German minister stays put

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Germany's Health Minister, Horst Seehofer, defended his decision not to resign over allegations that officials had covered up reports saying HIV-contaminated blood may have been used in transfusions, Reuter reports from Bonn. 'I see my political responsibility in protecting people. I cannot do that by stepping back from difficult problems that carry a personal risk,' he said.

Mr Seehofer sacked the head of the Federal Health Agency and a senior Health Ministry official on Wednesday for failing to pass on reports about hundreds of Aids victims who may have been treated with blood infected with HIV.