- - Sunday, November 4, 2012

BERLIN — Anti-racism campaigners staged vigils across Germany on Sunday to commemorate the victims of a neo-Nazi terrorist group whose existence came to light a year ago.

Organizers called memorial events in two dozen cities to remember the victims of the National Socialist Underground.

The group is suspected of killing at least nine men and a policewoman during a seven-year murder spree that began in 2000.

The male victims all belonged to ethnic minorities, and for years German authorities attributed the murders to immigrant gangs.

The investigation took a dramatic turn when two fugitive neo-Nazis were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide Nov. 4, 2011.

The third alleged core member of the group, Beate Zschaepe, is in custody pending trial.

CYPRUS

British soldier killed in fight with tourists

NICOSIA — A 19-year-old British soldier stationed in Cyprus was fatally stabbed during a fight with British tourists inside a nightclub in the island’s vacation hot spot of Ayia Napa, police said Sunday.

Police spokesman Georgios Economou said four off-duty soldiers fought with three tourists early Sunday when one of the tourists drew a switchblade and stabbed the teenage soldier.

Connie Pierce, a British military spokeswoman, said the fight happened in a part of Ayia Napa that is off limits for British soldiers because of past trouble there. The soldier served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, but his name was not released because his family has not been notified.

Britain retained two military bases on the island after the former British colony gained independence in 1960.

UNITED KINGDOM

Leftist calls on Cameron to release emails

LONDON — A leftist British lawmaker called Sunday for the country’s media ethics inquiry to publish all the text messages it has between Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, the ex-chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper division who now faces charges over the country’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper printed two previously unseen messages the pair had exchanged in 2009, prompting a call from opposition Labor Party lawmaker Chris Bryant for Judge Brian Leveson’s ethics inquiry to disclose the texts.

Some messages sent between Mr. Cameron and Ms. Brooks have already been studied by the national panel and released to the public, provoking embarrassment for the British leader. However, other texts — which the inquiry says were not relevant to its work — have been kept private. Mr. Bryant claims the messages have been withheld only because they are “salacious and embarrassing.”

Mr. Cameron, a school friend of Ms. Brooks’ husband, traded text messages with the senior media figure at least once a week and offered her support after she stepped down in 2010 during the hacking scandal.

The prime minister was also forced to acknowledge that he had occasionally gone horse riding with the couple, an image that appeared to reinforce claims by opponents that Mr. Cameron is part of a remote elite.

Public inquiry seen into BBC sex scandal

LONDON — Britain’s culture secretary Sunday said the government could order a full public inquiry into the British Broadcasting Corp.’s handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Maria Miller was quoted as telling The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that a formal investigation into the broadcaster “remains an option.”

Savile, one of the BBC’s best known entertainers, has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds of vulnerable young people. Police said that the TV host, who died last year at the age of 84, and accomplices may have abused at least 300 people, mainly young women.

The BBC is conducting its own internal inquiries into how Savile’s behavior was allowed to go unchecked for decades. It is also probing the decision by the channel’s flagship current affairs show to shelve an investigation into Savile.

RUSSIA

Putin’s appearance dispels rumor of illness

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin appeared in public Sunday for the first time since speculation about his health rose sharply last week.

Mr. Putin on Sunday marked the national Unity Day holiday by laying flowers at the monument in Red Square commemorating the organizers of fighters who drove out Polish-Lithuanian occupiers in 1612.

Mr. Putin had canceled some expected trips abroad and made few journeys to the Kremlin in recent weeks. A newspaper report last week said he had injured himself in a widely publicized flight in a motorized hang-glider in September.

His spokesman said Mr. Putin was suffering from a pulled muscle but denied it was connected to the flight.

Mr. Putin walked slowly but without assistance to the monument and his condition was unclear.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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