Lagging in polls, Merkel party’s candidate seeks expert help

BERLIN (AP) — The center-right Union bloc’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany’s election this month is struggling to reverse a sustained downward trend in the polls. The bloc’s candidate for the chancellorship, Armin Laschet, on Friday named named eight experts to advise him on issues such as climate change and education. Laschet has received particularly unfavorable reviews recently after a series of slips on the campaign trail in recent months. Polls this week put the center-left Social Democrats ahead — helped by the relative popularity of their candidate, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.