- - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ITALY

Berlusconi to face confidence votes

ROME | Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government faces confidence votes in the lower and upper houses of parliament on Dec. 14, Italian media reported Tuesday, citing officials.

His coalition is believed to hold the majority in the upper house and a plurality in the lower house since the departure from the government on Monday of ministers loyal to his former ally, Gianfranco Fini.

But according to the Italian constitution, a loss in either house would force Mr. Berlusconi to resign.

The beleaguered prime minister will address parliament Dec. 13 following the approval in early December of the budget for 2011, reports said.

EGYPT

Muslims torch Christian homes

CAIRO | Muslims set fire overnight to at least 10 houses belonging to Coptic Christians in a village in southern Egypt over rumors that a Christian resident had an affair with a Muslim girl, security officials said Tuesday.

The officials said security forces sealed off the village of al-Nawahid in Qena province, some 290 miles south of Cairo, to prevent the violence from spreading to neighboring towns. They said several people were arrested.

The attacks started after locals spotted a young Copt and a Muslim girl together at night inside the village cemetery, the officials said. They added that both were put under police custody as authorities investigate.

UNITED KINGDOM

Prince William engaged to college sweetheart

LONDON | Prince William is finally engaged to his longtime girlfriend and will give Britain its biggest royal wedding since Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer almost 30 years ago.

Royal officials announced Tuesday that William will marry Kate Middleton next spring or summer in London, ending years of rumored splits, reconciliations and will-they, won’t-they speculation.

William is second in line to the British throne after Charles, his father.

UKRAINE

Yanukovych ends rule of eccentric city head

KIEV | Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Tuesday effectively ended the colorful four-year rule of Kiev boss Leonid Chernovetsky, known as “Kosmos” for his otherworldly eccentricity.

Mr. Yanukovych signed a decree removing Mr. Chernovetsky as head of the Kiev city administration and appointing top local official Olexander Popov in his place, according to a statement on the presidential website.

The move appears aimed at returning order to the sometimes chaotic capital as it gears up to host the final of the Euro 2012 football tournament, which will be one of the biggest events in the country’s history.

GUINEA

Capital split ethnically after election results

CONAKRY | A day after results from a contentious presidential election were announced, Guinea’s capital resembled a divided nation.

Neighborhoods dominated by supporters of the election’s winner, Alpha Conde, had residents dancing in the streets and hanging out of car windows, flashing the V for victory.

Mr. Conde, who is ethnically Malinke and who was backed in large numbers by members of his own ethnic group, toured parts of the capital that supported him with a jubilant impromptu parade.

But elsewhere in the capital, in areas dominated by members of the Peul ethnic group that supported politician Cellou Dalein Diallo of the same ethnicity, the streets were deserted and littered with bullet casings.

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