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New law rescues prime minister

The week's news at a glance.

Rome

The Italian parliament has passed a new law that may enable the prime minister to escape corruption charges. Defendants may now demand that their trials be relocated to other venues merely by citing a “legitimate suspicion” that the judge is biased against them. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is fighting charges of corruption and bribery, has long complained that the left-wing judges in Milan are waging a political campaign against him. He will now be able to transfer his cases to more compliant courts, where the charges may be dismissed. After the bill was passed in a contentious parliamentary session, supporters and opponents of the prime minister began a shouting match that degenerated into a fistfight.

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