By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Italy's crucial elections appeared to be heading toward gridlock, initial results showed Monday, with the center-left forces of Pier Luigi Bersani moving ahead in the lower house of parliament and the camp of former premier Silvio Berlusconi gaining the upper hand in the equally powerful Senate.
Will Italy stay the course with painful economic reform? Or fall back into the old habit of profligacy and inertia? These are the stakes as Italians vote in a watershed parliamentary election Sunday and Monday that could shape the future of one of Europe's biggest economies.
Italians vote this weekend, and responsible citizens will find nothing much on the menu. As in America, the likely preference will continue stumbling down the tax-and-spend path that has crippled economies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Rita Levi-Montalcini, a biologist who conducted underground research in defiance of Fascist persecution and went on to win a Nobel Prize for helping unlock the mysteries of the cell, died at her home in Rome on Sunday. She was 103 and had worked well into her final years.
Italian Premier Mario Monti has announced he is heading a new campaign coalition made of up centrists, businessmen and pro-Vatican forces, paving the way for his possible return to office if it wins enough seats in February parliamentary elections.
For someone not running for political office, Premier Mario Monti has an awfully detailed plan for how to fix Italy's financial woes and bring the country and the rest of Europe back to economic health. And by Monday, not only had centrist leaders who want him as premier endorsed it, but so did the head of the Catholic Church in Italy.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti said Sunday he won't run in February elections, but if political parties that back his anti-crisis agenda ask him to head the next government, he would consider the offer.
Israel's prime minister on Monday accused the international community of "deafening silence" in response to recent vows by the head of the Hamas militant group to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed, appearing unmoved by global condemnation of his government's plans to continue settling the West Bank.
Stocks edged higher Monday on Wall Street after a strong sales report from McDonald's offset concerns about the surprise resignation of Italy's prime minister. Investors also waited for developments in crucial U.S. budget talks.
Silvio Berlusconi says he's running to be premier again — for the good of Italy.
Although Italy's Silvio Berlusconi resigned in disgrace a year ago, has since been convicted of tax fraud and now faces plunging poll numbers, the media baron is showing he still has the power to put pressure on his successor, Premier Mario Monti.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party held emergency meetings Sunday to try to figure out who's in charge, after a disputed election for its new leader that could reshape French politics.
Stamping out entrenched tax evasion is crucial to Premier Mario Monti's quest to keep Italy from succumbing to the European debt crisis, and it is critical to fellow eurozone members in more dire straits, such as Greece and Spain — which are also notorious for making cheating the taxman a way of life.
Italy's justice minister is warning that rampant corruption by politicians' pilfering public funds is reaching unprecedented levels, just as the government is demanding sacrifices from its citizens to keep the country from succumbing to the European debt crisis.
An Italian man has eluded Vatican security and scaled the 426-foot-high dome of St. Peter's Basilica to protest the austerity measures that Italy has enacted.