A view of Palermo. “Cimarosa officially became the black sheep of the family last month when he publicly denounced Cosa Nostra. He did so, too, on a national stage, speaking in Palermo to the Sicilian ‘Leopolda’, a sort of Democratic Party brains trust”. Photograph: Getty Images

As reporters in Italy, we have all long since learned to understand the term, “Mafia victim”. Usually, we are talking about those brave local politici(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin looks on during a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, last month. When asked on Thursday if Mr  Putin is healthy, a Kremlin spokesman replied ‘Yes.’ Photograph: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that president Vladimir Putin is in good health, but could not say when he would next appear in publi(...)

On the morning after his acquittal in the so-called “Rubygate” trial, 78-year-old former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly ready to reassume full time political activity. Having won one case, the Rubygate trial,Photograph: GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

On the morning after his acquittal in the so-called “Rubygate” trial, 78-year-old former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly ready to reass(...)

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Egyptian Defence Minister Colonel General Sidqi Sobqi during a signing ceremony at the presidential palace in Cairo. Photograph: Egyptian president’s office/Reuters

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called for a United Nations resolution mandating an international coalition to intervene in Libya after Egypt’(...)

Italian citizens hug after arriving at Practica di Mare military base near Rome, Italy, 16th February 2015. A group of around 60 Italians returned from Libya overnight after being evacuated because of security concerns about the advance of ISIS extremist Islamic group in the North African nation. Photograph: EPA/Massimo Percossi

Italians woke up on Monday to the worrying reality of a threat from Islamic State “signed with blood against the nation of the cross”. Against the bac(...)

 Greece’s new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and prime minister Alexis Tsipras:   the two embarked on a tour of European capitals to drum up support for their plan to renegotiate the Greek bailout. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP Photo

Almost two weeks since left-wing party Syriza topped the poll in Greece’s general election, the stand-off between Athens and its international lender(...)

Greek PM Alexis Tsiparis is greeted by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker  prior to a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, as part of his tour of European capitals.      Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras arrives in Brussels today for talks with the head of the European Commission and European Council, while finance (...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel  in Cologne and Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, in Athens. Dr Merkel told German newspapers she  did not “envisage” any fresh debt cut. Photographs: Louisa Gouliamaki, Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has moved to calm concerns over his anti-austerity strategy, vowing not to act “unilaterally” on his country’s €3(...)

 German chancellor Angela Merkel (left)  and Greece’s new prime minister Alexis Tsipras right. Mrs  Merkel has repeatedly stated Athens must respect the bailout accord with the EU while Mr Tsipras  for his part has not included Germany among a series of visits to European ;eaders this week. Photograph: AFP

New Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, striking a conciliatory note on debt talks after a turbulent start to office, has called the European Central(...)

New Italian president Sergio Mattarella arrives at the Constitutional Court in Rome. Photograph:  Ettore Ferrari/EPA

For Sergio Matarella, the man elected today as Italy’s 12th president, all changed on the morning of January 6th, 1980. That was the day when a Cosa N(...)