Chancellor Angela Merkel now looks unstoppable in Germany’s national election as she seeks to add another term to her 12 years in power.

The United States has much at stake in the electoral fate of the longest serving and most experienced head of state in the Western world. Polls reveal more Americans have confidence in Merkel than in their own president (56% to 46%); a survey of 37 nations shows people see her, rather than Trump, as the “leader of the free world.”

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Sooner or later, the courts will be in the path of Hurricane Harvey. The flood apocalypse could become Exhibit A in the legal argument that the courts have to act to prevent future disasters. Climate scientists do not focus on individual storms but their findings have been clear for decades: climate change will make hurricanes more intense and dramatically increase the chances of “500-year” floods happening in a city like Houston three years in a row.

Harvey has struck at a moment when judges across America are grappling with lawsuits over global warming. Will the courts intervene in a political system that denies climate change and impose cuts in carbon emissions? Will they make the fossil fuel industry liable for coastal flooding? Hurricane Harvey, a landmark event, might pave the way for a landmark decision that a stable climate is a fundamental right.

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