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In the World

German woman wins song contest

OSLO, Norway - Germany's Lena Meyer-Landrut on Saturday won the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with "Satellite," an upbeat, catchy pop song, edging out contestants from Turkey and Romania. Meyer-Landrut, who turned 19 during the competition in Norway, won 246 points in balloting by a panel of judges and telephone votes.

It was Germany's second win in the songfest's 55-year history, and the victory means it will host next year's contest. Meyer-Landrut had been second favorite among leading bookmakers, but first in a Google predictor program.

Her victory marks the second year in a row that the Google program has correctly projected the winner of Eurovision, after predicting Norwegian fiddler Alexander Rybak's win in Moscow last year.

Onstage after winning, Meyer-Landrut demanded a kiss on the cheek from Rybak. "I'm so happy and so thankful and so grateful, and I never thought we could do this," she said, covering her face with a German flag. Looking bewildered, she asked: "Do I have to sing now?" Alone on stage, she sang "Satellite" again to cheers and applause. - AP

Treasury leader resigns in Britain

LONDON - A senior minister in Britain's new coalition government resigned Saturday after admitting that he claimed tens of thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money to pay rent to his long-term partner.

David Laws said he would step down immediately as chief treasury secretary, a role he had occupied for less than a month. He will be replaced by fellow Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander.

Laws - whose job was to implement the new government's deficit-reduction plan - apologized and said he would immediately pay back the money, which the Daily Telegraph newspaper said totaled 40,000 pounds ($57,822). The newspaper reported that Laws claimed up to 950 pounds a month in taxpayer money between 2004 and 2007 to rent a room in two properties owned by his partner, James Lundie.

Parliamentary rules have banned lawmakers from leasing accommodation from a spouse, a family member, or a "partner" since 2006. Laws explained Friday that he did not intend to profit from the claims, and that his motivation was to protect his and Lundie's privacy and keep his sexuality a secret. - AP

1st tropical storm nears Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY - Tropical Storm Agatha, the first of the season, formed Saturday off the Pacific coast of Guatemala, where its rains killed 12 people and threatened to turn black volcanic ash into cement-like mud. Eleven people were reported missing.

Agatha comes two days after the Pacaya volcano began erupting, blanketing Guatemala's capital in ash and destroying 800 homes. Officials expressed worry that Agatha's heavy rains could exacerbate the damage.

The tropical storm was centered about 105 miles west of Puerto de San Jose, Guatemala, and moving toward the northeast at 7 m.p.h., said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The hurricane center said Agatha was expected to make landfall on Guatemala's coast by early Sunday. - AP


The Canadian military said Sunday that the chief of Canadian forces in Afghanistan, Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard, has been relieved following allegations of an inappropriate relationship. Col. Simon Hetherington, who made the announcement, said that Menard's dismissal would not have any effect on operations in southern Afghanistan.