Officials Say 98,000 Russians Enter Kazakhstan After Reservists Call-up

About 98,000 Russians have crossed into Kazakhstan in the week since President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to fight in Ukraine, Kazakh officials said Tuesday, as men seeking to avoid the call-up continued to flee by land and air into neighboring countries. Kazakhstan and Georgia, both part of the former Soviet Union, appeared to be the most popular destinations for those crossing by car, bicycle or on foot. Those with visas for Finland or Norway also have been coming in by land. Plane tickets abroad had sold out quickly despite steep prices. Russia’s Defense Ministry has said that only about 300,000 people with prior combat or other military service would be called up, but reports have emerged from various Russian regions that recruiters were rounding up men outside that description. That fueled fears of a much broader call-up, sending droves of men of all ages and backgrounds to airports and border crossings. In announcing the number of Russians crossing the border, Kazakhstan Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov said authorities will not send those who are avoiding the call-up back home, unless they are on an international wanted list for criminal charges. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his government to assist Russians entering his country “because of the current hopeless situation.” “We must take care of them and ensure their safety. It is a political and a humanitarian issue. I tasked the government to take the necessary measures,” Tokayev said, adding that Kazakhstan will hold talks with Russia on the situation. …

читати →

Suspect Detained in Poland in Dutch Reporter’s Slaying

Dutch prosecutors said Monday that a 30-year-old man suspected of involvement in the slaying of crime reporter Peter R. De Vries has been arrested by authorities in Poland. De Vries, one of the Netherlands’ best-known journalists who also campaigned to solve cold cases, was gunned down in Amsterdam on July 6 last year. He died nine days later of his injuries at age 64. Prosecutors said the Polish man was arrested on suspicion of helping prepare the attack and that he is believed to have lived in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam at the time of the shooting. His identity wasn’t released in line with privacy regulations. Dutch authorities have requested his transfer to the Netherlands. Two men were arrested near The Hague soon after De Vries were shot and are on trial for his murder. Prosecutors have sought life sentences for both. One of them is a Polish national, Kamil E., who was the alleged getaway driver. Another Polish national was arrested in July on suspicion of instructing the two men who carried out the hit. Two other suspects were arrested in Spain and Curacao on the same day. Before his shooting, De Vries acted as an adviser and confidant for a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang that police described as an “oiled killing machine.” The witness’ brother and his lawyer both were murdered. The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2019 and is currently awaiting verdicts in his trial. Prosecutors have sought a life sentence for his alleged involvement in a string of murders. He hasn’t been charged in De Vries’ killing. …

читати →

King Charles III’s New Monogram Revealed at End of Mourning

King Charles III’s new monogram was revealed Tuesday as the official period of mourning for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, came to a close.  The emblem, known as the king’s cypher, will appear on government buildings, state documents and some post boxes in the coming months and years.  It features the initial C intertwined with the letter R for Rex, the Latin word for king. The Roman numeral III sits in the center of the R and a crown hovers above the letters.  The symbol was selected from a series of designs prepared by the College of Arms, a 500-year-old body that oversees the issuance of new coats of arms and other aspects of heraldry in England. A Scottish version of the cypher features the Scottish Crown, and was approved by Lord Lyon King of Arms, who has similar responsibilities in Scotland.  Also Tuesday, the Bank of England said it would reveal images of new banknotes featuring a portrait of the king by the end of this year.  Old coins and banknotes featuring images of Queen Elizabeth II will be replaced only as they wear out, so initially currency bearing pictures of both monarchs will circulate in tandem, the central bank said.    …

