Silvio Berlusconi sits in studio of the ‘Porta A Porta’ TV show while a portrait of Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi is displayed in the background. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images.

Disgraced tycoon set to have major say in election of next president of Italy

Pope Francis speaking to journalists on his flight back from Manila in the Philippines  to Rome on Monday. Photograph: Reuters/Giuseppe Cacace

When the pope speaks of Catholics breeding ‘like rabbits’ he generates worldwide headlines

Pope Francis (left) flanked by Padre Federico Lombardi speak to journalist  onboard a plane during his trip back to Rome, on Monday  from the Philippines. Photograph: Getty

Francis says no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size

Italian aid workers Greta Ramelli  (centre) and Vanessa Marzullo are welcomed by Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni at Ciampino’s military airport in Rome on Friday. Photograph: EPA/Massimo Percossi

Dubai-based station reported ransom had been paid to al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing for release of hostages

 Pope Francis with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke  in Vatican City

Controversial US cardinal says use of altar girls may have led to a decline in vocations

The only person to serve a second term  as Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano has been in the Quirinale Palace, the official presidential residence, for nine years. Photograph: Reuters

Giorgio Napolitano had said he would step down as soon as Italy’s EU presidency ended

Pope Francis boards a plane for his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines at Fiumicino airport in Rome. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

Francis paints picture of a world struggling with warfare, poverty and disease

Pope Francis greets the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith Mohammed Moussaoui at the end of the weekly general audience at the Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican January 7th. Photograph: Reuters

Vatican does not intend to alter security arrangements for Papal visit to south east Asia

Of the 15 elector (under 80 years of age) cardinals named by Pope Francis, 10 hail from Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America

Additional 15 cardinals shows move away from Catholic Church’s eurocentric heart

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