Leptis Magna, Libya: An Italian reporter has said that a member of the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia asked him for €60,000 in exchange for artefacts taken from the ancient Roman city by Islamic State.

Trading of ancient artworks involves Chinese and Russian criminals, says newspaper

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini arrive in Washington on Tuesday ahead of a gala banquet at the White House being hosted by US president Barack Obama. Photograph: Tiberio Barchielli/EPA/Palazzo Chigi press office

US president says pro-growth policies needed, in interview with Italian newspaper

Italian playwright Dario Fo: “Throughout his work flowed a constant, disrespectful and often hilarious criticism of those in positions of power and public office.” Photography: Antonio Calanni/AP Photo

Italy mourns loss of ‘one of the great protagonists of theatrical, cultural and civil life’

Pope Francis greets Monsignor Joseph William Tobin, one of the   17 new cardinals named by him. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP Photo

Bishop Farrell has served the church in the USA for the majority of his priestly ministry

Books by Elena Ferrante in an English translation at the Edizioni E/O publishing office in Rome. Photograph: Chris Warde-Jones/The New York Times

The real identity of best-selling author may – or may not – have been revealed this week

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi: In recent months, as opinion polls have sometimes shown the No vote in front, he has pulled back on commitment to resign in face of defeat. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Some fear Renzi’s plan could move the country closer to an effective oligarchy

Pope Francis with Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, during a meeting with charities operating in Syria and Iraq  on Thursday. Photograph: EPA/Osservatore Romano

Francis bemoans fate of city where ‘everbody is dying – children, old people, sick people’

Isabel and Federica, two laicised Franciscan nuns who met three years ago during their pastoral service to the church, undertook civil union in front of Pinerolo mayor Luca Salvai of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Ceremony in Piedmont comes four months after introduction of same-sex civil union

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi during a news conference on Wednesday. “It would be totally irresponsible to say yes to this bid,” she said. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Virginia Raggi says ‘irresponsible’ bid would lead to city building up more debts

 Pope Francis  greets participants in a multi-faith day of prayer for peace, in Assisi, on Tuesday. Photograph: EPA/Osservatore Romano

Religious leaders from around the world join pontiff for multi-faith ceremony in Assisi

Sergio Mattarel moves to play down concerns over US interfering in Italy’s internal politics

Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi. Italy’s anti-corruption agency has said she did not followed correct bureaucratic procedures in choosing her chief of staff. Photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Virginia Raggi is under intense scrutiny following resignations of city officials

Workers build a new school in Amatrice, Italy. Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

Matteo Renzi promotes initiative as schools across the country are judged to be unsafe

Indian Nuns from the Catholic Order of the Missionaries of Charity watch the live telecast of the canonisation of Mother Teresa from Rome, at the Mother House in Kolkata. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The Vatican bent the rules in order to fast-track the Albanian nun to sainthood

An aerial view of Amatrice, central Italy, badly damaged by an earthquake.  Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA

Clumsy effort offends many Italians with public figures lining up to criticise magazine

Mother Teresa in 1993. Sunday’s ceremony at the Vatican will be attended by 100,000 faithful and at least 15 foreign delegations, including Indian state representatives. Photograph: AP Photo

Kosovar Albanian nun who founded Missionaries of Charity dedicated life to India’s poor

The Romolo Capranica school in Amatrice, where €500,000 of reconstruction work did little to offset damage when the earthquake struck. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty

Authorities are looking at how funds were used since 2009 seismic disaster left 308 dead

Mourners cry next to a coffin prior the funeral for victims of the earthquake that levelled the town in Amatrice. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

In disaster-struck town, a makeshift tent served as a church amid the shattered rubble

 Relatives of earthquake victims sit in a tent next to coffins of their loved ones before a mass funeral in quake-devastated Amatrice, central Italy,  August 30th, 2016. Construction crews worked through the night to build a tent complex to host the service after outraged residents rejected the government’s plan to hold the service in a distant airport hangar. Photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Bereaved fought to have latest funeral service, for 37 dead, held in their own town

