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Merkel scrambles to heal rift in German govt caused by fallout from child porn probe

Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the lay-off and appointment ceremony for outgoing Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and his successor Christian Schmidt at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Friedrich resigned after it emerged that he tipped off another senior politician about an investigation involving a prominent lawmaker. The criticism involved Friedrich’s previous role as interior minister: he has acknowledged telling the leader of Germany’s center-left Social Democrats last October that lawmaker Sebastian Edathy’s name had come up in an investigation. Hannover prosecutors say the case involves alleged ordering of pictures of underage boys, though it's unclear whether they legally constitute child porn. Edathy denies ordering or possessing child porn. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the lay-off and appointment ceremony for outgoing Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and his successor Christian Schmidt at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Friedrich resigned after it emerged that he tipped off another senior politician about an investigation involving a prominent lawmaker. The criticism involved Friedrich’s previous role as interior minister: he has acknowledged telling the leader of Germany’s center-left Social Democrats last October that lawmaker Sebastian Edathy’s name had come up in an investigation. Hannover prosecutors say the case involves alleged ordering of pictures of underage boys, though it's unclear whether they legally constitute child porn. Edathy denies ordering or possessing child porn. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scrambling to heal a rift in her new coalition government caused by the fallout from a child pornography investigation.

Merkel's coalition has been buffeted by mistrust stemming from revelations last week that Cabinet minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, a member of her conservative bloc, last October told the leader of her new partners, the center-left Social Democrats, that the name of one of their lawmakers had come up in an investigation.

The lawmaker resigned this month, denying possession of child porn. Friedrich quit on Friday.

Friedrich's party has sharply criticized the Social Democrats lawmaker who went public about the tip-off.

Merkel planned to meet Tuesday with the leaders of the two other coalition parties in an effort to smooth over tensions.