Merkel’s CDU trails in polls in runup to German election

Germany’s conservatives are kicking off the final stage of their campaign ahead of September’s national elections. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be hoping to boost the flagging poll numbers of her would-be successor, Armin Laschet. Merkel is not standing for re-election. But polls show voters in general, and even some members of Laschet’s own party, are not happy with what’s been seen so far as a gaffe-filled campaign by Laschet. Speaking at the rally, Laschet aimed to portray himself as an effective crisis manager. He said Germany and Europe should play a stronger role in situations such as Afghanistan.