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Close Merkel ally resigns in plagiarism scandal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major political blow less than eight months before elections when her education minister, a close ally, resigned on Saturday over plagiarism allegations.

Merkel said she had accepted the resignation of Annette Schavan "with a heavy heart" after her former university stripped her of her doctorate, saying she had plagiarised parts of her thesis "Person and Conscience" 33 years ago.

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