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World/National News

February 22, 2014

Matteo Renzi forms Italy's new coalition government

ROME (AP) — Matteo Renzi will be sworn in as Italy’s youngest prime minister ever today after he cobbled together a government he says will change the face of the country’s politics and economy.

Renzi, the 39-year-old leader of the center-left Democratic Party, unveiled his government yesterday and said the broad coalition will bring hope to the economically stagnant country.

After formally accepting the mandate to form the government, Renzi said he will waste no time in enacting reform.

“We aim tomorrow morning to immediately do the things that need to get done,” he said.

Renzi had been serving as Florence mayor when he engineered a power grab last week to effectively force fellow Democrat, Enrico Letta, to step down after 10 months at the helm of a fragile, often-squabbling coalition.

Agreement on ending Ukraine conflict sparks resentment

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Under heavy pressure from the West following a deadly day of clashes and sniper fire in the capital, President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders struck a deal yesterday aimed at bringing Ukraine’s three-month political crisis to an end. But radical protesters and some pro-Russian factions rejected it, leaving lingering doubts over whether peace could be restored.

On a day of electrifying developments, the Ukrainian parliament also opened a path for Yulia Tymoshenko —Yanukovych’s political nemesis — to be let out of prison.

In spite of what looked like a significant government retreat, protesters booed opposition figures who took to a stage Friday evening to present the deal, which cuts Yanukovych’s powers and calls for early elections but falls short of demands for his immediate resignation.

“Death to the criminal!” some chanted, referring to Yanukovych.

“Resign! Resign! Resign!” shouted others as one radical speaker threatened to go on an armed offensive if the opposition doesn’t demand the president’s resignation by Saturday morning.

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