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April 20, 2014

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Germany’s Merkel scrambles to heal coalition rift

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 | 4:28 a.m.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scrambling to heal a rift in her new coalition government caused by the fallout from a child pornography investigation.

Merkel's coalition has been buffeted by mistrust stemming from revelations last week that Cabinet minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, a member of her conservative bloc, last October told the leader of her new partners, the center-left Social Democrats, that the name of one of their lawmakers had come up in an investigation.

The lawmaker resigned this month, denying possession of child porn. Friedrich quit on Friday.

Friedrich's party has sharply criticized the Social Democrats lawmaker who went public about the tip-off.

Merkel planned to meet Tuesday with the leaders of the two other coalition parties in an effort to smooth over tensions.