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Voting for Italy president possible from April 18 ROME: Italy's parliament could begin voting on April 18 for a successor to President Giorgio Napolitano a key part in the political puzzle as the country tries to form a new government following inconclusive elections more than a month ago. Lower house speaker Laura Boldrini said in a statement on Wednesday that the two chambers of the Italian parliament would meet for a joint session starting on Monday, April 15, and regional representatives could join from April 18. Italian presidents are elected by deputies, senators and representatives of the regions.Napolitano's seven-year mandate runs out May 15. The post of president is largely ceremonial but the 87-year-old Napolitano is playing a crucial role in the current crisis as a respected mediator between bickering political parties. The question of who will succeed Napolitano is seen as part of the deal-making going on for the formation of a new government. Napolitano's successor would ...

WWII bomb found near Berlin's main train station BERLIN: An unexploded World War II bomb has been unearthed near Berlin's main train station, risking possible disruptions to rail and road traffic, authorities said Wednesday"The bomb was found yesterday afternoon on property belonging to the rail company," a police spokesman told AFP, adding that the 100-kilogramme (220-pound) explosive was dropped by the Allies during the Second World War.The site lies about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) north of the main train station and the spokesman ...
Russia worried by 'explosive' North Korea situation MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday said it was worried by the "explosive" North Korea situation, saying even a simple human error could cause matters to spiral out of control."Russia has to be worried as we are talking about an explosive situation in the immediate vicinity of our Far East borders," Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told the Interfax news agency. "In the current tense atmosphere it would only need an elementary human error or technical problem ...
French government on defensive over tax fraud scandal PARIS: France's embattled government was forced to go on the defensive Wednesday over an explosive tax fraud scandal involving a former budget minister, as critics questioned how much President Francois Hollande knew.Jerome Cahuzac -- once responsible for cracking down on tax evasion -- was charged Tuesday with "laundering the proceeds of tax fraud" after admitting having a foreign bank account, an allegation he had until then denied.Hollande was quick to condemn the ex-minister -- who ...
Italy mafia probe nets 1.3bn euros in clean energy assets ROME: Italian police on Wednesday said they had seized assets worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) from a Sicilian renewable energy developer whose projects allegedly helped fund the mafia.The assets, including 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts, belonged to Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old businessman dubbed the "Lord of the Wind" for his prominent role in the business.The assets had been frozen in 2010 and Nicastri is on probation under ...
Ban salutes NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed Tuesday's adoption of a landmark global arms treaty as a milestone that would help prevent human rights abuses.   "It is a historic diplomatic achievement - the culmination of long-held dreams and many years of effort. This is a victory for the world's people," Ban said in a statement.   "It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international ...
US welcomes 'effective' global treaty on arms trade WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday welcomed the first treaty to regulate the global trade in conventional weapons, saying it will help stem the flow of arms used in war crimes and genocide.The treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly was "strong, effective and implementable," Kerry said, while insisting it would not infringe on the US Constitution and the Second Amendment right to bear arms.The pact "can strengthen global security while protecting the ...


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