Candidates clash in last TV debate before German election

BERLIN (AP) — The three candidates hoping to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor, and the four leaders of the other parties currently in parliament, have clashed over a variety of topics during the last televised debate before Sunday’s election. As opposed to previous debates that focused on climate change, poverty and other domestic topics, the candidates also discussed foreign policy issues on Thursday. Merkel’s center-right Union bloc has made small gains in the polls in recent weeks. But it remains narrowly behind the center-left Social Democrats, headed by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The Greens are trailing in third place, but could play kingmakers when it comes to forming a government.