читати →

Kurdish Militants Attack Turkish Police, Kill Themselves

Two suspected Kurdish militants opened fire on police in southern Turkey and later killed themselves by detonating suicide bombs, Turkey’s interior minister said. One police officer was killed in the attack while a second officer and a civilian were wounded. The attack was carried out late on Monday in the Mezitli district in the Mediterranean coastal province of Mersin, by two women affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters. They fired on police guarding a hotel for security officers, touching off clashes between them and police and a group of night guards who rushed to the scene, Soylu said. “The women terrorists were wounded during these clashes. As the clashes continued, two separate explosions were heard,” the minister said. “Because they were wounded, they understood they would not be able to escape and they (killed) themselves.” Soylu said a woman who was sitting on a balcony near the scene was hit by a stray bullet during the clashes. Neither she nor the second police officer was seriously hurt, he said. There was no immediate comment from the militant group. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe and the United States. It has led an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since then. A fragile cease-fire and peace talks between the state and the PKK collapsed in the summer of 2015. …

читати →

Female Fighters Detail Russian Atrocities in Ukraine

Ukrainian female fighters who recently met with U.S. State Department officials and members of Congress said they witnessed war crimes committed by Russia during its war on Ukraine. During an interview with VOA, two Ukrainian warriors detailed personal stories and firsthand information on atrocities committed by Russian troops. United Nations investigators have said there is evidence that Russian forces who invaded Ukraine in February 2022 committed war crimes. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine presented its findings on Friday, September 23, to the U.N. Human Rights Council. “They [Russian troops] use forbidden ammunitions like cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs that burn everything to the ground. It’s prohibited by all the civilized world,” Daria Zubenko, a senior sergeant in the Ukrainian armed forces, told VOA State Department Bureau Chief Nike Ching on Friday. “We know the facts of women being raped and even children.” Russia has repeatedly dismissed accusations of abuses during its war on Ukraine. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization to boost troop levels, recruiting civilians of fighting age into the military at a time when Russian armed forces are suffering significant losses. Despite the buildup, “we don’t fear,” Yaryna Chornoguz, a Ukrainian combat medic and drone operator, told VOA. She added that Ukraine’s counteroffensive, with the new security assistance from the United States, has been making progress. “We believe we win them because of our new weaponry.” Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $457.5 million in civilian security assistance to boost capacity of Ukrainian law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. A portion of this new assistance will continue U.S. support for the Ukrainian government’s efforts to “document, investigate and prosecute atrocities perpetrated by Russia’s forces,” according to the State Department. The following includes excerpts from the interviews, …

читати →

France’s Macron Lands First State Visit of Biden’s Presidency

French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Washington in early December for the first state visit of President Joe Biden’s tenure, an occasion marked by pomp and pageantry that is designed to celebrate relations between the United States and its closest allies. The December 1 visit, following the U.S. midterm elections and the Thanksgiving holiday, will be the second state visit for Macron, who was first elected to lead his country in May 2017 and won a second term earlier this year. Macron also had a state visit during the Trump years. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced the visit Monday, saying it will “underscore the deep and enduring relationship with France, our oldest ally.” It will be the first time the White House has hosted a world leader for a state visit since the coronavirus outbreak. The invitation comes as a sign that relations between Biden and Macron have come full circle. The relationship tanked last year after the United States announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia. The decision by the U.S. undermined a deal that had been in place for France to sell diesel-powered submarines to Australia. After the announcement of the deal, which was born out of a new security agreement between the U.S., Australia and Britain, France briefly recalled its ambassador to Washington, Philippe Etienne, to Paris. Biden also sought to patch thing up with France by eventually acknowledging to Macron that his administration had been “clumsy” in how it handled the issue. The Biden administration since has heaped praise on Macron for being among the most vociferous Western allies in condemning Russia’s 7-month-old war in Ukraine and pressing broad sanctions on the Russian economy and officials close to President Vladimir Putin. Central to Biden’s pitch for the presidency was a vow …

