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Britain, France Ramp Up Pressure at EU Crisis Summit on Libya

Western powers ramped up pressure on Moammar Gadhafi Friday, with France calling for targeted strikes if he bombs his people, as a crisis summit exposed an EU rift over how to force the Libyan leader out.

The pivotal summit, capping 48 hours of talks also involving NATO defense ministers and European Union foreign ministers, opened with the 27-nation bloc divided over military action as well as a British-French push for formal recognition of Gadhafi's opponents.

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France, Germany Urge EU to Talk with Libyan Opposition

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Thursday said Paris and Berlin were calling on their European Union partners to engage in dialogue with Libyan opposition leaders.

Speaking after talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Juppe said, "We are on the same track to say Colonel Gadhafi is discredited, he must go, we must engage dialogue with the new Libyan representatives."

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Two U.S. Airmen Shot Dead at Frankfurt Airport

A lone gunman killed two U.S. airmen Wednesday and seriously injured two more in an attack on their bus at Frankfurt airport in Germany, local authorities and the U.S. military said.

"Two airmen have been killed and two were wounded during a shooting incident today at Frankfurt International Airport," the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) said in a statement.

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Germany’s ‘Baron Cut-And-Paste’ Quits

Germany's popular defense minister quit Tuesday a week after being stripped of his doctorate for alleged plagiarism, depriving Chancellor Angela Merkel's government of its star performer.

"I give particular thanks to the chancellor for all the support she has given me and her great trust and understanding," Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told a hastily convened news conference in Berlin.

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Last U.S. Veteran of WWI Dies at Age 110

Frank Buckles, who lied about his age to get into uniform during World War I and lived to be the last surviving U.S. veteran of that war, has died. He was 110.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.

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Haaretz: Merkel Berates Netanyahu in 'Tense' Call

German Chancellor Angela Merkel berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to advance peace talks during a "tense" phone call, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Friday.

Citing German sources, the newspaper said Merkel responded furiously when Netanyahu criticized Germany for supporting a Palestinian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement construction.

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Berlin Says Ties with Iran 'Unchanged' after FM Met Ahmadinejad

Germany stressed Monday its policy towards Iran had not changed after its foreign minister held a controversial meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the weekend.

"Our international partners know perfectly well that nothing at all has changed in terms of our attitude to Iran," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference.

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Germany's cross-eyed opossum to pick Oscar winners

Heidi, Germany's beloved cross-eyed opossum, is taking a page from Paul the Octopus' playbook: the marsupial will attempt to pick this year's Oscar winners.

Leipzig Zoo Director Joerg Junghold told Germany's RTL television on Friday that Heidi will be appearing on the "Jimmy Kimmel Show" alongside the Oscars on Feb. 27.

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VW to Create 40,000 Jobs by 2018

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, plans to boost its workforce from 250,000 to 290,000 by 2018, with most of the new jobs to be created in China, the German auto weekly Woche reported Sunday.

Citing internal and confidential documents, the weekly said that "the number of VW employees will rise from 250,000 to 290,000 by 2018," including 35,000 new posts in China.

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Egypt Overshadows Mideast Quartet Talks

Egypt loomed large over talks of the Middle East Quartet in Germany on Saturday, with fears that a change of regime in Cairo could throw into turmoil an already deeply troubled peace process.

"One of our big partners did not want the Quartet to meet at this stage, saying maybe it's not the moment to be discussing the peace process when the whole region is undergoing dramatic changes," a European diplomat said.

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