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In the turbulent times of Trump, Brexit and multiple global crises, Merkel came to be hailed overseas as the new "leader of the free world", a label she was quick to reject as "absurd".

She told party top brass her mandate running to 2021 will be "her last term", a party source said, adding that she has no plans to seek a post in the European Commission following that despite speculation to that effect in Brussels.

She told a closed Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leadership meeting on Monday morning that she would not run as its chair in December, Deutsche Welle and Bloomberg reported.

Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) came home first in yesterday's election in the western state of Hesse but support fell by more than 11 points, reigniting a succession debate by conservatives unhappy with the chancellor's grip on power.

Mrs Merkel's conservative CDU party now rules along with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP).

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That set off violent protests in China and sent Japanese investment in China and tourism into a nosedive. China and Japan, the second and third largest economies in the world, are bitter rivals.

"Secondly, this fourth term is my last as German chancellor".

The surprise news comes a day after the CDU and its junior federal coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD) suffered heavy losses in an election in the state of Hesse, just two weeks after a similar drubbing in Bavaria.

Merkel, now the EU's and G7's most senior leader, started as a contemporary of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac when she became Germany's youngest and first female chancellor in 2005.

Others include two state premiers Armin Laschet and Daniel Guenther, who carry weight after recently leading the CDU to victory in regional elections.

In Bavarian elections on October 15, Merkel's coalition partner the CSU lost its majority in the regional parliament for the first time since 1957.

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One photo showed the son, Salah, looking ashen-faced and shaking hands with Mohammed as a video cameraman stood in the background. Another team went to the consulate and removed the hard disk from its security camera, he said.

Andrea Nahles, the Social Democrats' leader, said that "the state of the government is unacceptable".

Political commentators believe if she split the two positions it would leave her sitting as a lame duck and it is unclear how long she could survive.

'The election results show that people expect renewal from the CDU, ' conservative lawmaker Matern von Marschall told the Stuttgarter newspaper. Despite her party's historically poor result, she may be heaving a huge sigh of relief, too.

However, the SPD's historic losses could mean yet more pain for the chancellor's already troubled government coalition in Berlin.

A new CDU chair will be elected at the upcoming party conference in December, Deutsche Welle said.

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He reportedly instructed state agencies to provide all needed assistance to ensure the safety of the students. Israel's police and military said their forces were sent at the request of the Jordanian government.

Merkel's 13 years as chancellor have piled up baggage from repeated compromise-laden "grand coalitions" with the SPD, as well as a fateful 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open, ultimately allowing in more than one million migrants. That decision has led to lasting tensions in her conservative Union bloc, particularly with the CDU's Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union.


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