IN BRIEF

BONN, Germany (AP) Chancellor Helmut Kohl said Thursday this year's 50th anniversary of the Nazis' surrender should be a time to mourn Germany's war losses as well as celebrate its liberation from Adolf Hitler.

Siding publicly with fellow conservatives in parliament for the first time, Kohl said the V-E Day ceremony in Berlin on May 8 should not just be a day of expressing gratitude to the Allies.

Along with remembering Jew and other Nazi victims, he said, Germans should be able to mourn their own war dead estimated at 5.25 million.

''Millions of (German) soldiers lost their lives. Millions were thrown into prisons,'' Kohl said. ''There is also good reason to remember the millions who suffered as they fled."

Kohl was already under fire for not inviting Polish leaders to attend the Berlin ceremony. Tempers flared in parliament's lower house as he defended that decision Thursday.

MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. (AP) A minister suspected of bilking and killing a couple skipped a meeting with police, bought a 10-cent bookmark inscribed with the 23rd Psalm and killed himself by ramming his car into a bridge, police say.

The Rev. James S. Castria, 45, died Tuesday after slamming his car into a bridge abutment at 80 mph.

''The evidence ... would suggest it was a suicide,'' Sgt. Rick Antero said Wednesday.

It happened a few hours after Castria was due to meet with Pennsylvania police in connection with the slaying of Lowell Engel, 68, and his wife, Susan, 50, whose bludgeoned bodies were found March 23 in the woods of the Poconos mountains, near Stroudsburg, Pa. Authorities believe they had been killed several weeks earlier.

The Engels, who were married by Castria, disappeared from their home in the New York City borough of Staten Island in January after receiving an $85,000 inheritance. Engel had shared a bank account with Castria.

Castria admitted to Pennsylvania state police that he stole $40,000 from the Engels, the Staten Island Advance reported Wednesday, citing unidentified police sources.

''He wouldn't admit to murder ... and nothing was proven. But he was the probable suspect'' after being questioned on Saturday, a law enforcement source told the Advance.

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