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Berlusconi wins confidence vote, but still weak

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a vote of confidence on Friday, giving his struggling center-right government a new, but probably short, lease of life. Berlusconi, who said before the vote that the country would be thrown into economic and social catastrophe if his government collapsed now, won the vote…

Russia faces crisis if Putin returns: Kremlin advisers

Russia faces a massive crisis including economic collapse and social tensions if Vladimir Putin rather than Dmitry Medvedev stands in presidential polls, two Kremlin advisers warned on Wednesday. In the most vocal call yet for Medvedev to seek a second mandate in 2012 elections, the advisers from the Institute of…