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Berlusconi faces new scandal as Italy debt crisis deepens

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced new accusations on Friday over a prostitution scandal that has added a fresh distraction as Italy struggles to avert a debt crisis which could tear the euro zone apart. Berlusconi is reported to have told Valter Lavitola, a shadowy consultant now wanted…

Italy austerity plan draws wide criticism

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s second austerity package in less than a month met with a chorus of criticism a day after becoming law, with the largest union federation threatening a general strike over the “injustice” of the measures. President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday signed the emergency decree introducing sweeping austerity measures to…

Italy’s main trade union calls general strike

ROME — Italy’s biggest trade union, the CGIL, on Sunday called for a general strike against the government’s new austerity plans. Union chief Susanna Camusso, speaking in the daily La Repubblica newspaper, said the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour) would hold a meeting on August 23 to fix a…

Italy approves draft law banning burqas

ROME — An Italian parliamentary commission approved a draft law on Tuesday which would ban women from wearing the veils that cover their faces in public, if passed by parliament in September. The draft law would forbid women from wearing a burqa or naqib, but also prohibit anyone from covering…

Hundreds of thousands march for Pride in Rome, await Lady Gaga

ROME (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of people paraded through central Rome in a gay pride parade on Saturday, with many criticising Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government for failing to grant same-sex rights. “I want to tell the world, Europe and above all Italy, which is a bit closed, that…

Italian PM Berlusconi laughs off sex crime trial

MILAN — Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday accused Italy’s judges of being out to get him and laughed off his ongoing sex crime trial as he returned to court on fraud charges in a separate trial. “The prosecutors are working against the country,” Berlusconi told reporters in the courtroom,…

Italian PM Berlusconi makes first court appearance in 8 years

MILAN, Italy (AFP) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attended a legal hearing on Monday for the first time in eight years, over allegations of fiscal fraud and breach of trust in his business interests. The hearing in judges’ chambers in Milan was part of a process to decide whether…

New docs could mean end of line for Berlusconi

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced more pressure to resign on Thursday after magistrates issued new documents with fresh details of erotic parties, some with under-age girls, and of his gifts to participants. The center-left opposition said the new documents made his position “untenable” and said he should…

Libya’s Kadhafi under siege as cities overrun

TRIPOLI – Protesters on Monday overran several Libyan cities and Tripoli was rocked by violence some residents said was a “massacre,” as the pillars of Moamer Kadhafi’s hardline four-decade rule began to crumble. A suggestion in Brussels by British Foreign Secretary William Hague that Kadhafi may have left the country…

Berlusconi to stand trial for underage sex

ROME – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will go on trial in April over allegations that he paid a 17-year-old girl for sex and used his status to spring her from police custody, a judge ruled Tuesday. Judge Cristina Di Censo scheduled the first hearing for April 6, in a…

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