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Ally's resignation spares German chancellor drawn-out scandal

* Quick exit means affair likely to blow over quickly * Scandal threatened to hurt Merkel's popularity By Annika Breidthardt BERLIN, Feb 10 (Reuters) - German Education Minister Annette Schavan has done her friend Angela Merkel a good turn by quitting, sparing the chancellor months of distraction in an election year that has already got off to a bad start.

REFILE-UPDATE 2-Merkel confidante resigns in German plagiarism scandal

* Merkel loses second minister to academic cheating * Embarrassment but little election impact seen * Schavan says will sue university over Ph.D decision (Removes extraneous 'and' in 8th paragraph) By Annika Breidthardt BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Germany's education minister resigned on Saturday after being stripped of her doctorate for plagiarism, embarrassing Chancellor Angela Merkel and depriving her of a close ally in the run-up to a September election.

German education minister, Merkel ally, quits over plagiarism

BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Germany's education minister resigned on Saturday after being stripped of her doctorate over plagiarism charges, an embarrassment for her close confidante Chancellor Angela Merkel who is campaigning to win a third term in office this year. The move came four days after the University of Duesseldorf ruled Annette Schavan had "systematically and intentionally" copied parts of her thesis and withdrew her Ph.D more than 30 years after it was granted.

Close ally of Germany's Merkel quits over plagiarism scandal

BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Germany's education minister will resign on Saturday after being stripped of her doctorate over plagiarism charges, sources from the ruling coalition said, an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she campaigns to win a third term in office. Merkel and her close ally Annette Schavan were due to hold a joint news conference at 1300 GMT and the sources said they would announce the resignation then.

UPDATE 1-Key ally of Germany's Merkel to fight plagiarism ruling

* Education minister stripped of PhD awarded in 1980 * Schavan to take legal action, resists calls to resign * Affair is unwanted pre-election distraction for Merkel * Merkel has "full trust" in minister - chancellor's spokesman (Adds Merkel spokesman, paragraphs 9-10) By Gareth Jones

Merkel ally fights after losing doctorate over plagiarism

Germany's education minister and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was fighting for her political life Wednesday after being stripped of her doctorate for plagiarism seven months ahead of elections. Annette Schavan vowed to launch a legal battle against Duesseldorf University's ruling on her thesis, "Person and Conscience", written 33 years ago, amid opposition calls for her to resign. "I will not accept the decision by the University of Duesseldorf and will file a lawsuit against it," she said in a brief statement in South Africa where she is on a five-day visit.

Merkel ally fights after losing doctorate over plagiarism

Germany's education minister and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was fighting for her political life Wednesday after being stripped of her doctorate for plagiarism seven months ahead of elections. Annette Schavan vowed to launch a legal battle against Duesseldorf University's ruling on her thesis, "Person and Conscience", written 33 years ago, amid opposition calls for her to resign. "I will not accept the decision by the University of Duesseldorf and will file a lawsuit against it," she said in a brief statement in South Africa where she is on a five-day visit.

Key ally of Germany's Merkel to fight plagiarism ruling

* Education minister stripped of PhD awarded in 1980 * Schavan to take legal action, resists calls to resign * Merkel allies see campaign to damage gov't before vote BERLIN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's education minister said on Wednesday she would take legal action against a decision to void her doctorate for alleged plagiarism, an untimely distraction for the German chancellor ahead of September's national election.
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