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Pope’s visit to delay German rescue fund vote

BERLIN, Aug 30 – Germany’s parliamentary vote on Europe’s next rescue fund will be delayed until September 29 owing to a visit by Pope Benedict XVI, a leading member of Angela Merkel’s ruling party said Tuesday.

The pope is due to address parliament on September 22 and a number of deputies have also asked for time off to follow the pope on his official visit to Germany which will end on September 25, according to Michael Meister, deputy leader of the Christian Democrat parliamentary faction.

Chancellor Merkel’s government is expected to agree Wednesday on extending the mandate of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) which will then be submitted to parliament for debate.

It had earlier been expected a final parliamentary vote would be taken on September 23.

European leaders agreed in July to modify the EFSF by allowing it to buy sovereign debt in public markets and loan money to eurozone governments and commercial banks under certain conditions.

The reforms must be ratified by lawmakers across the 17-nation eurozone, which has raised concern that it could be a lengthy process.DAEGU, August 27, 2011 (AFP) – Superior team tactics paid off in the women’s 10,000m at the world championships on Saturday with Vivian Cheruiyot leading Kenya to a podium cleansweep after a finely timed race.

Cheruiyot, the reigning world 5000m champion, finished the 25-lap race in 30min 48.98sec ahead of compatriots Sally Kipyego (30:50.04) and 2009 champion Linet Masai (30:53.59).

It crowned a remarkable opening day at the worlds for Kenya’s female runners, their marathon team having earlier snagged all three medals on the streets of Daegu.

American Shalane Flanagan made the early running, the Olympic bronze medallist stringing out the pack over the opening nine laps.

But Masai took the lead with 16 laps remaining, team Kenya smoothly moving up the field to the front as Priscah Cherono and Cheruiyot followed.

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The Ethiopian trio of Meseret Defar, Tigist Kiros and Meselech Melkamu kept on the heels of their east African rivals, the former having ambitiously announced that she had the 5000-10,000m double on her mind.

But then in what looked liked an orchestrated team move, Kipyego accelerated to take the lead with 11 laps to run and upped the pace immediately.

The prompt result was that the pack was cut to the four Kenyans, Melkamu, Defar, Flanagan and the Ethiopian-born Bahraini runner Shitaye Eshete.

The American and Eshete soon fell off the pace, leaving a battle royale over the final seven laps between the cream of Ethiopian and Kenyan distance runners.

But a shock was to come, the 27-year-old Defar, Olympic gold medallist in 2004 at 5000m and world champion over the same distance in 2007, also fell out of the running.

The four-time world indoor 3000m champion then slowed to a halt and walked off the track, hands on hips and head hanging low, with four laps remaining.

Cheruiyot took the lead as the bell rang for the final 400m, ahead of Kipyego and Masai in third.

It seemed as if she might have bolted too early, with Kipyego on her heels as they came around the final bend, but Cheruiyot held on for joyous scenes with her Kenyan teammates.

The victory also opens up the tempting prospect of a 5000-10,000m double for the 27-year-old, the shorter distance being her preferred race.

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