Colin Dwyer

It has been more than 100 days since Germany headed to the polls — but the next handful of days might matter more than all of them combined.

Since late September — when German voters handed Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term, albeit without giving her party an outright majority — the country has teetered without a new formal government. Unable to win the support of another party for a governing coalition yet, Merkel is now staring down the possibility that the monthslong standoff may force a new election entirely.

Enter: the Social Democrats.

Pfizer has announced plans to end its research efforts to discover new drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The pharmaceutical giant explained its decision, which will entail roughly 300 layoffs, as a move to better position itself "to bring new therapies to patients who need them."

Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori left a hospital in Lima on Thursday night, wheeled out to the adoring cheers of supporters who had gathered for the occasion. For the first time since 2009, when he was convicted of human rights crimes, the newly pardoned Fujimori could greet the outside world in person as a free man.

For those who have been in the grips of the winter weather buffeting the Northeastern U.S. and Nova Scotia, suffering the throes of bitter winds and whipping snow, there might be some solace in knowing that somewhere in the world, warmth still exists.

In fact, so much warmth exists, it is literally melting a major roadway in Australia.

Alex Trebek, the face of the Jeopardy! franchise for more than three decades, will be taking time off from the syndicated game show while he recovers from brain surgery. He announced the hiatus in a video posted to the show's online accounts Thursday.

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