читати →

Denmark Reports Leak in Gas Pipeline in Baltic Sea 

Denmark’s maritime authority said Monday that a gas leak had been observed in a pipeline leading from Russia to Europe underneath the Baltic Sea and that there is a danger to ship traffic. The operator of Nord Stream 2 confirmed that a leak in the pipeline had been detected southeast of the Danish island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. The pipeline runs 1,230 kilometers (764 miles) from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It is completed and filled with gas, but gas has never been imported through it, dpa reported. The cause of the detected leak wasn’t immediately clear. The Danish energy agency said in a statement that the country’s maritime authority has issued a navigation warning and established a five-nautical mile prohibition zone around the pipeline “as it is dangerous for ship traffic.” The relevant authorities are currently coordinating the effort, and the Danish energy agency added that “outside the exclusion zone, there are no security risks associated with the leak.” The incident is not expected to have consequences for the security of the supply of Danish gas, the country’s energy agency said. A spokesman for the operator of Nord Stream 2 said a loss of pressure was detected in a tube early Monday, and the responsible marine authorities in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia were immediately informed, dpa reported. While the pressure inside the pipeline is normally 105 bar, it is now only 7 bar on the German side, spokesman Ulrich Lissek said. He fears that the pipeline, filled with 177 million cubic meters of gas, could run dry in the coming days, dpa reported. It wasn’t immediately clear what consequences would follow from that, but a German environmental group said that the leaking gas isn’t toxic. Deutsche Umwelthilfe pointed out that natural gas is methane, …

читати →

Putin Grants Russian Citizenship to Edward Snowden

President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, according to a decree signed by the Russian leader on Monday.  Snowden is one of 75 foreign nationals listed by the decree as being granted Russian citizenship. The decree was published on an official government website.  Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.  He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship, without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.    …

читати →

Russia’s Prigozhin Admits Link to Wagner Mercenaries for First Time 

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday that he had founded the Wagner Group private military company in 2014, the first public confirmation of a link he has previously denied and sued journalists for reporting. The Wagner Group, staffed by veterans of the Russian armed forces, has fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Mali, among other countries. The press service of Prigozhin’s Concord catering firm posted his comments on the social network VKontakte in response to a request for comment from a Russian news site on why he had stopped denying his links to Wagner. “I cleaned the old weapons myself, sorted out the bulletproof vests myself and found specialists who could help me with this. From that moment, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which later came to be called the Wagner Battalion,” Prigozhin said. “I am proud that I was able to defend their right to protect the interests of their country,” he said in the statement. Prigozhin’s Concord catering firm confirmed to Reuters that the statement was genuine. Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef” due to his company’s Kremlin catering contracts, has been sanctioned by the United States and European Union for his role in Wagner. They also accuse him of funding a troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency that Washington says tried to influence U.S. elections. Prigozhin has previously sued outlets including investigative website Bellingcat, Russian news site Meduza and now-shuttered radio station Echo of Moscow for reporting his links to Wagner. Wagner was founded in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and started providing support to pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. …

читати →

Tax Cut Plans Pull British Pound to 4 Decade Lows 

The British pound has resumed a slide against the U.S. dollar that picked up pace last week after the U.K.’s new government outlined plans to cut taxes and boost spending. The pound dipped as low as $1.0349 per U.S. dollar early Monday but then rebounded to $1.0671, down 2.3%. The tax-cut plan has sparked concerns that increased public borrowing will worsen the nation’s cost-of-living crisis. The British currency plunged over 3% on Friday. It’s trading at levels last seen in the early 1980s. Other currencies have also weakened against the dollar as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates to combat inflation. Japan’s central bank intervened last week to support the yen, slowing its decline against the dollar. Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng announced the sweeping tax cuts that he said would boost economic growth and generate increased revenue without introducing corresponding spending reductions. He also said previously announced plans to cap soaring energy bills for homes and businesses would be financed through borrowing. Kwarteng offered few details on the costs of the program or its impact on the government’s own targets for reducing deficits and borrowing, but one independent analysis expected it to cost taxpayers 190 billion pounds ($207 billion) this fiscal year. The news triggered the pound’s biggest drop against the U.S. dollar since March 18, 2020, when then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. The British currency closed at $1.0822 in London on Friday, from $1.1255 on Thursday. Prime Minister Liz Truss, who took office less than three weeks ago, is racing to combat inflation at a nearly 40-year high of 9.9% and head off a prolonged recession. Facing a general election in two years, she needs to deliver results quickly. …

