Monti calls for reforms
Prime Minister Mario Monti launched his campaign for a second term on Sunday with a speech calling for deep-rooted reforms to kick start economic growth, four weeks ahead of a parliamentary election. “Italy needs radical reforms. Radical reforms for those who are outside protected interest groups, and for young people who cannot find work because others are over-protected,” he said at the launch of his campaign for the Feb. 24-Feb. 25 vote. Monti said he would push for a “drastic reduction” of the number of parliamentarians and a rearrangement of the state to make it “less onerous.”
Bolshoi director recovering
A top doctor yesterday said Bolshoi ballet artistic director Sergei Filin would regain sight in at least one of his eyes following a brutal acid attack last week that his coworkers blamed on infighting at the great theater. “The trend is generally positive,” Larisa Mashetova, Moscow health service’s chief eyesight specialist, said in televised remarks. “He is regaining sight faster in one eye, but I think that we are going to even things out for both. Still, the recovery process will take a lot of time.” Preliminary findings released on Sunday showed Filin’s assailant used sufuric acid in the attack, which left the 42-year-old Filin with third-degree burns to his face.
Michelle Kwan marries.
The Providence Journal reports that Kwan and Clay Pell have married in Rhode Island. The 32-year-old Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in the country’s history. She won 43 championships, the silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and the bronze at the 2002 Games. Pell, a lawyer and US Coast Guard lieutenant, works on the national security staff at the White House. Kwan is a public policy envoy with the State Department
Top Kony bodyguard killed
Soldiers hunting Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony have killed one of his top bodyguards, who earned a grim reputation for the abduction of children, an army spokesman said yesterday. The rebel, known as Brigadier Binani, was killed on Friday in a clash with troops in the dense jungles of the eastern Central African Republic close to the border with South Sudan, spokesman Felix Kulayigye said. In addition to being a top Kony bodyguard, Binani was in charge of food collection and abducting children for the infamous rebel group, but may not have been recently operating close to Kony, Kulayigye said. Kony is currently thought to be hiding out close to where the borders of the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Sudan meet.