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We first had "Merkozy," a marriage of convenience between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy made to counter the European debt crisis. Then the pair was forced to part ways when Sarkozy lost to current French President Francois Hollande. Merkel and Hollande's relationship was always awkward, with one newspaper saying "there was no spark" between them.

If Merkel had a secret hope of reconnecting with her previous ally, it brutally ended yesterday when Sarkozy lost to François Fillon, a former prime minister, in the first round of the center-right primaries in France. The winner of the second round next Sunday will likely face, and defeat, far-right contender Marine Le Pen in next spring's presidential election. Since Merkel declared her candidacy yesterday to run again for the top job in Germany, and Fillon showed strong gains in France, perhaps we'll be seeing an era of "Merkillon" going forward?

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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