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Germany

Former President Has Emergency Surgery

Former German president Johannes Rau underwent emergency surgery Tuesday to remove a blood clot in his abdomen, his office said. The 73-year-old from Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats had the procedure at Berlin's prestigious Virchow hospital. A spokesman said the operation went well but that Rau, who was president until the summer, was expected to remain at the facility for a few days. Rau, who is also the former premier of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, had an artificial heart valve implanted in August. His successor as head of state, former International Monetary Fund chief Horst Köhler, was sworn in as Germany's ninth postwar president on July 1. (AFP)