People sit beside  coffins holding remains of their relatives before a mass funeral for some of the victims of the earthquake that devastated central Italy,  in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Photograph: Cristiano Chodi

The names were read out, one by one - Alberto, Clara, Giorgia, Pietro, Lucrezia, Marisol and 29 others. The litany of names seemed to accentuate the(...)

Pope Francis addresses tens of thousands of people in  St Peter’s Square on Sunday. He said: “We should not tolerate the abuse of minors. We must protect minors and severely punish abusers.” Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis called for “severe punishment” for paedophiles on Sunday after new details emerged in Italy of the 2014 death of a six-year-old girl who (...)

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

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani took an important step down the road to improved relations with Western powers when he visited Pope Francis in the Vat(...)

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella: Ireland among the ‘more generous’ countries in accepting refugees.  Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella has praised the Irish response to this year’s Meditteranean migrant crisis. Speaking to the Italian parliamentary(...)

President Michael D Higgins: after Milan, he and his wife will go to Rome, where Il Tradimento e Poesie (Poems and Betrayal), an Italian translation of his poems, will be launched. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins will officially open the Irish National Day at Expo 2015 in Milan this morning. Timed to coincide with Bloomsday, the Iri(...)

Protesters flip over a car during a rally against Expo 2015 in Milan. Photograph: Reuters

A senior Italian politician has vowed that “a couple of hundred violent thugs” would not ruin the Milan Expo, a global fair the government had hoped w(...)

 Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi: “If someone was willing to stay behind after dinner and have sex with prime minister Berlusconi, then they would be paid more,” a woman told a court in Italy this week. Photograph:  EPA/Angelo Carconi

Not for the first time in recent years, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has featured in a court case relative to the “after hours” ho(...)

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