Italy's new government vows to stay in euro
ROME • Italy's new coalition government has no intention of leaving the euro and plans to focus on cutting debt levels, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said yesterday, looking to reassure nervous financial markets.
Italian government bonds have come under concerted selling pressure on fears the government will embark on a spending splurge that Italy can ill-afford, and markets are wary that eurosceptics within the coalition might try to push Italy out of the euro zone.
Aussie state empowers child sex abuse victims
SYDNEY • Victims of child sex abuse will be able to sue institutions such as churches under proposed new laws in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, the authorities said yesterday.
The proposed legislation came after a five-year royal commission detailed thousands of harrowing abuse cases involving churches, orphanages, sporting clubs, youth groups and schools and going back decades.
Salmonella outbreak sparks melon recall in US
WASHINGTON • A salmonella outbreak that sickened 60 people last month has been linked to pre-cut melons from a food distributor in Indianapolis, spurring a recall of products in eight states across the US.
Packages of fresh-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and mixed fruit have been recalled in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. A probe is underway to see if other products or states were affected.
Basques seek right to hold independence vote
MADRID • Tens of thousands of people from Spain's Basque country joined hands to form a human chain running some 202km yesterday to call for the right to hold a regional independence vote.
Spain's Constitution, created in 1978 after the end of dictator Francisco Franco's regime, states that the country is indivisible and last year's attempt by Catalonia to hold a secession referendum was met with a harsh legal crackdown.