- - Monday, April 2, 2012

BUDAPEST — President Pal Schmitt is resigning after losing his doctorate in a plagiarism scandal.

Mr. Schmitt, who was elected to his largely ceremonial office in 2010 for a five-year term, said in a speech Monday at the start of Parliament’s plenary session that he is stepping down because his “personal issue” is dividing Hungary.

His 1992 doctorate was revoked last week after an investigation at Budapest’s Semmelweis University found that most of his thesis about the modern Olympic Games had been copied from the work of two other authors.

Soon after Mr. Schmitt spoke, Hungary’s governing Fidesz party said it planned to have Parliament vote later Monday to accept the resignation and to have the legislators choose his successor as soon as possible.


IRAQ

Qatar asked to hand over fugitive vice president

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s deputy prime minister has called on Qatar to hand over the nation’s fugitive Sunni vice president to face terror charges in Baghdad.

Hussain al-Shahristani made the demand during a Monday news conference in Baghdad.

He said Qatar’s decision to host Tariq al-Hashemi, the top Sunni official in Iraq’s Shiite-led government, was “unacceptable.”

Qatar has criticized what it calls the marginalization of Iraqi Sunnis.

Mr. al-Hashemi’s trip to Qatar is likely to deepen tensions between Iraq’s government and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf that also are linked to Baghdad’s close ties with Iran and its ambivalent stand on Syria’s year-old conflict.

The visit is Mr. al-Hashemi’s first since he fled to Iraq’s Kurdish region to avoid an arrest warrant issued in December.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

N. Korea rocket, Myanmar to dominate summit

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A rocket launch planned by North Korea and long-broiling disputes over the South China Sea are expected to dominate Southeast Asia’s annual diplomatic summit this week, while elections in long-repressed Myanmar have helped turn a perennial troublemaker into a bright spot.

Story Continues →