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His comments carried on Italian TV news broadcasts from the summit in Deauville, France, set off a barrage of criticism Friday from Italian magistrates and his political opponents.

Italians are used to such statements from Mr. Berlusconi, but Mr. Obama seemed surprised when Mr. Berlusconi approached him and said through an interpreter that his government has proposed a judicial reform because “we have almost a dictatorship of leftist judges.”

Mr. Berlusconi is a defendant in four cases, three related to his business interests and one on charges of paying for sex with an underage teen. He denies wrongdoing.

Although recent opinion polls indicate his popularity has started to sag, the 74-year-old media mogul seems intent on confounding predictions that his long political run might be nearing an end.

“I won’t abandon the field of politics until there is a justice system in Italy that is fair and judges who judge according to merit and not according to whether the defendant is friend or foe,” Mr. Berlusconi told reporters at a closing G-8 news conference.


Police hunt blond burglar nicknamed ‘Goldilocks’

LONDON — British police said they were hunting a young blond burglary suspect they have nicknamed “Goldilocks” because he is believed to have slept in one of his victim’s homes.

Essex Police said that 19-year-old Jesse Dobinson is wanted in connection with two separate burglaries at an address in the commuter town of Wickford, about 35 miles northeast of London, earlier this year.

A statement posted to the force’s website said that on both occasions beds in the property were slept in and that food was eaten.

Police said the 5-foot-3-inch teen is also wanted in connection with a knifepoint robbery of a pizza delivery man in April.