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In Europe, right-wing parties are offering bigger handouts than traditional ones And that is part of the secret of their electoral success -The Economist

A New Leader in the Race to Succeed Merkel For years, it was assumed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would seek to hand the reins of party leadership over to Ursula von der Leyen. But lately, a new face has emerged in the mix: Saarland Governor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. -Der Spiegel

UK keeps up its legal losing streak over mass surveillance -Tech Crunch

QUITE CONTRARIAN FOR A UK PM Theresa May warns China to play by international rules Beijing to stick to international trade rules and tackle the dumping of cheap Chinese steel as she makes her first visit to the country as prime minister. -Politico.eu

ITALIA ELECTION WATCH Italian general election poll tracker Italian voters are set to return a hung parliament to Rome -The Economist

US releases list of Putin officials, oligarchs for possible sanctions -France24

Moscow laughs off Washington's 'Kremlin Report' Russia has reacted with ridicule to the release of the US government's so-called "Kremlin Report," a template for future sanctions. Experts have also been critical. DW looks at the list and its potential ramifications. -DW

Turkey’s huge crackdown is destroying civil society -The Guardian

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GLOBAL BUSINESS

New Cartel Suspicions Secret Price Fixing Among German Carmakers After numerous scandals in recent years, the German automobile industry is facing scrutiny yet again. This time, VW, Daimler, BMW and Bosch are believed to have colluded on steel price fixing. -Der Spiegel

Facebook starts polishing its privacy messaging ahead of GDPR As the May 25 deadline for compliance with the EU’s updated privacy framework fast approaches Facebook is continuing to PR the changes it’s making to try to meet the new data protection standard — and steer away from the specter of fines that can scale as high as 4% of a company’s global turnover. -Tech Crunch

Social media and misinformation WhatsApp: Mark Zuckerberg’s other headache The popular messaging service shows that Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news may fail -The Economist INFORMATION STILL SELLS Blackstone to Buy Thomson Reuters Unit in $20 Billion Deal -Bloomberg

JAB's empire expands in soda with Dr Pepper Snapple deal AB Holding Co, the private holding company of Germany’s Reimann family, is taking on juice and soda in its latest acquisition, as its Keurig Green Mountain business scoops up U.S. beverage maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS.N). -Reuters

French trade unions voice opposition to Alstom/Siemens tie-up deal French trade unions expressed their opposition on Tuesday to last year’s agreed tie-up between Alstom (ALSO.PA) and Siemens (SIEGn.DE), saying they feared possible job cuts. -Reuters

Disney, Walmart back venture fund to tackle forced labor Companies who have faced criticism for poor working conditions found in their supply chains have backed a fund to combat forced labor. The fund supports tech startups that seek to monitor abuses or trace products. -DW

CLEANED UP Saudi authorities to net over $100 billion in corruption purge -France24

GLOBAL MACRO

Eurozone growth hit 10-year high in 2017 -BBC

Bank of England turning sights to tackling inflation: Carney The Bank of England is turning its focus back to the more conventional business of bringing down inflation as Britain’s economy showed it was getting over the damage wrought by the 2007-09 financial crisis, Governor Mark Carney -Reuters

OPEC's Year-One Report Card in Five Charts The cartel's performance shows why it has to keep going in 2018 and beyond. -Bloomberg