New German chancellor, First woman PM for Sweden, New Zealand re-opens borders for travel in 2022

Yahoo Finance Live's Akiko Fujita runs down several of the leading international headlines.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: In our worldview today, Germany officially has a new leader. Current finance minister and vice chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is set to succeed Angela Merkel after his social Democratic Party finalized a deal with coalition partners. The three party agreement comes after nearly two months of negotiations following national elections in September. Scholz faces immediate headwinds though with record COVID cases threatening to derail the economic recovery in Europe's largest economy.

The coalition governments also made climate action a key priority. They've already committed to phasing out coal by the end of the decade, and has announced they're aiming to have 15 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Meanwhile, over in Sweden, voters celebrating history. Magdalena Andersson became the country's first female prime minister on Wednesday, making Sweden the last of the Nordic countries to elect a woman leader. Neighboring Norway, by the way, has led the way they elected their first female prime minister back in 1981.

New Zealand is set to reopen its borders to vaccinated travelers ending the longest COVID lockdown in the world. The country's borders have largely been closed to travelers since March of 2020. New Zealand will lift restrictions in three phases with Australian visitors being allowed in first starting in January, fully vaccinated visitors from all countries except those considered high risk will be allowed to travel starting April 30 of next year.

And here's an image that will give you some hope about the future of one of the world's greatest natural wonders. Australia's Great Barrier Reef is spawning with corals fertilizing billions of offspring. The event that has led to this explosion of color expected to last for 2 to 3 days now. The reef have suffered from significant bleaching caused by warming waters. But marine scientists say the spawning shows their ecological functions are still intact.

A recent study found just 2% of the reefs have managed to escape bleaching over the last 20 years. And watch that video forever, Jared. A really beautiful to see what's happening there.

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