German stories.

This billboard, probably altered before Sunday's German election, has "Stories" written in chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's eyes and a telltale speech bubble coming out of his mouth. Germans, suffering under a sagging economy, voted for his challenger Christian Democratic Union candidate Angela Merkel, a German cousin to George W. Bush it would seem, by a margin of 35.2 % to 34.3%. But Merkel, predicted to win by a landslide, instead lead her party to its worst finish ever, and Schroeder (a John Kerry figure who's far to the left of Merkel, but still firmly in the center and not universally beloved), expected to be walloped, isn't ceding the chancellorship so easily. Today, with both candidates claiming victory and negotiations underway to establish a coalition government, nothing seems very certain. As Der Spiegel reports, "Germany, on the Monday after the election, has two chancellors, no coalition government and little in the way of a plan how to resolve the situation. It was an election without a victor."

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