ENVIRONMENT

Merkel challenger advocates removal of US nuclear weapons

Chancellor Angela Merkel's main challenger in next month's election says he would push for the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from German soil.

The dpa news agency reported Tuesday that Social Democrat Martin Schulz also told supporters in the city of Trier on Tuesday that a government led by him would seek to limit Germany's own military expenditures.

The news agency quoted Schulz saying: "As chancellor, I will work to ensure that the nuclear weapons stationed in Germany ... are removed."

U.S. President Donald Trump has pressured Germany and other NATO partners to spend more on defense.

But Schulz said: "It can't be that Germany, without comment and without action, continues to take part in an armament spiral as wanted by Trump."

Merkel's bloc currently enjoys a 15 percent lead over Schulz's party.