читати →

US Warns Russia of ‘Horrific’ Consequences of Any Nuclear Attack in Ukraine   

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States has made it clear publicly and privately to Russia to “stop the loose talk about nuclear weapons” in the Ukraine conflict following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that he would use any means to defend Russia.   “It’s very important that Moscow hear from us and know from us that the consequences would be horrific, and we’ve made that very clear,” Blinken told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” show in an interview broadcast late Sunday.   Blinken said using nuclear weapons “would have catastrophic effects for, of course, the country using them, but for many others as well.”   The U.S. response came after Putin signaled the possibility of a nuclear attack last week as he called up 300,000 military reservists to help Russia fight in its seven-month invasion of Ukraine. The troop augmentation came after Russian battlefield setbacks, with Kyiv’s forces recapturing large swaths of territory in northeast Ukraine that Russia had seized in the early weeks of the war.   Britain’s defense ministry said Monday that the first of the call-ups had started to arrive at military bases, but that Russia faces administrative and logistical challenges in training those troops.     “Many of the drafted troops will not have had any military experience for some years,” the ministry said. “The lack of military trainers, and the haste with which Russia has started the mobilization, suggests that many of the drafted troops will deploy to the front line with minimal relevant preparation. They are likely to suffer a high attrition rate.”       Protests against call-up Widespread protests against Putin’s troop call-up have erupted in Russia, with police arresting hundreds of demonstrators participating in street protests in Moscow and elsewhere.     In Russia’s Siberia region Monday, a 25-year-old man shot a military commandant at an enlistment center, the …

читати →

Italy Voters Shift Sharply, Reward Meloni’s Far-Right Party

 Italian voters rewarded Giorgia Meloni’s euroskeptic party with neo-fascist roots, propelling the country toward what likely would be its first far-right-led government since World War II, based on partial results Monday from the election for Parliament.  In a victory speech, far-right Italian leader Giorgia Meloni struck a moderate tone after projections based on votes counted from some two-thirds of polling stations showed her Brothers of Italy party ahead of other contenders in Sunday’s balloting.  “If we are called to govern this nation, we will do it for everyone, we will do it for all Italians and we will do it with the aim of uniting the people (of this country),” Meloni said at her party’s Rome headquarters.  “Italy chose us,” she said. “We will not betray (the country) as we never have.”  Meloni on track to be a first The formation of a ruling coalition, with the help of Meloni’s right-wing and center-right allies, could take weeks. If Meloni, 45, succeeds, she would be the first woman to hold the country’s premiership.  The mandate to try to form a government is given by Italy’s president after consultations with party leaders.  Meanwhile, former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, whose government collapsed two months ago, stays on in a caretaker role.  Differences among Meloni’s potential coalition partners could loom.  She has solidly backed the supplying of Ukraine with arms to defend itself against Russia’s invasion. In contrast, right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini, who before the war was a staunch admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has voiced concern that Western sanctions could end up hurting Italy’s economic interests more than punishing Russia’s.  Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, another long-time Putin admirer, has said that his inclusion in a center-right bloc’s coalition would guarantee that Italy stays firmly anchored in the European Union …

читати →

Fire Breaks Out at World’s Biggest Produce Market in Paris

A billowing column of dark smoke towered over Paris Sunday from a warehouse blaze at a massive produce market that supplies the French capital and surrounding region with much of its fresh food and bills itself as the largest of its kind in the world. Firefighters urged people to stay away from the area in Paris’ southern suburbs, as 100 officers and 30 fire engines battled the blaze at the Rungis International Market. Capt. Marc Le Moine, a representative for the Paris fire service, said no one was injured. The fire was brought under control and there was no risk of it spreading from the soccer field-sized warehouse, covering an area of 7,000 square meters (1.7 acres), he said. The cause of the blaze was unknown but will be investigated, he added. The sprawling wholesale market is a veritable town unto itself, with more than 12,000 people working there and warehouses filled with fruit and vegetables, seafood, meats, dairy products and flowers from across France and around the world. …

