- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2005

GERMANY

Coalition agreement postponed again

BERLIN — Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and conservative leader Angela Merkel continued talks yesterday with no immediate hope for a deal on who should lead Germany in a prospective coalition government of their rival parties.

“We won’t know until midday tomorrow whether we can move to full coalition talks,” said Franz Muentefering, chairman of Mr. Schroeder’s Social Democratic Party (SPD).

An SPD spokesman said earlier that a meeting of the party leaders was planned for this morning.

VATICAN CITY

Anti-Nazi bishop honored by pope

VATICAN CITY — A German bishop known as the “Lion of Muenster” for his courageous anti-Nazi sermons during World War II was beatified yesterday, a step on the road to sainthood.

Pope Benedict XVI hailed the “heroic courage” of Clemens August von Galen and described the churchman, who condemned anti-Semitism, as a model for those in public roles today.

Von Galen, who died in 1946 at 68, “feared God more than man, and this gave him the courage to say and to do things that many intelligent persons did not do in that period in Germany,” Benedict said in his native German.

EGYPT

Opposition groups form common front

CAIRO — Ten groups, including liberals, leftists and the Kefaya (Enough) protest movement, have joined forces to fight the ruling party in parliamentary elections next month, members said yesterday.

The new National Front for Political and Constitutional Change could pose a serious challenge to many candidates from the ruling National Democratic Party, which holds more than 90 percent of parliamentary seats.

Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is part of the alliance but, unlike the nine other groups, its candidates will not stand on a single opposition list, the group’s deputy leader said.

VENEZUELA

Chavez government seeks nuclear reactor

BUENOS AIRES — Venezuela has asked to buy a nuclear reactor from Argentina in a request being handled like a “hot potato” because of President Hugo Chavez’s clashes with Washington, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The Clarin newspaper said Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm asked for a medium-strength reactor in late August, telling Argentine officials that it wanted to develop alternative energy sources.

Mr. Chavez announced in May his intentions to use nuclear power, saying his government could start talks with Iran as well as Argentina and Brazil. Venezuelan officials were not available to confirm the Clarin report.

CHINA

New measurements cut Everest’s height

BEIJING — The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is 12 feet shorter than previously thought, Chinese scientists who measured the peak earlier this year said yesterday.

Their survey determined that the mountain was 29,017 feet, or 12 feet smaller than it was measured to be 30 years ago, said Chen Bangzhu, a spokesman with the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.

Mr. Chen said the new data did not mean that the mountain had shrunk since it was last measured, but that previous measurements were less accurate.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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