well as in Merkel's first term. These two parties are Germany’s biggest, leading to a union dubbed the "Grand Coalition". The polls are currently suggesting that Germans are content with their current government, which means a Grand Coalition could happen for a third time in just four elections. Another option is a Black-Yellow coalition, consisting of Merkel's CDU party propped up by the smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP). This would take Merkel over the target needed for a majority, and was the option the party opted for in 2009-2013. The only situation that poses a risk to Merkel’s leadership is a left-wing "Red-Red-Green" coalition, led by the SPD's Martin Schulz. For this, he would have to gather enough seats together alongside the Linke (Left) and Grüne (Greens) parties. German election coalition scenarios What do the parties stand for? The main parties standing in the election are as follows: Christian Democrats (CDU): The leading party in Germany, headed by Angela Merkel. The centre-right group - made up of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) - they have employment, tax cuts and ongoing public investment at the forefront of their manifesto. Social Democrats (SPD): Led by Martin Schulz, the centre-left are vying to make another Grand Coalition to remain in government. The party polled well following the election of their new leader, but then suffered once again in regional polls. The SPD is a traditionally working class party, pledging investment in education and infrastructure, funded by higher taxes for the rich. Left (Linke): Led by Sahra Wagenknecht and loosely descended from the East German communists. This small party, often used as a protest vote, is campaigning for a rise in national minimum wage, a rejection of military missions abroad and the dissolution of NATO. Green (Grüne): Led by co-chairs Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir, this party could be the coalition kingmakers. They rely on educated, urban citizens, focusing on the environment, taxes and social policies. Free Democratic Party (FDP): Led by Christian Lindner, the party was Merkel's junior coalition party in her second term. It failed to reach five per cent of the vote to allow another coalition in 2013. The party campaigns for tax cuts and to remain in financial markets - particularly within the EU. Alternative for Germany (AfD): A right-wing populist party lead by Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. The party's hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration views have attracted voters from almost all of the other parties, especially among lower income households. Graphic: Germany’s political spectrum What are the betting odds for the German Bundestag election? Political pollsters have taken a beating recently after failing to predict a British Hung Parliament in 2017, a Leave vote last summer and a Donald Trump victory in November. For those who have lost faith in polling, there is another way of predicting electoral outcomes: ask people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. Many now believe that political betting markets can better predict elections, relying on the wisdom of a crowd of punters to sort and weigh all the probabilities. Coral's latest odds for the election have Mrs Merkel as most likely to continue as Chancellor after the election. The latest odds for the party to emerge with the most seats are: CDU/ CSU - 1/100 SPD - 16/1 AfD - 100/1 Die Linke - 100/1 Greens - 100/1 FDP - 100/1 Our poll tracker takes in national polls from a range of German pollsters: INSA, Infratest Dimap, Emnid, Forsa, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, Allensbach and IPSOS. Their individual polls, while of different sample sizes, use nationally representative samples. Our seat share projection is based on the average of the last eight polls, excluding any parties that are polling at under five per cent, as the German proportional top-up system does.
When Professor Reb Beatty of Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College arrived at his accounting class to administer a test last week, he hardly could have imagined that he’d be the one getting outsmarted. In a Sept. 20 Facebook post that’s since gone viral, Beatty explained that he’d told his students that they were allowed to bring in a “3x5” cheat sheet to use during the test. Beatty, however, failed to specify the unit of measurement he was referring to.
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