Somali pirates demand ransom for oil tanker, EU force says
Armed men are demanding a ransom for the release of an oil tanker they have seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, the European Union anti-piracy operation in the region announced late today. An EU Naval Force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship's master, who confirmed that armed men were aboard the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13. Monday's hijacking was the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel off Somalia since 2012.
Naples mafia enters construction side of crematorium business
Italian police detained dozens of politicians and businessmen around Naples today in a swoop that revealed the local mafia has gotten its tentacles into archaeology and the crematorium business. Arrest warrants for 69 suspects were issued in an operation codenamed "the Queen" after the surname of Guglielmo La Regina, a construction company owner and the suspected linchpin of a network that fixed 18 major public contracts.
Dutch vote in key test for far-right
Millions of Dutch voters went to the polls today in an election overshadowed by a blazing diplomatic row with Turkey, with all eyes on the fate of far-right anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders. Following last year's shock Brexit referendum, and Donald Trump's victory in the US, the Dutch vote is being closely watched to gauge support for populism in Europe ahead of other elections this year.
Pope warns of ‘very grave sin’ when jobs are cut unjustly
Pope Francis said today that employers who fire workers for unclear economic reasons are committing a "very grave sin" and should ensure dignified work for all their employees. Francis made the comments at his general audience after appealing for a resolution to a labor dispute at Sky Italia, where employees are facing job cuts and relocation as the satellite channel moves offices from Rome to Milan. Francis called for a solution that respects the rights of all all.