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Germany

Schröder Superstar

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was treated like a pop star by a group of 280 adulatory teenagers from New York at the Chancellery in Berlin on Thursday. Clapping and cheering, the 15 to 18-year-olds -- who are in Berlin for two weeks as part of the "Bridge to New York-Berlin" project -- took endless photographs with the chancellor, providing some strong competition for the assembled media paparazzi. "Bridge to New York-Berlin" was initiated by Schröder in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, when he spontaneously invited 1000 teenagers from New York to visit Germany. The teenagers stay with German families and are taken care of by teachers and mentors. Schröder announced that he wanted to extend the program and said that the aim of both Germans and Americans should be to ensure the friendship between the two countries grows.