Members of the Italian fire brigades operate near civic tower, in the earthquake-stricken town of Amatrice, on Monday. Photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Italian PM intervenes to insist Tuesday’s service for 78 victims takes place in Amatrice

Pope Francis meets Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, at the Santa Marta residence, the guest house in Vatican City where the pope lives. Photograph: AP

Pair speak about using communication technology to fight poverty

Firefighters and rescue workers stand near the damaged Sant’Agostino church in the central Italian village of Amatrice. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis announces plans to visit Italian towns struck by the deadly earthquake

Aerial view of the damage in the village of Saletta in central Italy, where 22 of the 45 inhabitants died in Wednesday’s earthquake. Photograph: AP Photo/Localteam

Matteo Renzi government declares national day of mourning to be observed today

A drone photo shows the damages following an earthquake in Saletta, central Italy. Photograph: Stefano De Nicolo/Reuters

Paddy Agnew: Villagers in tiny mountain communities left distraught

Ruins in a street of Amatrice in central Italy after the earthquake, which claimed at least 247 lives. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Residents of Amatrice try to come to terms with the huge loss of life following disaster

Rescue workers with sniffer  dogs following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy. The dogs have a tough time dealing with dust in their noses. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Sniffer dogs have tough time as noses become clogged with dust amid rescue efforts

A tent camp for  earthquake refugees  in Arquata del Tronto, Italy. Photograph: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Tremors add to feeling of fear and force Amatrice residents out in droves

People stand next to collapsed buildings in Amatrice following the  earthquake  in central Italy. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Amatrice and Pescara del Tronto feel brunt as another natural disaster hits central Italy

 An injured woman  is carried  by rescuers from  the rubble of collapsed buildings in Amatrice, central Italy, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. Photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Death toll rises to 247 as handsome, rural, medieval town is devastated

People stand in front of a damaged church in Amatrice on Wednesday after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left at least 38 people dead and  scores of buildings destroyed. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

Experience not unending but certainly recurrent for residents of hilly central regions

A woman cries after been rescued from her home following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Mayor of Amatrice says town ‘isn’t there any more’ with tremors also felt in Rome

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi (centre) with Angela Merkel and François Hollande talk of EU co-operation on the aircraft carrier Garibaldi. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Message from leaders is clear: EU will tighten security and focus intensely on growth

 Irish-born US clergyman  Kevin Farrell: has pushed for greater involvement of laity in church life.   He becomes the most senior US church figure serving in the Holy See.

Pope Francis appoints Bishop of Dallas to lead Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life

Two police officers cook pasta for two elderly citizens, after they were called to check on a couple loudly quarreling on a hot summer night in Rome. Photograph: Italian Police/AP

Officers respond to emergency call over cries of distress to find lonely husband and wife

The controversy in Maynooth has not gone unnoticed in the Vatican, even if there is no official comment. Photograph: Giuseppe Ciccia/ Nurphoto via Getty Images

Analysis: Vatican stance is to interfere when it suits – but leave well alone otherwise

Silvio Berlusconi has owned AC Milan since buying them in 1986 for €8m. Photograph: Reuters.

End of era after 30 years as Chinese consortium invest in Italian giants

The Vatican’s “gay lobby” does not campaign for gay rights; rather it is an informal group of gays who look out for each other

Even if Irish College in Rome is serious study centre, Eternal City can provide myriad distractions

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “atmosphere of strange goings-on.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Alleged sexual harrassment at St Patrick’s College reported to Garda in Dublin

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin says the national seminary in Maynooth ‘seems like a quarrelsome place with anonymous letters being sent around’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin decides to send seminary students to Rome instead

Pope Francis greets faithful as he arrives to the Campus Misericordiae during World Youth Day in Brzegi near Krakow, Poland, Sunday. Photograph: Reuters/David W Cerny

Final address by Francis at Catholic youth rally focuses on technology and activism

