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Germans honor Va. Tech victims

ERFURT, Germany - Students and teachers at a German high school where a teenager killed 16 people paid tribute yesterday to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, weeping as they marked the fifth anniversary of their own tragedy.

About 1,000 students, teachers and parents observed a moment of silence for those who died in 2002 at the Gutenberg high school in the eastern city of Erfurt, and for shooting victims April 16 in Blacksburg, Va.

On April 26, 2002, Robert Steinhaeuser shot and killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer before committing suicide in Germany's worst school shooting.

The 19-year-old, expelled for forging a doctor's note, was licensed to own weapons. The attack led Germany to raise the age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21. - AP

Kin of N. Irish leader is charged

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - A brother-in-law of Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein deputy leader in line to oversee a new power-sharing government for Northern Ireland, was charged yesterday with kidnapping and assaulting a couple in an IRA-style operation.

Marvin Canning, 45, gave a clenched-fist salute to cheering supporters outside Londonderry Magistrates Court shortly before he was arraigned on seven criminal counts in Monday's abduction of the couple in the Irish Republic.

McGuinness emphasized Sinn Fein's new commitment to uphold order in this British territory. "Whoever carried out this attack, I absolutely and unequivocally condemn it," he said.

McGuinness, a veteran Irish Republican Army commander from Londonderry, is Sinn Fein's choice to become "deputy first minister" in a Catholic-Protestant administration to be formed May 8. - AP

Israelis to honor Coretta Scott King

WASHINGTON - Israel will name a forest in northern Galilee after Coretta Scott King as the country replants thousands of trees destroyed during last year's war with Hezbollah.

The Coretta Scott King Forest, comprising at least 10,000 trees, will be a living memorial to King's legacy of peace and justice, Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor said yesterday.

Two members of the Congressional Black Caucus said the effort, which includes a fund-raising partnership with black churches in the United States, would bolster ties between blacks and Jews fostered during the early civil rights movement. - AP


Colombia's electrical grid collapsed yesterday, causing a nationwide blackout that left authorities struggling to determine the cause.

More than two-thirds of Venezuelans oppose President Hugo Chavez's plan to kick an opposition-aligned TV station off the air, a pollster said yesterday.

The No. 2 al-Qaeda official in Algeria, Samir Moussaab, whose real name was Samir Saioud, was killed yesterday, the country's official APS news agency said.