It all started less than a week ago, when a German newspaper outed a bunch of instances of plagiarism in the PhD thesis of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a popular minister in the German government; here's a Spiegel Online story from 16 February.
Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Monday that she is standing by her defence minister, who is seen as something of a rising star in her conservative coalition.
"I appointed Guttenberg as minister of defence," she told reporters. "I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as minister of defence and he carries out these duties perfectly."