New polls: Söder continues to depend on Laschet on the K question

New polls see Söder as the best candidate for chancellor of the Union +++ Bundestag advises on nationwide lockdown +++ Arkansas bans treatment of trans-young people +++ The news on Friday morning.

Good morning, dear reader,

While the Union is still wrestling with the right candidate for Chancellor, the polls paint a clear picture. The party still finds a solution that neither Armin Laschet nor Markus Söder damaged? It becomes more difficult with each day that the federal election approaches. The candidacy actually clearly belongs to the CDU chairmanship - and therefore Armin Laschet. But its reputation has suffered significantly in the corona crisis. Now the Union is trying to downplay the importance of polling numbers. Is that a successful tactic?

The headlines to start the day

We have summarized for you what happened during the night:

New surveys to see the candidate for chancellor Söder far ahead of Laschet

In the central decision-making phase for one Chancellor candidate the Union supports a new survey CSU boss Markus Söder in the race against the CDU chairman Armin Laschet. At present, 44 percent of German citizens and 72 percent of Union supporters consider the Bavarian Prime Minister to be the more suitable candidate to lead the Union parties to the Bundestag election, as the Germany trend of the ARD “Morgenmagazin” surveyed by Infratest Dimap showed.

In contrast, in North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Laschet, only 15 percent of German citizens and 17 percent of Union supporters see the more suitable candidate. A survey by the polling institute Insa for “Bild” (Friday) also shows that the Union in the Federal Elections in September with a candidate for chancellor Laschet with 27 percent of the votes, with Söder it is 38 percent. However, various leaders of the Union have already emphasized that surveys alone - especially so far before the election - cannot be relied on.

Amazon boss Bezos advocates higher corporate tax

The world's largest online retailer Amazon has long been criticized for tax avoidance, and now CEO Jeff Bezos is speaking out in favor of higher taxes. "We support an increase in the corporate tax rate," said Bezos in a statement published on Amazon's company blog. The multibillionaire encouraged Congress and government to find a "right, balanced solution that maintains or increases the competitiveness of the US."

Bezos' statements are made against the background of a billion dollar infrastructure investment program that US President Joe Biden is planning, and which is to be financed in part by stronger corporate taxation. The debate about higher taxes to the tax authorities was fueled on Monday by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who called for a global minimum tax rate for companies. The proposal should also be a topic at the video conference of the G20 finance ministers on Wednesday.

Despite resistance: Arkansas decides to ban treatment for trans youth

Despite opposition from the governor, a controversial law has been passed in the US state of Arkansas banning gender reassignment measures for trans youth. The law prohibits doctors from treating or operating under 18-year-olds with hormones or puberty blockers for sex reassignment. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the parliament-approved bill on Monday, but was overruled by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Tuesday.

Leading medical associations in the state are against the law, Hutchinson said Monday. “The concern expressed is that denying the best of medical care to trans teenagers can cause significant harm to the young person, from suicidal tendencies and social isolation to increased drug use.” He also warned that adolescents currently undergoing hormonal treatment , would have to switch to the black market or to another state as soon as the law comes into force. According to media reports, this should happen in summer at the earliest.

The morning situation: New surveys: Söder continues to depend on Laschet on the K question

What is important today

These are the most important topics and dates of the day:

Bundestag deliberates on nationwide lockdown

At 9 a.m., the Bundestag will hold a first reading on the planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act against the third corona wave. Nationwide regulations are to be made to reduce the number of contacts if more than 100 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants occur within 7 days in a district or a city. On Thursday, 351 of 412 districts had crossed the threshold.

Germany, France and Ukraine are discussing the conflict in Donbass

Chancellor Angela Merkel will take part in talks on the situation in eastern Ukraine at 15 p.m. Together with French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj, she met for a video conference, as it was called from Elysée circles. France's fundamental goal is to maintain the armistice. In addition, it should be discussed what progress has been made in finding a political solution to the conflict.

EU ministers discuss corona development aid

The economic recovery after the corona crisis concerns the EU economics and finance ministers at 15 p.m. Specifically, it is primarily about implementing the reconstruction aid worth 750 billion euros that was decided months ago. In Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court has stopped the ratification of the necessary resolutions for the time being. The construction plans of the EU states are also not yet ready.

Spahn and Haseloff visit vaccine manufacturer IDT Biologika

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff visit the vaccine manufacturer IDT Biologika in Dessau-Roßlau. At 14 p.m., the two CDU politicians want to have a conversation with the company boss Jürgen Betzing, as the company announced. The three will then answer questions at a press conference.

Party conference in Havana: End of the Castro era expected in Cuba

For the eighth time, delegates from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) will come together for a congress from Friday to Monday. The party congress should mark a turning point: Raúl Castro is expected to give up the post of party leader. He took over this from his older brother Fidel in 2011, who died in 2016. For the first time since its founding in 1965, the only party admitted in the Caribbean country will no longer be headed by a Castro. 

First visit to the White House: Biden receives Japan's Prime Minister Suga

The new US President Joe Biden is the first foreign head of government to receive Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for talks in the White House. The visit underscores the importance of bilateral relations and the "friendship and partnership with the Japanese people," said the US government. After their meeting, Biden and Suga wanted to ask questions from journalists at a press conference. 

Transport ministers discuss fines and public transport assistance

The federal and state transport ministers want to present the results of this year's spring conference at 14 p.m. In the morning, the department heads initially discuss several key issues, including the dispute over an amendment to the road traffic regulations that has been deadlocked for months. It is also a matter of better protection for cyclists in road traffic and, in some cases, drastic tightening of the rules on fines.

Murder trial for knife attack on two men in Dresden continues

The trial of the fatal attack on tourists in Dresden will continue at 9 a.m. with further testimony. The State Security Senate at the Higher Regional Court (OLG) wants to interview the man who only barely survived the knife attack on October 4, 2020, via video switch. The testimony of the Cologne resident, who lost his life partner at the time, in the presence of the alleged perpetrator in the courtroom harbors the risk of retraumatisation from the judges' point of view.

Nagelsmann warns RB Leipzig of a duel with Hoffenheim

RB Leipzig can increase the pressure on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a home win at 20.30 p.m. (DAZN) over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. If they succeed, the Saxons will at least temporarily move up to two points on the record champions. "The Friday game may have a small psychological advantage if you win," said RB coach Julian Nagelsmann before the duel against his ex-club.

Last chance for swimmers: Olympic qualification ends in Berlin

From this Friday on, the German swimmers have another chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in Japan. For three days in Berlin, the aim is to undercut the times set by the German Swimming Association. Eight athletes with double world champion Florian Wellbrock at the top are already firmly qualified for Tokyo.

You can read more news here at  We wish you a good start to the day.

Your stern editorial team

les / tkr DPA AFP