читати →

Italy’s Right-wing, Led by Meloni, Wins Election – Exit Polls

A right-wing alliance led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party looks set to win a clear majority in the next parliament, exit polls said Sunday after voting ended in an Italian national election. An exit poll for state broadcaster RAI said the bloc of conservative parties, that also includes Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, won between 41% and 45% of the vote, enough to guarantee control of both houses of parliament. Italy’s electoral law favors groups that manage to create pre-ballot pacts, giving them an outsized number of seats by comparison with their vote tally. Full results are expected by early Monday. If confirmed, the result would cap a remarkable rise for Meloni, whose party won only 4% of the vote in the last national election in 2018, but this time around was forecast to emerge as Italy’s largest group on 22.5%-26.5%. As leader of the biggest party in the winning alliance, she is the obvious choice to become Italy’s first woman prime minister, but the transfer of power is traditionally slow, and it could take several weeks before the new government is sworn in. Meloni, 45, plays down her party’s post-fascist roots and portrays it as a mainstream conservative group. She has pledged to support Western policy on Ukraine and not take undue risks with the third largest economy in the eurozone. Italy’s first autumn national election in over a century was triggered by party infighting that brought down Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad national unity government in July. Italy has a history of political instability, and the next prime minister will lead the country’s 68th government since 1946 and face a host of challenges, notably soaring energy costs and growing economic headwinds. The outcome of the vote was also being watched nervously in …

читати →

In Moldova, Thousands Protest in New Call for Government’s Resignation

Several thousand people protested in Moldova’s capital Sunday for the second straight weekend to demand the resignation of the country’s pro-Western government amid mounting anger over spiraling natural gas prices and inflation. The small east European nation, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, has seen political tensions rise in recent months as gas prices soar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A Reuters reporter estimated the crowd at about 5,000 outside the official residence of President Maia Sandu — slightly smaller than last Sunday’s gathering. Protesters chanted “Down with Maia Sandu,” and “Down with the government.” The rallies are the largest since Sandu won a landslide election victory in 2020 on an anti-corruption platform but pose no immediate threat to the president and her administration. Sandu has repeatedly condemned Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and is pushing for membership of the European Union, which has provided the ex-Soviet state with considerable assistance. Her critics charge she should have negotiated a better gas deal with Russia, Moldova’s main supplier. On Friday, Moldova’s gas regulator raised prices by 27% for households. The protests have been organized by the opposition party of Ilan Shor, an exiled businessman convicted of fraud in connection with a $1 billion bank scandal. The chief suspect in that fraud, business magnate Vlad Plahotniuc, is also outside Moldova, his whereabouts unknown. Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said she was focused on helping those with low incomes. “The problems of the country and its people will not be solved on the streets,” she wrote on the point.md news site. “We are trying to solve the problems of people most in need.” Protesters have vowed to hold weekly rallies until Sandu and her government leave office. An encampment of about 100 tents remains around Moldova’s parliament and Sunday protesters set up another dozen tents outside …

