“ German president resigns ”

BERLIN - President Horst Koehler stunned Germans by resigning yesterday after being criticised for appearing to link military deployments abroad with the country's economic interests - creating a new headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel. The resignation, effective immediately, came a year into Koehler's second term as the largely ceremonial head of state. Merkel's centre-right alliance installed the former International Monetary Fund boss as president in 2004, and his departure is a symbolic blow. (AP)