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Anti migrant leader pushes to win national power in Italy

ROME — The leader of an Italian party that hopes to capitalize on growing resentment of migrants and asylum-seekers told supporters in Rome Sunday it would be “splendid” if he wins national elections and his government can issue one-way tickets home to undeserving refugees. Matteo Salvini wants to propel his anti-migrant Northern League, which was …

Syrian who set out solo from Libya in tiny boat is rescued

ROME — A Syrian refugee has been saved at sea after a last-minute check by humanitarian rescuers with binoculars 20 hours after he set out solo in a tiny rubber boat from Libya, where he said he had been working as practically a slave for three years, a rescue official said Monday. The Proactiva Open …

Italy Senate chief: Mafia planned to kill me next in 1992

ROME — The president of the Italian Senate revealed Saturday that the Mafia’s “boss of bosses” allegedly had targeted him to be assassinated next after twin bomb blasts killed Italy’s two leading Sicilian magistrates. Senate President Piero Grasso served as a judge for the Mafia trial in the 1980s that yielded convictions for hundreds of …

Notorious Mafia ‘boss of bosses’ Toto Riina dead at 87

MILAN — Mafia ‘boss of bosses’ Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina died early Friday in a hospital while serving multiple life sentences as the mastermind of a bloody strategy to assassinate Italian prosecutors and law enforcement trying to bring down the Cosa Nostra, Italian media reported Friday. He was 87. Riina died hours after the Justice Minister …

Pope allows all priests to absolve “grave sin” of abortion

VATICAN CITY—Saying nothing is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, Pope Francis told Catholics worldwide he is allowing all priests to absolve the faithful of abortion — women and health workers alike — even while stressing that it is a grave sin in the eyes of the church to “end an innocent life.” In an …

Pope: It’s ‘terrible’ children taught they can choose gender

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has lamented that children are being taught at school that gender can be a choice, adding that his predecessor, Benedict XVI has labeled current times “the epoch of sin against God the Creator.” Francis weighed in with his view on gender and what he said was that of the emeritus …

Pope: Not right to talk about a ‘violent, terrorist’ Islam

Pope Francis on Sunday said he won’t label Islam as “terrorist” because that would be unfair and not true. Reporters aboard the papal plane flying him home after a pilgrimage to Poland, the day after extremists slit the throat of an elderly priest celebrating Mass in a French church, asked him why he never uses …

Vatican judge allows more time for defence in trial for leaks of confidential documents

VATICAN CITY—A Vatican judge on Monday granted more time for the defence to prepare for a trial over the leak of confidential documents that has put a Spanish monsignor, a pair of Italian journalists and two others in the dock. The documents detailed alleged greed, wasteful spending and poor management inside the Vatican. The details …

Pope: Priests in Holy Year can absolve ‘sin of abortion’

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis declared on Tuesday he is allowing all priests in the church’s upcoming Year of Mercy to absolve women of the “sin of abortion” if they repent with a “contrite heart,” saying he is acutely aware some feel they have no choice but to abort. Reflecting his papacy’s central theme of …

Italy: At least 40 migrants dead at sea, 320 others rescued

ROME — At least 40 migrants died Saturday in the hold of an overcrowded smuggling boat in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya, apparently killed by fuel fumes, and some 320 others aboard were saved by the Italian navy, the rescue ship’s commander said. Migrants by the tens of thousands are braving the perilous journey …