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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Mafia assassin plan

A Mafia gang in Sicily discussed assassinating Italy's interior minister because they blamed him for exceptionally tough prison conditions, according to Palermo's chief prosecutor.

Francesco Lo Voi told reporters that six suspected mobsters had been arrested over an alleged plot hatched in the Cosa Nostra's Corleone stronghold to kill Angelino Alfano.

Mr Lo Voi said the suspects were overheard in intercepted phone conversations.

Bribes for toys

Italian investigators have seized 221 toy trains and 126 boxes of collectible stamps from a person suspected of buying them with money amassed through bribes.

The suspect admitted to taking €65,000 in bribes during an investigation into a system of rigged contracts involving Italy's state-owned motorway operators.

He was one of 31 people put under investigation last month for corruption connected to the country's highway manager.

Church mega-fraud

The co-founder of a Singapore church and five other leaders were sentenced to jail terms of up to eight years for fraudulently diverting millions of dollars to support his wife's pop singing career.

The mix of faith and fraud has fascinated tightly-regulated Singapore, where such cases are rare in an affluent city-state with little tolerance for corruption.

Ebola rises again

Health officials in Liberia have confirmed a new case of Ebola more than two months after the west African nation was declared free of the deadly disease for a second time.

It is a setback for Liberia, one of three countries hit hardest by the worst Ebola outbreak in history. There have been more than 10,600 cases and over 4,800 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

The new case is a 10-year-old boy who lives in Monrovia.

Gay adoption

Portugal's parliament has approved laws allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children and permitting lesbians to obtain medically assisted fertilisation.

Leftist parties used their outright parliamentary majority to ensure the bills passed yesterday. The Socialist Party, Communist Party and Left Bloc had promised those measures during their campaigns for last month's general election.

Irish Independent

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