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a prayer vigil with youth at Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi, Poland as part of the World Youth Day. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

More than one million expected to attend Pope Francis’ Mass for World Youth Day

Pope Francis prays in front of the death wall at the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, on Friday. Photograph: L’Osservatore Romano /Pool Photo via AP

‘Cruelty did not end at Auschwitz, at Birkenau: today too, people are tortured,’ says Pope

Pope Francis walks through Auschwitz’s notorious gate with the sign Arbeit Macht Frei during his visit to the former Nazi death camp near Krakow. Photograph: Reuters/Filippo Monteforte/Pool

Pontiff meets 11 survivors of Nazi death camp and visits cell of St Maximilian Kolbe

 Pilgrims participating in World Youth Day 2016  in Blonia park in Krakow, Poland. Photograph: Jacek Turczyk/EPA

Irish worshippers brave the rain and conditions at World Youth Day celebrations

 Pope Francis   in Krakow, Poland: his dramatic statement contrasts sharply with the joyous and celebratory spirit which traditionally marks the gathering of young people from all around the world. Photograph: Maciej Kulczynski/EPA

Pontiff says peace has been lost as he starts visit to Poland for World Youth Day

Firefighters work at the site where two passenger trains collided in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari in Italy. Photograph: stringer/Reuters

Lack of computerised safety system on single line track may have caused Puglia tragedy

Portugal celebrate their Euro 2016 victory. Photograph: Reuters

Departure of injured talisman brought an inspired response from Euro 2016 winners

French players and supporters celebrate after their semi-final win over Germany. Photograph: Getty

France as a whole stayed defiant despite the tournament starting in a climate of fear

France coach Didier Deschamps reacts following Antoine Griezmann’s second goal in the Euro 2016 semi-final against Germany in Marseille. Photograph:  Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

From his time at Juventus, the man from Bayonne was learning his trade hard

 France striker Antoine Griezmann scores his second goal in the Euro 2016 semi-final against Germany at   Stade Velodrome  in Marseille. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Didier Deschamps’s side march on to Paris and final meeting with Portugal

Germany players celebrate winning the penalty shootout that saw them past Italy and into the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Photo: Reuters

After the game finished 1-1 in 120 minutes, the Germans emerged victorious on spot kicks

Italy’s coach Antonio Conte during his side’s victory over Spain in the last 16. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Antonio Conte’s side confident despite missing midfield general Danielle De Rossi

Martin was the first in a long line of football men who talked, and taught me, about football. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Ireland manager showed in Lille that he doesn’t forget a face

Rome’s mayor-elect: Virginia Raggi of the Five Star Movement trounced her PD rival, Roberto Giacchetti. Photograph: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Democratic Party loses mayoral contests in Turin, Naples and Rome

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: his Democratic Party  performed badly in most of the major cities. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

PD candidates may lose second-round vote in Rome, Milan and Naples

Five Star Movement  candidate Virginia Raggi is expected to  win  Sunday’s first round as well as the run-off vote in two weeks’ time. Photograph:  Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

PM Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party could be biggest losers in this weekend’s elections

 Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery: ‘The Catholic priesthood as we have known it, this male celibate thing, is gone.’ File Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fr Tony Flannery says female clergy would make a dramatic change amid serious crisis

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said the proposed period for the Dáil to rise is “too early and it is too long”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

As the Dáil is set to get about three months holidays, we look at the norm in other jurisdictions

Parked cars engulfed in a crater that opened next to the river Arno in Florence on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Maurizio degl’Innocenti/ANSA via AP.

No injuries but 20 parked cars swallowed by hole apparently caused by burst water pipe

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said he hoped Pope Francis would visit Ireland  in 2018 and that the pontiff would be able to visit Northern Ireland.

