By Roberto Landucci ROME (Reuters) - Italian lawmakers edged closer on Tuesday to approving a new electoral law seen as a test of new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's ability to enact wider structural reforms needed to stabilize government in Italy. Overhauling the complicated voting system blamed for leaving Italy with a deadlocked parliament has been a top priority for Renzi since he became leader of the main center-left Democratic Party (PD) last year. The new law, designed after an agreement between Renzi and center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi, is intended to produce a clear winner able to govern without the kind of unwieldy cross-party coalition left by last year's inconclusive election. But it has caused widespread unease in the PD, where many are very unhappy at the accord with their arch-enemy Berlusconi and irritated with the bulldozing style of the 39-year-old premier, who has insisted the law must be passed quickly to avoid the risk of seeing it picked apart in parliament.
LYON, France (AP) — Interpol is allowing two airlines to check passenger passports against its vast database of lost and stolen travel documents — in a test project aimed to let private sector companies help authorities crack down on criminals who travel with fake documents, the police organization's leader said Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Washington elementary school teacher who became one of the FBI's most-wanted criminals after taking hidden video of his students using the bathroom and then eluded law enforcement officials by assuming fake identities and escaping to Nicaragua has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
BEIRUT (AP) — The number of Syrian children affected by the civil war in their homeland has doubled in the past year to at least 5.5 million — more than half the country's children — with devastating effects on the health, education and psychological well-being of an entire generation, the United Nations children's agency said Thursday.
Valparaíso (Chile) (AFP) - Socialist Michelle Bachelet took the oath of office as president of Chile Tuesday, returning to power after four years with a reform agenda to reduce social disparities in this prosperous South American country. The 62-year-old was sworn in at a solemn ceremony in the Congress that was charged with symbolism. "Yes, I promise," she said as she took the oath from the new Senate leader Isabel Allende. Allende, the daughter of ousted president Salvador Allende who died in a 1973 coup, handed Bachelet the presidential sash and fervently embraced the returning president.