Person of the day
A wrench in the works?
Kevin Kühnert, the leader of SPD's youth wing, begins a national campaign today to convince SPD members to vote against a coalition agreement with Angela Merkel's conservatives. Kühnert criticized the deal as failing to include key SPD goals, such as a more equitable healthcare system. SPD members have until March 4 to vote on the coalition pact, and a vote in favor of it is by no means assured.
Quote of the day
Angela Merkel ceded key ministerial positions to the Social Democrats in order to seal a coalition deal, giving the SPD, which finished a distant second in the German election last September, seemingly outsized influence in the new government. For this, Merkel has come under attack from the right flank of her own party, particularly for giving up the influential finance ministry post – previously held by staunch fiscal conservative Wolfgang Schäuble – to the SPD.
Graph of the day
A report released by the Munich Security Conference warns that "a second nuclear age, with more actors and less stability, is taking shape," as nuclear powers rush to modernize their arsenals and smaller states build up nuclear capabilities. Arms controls agreements are "fraying," the report warns.
Picture of the day
There's still reason to party
Partygoers in the Rhineland are celebrating Weiberfastnacht, a traditional feast that kicks of Carnival festivities in which women cut off men's ties and strangers exchange smooches, or Bützjes. Authorities in Cologne say they will have up to 1,600 police on the streets in the days ahead to keep the party from getting out of hand.