читати →

Hundreds Arrested in Russian Crackdown on Anti-Mobilization Protests  

Nearly 800 people have been detained in Russia as protests against the country’s partial military mobilization continue in cities across the country. As of Sunday, at least 796 people had been detained in 33 cities, with almost half of the total reported in the capital, Moscow, according to OVD-Info. The human rights group, which monitors political arrests and detentions in Russia, said that some of those detained in the crackdown on dissent following this week’s military call-up were minors. The demonstrations erupted within hours after President Vladimir Putin on September 21 announced the partial military mobilization, which is intended to buttress Russian military forces fighting in Ukraine. Russian police have been mobilized in cities where protests were called for by the opposition group Vesna and supporters of opposition politician Alexey Navalny. Images on Russian media have shown scenes of police using force against demonstrators, and eyewitnesses have said that the number of protesters have diminished since the first rallies. Many young men detained during the protests have reportedly been summoned to register for military service. The call-up came as Russian forces suffered significant losses of occupied territories in Ukraine’s east owing to a counteroffensive launched by the Ukrainian military. Putin followed up on his mobilization order on September 24 by imposing harsher penalties against Russians who willingly surrendered to Ukrainian forces or refused orders to mobilize. Russian officials have said that up to 300,000 reserve forces will be called up and that only those with relevant combat and service experience will be drafted to fight. However, Russian media reports have surfaced that men who have never been in the military or who are past draft age are being called up, and foreign media have reported that the real goal is to mobilize more than 1 million soldiers, which the Kremlin …

читати →

Pope urges Italians to Have More Children, Welcome Migrants 

Pope Francis traveled to southern Italy on Sunday to close out an Italian church congress that coincided with Italy’s national election, and delivered a message that hit on key domestic campaign issues including immigration. Neither Francis nor his hosts referred to the vote during the open-air Mass, though Italy’s bishops conference had earlier urged Italians to cast ballots in the eagerly watched election that could bring Italy its first far-right government since World War II. At the end of the outdoor Mass in Matera, Francis spoke off the cuff asking Italians to have more children. “I’d like to ask Italy: More births, more children,” Francis said. Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and Francis has frequently lamented its “demographic winter.” Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, who campaigned on a “God, family and homeland” mantra, has also called for Italy to reverse its demographic trends by proposing bigger financial incentives for couples to have children. Francis also weighed in on a perennial issue in Italy, recalling that Sunday coincided with the Catholic Church’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Francis called for a future in which “God’s plan” is implemented, with migrants and victims of human trafficking living in peace and dignity, and for a more “inclusive and fraternal future.” He added: “Immigrants are to be welcomed, accompanied, promoted and integrated.” Meloni and her center-right alliance have vowed to resume a strict crackdown on migrants coming to Italy via Libyan-based smugglers. The center-left Democratic Party has among other things called for an easier path to citizenship for children of newcomers. The Mass was celebrated by a protege of Francis, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who is head of the Italian bishops’ conference and has a long affiliation with the Sant’Egidio Community, a Rome-based charity known for its outreach to …

читати →

Italians Vote in Election That Could Take Far-Right to Power

The Italians voted Sunday in an election that could move the country’s politics sharply toward the right during a critical time for Europe, with war in Ukraine fueling skyrocketing energy bills and testing the West’s resolve to stand united against Russian aggression.  Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0500GMT) and by noon turnout was equal to or slightly less than at the same time during Italy’s last general election in 2018. The counting of paper ballots was expected to begin shortly after they close at 11 p.m. (2100 GMT), with projections based on partial results coming early Monday morning. Publication of opinion polls is banned in the two weeks leading up to the election, but polls before that showed far-right leader Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party, with its neo-fascist roots, the most popular. That suggested Italians were poised to vote their first far-right government into power since World War II. Close behind was former Premier Enrico Letta and his center-left Democratic Party. “Today you can help write history,” Meloni tweeted Sunday morning. Letta, for his part, tweeted a photo of himself at the ballot box. “Have a good vote!” he wrote.  Meloni is part of a right-wing alliance with anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time premier who heads the Forza Italia party he created three decades ago. Italy’s complex electoral law rewards campaign coalitions, meaning the Democrats are disadvantaged since they failed to secure a similarly broad alliance with left-leaning populists and centrists. If Meloni becomes premier, she will be the first woman in Italy to hold the office. But assembling a viable, ruling coalition could take weeks. Nearly 51 million Italians were eligible to vote. Pollsters, though, predicted turnout could be even lower than the record-setting low of 73% in the last general …

читати →