Archbishop of Dublin says Irish bishops would like any papal visit to include North

Italy boss Antonio Conte is wary of the threat posed by Ireland. Photograph: Epa

Wary of Irish threat as Azzurri head into Euro 2016 with a far from vintage crop

Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui and Msgr Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda sit during their trial in the Vatican, in this file picture from November 2015. Photograph: L’Osservatore Romano/AP

Latest witness tells of electronic bugs, threatening letters and secret meetings

Pope Francis is greeted by Sr Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa, during an audience with the International Union of Superiors General at the Vatican on Thursday. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Reuters

Pope questioned by leaders of women’s religious orders on exclusion of female deacons

Supporters of same-sex civil unions stand outside the Italian Parliament in Rome on May 11th, 2016. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Move comes following three decades of campaigning, opposed by Catholic Church

Enduring  irony: Silvio Berlusconi has managed to turn the forthcoming mayoral contest in Rome on its head, causing problems for his centre-right “rivals” and potentially doing favours to his centre-left “allies”. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Media tycoon moves to split right-wing vote in Rome mayoral elections to aid Renzi

 Pope Francis   with US vice-president Joe Biden. Photograph: AFP Photo/Osservatore Romano

Joe Biden, the second senior US Democrat to visit Vatican in the last two weeks, meets the pope

Rene Brulhart, president of the Vatican Financial Information Authority  argued that the increased number of suspicious case reports was a direct result of the work of his own institution. Photograph:  Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

Institution receives 544 reports of suspicious activities last year, says president Brülhart

Irish Jesuit priest Fr John Sullivan. Pope Francis has approved his beatification. Photograph: Jesuits in Ireland website

Woman who prayed to Fr John Sullivan made ‘miraculous’ recovery from a cancer

Fr Iggy O Donovan says Swiss theologian Hans Küng is ‘hopelessly optimistic’ in perceiving a ‘new freedom’ in the Vatican. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Dissident theologians accuse church watchdog of heartless, unchristian attitude

Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, says he hopes an audit of the Vatican finances will resume very shortly, following its suspension this week. Photograph:  Daniel Munoz/Reuters

Pope Francis’s new body believed to be on collision course with Secretariat of State

Pope Francis welcomes Syrian refugees at Ciampino airport in Rome following his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte

The pope says decision to bring Syrian families to Rome was a ‘humanitarian’ one

Syrian refugees Wafa, in the centre with white scarf holding her son Omar’s hand, husband Osama, second from left as they arrive with another Syrian family at the St Egidio Community in Rome on Saturday. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Child welcomed with familiar food after leaving Lesbos with Pope on Saturday

 Bernie Sanders arriving at the Vatican for a conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of ‘Centesimus Annus’, a high-level teaching document by Pope John Paul II on the economy and social justice at the end of the Cold War. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

Democrat presidential candidate makes speech calling for redistribution of world’s wealth

A gust of wind lifts Pope Francis’s mantilla: “I travel to Lesbos to express my closeness and solidarity, both to the refugees and to the citizens of Lesbos and to the whole Greek people, who have been so generous in receiving” asylum seekers. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys

Vatican rejects idea pope’s five-hour visit is criticism of EU migration handling

 US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: He  is expected to attend a small, invitation-only conference at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

US Democratic presidential candidate not expected to meet Pope Francis in Rome

Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s finance minister, who has announced an industry-led bailout programme for the country’s troubled banking sector. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Industry funded bailout proposed by finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan may run into ‘state aid’ difficulties with EU

Paola, the mother of Giulio Regeni, with lawyer Alessandra Ballerini and senator Luigi Manconi, at the Italian Senate, in Rome. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP Photo

Egyptian police are implicated in the gruesome death of Italian student Giulio Regeni

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn shows a copy of “Amoris Laetitia” during a press conference at the Vatican. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

‘Amoris Laetitia’ steers a middle of the road course on family and sexuality

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone: says he spent €300,000 of his own money on apartment renovation. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Former Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone says he funded upgrade himself

An aerial view of the destruction in the city of L’Aquila, central Italy, caused by the earthquake of April 2009. Photograph: AP/Italian Forestry Police Force

