World Briefs: Germans probe U.S. spying

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BERLIN -- Germany's federal prosecutor announced Wednesday that he had begun a formal investigation of what he called "unknown" members of U.S. intelligence agencies on suspicion that they had eavesdropped on one of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphones.

Anger at the National Security Agency and the British intelligence services has simmered and occasionally erupted full force since the magazine Der Spiegel and other Western news media outlets published material last June from Edward J. Snowden, the former NSA contractor, suggesting that millions of Germans' data and phone calls had been monitored.

In announcing his formal inquiry, prosecutor Harald Range's office stated that the next step will be to question witnesses and examine documents.

Tiananmen riots recalled

HONG KONG -- Tens of thousands gathered at a central park in Hong Kong on Wednesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, even as a stifling security presence in Beijing and elsewhere in mainland China appeared to forestall protests.

The organizers of the vigil in Hong Kong said the crowd Wednesday numbered more than 180,000, while the police estimated that 99,500 people had attended.

State-controlled Chinese news organizations largely ignored the anniversary, even as the foreign media gave it global attention.

South Koreans go to polls

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's biggest opposition probably won Seoul's mayoral election with other key races still too close to call in the first national vote faced by President Park Geun Hye's government since an outpouring of public anger over the Sewol ferry sinking, an exit poll showed.

About 23 million people, or 56.8 percent of eligible voters, went to polls to elect 4,000 local and regional officials, in a contest that pitted President Park's Saenuri party against an opposition that sought to tap public outrage over the ferry sinking.

'Stones' perform in Israel

JERUSALEM -- Recently, the two surviving founders of the rock band Pink Floyd sent an open letter published in Salon to the Rolling Stones. They asked Mick Jagger and his crew to cancel their first-ever concert in Israel to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle against occupation.

But Pink Floyd hit a wall.

The Stones not only went on with the show Wednesday night in Tel Aviv but delayed their opening by 45 minutes to allow devout Jews time to reach the concert after the end of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, during which Orthodox Jews cannot drive or handle money.

Saudi urges aid for Egypt

CAIRO -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah called for an international effort to raise funds for Egypt's battered economy after his ally, former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, won the country's presidential election.

King Abdullah said friends of Egypt should hold an aid conference to pledge financial support, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, a call backed by the United Arab Emirates. The king also urged Mr. Sisi, whose victory was officially declared Tuesday, to engage in a dialogue with those of his opponents who haven't been involved in violence. A crackdown by security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies since Mr. Sisi spearheaded the ouster of elected leader Mohammed Morsi left hundreds dead and thousands in jail.

-- Compiled from news services


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