EXPLAINER: Who gains or loses, what's next in Italy crisis
Italian Premier Mario Draghi's decision to turn in his resignation after his “unity” coalition broke apart dramatically in Parliament was the latest step in a political crisis that could take months before a new government is solidly in place to lead the European Union's third-largest economy.
The Latest: US strikes at IS in retaliation for bombing
The United States military has struck back at the Islamic State, bombing an IS member in Afghanistan less than 48 hours after a devastating suicide bombing claimed by the group killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 American service members at the Kabul airport.
UNHCR appeals to Italy not to impede migrants rescue boats
The head of the U.N. refugee agency says he has urged Italy not to unnecessarily impede NGOs that operate migrant rescue ships in the central Mediterranean, as warmer weather is expected to bring the usual seasonal uptick in the departure of smugglers’ boats from Libya.
In Italy spy story, Navy captain struggled with mortgage
A view of the Russian Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Italy has ordered two Russian Embassy officials expelled and arrested an Italian Navy captain on spying charges after police caught the Italian allegedly giving classified documents to one of the Russians in exchange for money. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)ROME – Italy’s spy thriller took a decidedly mundane turn Thursday with indications that the Italian Navy captain accused of passing classified documents to Russia was desperate for extra money to pay his mortgage and support his four children. Walter Biot, an Italian Navy frigate captain most recently assigned to a policy position at the Defense Ministry, was being held at Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. He voiced concern that if his father receives a dishonorable discharge from the Navy, the family would face even more devastating financial problems.
Italy orders 2 Russian Embassy officials expelled for spying
A view of the Russian Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Italy has ordered two Russian Embassy officials expelled and arrested an Italian Navy captain on spying charges after police caught the Italian allegedly giving classified documents to one of the Russians in exchange for money. The Russian observed with him, a member of the Russian armed forces stationed at the Russian Embassy in Italy, was initially detained but not immediately placed under arrest given his diplomatic status. AdHe was ordered expelled along with another Russian Embassy official allegedly involved, Di Maio told lawmakers. The Russian Embassy in Rome confirmed the detention of a diplomat who belonged to the military attache’s office but wouldn’t comment on the incident.
EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities
German foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European foreign ministers also called on mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave the country immediately. Ad“This (withdrawal) is indispensable so that Libya can regain its sovereignty and security,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We have talked about the tasks ahead and about how we can concretely support (Libya) where there is a wish for it,” said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. EU top diplomats also stressed the need to reopen the country's Mediterranean coastal road linking the east and the west.
US sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong officials ahead of talks
The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing's ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, including a decision to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)HONG KONG – The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, just ahead of the Biden administration's first face-to-face talks with China. The planned changes to Hong Kong's electoral law give a pro-Beijing committee power to appoint more of Hong Kong’s lawmakers. Last June, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the city and Hong Kong authorities have arrested most of the prominent pro-democracy supporters and outspoken critics. Starting last October, the U.S. had already sanctioned 10 officials including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming.
Italy presses UN for answers on envoy's slaying in Congo
The trip was undertaken at the U.N.’s invitation, according to Di Maio. The Italian embassy in Kinshasha, Di Maio noted, has two armored vehicles at the ambassador's disposal for moving around the city and the country. But for Monday's mission, to visit a WFP school food project in Rutshuri in eastern Congo, Attanasio was traveling in U.N. vehicles. Only hours earlier, Di Maio, flanked by Premier Mario Draghi, met the arrival of the bodies of the two Italians at a Rome military airport. Italy will reinforce its commitments to aid Africa, Di Maio said, calling that the “best way to honor the memory″ of the two slain Italians.
Congo, Italy, UN probe ambassador's killing amid questions
An Italian Carabinieri unit is expected in Congo Tuesday to investigate the killings of the Italian ambassador to Congo, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their driver in the country's east. In the specific area of the attack, several armed groups are active including the FDLR, the Nyatura militia and remnants of the former M23 rebels. AdIt’s unusual for a top diplomat to be targeted in eastern Congo, but attacks have been rising, Pierre Boisselet, coordinator of the Kivu Security Tracker, said. “Usually violence by armed groups targets civilians,” or civilians are hurt amid clashes between armed groups and the army. More than 2,000 civilians were killed last year in eastern Congo provinces by armed rebel groups, according to U.N. reports last week.
‘Welcome back America!’ World celebrates Biden-Harris win
World leaders congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on his victory, cheering it as an opportunity to fortify global democracy and celebrating the significance of Americans having their first female vice president. Other leaders who sent congratulations included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Prime Minister Janez Jansa was the only world leader who congratulated Trump even before all the votes were counted, and showed support after Biden’s win was announced. His rival, Juan Guaido, also thanked Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their “firmness and determination” in confronting Maduro. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who struck up a cordial working relationship with Trump, also avoided congratulating Joe Biden.
Turkey says will work with Italy for Libya peace, slams EU
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, and Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio say goodbye by using their elbows after their joint press conference, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 19, 2020. Turkey says the EUs naval operation dubbed Irini is focusing its efforts on the Tripoli-based administration and not enough on Hifters forces who launched an offensive in April 2019 to capture the capital. We will continue to work with Italy for a last peace and a solution-oriented political process, Cavusoglu told reporters, praising Italy for what he described as its balanced stance on Libya. He maintained that the operation ignores alleged constant arms transfers to Hifter by France.Cavusoglus comments come amid growing tensions between Turkey and France over Libya. He also defended the EU naval operation, describing it as balanced.The aim is to control the arrival of all armaments, Di Maio said.
Greece, Italy sign deal on demarcating maritime boundaries
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, right, and his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio asign an agreement following their meeting , in Athens, on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Greece will lift all restrictions on Italian tourists entering the country gradually between June 15 and the end of the month, Greece's foreign minister said Tuesday. (Costas Baltas /Pool via AP)ATHENS ATHENS, GreeceGreece and Italy signed an agreement Tuesday demarcating their maritime boundaries, amid tension in the Mediterranean region over rights to natural resources. Greece and Cyprus in particular have been locked in a tense diplomatic standoff with Turkey over drilling rights at sea. Last November, Turkey signed a maritime boundary agreement with Libyas UN-backed government that was strongly opposed and considered illegal by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus.