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Germany

'Honecker's Yacht' for Sale

A luxury yacht used by the former East German leader Erich Honecker and which played host to Fidel Castro is for sale for 500,000 euros ($632,000) on a German Internet site. The yacht, called "Ostseeland" until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, was fitted with a surveillance system which allowed eavesdropping in every one of its 16 cabins -- a piece of equipment especially prized by Honecker, who led the communist state for 18 years. The portholes of the 61-metre-long (200-foot-long) ship had specially armored covers and filters prevented air penetrating the ship in the event of a chemical attack, Bild newspaper revealed on Tuesday. In recent years, the ship has been used for cruises around Turkey and was renamed Aniara. It is for sale on the German website www.gebrauchtboote.de. According to the description on the site, the 34-year-old ship has its original 1,500 horsepower engines and is in its "original state."

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