Germany: Merkel challenger predicts 'long, stony road' ahead

BERLIN — The man hoping to beat Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany's general election said Monday that his center-left Social Democrats have to be prepared for a tough campaign after suffering a heavy blow in their traditional heartland.

Martin Schulz's Social Democrats lost Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union on Sunday. They had governed the state for all but five of the past 50 years.

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