Suburbs have been reconstructed but the heart of L’Aquila remains to be rebuilt

Italian Police escort a man, centre, to a police car in the southern city of Salerno, Italy. Police identified the man arrested as an Algerian wanted in Belgium for facilitating illegal migration linked to the recent terror attacks in Paris. Photograph: AP

Men linked with bombings crossed Italian borders and security with apparent ease

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi benediction at the Vatican. Photograph: Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Francis speaks on Brussels bombing and terror attacks worldwide

  Msgr Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda  with Francesca Chaouqui in this file photograph taken in 2014.The Vatican has arrested Msgr Vallejo and Ms Chaouqui for allegedly stealing and leaking classified documents. Photograph: Umberto Pizziumberto/Getty Images

Vatileaks 2 trial in Vatican City court takes bizarre turn

Labour leader Joan Burton  on the campaign trail last month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES

‘The two biggest parties have to shape up to what the country requires’, says acting Tánaiste

Lay consultant Francesca Chaouqui and Spanish monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda: pair are among the five on trial. Photograph:  Umberto Pizzi/AFP/Getty Images

Five accused of leaking information face eight-year prison sentence if found guilty

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: The killing in Libya  of two Italian construction workers has put the traditional  policy of Mediterranean “dialogue” under  pressure. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Matteo Renzi says he will not deploy soldiers but secret service is already active in Libya

Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell speaks to the media at the Quirinale hotel in Rome on Thursday at the end of evidence via video-link to Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Vatican finance chief George Pell concludes four days of evidence to Australian inquiry

Australian Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell is shown on a screen in Canberra, Australia, as he gives evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse via video link from Rome Italy. Photograph: EPA

Pell’s evidence showed a man remarkably incurious about suspicions raised with him

Supporters of same-sex civil unions demonstrate in Rome. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Government comfortably wins confidence vote on complex legislation, by 173 to 71 votes

Francesco Totti’s playing career for AS Roma could be nearing its end. Photograph: Afp

Giallorossi’s greatest ever no longer untouchable after 25 years with boyhood club

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi:  says Italian banks are “more solid than German banks”.   Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

The rescue of four local banks has set alarm bells ringing about the sector

Pope Francis speaks to journalists aboard the papal plane flying from Mexico to Italy on Thursday. Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/AFP/Getty Images

Let us not confuse the act of avoiding pregnancy with abortion, says Argentinian pope

  Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston:  “We all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society.”     Photograph:  Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Reports that mandatory reporting may ‘not necessarily’ be a bishop’s duty denied

Italian leader Matteo Renzi: there are fears he is becoming mired in old-style, crony politics. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Italy’s prime minister arrived on the scene in dramatic fashion, full of promises of change

Baked images of Pope Francis are part of the production of a bakery in Morelia, Michoacan State, Mexico. The pope  will visit four Mexican states during his time there. Photograph: Enrique Castro/AFP/Getty

Pope will stop in Cuba on way to Mexico to meet spiritual leader of Russian Orthodoxy

Peter Saunders:  criticised appointment  of controversial  bishop Juan Barros. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Peter Saunders, given ‘leave of absence’, says Vatican system ‘essentially corrupt’

Thousands of demonstrators take part in the Family Day rally at the Circo Massimo in central Rome on Saturday. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Some 300,000 people gather at Rome’s Circus Maximus to oppose proposed legislation

Statue of Padre Pio  in Rome: saint’s relics will go on tour at the request of Pope Francis. Photograph: Pier Paolo Cito/AP Photo

Pope Francis wants remains of the Italian saint be brought to Rome for a few days

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani with Pope Francis  at the end of their private audience in the Vatican on Tuesday. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AFP/Getty Images

First Iranian leader to visit the Vatican for 17 years urges Muslims to protect churches

Pope Francis talking during his visit to the Lutheran church in Rome on November 15th last year. He is to take part in a joint Catholic-Lutheran service in Sweden in October. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Pontiff will travel to Lund, Sweden, for ecumenical commemoration

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